Monday, January 27, 2014

Imbrian Arts: The King of Ghouls

Imbrian Arts Miniatures does not disappoint with their kickstarter! That is indeed a wax seal on the certificate of authenticity!
Today I want to talk about a miniature that I just received from backing Imbrian Arts kickstarter project in December of 2012. It is a model of “The King of Ghouls,” one of four models that Jody Siegel sculpted and used kickstarter to raise money to put into production.

The kickstarter campaign launched amidst the commotion of a number of high-profile projects like Dreadball, Sedition Wars, and Kingdom Death (which was actually running at the same time). Jody’s campaign was much more modest in scope than those other campaigns; rather than looking to fund the production of an entire game, he just wanted to raise enough money to produce four of his 32mm miniatures (the King of Ghouls, a ghoul, an orc warrior, and a human swordsman). Having his campaign running at the same time as the massively successful Kingdom Death may have lost him some potential backers, as many were sinking hundreds of dollars on that. Even still, he shattered his $4000 goal and took in close to $63,000, providing the funds to produce far more than the four initial models he planned for.

I believe it was the distinctive look of his models that got people to notice his campaign. While the models all fit within the standard fantasy tropes (orcs, goblins, elves, etc.), each has a unique aire to them, one that is distinctly Jody’s. The orc warrior is a particularly good example of this, which exudes a seriousness not seen in the majority of orc models (the comical tone that characterizes most orc renditions today is nowhere to be found here). All of the musculature on the model makes sense and looks like something that could actually exist, which is a far cry from most of the orc models that flood the market.

Perhaps the nicest looking orc since Brian Nelson redesigned the orcs for Games Workshop.
I backed the project at one of the lower levels, opting to get a resin version of the Ghoul King. Much of my free time this past weekend was spent working on trimming and assembling the model. The model was produced in a white resin and was exceptionally well cast. All of the details were crisp and well defined (I love the little ravens on his shoulder), with only a few noticeable moldlines and no air bubbles. Initially I had been worried that the moldlines would fall overtop some of the detailed scar patterning on the model, but thankfully there were no issues. After cleaning off the pieces and pinning them together, I needed to do some greenstuff work to touch-up a few details and fill in some of the seams. Finally I pinned him to a Dragon Forge base and called it a day.

The collector's edition of the King of Ghouls was cast in resin and came in three pieces.
The King of Ghouls in all his glory. The raven carrying the eye of some unfortunate soul is a wonderful detail! 
Although at the moment Jody only has a handful of models, he has ambitions of creating an entire game themed around his models. The beginnings of that vision are evident through the inclusion of little resin bone pieces, each lovingly sculpted with engravings and horrific skulls.  They are to be used in place of dice in his developing game, in an effort to reinforce the theme of magic and mysticism.  You roll these bones on a “summoning circle” and depending on which of the apexes of the circle they point to, different things happen. At this point it appears that the game is in its very beginning stages, but it is neat to have some insight into the game.  And even if it does not go anywhere further, it is still cool. A neat little oddity for anyone’s collection!

One of the bones that will be used in the planned skirmish game (You roll bones!).
Overall I am extremely happy with Jody’s work on the King of Ghouls and am strongly considering ordering a few more models from his website (the Blacksands Orc and newly released Basilisk/Cockatrice are particularly intriguing…). If you are at all interested in fantasy models or simply love high quality miniatures I encourage you to give Imbrian Arts a look, you will not be disappointed.

-Adam Wier

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