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4 hours ago, Rob Dean said:

 

Has Reaper indicated any intention to keep stocking and selling the box? I feel like there’s a small (but unserved) market niche for that, as you suggest.

It's unlikely that they will keep it intact.  I'm not sure the cost at retail would be nearly as attractive as it was in the KS.

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On 7/29/2021 at 2:57 AM, Neatpete said:

stag

 

The stag is a magnificent sculpt - I can't think of one time I've ever wanted or needed a stag gaming mini, but it's a great mini, and I bet it'll paint up beautifully in a scenic woodlands diorama as a decorative display piece!  The stag is a great example of...

 

On 7/28/2021 at 6:15 PM, veoviscool12 said:

The other big "sleeper hit" for me personally is how much the quality of Bones has improved. The last time I bought Bones minis was in 2016, and my opinion back then was that they were a good mix of detail, durability, and affordability. Bones Black is a huge step up from the 2014ish white Bones that I'm familiar with, and the classic material has been improved so much I couldn't tell at first glance where it was used in the Core set!

 

Absolutely - the Bones Black plastic plays a part, for sure, but I think Reaper's come a long way over the last few years in terms of sculpting to get the most from the material:  the two-dimensional poses and mushy features from the first couple Bones Kickstarters have given way to more dynamic figures with crisp, sharp detail.  I think Reaper's sculptors must have also stepped up their game, too - they've always done great work, but the new stuff is looking better and better.  (Perhaps that's the difference between old-school sculpting with physical materials, and digital sculpting, which I'm assuming allows for finer detail, better consistency, a more forgiving medium for undoing mistakes, and re-posing and trying different ideas before settling on a final decision?  Thinking of it that way really makes me appreciate what sculptors were able to do without the help of computers....)

 

On 7/29/2021 at 5:00 AM, Rob Dean said:

 

Has Reaper indicated any intention to keep stocking and selling the box? I feel like there’s a small (but unserved) market niche for that, as you suggest.

 

As far as I know, they haven't, and I don't believe they've ever before stocked and sold their expansions as complete sets after the original stock from the Kickstarters ran out, instead recasting and restocking figures from the set individually based on which figures are selling.

 

I would be surprised if they've categorically ruled the possibility out, though: I'd bet the topic has come up for discussion internally in past Kickstarters, and perhaps has come up again, and would probably still be something they'd consider, if the market and economics for it seemed right.

 

In any case, I've not seen any indication at all that Reaper has plans to do that, and if they do, they aren't talking much about it that I've heard of.

 

The plague doctors and that troll with a cauldron for a helmet really are some cool figures, now that I'm thinking of them!  (I think I'll put the plague doctors to use as weird cultists of some sort, but they'd make cool player-character models!)

 

 

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On 8/2/2021 at 9:26 AM, YronimosW said:

 

Absolutely - the Bones Black plastic plays a part, for sure, but I think Reaper's come a long way over the last few years in terms of sculpting to get the most from the material:  the two-dimensional poses and mushy features from the first couple Bones Kickstarters have given way to more dynamic figures with crisp, sharp detail.  I think Reaper's sculptors must have also stepped up their game, too - they've always done great work, but the new stuff is looking better and better.  (Perhaps that's the difference between old-school sculpting with physical materials, and digital sculpting, which I'm assuming allows for finer detail, better consistency, a more forgiving medium for undoing mistakes, and re-posing and trying different ideas before settling on a final decision?  Thinking of it that way really makes me appreciate what sculptors were able to do without the help of computers....)

 

 

I can't speak for all of the sculptors, but yeah, we really have learned a lot since Bones 1 on what we can do in this material versus what is possible in metal.  That said, Reaper and their casting house are a big part of it.  They went to multi-part molds, which really allows a lot more dynamic poses with fewer pieces.  They have also invested a lot of time and money into tweaking the plastic formulation to get it better each time.  This new round is the best yet.

As for digital sculpting vs. putty sculpting, honestly the quality difference isn't that much.  This KS though is really the first time IMHO where the quality that we can put into a digital model can actually be fully realized in the minis due to HUGE improvements in 3D printing tech in the last 2 years.  Prior to that, the printers simply could not handle the amount or crispness of detail that we could put into the model in Z-Brush.  As a result, physically sculpted models tended to be more detailed and sharper than digitally sculpted ones.  With this KS, that is no longer the case.  With the new printer tech, if I can sculpt it, my printer can print it.  Given that, for the first time, you would be hard pressed to figure out which models in Bones V were hand sculpts (about 20% or so were greens, not digital) and which were digital without knowing who sculpted them.  I personally have sculpts in both mediums for Bones V, as it was sculpting for Bones V that injured my hand and made me invest in digital sculpting.

 

That said, one BIG difference with digital sculpting is that you can tweak, change, and adjust a sculpt much easier and with little waste.  You can be free to try different options and save them all if you like.  The back and forth between an art director and artist can get much more collaborative and lead to a better sculpt.  Arakoth the Giant Spider would not have turned out as good as it did if I had done it in GS.  It was the back and forth between Ron and I that took it from a good sculpt to one of the best ones I have ever done.

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There are so many awesome models that are even more impressive in person, it's hard to narrow it down! I think I can attempt a top 5 sleeper hit list, but an honorable mention for me are ALL the dragons. I took one look and knew I had to have them all. Don't get me wrong, I love me some Wizkids dragons but they do leave me wanting for various reasons...  Reaper, well... Jason Weibe, Julie Guthrie and Questron Studios, really knocked it out of the park on these.

 

Ok, here's my top 5 sleeper hits:

 

1. Townsfolk Moneylender: this particular sculpt is amazing and I was always looking forward to painting it. Now it's in my hands I can see how good the molds are becoming. Virtually no mold line issues at all and the small one I found I scraped away with my thumbnail, leaving no evidence it was ever there. KUDOS Reaper both on hiring great sculpters but also on the bones black.

 

2. Basilisk: this model really jumped out at me for its detail and immediately I saw the color scheme and how I wanted to paint it. This and the Moneylender listed above were my first picks for the paint group here in the forums ( https://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/94392-book-club-but-for-minis-reaper-club/ ) but still in WIP mode.

 

3. Sea Giant: This is a totally unique model, amazing detail and the creativity that went into is really insane, Weibe did a great job. There is so much visual story in this sculpt, I think it would be cool to have him as a good-aligned NPC for my party to ally with against the Beholder-Crab thing. Maybe the sea giant is a steward of the ocean that protects whales or overfishing from fisherman and is after a particularly cruel fishing vessel... or maybe he is a ranger of sorts that can guide the party through treacherous waters... so many possibilities besides just being a bad broccoli monster, which is reason enough.

 

4. Hippogriff: The Greek Odyssey expansion was one of the first things I decided to buy, mostly because of the Cloud giantess but I didn't even realize the hippogriff was part of the set. The sculpt is very nicely detailed, the wings are gonna be fun to paint for sure. Im a big Harry Potter fan, so this is getting the Buckbeak makeover and is definitely gonna be part of a Harry Potter themed vignette or diorama someday.

 

5. Yog-Sothoth: This bad mabbajabba... at first, I passed it over thinking I wouldn't use it. Then the pledge manager closed and I started really kicking myself for not getting one. Well, Gods Bless those who decided to re-open the pledge manager and to offer it as an option, because this was the first thing I added to my Bones 5.5 order. I also wish I had gotten the Chronoscope expansion when I had the chance, but since I don't have a modern/scifi game to run or to play in, I can wait and hope to get those in retail or scoop one off ebay.

 

So there it is. There are sooo many models that I love, and I knew I would love no matter what quality they arrived in, but I am surprised by how many models stand out from the pack once you see them in person.

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I really, really, REALLY love the "Bonnie: Muumuu Zombie" figure from the Bones V Chronoscope expansion:  what an absolutely, perfectly grotesque character!  Seems to me she'd mix well with fantasy up to modern zombies, and she'd be right at home with the bloated, waterlogged zombies in Barty's Boys for Brinewind, or she'd make a splendid witch or hag or other boss-monster - a necromancer zombie-queen of some sort, perhaps?  She could stand in for a really gross orc or hobgoblin princess or spell-caster.  And, I know, I'm weird, but I would totally base a Call of Cthulhu investigator or fantasy RPG adventurer off of her, in a heartbeat - maybe she's a witch or conjurer or psionic character of some sort... or maybe she's a cleric of the Temple of Inner Beauty, or a hedge druid or alchemist of some sort - I bet she brews up some mean magic potions in her favorite cauldron.  Bonnie probably has the coolest familiar ever... I'm thinking maybe a hideous chicken with human hands for feet, and a tiny, stupidly grinning, wicked little human face - she calls it Sally.  Most adventurers don't really like to be around Sally very much - sometimes they wake up at camp to find Sally whispering in their ear, and Bonnie cackling to herself while mixing up healing potions over the campfire.  Bonnie has a lot of dark, gruesome stories to tell - and it's creepy, ghoulish fun coming up with them!

 

 

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On 7/28/2021 at 5:15 PM, veoviscool12 said:

The other big "sleeper hit" for me personally is how much the quality of Bones has improved. The last time I bought Bones minis was in 2016, and my opinion back then was that they were a good mix of detail, durability, and affordability. Bones Black is a huge step up from the 2014ish white Bones that I'm familiar with, and the classic material has been improved so much I couldn't tell at first glance where it was used in the Core set!

Definitely this. The casting quality and detail on the new Bones figures really blows away a lot of the earlier stuff.

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I was impressed that this round of Bones not only has superb detail, but you can treat it more like polystyrene.  I could remove mold lines by scraping perpendicular to the line with a knife blade, which is my go-to technique for polystyrene kits.  Previous rounds of Bones, this just made a mess; the material was too soft for it.  You had to actually cut the mold line away, which was a dicey job if you didn't want to cut too deep.

 

As far as sleeper hit models, I really like the three-headed troll.  For a kind of throwaway joke model, he has a lot of character, and I'm going to enjoy running him.  I was thinking of different ways to play him while I was assembling him.  It's going to be like Bert, Tom and Bill from The Hobbit, but all in one body. 😄

 

Also the Overgourd turned out really well.  In fact, there's a lot of kinda Halloween themed stuff in the Core Set.  I have this vague idea for a one-shot with the Kid Heroes, where they get pulled into a Halloween themed dreamworld, with All Hallow's Eve and the Halloween Knight as mysterious helpful NPCs and the Overgourd as the final boss.  Maybe I'll get around to running it one day.

 

And Yog-Sothoth is just...fantastic.  The thing I liked most is that the sculpt actually evokes him kinda...unfolding himself.  A bunch of tentacles are bursting out of his ribcage, and the sides look like a smaller spherical form that split apart to reveal all the eyes and things, and the mouthparts look like they split open revealing all the teeth.  I can just picture it as some weird eldritch floaty ball thing just...unfolds itself into that horror.  Really impressive work with the sculpt.

 

Now I just have to find the time not only to paint all the stuff, but to run games with it. 😛

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I'm still assembling stuff (and likely will be for a while!) but I'm really starting to like all the undead in these boxes.  I'm running a lot of undead in my current campaign so I have a ton of them painted, but I just love the villager undead in core and dwarves from the crypt expansion.  Seems like most undead are just armored human zombies/skeletons, so having more civilian-seeming undead and dwarves really helps give scope to my hordes, making them feel like part of a bigger world.

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I'm really regretting not getting the Yog-Sothoth model!  It's the first time I didn't get a Mythos-themed Bones model in one of the Kickstarters, and it sounds like a missed a great one.  That Halloween adventure sounds like it would be a lot of fun, and the Overgourd is a cool idea and cool mini!

 

I also like the one-goblin-band musician - one of many models that managed to fly in under the radar in the Core Set which I didn't really notice until I finally unboxed my KS rewards.

 

On 8/11/2021 at 7:19 AM, SirShanty said:

It seems my favorite bones 5 model is whichever one I am painting right now.  I really now like the African looking man with the sword and bow.  Oh and ever single hireling model so great for OSR gamers like me

 

That guy really is cool - I think he got lost somewhere in the crowd of minis included in the Core Set, and on paper he wouldn't have been one of my first choices for a hero mini, but he was, I think, one of the best minis in a core full of great ones!  I also liked the sorceress with the tall, conical, fairy-tale princess-style hat and gown (from the core set?  EDIT:  actually, she's from the swag boxes, which arrived roughly the same time), she has a lot of great character, and is another model that blended into the crowd in the preview pictures, but really stood out in person, and there's also the guy from the core set who looks like a king or lord with a cane, and a scribe, and a mysterious-looking veiled noblewoman - these make great NPC characters, and I imagine I'll get a lot of use out of them! 

 

And absolutely - those hirelings are fantastic, more great NPC characters I'll get a lot of use from!

 

 

On 8/4/2021 at 8:13 AM, TaleSpinner said:

This KS though is really the first time IMHO where the quality that we can put into a digital model can actually be fully realized in the minis due to HUGE improvements in 3D printing tech in the last 2 years.  Prior to that, the printers simply could not handle the amount or crispness of detail that we could put into the model in Z-Brush.  As a result, physically sculpted models tended to be more detailed and sharper than digitally sculpted ones.  With this KS, that is no longer the case.  With the new printer tech, if I can sculpt it, my printer can print it....  I personally have sculpts in both mediums for Bones V, as it was sculpting for Bones V that injured my hand and made me invest in digital sculpting.

 

Thank you very much for the reply! :)   That makes a lot of sense, I hadn't even considered the advancements in 3D printing technology, but it seems that the tech has really matured in a relatively short period of time!  It's really only been a few short years that 3D printing has been practical at all, and only a few years longer that 3D modeling has been practical (I'm old enough to remember what 3D modeling looked like in the '80s, and to see how far things have come!)  It really makes me wonder what the future holds for 3D printing, as the software and hardware continue to get more powerful and affordable.

 

I'd also never thought about how rough traditional sculpting can be on the sculptor's hands, but when I think about the sheer number of models the Reaper team have produced over the course of five wildly successful Kickstarters, it's really a wonder.  Thank you very much for all the great work - sorry to hear about the injury, I hope you're feeling better, and that the digital sculpting will be a little safer!  :)

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, YronimosW said:

I'd also never thought about how rough traditional sculpting can be on the sculptor's hands, but when I think about the sheer number of models the Reaper team have produced over the course of five wildly successful Kickstarters, it's really a wonder.  Thank you very much for all the great work - sorry to hear about the injury, I hope you're feeling better, and that the digital sculpting will be a little safer!  🙂

 

 

Thanks. It is better; though whether that is from the switch to ZBrush or all the PT and ergonomic training I went through i cannot say; probably both.  It still has issues (and always will until I get surgery in my neck and shoulder), but at least now I know how to mitigate it and relieve it once the numbness starts.

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I really love the kid heroes - was a bit on the fence but added them as an extra mainly for the little companions. The animals are great, but the kids themselves have surprised me. Some could easily sub in for gnomes or halflings in a less themed game.

 

I also really like the druid in the halloween set and the twisted and  grotesque nature of the 4 human zombies. They're much more dynamic than they looked in the images. 

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