Saturday, 20 May 2017

Model Box Review 2

No dice.

No literally, no dice.

So the theme this month is Barbarians and they've certainly delivered, with 2 barbarians and bag 'o skulls. Even the paints are barbarians themed with a bronze fleshtone and dried blood, both from Game Color.

I didn't notice the bag 'o skulls at first and was feeling distinctly miffed by the lack of stuff, then they dropped out of the packaging materials. They would be more impressive if I wasn't already in posession of an even bigger bag o' skulls from a previous Kickstarter. Still, they'll all come in useful for basing, well, anything really, but particularly the undead army I'm supposed to be building.

There's a nice Hasslefree lady barbarian showing some tasteful underboob; I see they're switching it up from last week.

As it stands, I did a quick price check online, and it looks like some barbarian has actually run off with some of my loot. Maybe they're just continuing a theme. Maybe the frontload a lot of value into the first box. As it is, Model Box may consider itself on notice - and just when I was planning on paying for a longer, better value subscription.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Ramming Speed!

Boarding party!
Played the first few very satisfying turns of a naval wargame written by John Curry.

Before I left I'd managed to de-crew two Greek Triremes at Salamis, however, the remainder of the Greek fleet had wheeled round to my contingent, giving them concentration of force.

I hope my co-admiral fared well after I left!

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Model Box Review

I don't really have the highest opinion of subscriptions boxes. In fact, to borrow a term from Jim F Sterlingson they should properly be called tat bundles.

I saw a review for one once which had an exclusive piece of "merch" which turned out to be a door hanger. A fucking door hanger. The seemed less underwhelmed that I would have expected. Maybe the video was being sponsored by the suppliers.

These things are usually themed around a particular fandom - I think the review I watched was for a Simpsons box - and part of the problem is that I don't use slavish adoration of mass market intellectual property as a substitute for self identity and therefore don't need to collect vast amounts of branded crap.

But it's the crap that really get to me. Hoovering up the last remaining non-renewable resources of this planet to manufacture into literal mountains of useless crap, processed by child labourers in China, packaged and shipped throughout the Western world - using up the last of our planets hydrocarbons - and no doubt mostly destined for the Pacific trash vortex in short order, all to satisfy Gen X nostalgia and gnawing Millennial ennui.

Suffice it to say that you would never catch me subscribing to a...


So this is the bit where I justify my disgusting behaviour.

To be honest, a wargaming model box makes a lot of sense - he said, desperately trying to justify himself. There's something you can do with everything in the box, even if it's just pass it on to another wargamer or enter it into the endless bring and buy resell cycle. Individual models can make nice character figures or find a place in scuffle scale games or RPGs or even inspire new modelling projects.

Even the d6's are useful - although I do already have a lot of d6's. I wonder if they'll provide other dice types in further boxes.

As for the paints, they're Army Painter so they're not bad. My paint collection mostly consists of paints in various minutely different shades of grey and green so I was hoping for something more colourful to help round out the selection, but Goblin Green and Crystal Blue (presumably matches to the GW line) are good staples.

Lets get to the meat of the matter: the figures.

This box was themed around "the women" and Model Box have done themselves well with offerings from Bombshell Miniatures, Raging Heroes and a Bad Squidoo repackage. I was planning on making a comment here along the lines of Aha! They should have gone to the Dice Bag Lady, but they did! so they get points for that. If I'm honest, I was expecting more bikinis and fetish outfits; I'm pleasantly surprised.

Rounding out the selection is a rather nice set of "Ancient" bases from Micro Art Studios, which is especially useful as I'm starting a new game of Pathfinder, and I can mount my character on one when I find a suitable mini.

And here's the tat. A cardboard beer mat and a bookmark. Don't like bookmarks, never have, and my mother has a habit of buying me coaters as Christmas presents on a fairly regular schedule so; recycling for you!

I had a quick look at online prices and was surprised to find that this particular box does actually provide value for money against RRP. Obviously you don't get to choose what's in the box, nor may you have uses for everything in it, but that's not the point.

In the end it's not really about the physical items themselves. It's about the anticipation of the unboxing and finding out what's in the box. The excitement of receiving a box of goodies every month; convenience consumerism, packaged and delivered to your door. The format speaks to be base acquisitive nature of humans, delighting the filthy consumerist pigs that we are.

4/5 would subscribe again.