Been a while since I have done a review, but this is a small army project that I have been hooked into for a while. And have also been swayed by the cool idea of Bird Knights!
The history of the Ridend is almost like old English Knights and such. And apparently in the land of Relics, they were also spared the catastrophe that occurred from the dreaded mad King. But they have now seen the outside world, and are preparing for war as a race, compared to internal squabbling ( like old English :) ).
Plus.. their mounted knights are riding Kapolop birds.. basically huge chickens that may or may not resemble Chocobos from another franchise. No reason to pick them up for me being a fan of another franchise.. no none whatsoever :)
So here is a quick unboxing and assembly of the starter box, a set of 6 foot knights, the alternate sculpt Baron ( Hero ) and the Dragon Tower ( Support Unit ).
So up first is the 6 foot knights. Armored birds ready to take the fight to the hordes trying to invade their lands.
Most are just 2 pieces ( body, and shield ). The top 2 on the right there also had their arm as a separate piece.
There was a bit of flash to clean up, and some minor mold lines that were easy enough to clean up. These were pretty straight forward to build.
Only comments I have is that the feet are quite tiny, so it will make it difficult to make more custom bases for them and then pin them to it. So I need to see what I can do here as I was planning to use some cork as a base to build them up a bit. And make the bases a bit more interesting. I have an idea, but will see how well it works now :)
The other comment I had about them is the shields. 3 come with molded on bugs ( I assume natural food for the Ridend as they are bird like creatures ) and 3 are blank. I would prefer the blanks so then I can do a bit more freehand work on them. Looking into seeing if there is a parts order aspect to pick up more ( and you will see that I need more for the Kapolop riders as well.
Overall.. very easy to clean up and assemble. Also comes with a Rule token which is part of their special rules. Need to re-read that up a bit further to understand when it takes effect, but that is for another day :)
Within the starter group come 6 archers. Quite characterful here, and lots of fun can be seen in them.
Assembly you can see that 4 of them ( 2 of the sculpts ) require you to assemble the bow arm to the body, whereas one sculpt is just single cast.
Clean up on the bodies was simple enough. A bit of flash and excess metal along the bottom of the piece. Again fine mold lines to be cleaned but easy enough.
The bows on the sprue however required a bit of skill/luck combo to get off. I say this as you can see in the top photo how they are attached is along the front of the bow end. So some shaving was required, but not too much else you will go through the bow. They are quite tiny here, so need to be dealt with care. Also the joins for the arms needed to be cleaned up, and the holes drilled out to make it easier to slot in. As having those slot/peg connectors are best for keeping them surviving from regular gaming use :)
Would say you need to be a bit more regular around models to assemble, but not terrible. New players to table top games might struggle a bit on them.
Starter box Baron. Multi-part model here that is quite dynamic pose. Really showing how to go forth!
Overall very easy to assemble. The arm needed a bit of cleaning on the peg, and the hold on the body was fine. Fine mold lines, but nothing major.
The shield which is sculpted on is also molded with a tri-bug motif on it. Might look at scraping it off for previous stated reasons, but might also just keep it on. Jury is out on that decision atm.
The feather plume is not put on yet due to how I plan to paint this up, and I don't want it on right away until I figure that out fully. Though I will need to trim the peg on the feathers to make ti fit snugly.
Baron mark 2 I didn't take photos of it by itself as it was a single pose piece. It has the clean shield ready for some freehand work on it. Mold lines are easy to clean up as well.
As a whole this is a decent looking little force to kick off. Not sure on points, but for painting up quickly this is just 14 models so far. And could still be a good start to a force I would think. It just doesn't have the iconic pieces that pull people into this army with it though..
Very easy pieces here. The command support unit. Drummer and banner.
The only thing needed to be done here was to be making a small hole at the top of the banner in order to insert the banner top piece. Though I have to wonder if that is what it was for.. as I didn't check online to see if that was what it should be used for. Checking now it seems my thinking was correct.
The banner guy is quite heavy though, and I have placed some metal sprues under the base to keep him down, and will front load him as well when I get around to basing him up.
At this point most people can assemble these with minimal problems I believe. The next 2 units take a bit more patience and drilling...
Kapolop Knights.. aka the Chocobo knights!
Will say that they are heavy, and that the legs are thin. I am kind of disappointed that the knight and the chicken are molded together. It reduced the ability for making conversions or alternating the pose and design a bit more. But that being said, the cast of the main bodies were perfect. No mold lines or flash to clean up which was interesting considering the undercuts that exist within them.
So each comes in 5 parts though being the main body, both legs for the mount, and both arms for the knight.
I am not sure if there were other poses available for the arms, though I suspect if I pick up more of these in the future ( and really why not.. they are quite nice ) I might try to convert the swords into spears just to mix it up a bit.
Again the shields have the motifs molded to them. Will investigate more on seeing if blanks can be done or if some scraping and sanding will be in my future :)
With regards to the legs, they are very thin, but thankfully just thick enough to accommodate a paperclip through them. So carefully I drilled out the insides of each leg. The main legs attached to the base got a deeper drill to keep them more sturdy, and then a slight hole into the body to attach them with. Super glue and activator was used heavily on these troops. Some reposing was done on them as well to keep the back foot either to rest near the base ( whatever that will be ) or to be sticking straight out.
To add a bit more strength, and something that I read on Facebook about them, was to add a bit of super glue around the ankles and hit it with activator again. Gives it a bit of strength and keeps them from bending. Which I could have seen that happen quickly.
These easily took the longest amount of time for me to assemble, and the most curses uttered. But the final result are nice pieces that will be interesting to paint up once I figure out how I will tackle them ( again the knights and chickens being molded together has tossed me a loop on how I had planned to do the knights ).
I would say more advanced modellers would be better suited for assembling these models. Newbies would find them quite difficult I believe, and might suffer greatly in the future with them if they are not assembled correctly.
Dragon Tower.. or attack of the giant friendly chicken!
Lots of pieces here and was quite overwhelmed, but after a quick look at it though it was quite straightforward to put together ( unless your Spud who seemed to have much difficulty in the building of his for some reason! ).
Most of the pieces needed no cleaning which was nice. A small piece on the tail of the main body, but that was it.
Alignment for the pieces was more or less good also. I will need to do a bit of gap filling later on, but nothing major I think.
I don't have too many photos of the WIP of it as it did explode in my hands at one point while putting the tower section together. But that was due to me applying too much pressure and not being careful. Insert some curses there though. But nothing lost, so no problems there.
I started with the body, and back legs. The added the head. Then began with the tower. I do have to say that the slots for the tower struts needed to be drilled out, but that was easy enough. Making the top of the tower I did first on the dragon which is why it exploded in my hands. So I would recommend to assemble it off the tower itself, and then do the struts, and then place the top of the tower on them. Much less cursing, much more progress, and a tower is then born.
Wings and hands were done separately, and then put to the model. They go to the main model quite easily though, and then it stands nicely. There are some interesting gaps under the feet that will make for a nice base design now. Make it more interesting, though I suspect if I was better at aligning the arms/legs that they would be placed flat on the ground.
The flag rider on top is quite simple. Just a bit of re-positioning needed for his left arm just to make it sit comfortably on the tower wall correctly. Aside from that no real issues with the positioning or assembly of him.
Honestly.. not the hardest model, but it is quite large. So that is the minimum issue with it though, and if planned out properly it would be quite easy.
So there you go in the end. 21 models. With only 4 really causing some issues ( but they are cool so I guess that is ok? ). Now to finalize the ideas for basing on them all, and decide on a color scheme.
My original thoughts is dark metals and brighter blue skins. Though I will see how that goes as I get closer to it, but the blue skin vs the yellow kapolops would be a nice contrast. Though maybe a bit of a crusader styled iconography for the flat sections will also be a nice workings, but need to find something that can be bird like in exchange for the crosses that they would have bared. Maybe a stack of eggs? :)
Let's see how it goes in the next steps though as I hope to have some of them finished for Scale Model Challenge next month for their Army category. I think I can get at least a Baron and 2 units finished in time, but let's see shall we :D