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Review of Minotaur of the Maze


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#1 Ironworker

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 12:03 AM

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Well I've been eyeballing the plastic Minotaur of the Maze since I first saw him at a game shop. I must admit my first reaction to Legendary Encounters was highly negative and I still don't care for a lot of the first round releases. I really don't care for the Orcs and Skeletons that were chosen for the first batch. They aren't bad minis in pewter at all but I don't think they translate well and I think reaper has some better sculpts for those particular creatures. Seems to me the somewhat bolder and chunkier sculpts with more robust details look better in this format. The second batch minis do look like better choices all around and i am looking forward to picking some of them up. The big monsters however are great all around. Their paint jobs look ok. Much better than a lot of other pre paints and they look like they could be easily over painted or spruced up. Also they paint didn't look as thick in person as it did in some of the photographs.

About the Minotaur specifically. I'm pretty pleased with him. He's definitely a great sculpt. Much better than other pre-paints that I have seen. His pose and attitude and the heft of his weapons lend very well to the material he was cast in. The paint job is not bad either. Somewhat above average and a good foundation for over painting which is what I plan to do with mine. I'm just going to clean him up and add some highlights and shadows using his existing paint job as my base cote. I'm also going to base him on a round metal washer which will add some weight to him so he won't tip over easily. Of course I'll finish up his base a bit more. The paint is thin enough I could even prime him lightly and start with an entirely new paint scheme but I think I'll try that on the ogre chief instead because I don't like his yellowish skin anyway.

There are a couple big advantages to this model over the metal version. He's much cheaper. $5.99 for the plastic version or $13.99 for the metal version. That $8.00 I saved can be used to buy a couple regular humanoid minis. The other advantage is that he's already put together so no difficult pinning work on a large mini and because he's plastic he probably won't break apart in a fall from the table. Big minis are hard to assemble and it can take quite a while to pin several heavy joints. That's going to save me time and get this guy on the table faster.

The one disadvantage to this guy is that he's already assembled. Yup that was also an advantage. Basically it's a problem but not a major one. Of course because these guys are mass produced they are not going to come assembled with carefully puttied joints and all the mold lines removed. There are gaps in the assembly you can clearly see in these photos.

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There are also mold lines including a kinda bad one on his face. If I'm going to the trouble to spend additional time painting on this guy that's something I'm going to have to fix. Then I'm going to have to match colors although since I'm only using the existing paint job for the base cote it doesn't have to be perfect. It would be nice however to know what Reaper colors were used to paint each mini so people could color match perfectly is they wanted to.

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All and all I'm pretty happy with my purchase. I saved a chunk of money and a bit of time and i think these figures could easily be touched up and enhanced by a skilled painter quicker than painting up a figure from scratch. So I save time and money and I don't have to cringe when a big model falls off the table. I think I'm a convert. I'll be looking forward to future releases especially the larger monsters!

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#2 joshuaslater

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 07:30 AM

A well written review, that. A very comprehensive look at the product, giving the pros and cons and ultimately giving forum readers more information before purchasing. Cheers.

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#3 Reaperbryan

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 08:33 AM

Thank you for the review.

I hope that the figures from the second and eventual future batches will also grab your attention and live up to your expectations!

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#4 morganm

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 03:03 PM

The minotaur is a nice one. If I needed a mino I'd buy this one in a heart beat.
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#5 joshuaslater

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 03:33 PM

I think the review encapsulated everything I've said before about the release schedule for this line: better to get the quality on par with Reapers' metal line than crank out some fecal matter prepaints.
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#6 kristof65

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 03:51 PM

Great Review IW. I'd like to second your suggestion that Reaper give us some matches on the paint colors for each figure. Not only for re-paints, but for those guys who want to paint up a sergeant or hero to go along with their plastic grunts.

For example, I'm going to pick up some of both the Good and Bad fighter ones from the about to be released batch. I'm also going to be painting up a sergeant type to match for each - it would be much easier to have a good color idea to start from, than trying to eyeball it.

Reaper - don't get me wrong, I'm perfectly fine with trying to eyeball it, I'm just thinking this could be a value added service that could help your prepaints stand out even more from the crowd.

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#7 morganm

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 04:06 PM

I think the review encapsulated everything I've said before about the release schedule for this line: better to get the quality on par with Reapers' metal line than crank out some fecal matter prepaints.

I can't agree with your premise. The plastics are no where near the quality if their metal counterparts. Even the Ogre and Minotaur which both turned out great in plastic. IMHO the quality is rather lack luster on the orcs and skeletons.

It's not taking this much time to release them because they are going for quality on par with the metal minis. From what I've read it was more from logistical problems and due to over extending themselves (projects and production vs resources).
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#8 Rhydur Meith

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 07:17 PM

Well, the PPM aren't intended to replace the metal for true believers. They're intended for the person who either doesn't want to or think they can paint, or who don't have the time; or those who want to spend the time painting a few special minis, and then buying these to fill out the ranks of minions and monsters.
In this, I think they succeed. While I don't think the orcs are great looking, they're fine to throw out on the table for an encounter (literally, throw 'em out there, won't hurt 'em).
The minotaur is clearly the best of the first batch (I own them all except the skeletons, I just have way to many PPM skeletons from WotC to buy any more). The ogre is okay, good enough to throw out there for a simple encounter, but I wouldn't want to use it for a boss or re-occurring NPC type.
I'm really hoping this line builds up and improves over time. I've got a large horde of the WotC (about 4000, actually) but I'm probably done with them. I don't really like the looks of there new 4th edition sculpts, and I have so many that now I'm looking for the PC/leader/special minis types.
But, back on topic, a very nice review that captures the strengths and weaknesses of this mini. A very good idea to see if they could give out the paint details, but that kind of assumes they use their own paint line for thes eminis, and I don't think they've ever said that. Still, even if they're just the closest matchs, it would be a help.
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#9 seankreynolds

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 06:45 PM

Can someone who has this mini tell me the dimensions of its base?

#10 Halberkill

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 11:12 AM

Can someone who has this mini tell me the dimensions of its base?


A rough oval, at it's widest extents, 45mm (1.8 inches) x 20mm (.8 inches) x 3mm from ground to bottom of foot, almost exactly the same size as the metal one. And for reference it is 46mm to top of head and 52mm to top of axe.

It should fit well on the 40mm base of the old DDM large sized creatures, as well as the newer larger sized 50mm bases they use.

Also the plastic is easy to cut, should you want to remove the bases, definately easier than cutting DDM's.

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#11 DARK ELF

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 02:48 PM

this is a great mini! i just put a G.W square base on it,and BAM!!
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