|Kingdom Death's four starting survivors, ready to face down terrible foes in the tenebrous darkness.|
After opening the massive Kingdom Death: Monster box and marveling over the excellent production values of all the game components, I was pretty excited to give the game a try, and see how the many ideas and mechanics came together. But before I could do that, one major hurdle still had to be surmounted. The models needed to be assembled. This looked to be a daunting task, with the box containing a veritable sea of miniatures scattered across countless sprues. Thankfully, the game is designed such that you are only fighting a single horrific monster at a time, allowing you to assemble models as you go. The first game session only requires that you assemble 4 survivor models and the first opponent, a White Lion. Having just assembled the initial 4 survivor models, I wanted to let you know my thoughts about them, how they went together and their general quality.
While the game contains a multitude of multipart sprues designed to assemble all manner of armored and armed survivors, they are designed to be used in later games of Kingdom Death. The first 4 survivors are much more humble, with only their wits and bare fists to contend with the terrors of the night. Of the 4 models, two female and two male, each is clad in a few pieces of loosely wrapped cloth, with a ornate lantern in their hands. Coming from seeing all the questionable pin-up models in Kingdom Death’s past, one might be worried that these initial models, scantily clad in some cloth, would be overly sexualized. Thankfully, this is not the case, each is tastefully covered, but more importantly each is in a reasonable pose favoring function over objectification. Honestly, I think these 4 survivors are some of the nicest models in the entire Kingdom Death box, and are a good representation of the dark theme of the game, as well as the mature presentation of sexuality (unlike the pin-ups). The models are simple, yet in subtle action poses which convey the desperation inherent in their position, yet also their steely conviction. Although each is composed of multiple parts, they only go together in a single way. And while some might be disappointed in their lack of posability, I think it allowed the designers to create more natural looking models, which do a better job of conveying the designers’ artistic vision (having said this, they also include a separate sprue that is a true multipart one to create basic initial survivors, before they acquire new armor).
|This survivor cautiously stalks forward, jagged stone fragment at the ready.|
|All of the survivors awake in the horrific world of Kingdom Death with a lantern to light their ways.|
One aspect of the the KD models that falls far short of GW models is how the models are cut. GW’s recent kits are expertly cut into pieces which fit together precisely, hiding seams and generally just locking into place, providing little room for error. The KD models are also cut into many pieces, but they rarely fit together with precision. Most of the time it is still easy enough to assemble the models, however, the gaps between the pieces are often very apparent, necessitating the use of green stuff to fill in the spaces. Virtually every piece needed at least a little green stuff work, increasing the build time substantially. Having begun to work on the White Lion, these issues are even more pronounced, with major gaps where the legs and the paws attach.
|Perhaps the least dynamic of the starting survivors, but still far more interesting than many models with the generic "I'm standing here" pose.|
|Probably my favorite survivor; he looks older and meaner!|
Overall, I am extremely pleased with the Kingdom Death models. They are well designed and sculpted, with a very distinct aesthetic suited to the sort of dark universe that Kingdom Death is trying to establish. They are cast in a quality plastic that is easy to work with and holds detail well. And although they do not always go together with finely engineered precision, they are easy to assemble, and look great provided you fill in gaps and seams with green stuff. Working on these first 4 models has really excited me to start assembling some of Kingdom Death’s more imaginative and creepy monsters! I will be sure to keep you all posted on their progress!