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Kang

RAFM boxed sets - a bargain?

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Anyone got any of the RAFM boxed sets I've seen recently at the FLGS?

 

The ones I saw were:

- Necro Drake (gigantic skeletal dragon)

- Fiery Serpent of Terror (pretty big snaky-looking red dragon)

- Shambling Death (no image found) (18 skellies incl. leader, archers, mounted guy (counts as 2?), guy w/ banner IIRC, pikemen, etc.)

- Hartha the Death Machine (orc war triceratops w/howdah, cannon, 2 orcs)

- Skeletal War Wagon (wagon pulled by 2 skeletal horses & carrying some uncertain # of skeletons)

 

They're surprisingly cheap for stuff this size and weight, and I'm wondering if there is some good reason why. The photos on the bottom of the box don't show much detail, so I'm curious. The price is tempting (similar to the links I put in, maybe just a hair cheaper than that, only in Canadian dollars; I'm assuming the links refer to $US but I can't be 100% sure based on anything I see on that site), but do the sculpts/casting/assembly just suck, or what? After a good deal of searching, I found someone's take on the Necro Drake on CMoN - looks to be quite a nice mini IMO, though whoever submitted it did have a few comments about tricky assembly...

 

Anyhow, if anyone owns any of these or has seen them out of the box and has any comments, I'd be glad to hear them.

 

Thanks,

 

Kang

 

<edit - fixed link to fiery serpent of terror photo>

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I bought the "Dream Warriors" illusionist army way back, and it's one of my faves. I know it's not on your list.

 

I'm sure someone on here has one of those and will chime in.

 

Plenty of old Rafm stuff was discontinued, as it doesn't measure up to today's standards, but the stuff they sell on their website has been culled from the less brilliant sculpts of yesteryear.

 

I say go for it and pick up one you're interested in before going whole hog and buying all of them.

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Well, the FLGS is close, but not so close that I can walk there, browse a little, and still get back here before my wife shows up to pick me up from work... It's also closed on Mondays (not that I ever remember that in time to avoid a wasted trip when the urge to buy some new minis/dice/paint/greenstuff/rulebooks/boardgames hits me on a Monday), so maybe someone will post something before Tuesday that will help me choose which one(s) to buy or avoid.

 

Thanks for the feedback,

 

Kang

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So, I broke down and picked up the Fiery Serpent of Terror box, and I'm reasonably happy with it. The mini is pretty cool. There are some pretty serious mold lines as I suspected there would be, and lots of flash, and there are some areas that aren't either but that I have to wonder if they looked different on earlier casts as they are a little mushy looking on my copy (a spot on one of the wings in particular - not too serious, just has a little less texture than the rest of the wing), but it's nothing I can't deal with. It comes on a 2-part integral base - one leg attached to each piece, and they attach to the torso at the hips in such a way that the 2 parts of the base should sort of interlock. I'm going to have to do some bending of one or both legs to get the parts of the base touch each other when it's assembled and so that the dragon's body stands more or less upright as it's supposed to do once it is attached to them, and even then the base is going to need some serious gap-stuffing where the 2 parts meet. Again though, nothing I can't handle. I'm going to have to do some cutting and scraping and filing to get the lengths of tail/neck/body to fit together end-to-end more smoothly than they want to right now, which will probably involve sculpting a bit of wrinkly underbelly texture to blend the seams together afterwards. The head and wings look like they're going to go on fairly smoothly though, but one of the arms (the arms are part of the same limb as the wings on this dragon) is going to be very close to the neck and I'm wondering how I'm going to avoid having to paint that arm and that part of the neck before assembling the mini. Pretty sure I'll figure it out one way or another though. Maybe I can reposition it a little through bending, which I may also try on the body istelf to make the pose a litte more dynamic (right now its snake-like body is reared up and bent into an S-like shape, but when seen edgewise that whole S shape is all running along the same plane, so I will probably bend tail and/or neck to one side or another somewhat so that it looks good from all angles)

 

I've already spent several hours getting started on the cleanup and prep phase - a lot of work with several different shaped diamond files and diamond-coated dremel bits, followed by some work with rubberized polishing bits (points and cylinders) to smooth out the rough texture left by the diamond grit tools. So far, I'm pretty sure I've gotten rid of all the mold lines and rough spots on the head, neck, and most of the torso (Though I always find more after priming - maybe I'll try quickly washing it with thinned liner first this time in hopes of finding them sooner...). This leaves the rest of the torso, the wings, the legs, and the 2 parts of the base (which have some serious mold lines on them that really jump out from the fairly smooth stone texture of the sculpt).

 

The sculpt itself really isn't so bad for what I believe to be a fairly old mini; maybe not quite as much fine detail as more modern minis have, but not bad at all.

 

So I'd say that the low price tag for a mini with this much pewter ($21CDN) probably has a lot to do with the casting - some of those mold lines are/were pretty serious and some miniaturists might just as soon not be bothered. So you pay a lower price but have to do a lot more prep work - seems fair enough, and since I sort of enjoy the filing and dremelling etc., I'm quite satisfied with my purchase and will likely pick up some more of these sets next time I'm at the FLGS if they're still there. Probably starting with the Necro Drake, which is even bigger - that one I can actually see a use for in the D&D game I run, several adventures down the road...

 

Really though, I should put these guys aside for a while and get back to working on my (aging) Cadirith WiP before it gathers too much more dust. The PC's are sure to encounter it again in the next couple of sessions so I really have got to get cracking on that ASAP...

 

Anyhow, that's my review of RAFM's Fiery Serpent of Terror dragon-in-a-box. So if anyone reading this sees one in their own FLGS and is considering picking it up, well, you'll hopefully have a better idea of what you're getting into than I did. Maybe I'll write up something about Necro Drake too, if I do end up grabbing one sometime over the next couple of weeks.

 

Thanks & happy painting!

 

Kang

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I had never really looked at RAFM before, but they do have some neat looking stuff. The Firey Serpent in particular is very cool. May have to get one myself - knowing that work needs to be done to it.

 

How big is it - hard to tell from the pictures on their site?

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I'm still trying to get it to stand up straight (not that it's so difficult; just that I haven't really worked on it at all since my last post - I blame the recent Winter Festival on D&D Online, which kept me pretty busy skate-jumping for item-crafting recipes and ingredients every night over the past few weeks. Thank goodness it's over; I don't think my carpal tunnel could take much more), but I'd guess it's maybe ~4" tall without the wings, give or take. Don't quote me on that though - I'll try and remember to take some measurements when I get a chance and post again with a more accurate answer. If I can get some pins installed, maybe I can get some photos of it dry-assembled with something next to it for scale.

 

FYI, I had to walk from work to an appointment in an office building 2 blocks from my FLGS one day last week. This was good and bad - bad because I twisted my ankle badly on the way back to work, seemingly good but actually bad because the games and puzzles store I discovered on the ground floor of the office building I visited had lots of cool board games but was charging $40 more(!!!) for some of them than my FLGS does, and good because I dropped into said FLGS while I was in the area and picked up the Necro Drake box I mentioned above. And Reaper's incredible Pathfinder Red Dragon, but that's another story. That undead dragon is freakin' HUGE! It's got a few casting issues too, and looks like a real... challenge... to assemble - but I look forward to it. Some days I think I actually enjoy cleanup/prep and assembly more than actually painting, somehow. ND also comes with little plastic red/orange gems you're supposed to glue into its eye sockets. I think I'll probably not be using those, at least not for that. These RAFM boxes come with hand-drawn and hand-lettered assembly diagrams photocopied onto plain white paper - crude stuff, but definitely adds to the old-school charm of these sets. ::):

 

Kang

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