Thursday, 6 February 2014

Walk Without Rhythm, A Bones Review

Heya folks, in my quest to find ever weirder things to paint and for nifty roleplay scenario options. I found myself on Reaper's website looking at their Bones range. For those unaware of this, Reaper have made a range of ultra low cost plastic model backed by a ridiculously successful Kickstarter. They are mostly casts of existing Reaper models with a few genuinely new sculpts. I picked up a few of the more unique examples to have a go with and thought I'd share my thoughts.

The one that I got painted was the Purple Worm. I figured it would be a nice "natural" hazard, bursting from the ground to nom unsuspecting adventurers. Plus, I have a lingering fondness for Dune so it was a win in both respects. I added some rubble to the base and cleaned the mold lines - more on that below - but otherwise it is exactly how it comes from the blister pack.

I'd seen advice that the Bones models did not need priming. I was... sceptical to say the least but indeed the paint seemed to go on just fine EDIT: Yes... just fine, BUT you can't thin it on that first coat. Got to be neat otherwise what happened to Phil in the comments happens. I went for variations on Castellan Green, using Karak Stone as a highlight and going much further into Karak Stone on the "underbelly" if a cylinder can be said to have an "under" anything. You need to take care to shade the mouth to give a sense of depth (the sculpt is quite shallow to prevent the dreaded undercut) but otherwise, fairly straightforward. The plastic glues with superglue, not as well as resin, not as problematic as metal. Somewhere in between.

I've also got a blister of kobolds to see how the material worked with smaller componants. Now, they're almost impossible to photograph well without painting and they're not done yet so you'll have to take my word on this. The material is strange. Firm, certainly isn't a true "soft plastic". But it is certainly not rigid either, you can bend spears and other thin componants fairly easily. They don't snap but it's a bother to get them exactly back straight as the shape memory is good, but not perfect. Details are cast well enough, a little softer than a comparable hard plastic sculpt would be. But certainly not bad. The real problem is cleaning them. Oh dear gods, removing mold lines from these is horrible. On a par with Mantic and Privateer Press' "Restic" material. The yielding nature of the plastic means that you cannot scrape the lines, nor can you file them as the file chews through the material and will rapidly destroy your model. No, just like Restic you have to slice the mold lines off with a sharp knife. Essentially carefully judging curves and details so you don't cut anything off, take a look at the worms belly, see that flat section in the middle of the underbelly? Trying to remove mold lines.

I think I get why, these models really are not for people who want a competition level of painting. They're for people who want to slap a basecoat on, dip them in AP strong tone and slap them on a table. I'm sure they'll serve very well in that role. For me? Certainly not an everyday option. Big stuff with thick limbs and the like? Sure. Small and fiddly? Not so much. Andy over at Lair of the Breviks has a good review too which you should read in conjunction with mine. I'd be interested in your thoughts and experiances too, Bones, for you? Or not? Until next time folks



  1. I have a few bits I picked up to see if I wanted to go for the Bones 2 KS, which wasn't that cheap to get shipped to the UK, I tried painting one, an Ogre, and paint just pools off and doesn't get a consistent coat, eventually I was able to get it covered, after several coats, I guess thats what happens when you don't use primer!

    1. Ah! Yes, thank you for reminding me, edit above.