Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Midgard Delvers!

With the release of Dreadball, I could not help but be excited.  It has been many years since my Norse Blood Bowl team (the Esoteric Order of Dagon) hit the field, but I have not forgotten the joy in pushing a team around, and watching the dice betray me in humorous ways.  With a streamlined and simple-to-pick-up set of rules and a line of relatively nice looking plastic teams (if only GW had made more plastic teams…), there seemed to be little to lose.
The only painted member of the team...

I ended up settling on the Midgard Delvers (the dwarves) because of the simple, yet brutal look to their armour.  The box, being one of the first runs, had 10 models rather than the allotted 8 (an extra guard and an extra jack).  To my surprise, all the models come in multiple parts.  Only the striker really benefits from this, due to his more dynamic pose.  The rest of the models curiously require you to glue on their fists.  It is an odd choice because it does not actually give you any modeling freedom, as the fist can only go on in one way.  There is only one design for each of the player types (guard, jack, and striker), making the team look uniform, but the stocky pugnacious look of the dwarves largely makes up for this
His hands are curiously missing.

There are the hands!?
While the models look nice and show crisp detail, the plastic they are made out of leaves a lot to be desired.  The moldlines on the models are as prevalent as what you would find on those from GW, which was not unexpected.  What was unexpected, however, was how difficult they are to remove. The difficulty arises from the hardness of the plastic (significantly harder than what GW uses).  Normally I use a combination of cutting and scraping with the back of an x-acto knife to clean moldlines off my models.  This method usually produces a nice smooth effect, without the need for any major sanding.  When doing this with the first few Dreadball models I worked on, it was very difficult to get a smooth edge, and  without a lot of effort and sanding, it looked like someone was gnawing on the models rather than trimming them. The difficulty of removing many of the moldlines was compounded by awkward placement and the models being pre-attached to small plastic bases. The space between the the dwarves’ legs and their bases is so small that it was next to impossible to completely remove the moldlines (this problem is seen with some of the other Dreadball teams, however it is most striking with the Midgard Delvers). Overall, I found cutting them was the most effective method for removing the moldlines, supplemented with sanding at some of the worst areas.  Trimming all of the Delvers looks like it will become quite a commitment, however in the end I feel the effort will be worth it (progress will likely be as slow as the dwarves are out on the field... ha ha).

A few finished Delvers!
Trimming the plastic is such an ordeal that trimming the metal MVP Wildcard model (shipped with the game) was a joy.  I believe many who backed the game via kickstarter got a plastic version of her, something I am glad to have been spared of.

Metal, something I can work with...
What are your experiences with the Dreadball models, or any of Mantic’s models for that matter?


  1. My experience was almost identical, I actually gave up on the models after painting a few, mostly because I have been working on my Chaos Space Marines. I'll get to them eventually, but man, the models are disapointing in many ways. Still, I love the sculpts. I would've rather had white metal than the plastic though.

    1. Yeah, I was excited that these were models I could finish quickly. What is 10 guys compared to an army of Warhammer models, I thought. But no, they are exceedingly difficult to work with. I still have not even assembled half of them. While they look nice in the end, the progress is so slow. Which is a shame, as you said because the sculpts are nice.

    2. I'm just glad I'm not the only one! I also went with kind of a complicated color scheme, I wanted to do my orcs and humans with a glowing look similar to tron, so i have to highlight the recessed lines on the suits 3 or 4 times for the effect to look good lol. But I feel it will be worth it in the end.

    3. That sounds great, an effective way to use the sci-fi element of the game to enhance the look of the models. I wish there was more activity with Dreadball on the blogosphere, but I suppose the difficulty in working with it may have dulled some people's interest. I have not even considered a paint scheme for my dwarves yet, too concerned with trimming them at the moment! But I would like to finish it soon and play a few games. Of the two I played I lost both; I need to rectify that, he he.

    4. I haven't played a game yet, but my local store was a backer of the KS and heavily carries Mantic's stuff, and are having open games day this weekend, so I'm planning to try to get a demo game in. Due to it being an actual boardgame, unlike 40k, I have friends who are willing to try Dreadball out lol. I've been clearing out a backlog of painting for my space marines, but I'm going to start doing dreadball posts over at Imperius Dominatus in the near future :D