Harwood Hobbies miniatures review

By Grant
In Fantasy
Jun 21st, 2011
1 Comment
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Review
by Tom Kristensen

Harwood Hobbies is a Canadian-based miniatures company that currently offers two different lines of 32mm metal miniatures: Sinbad (fantasy) and Lovecraft Circle (horror). They were kind enough to send me a total of seven models. My review copies arrived in small plastic bags, and each one contained a miniature and a plastic base (25 mm round slotta for human-sized characters). If you want to see how the Harwood Hobbies minis compare in size to other contemporary minis, check out the Scale Pictures page on their website. The actual sizes for each mini (in mm) are listed on the Harwood website, and my samples matched the given sizes exactly. Unless otherwise noted below, these miniatures are one-piece castings.

The Lovecraft Circle line currently has 15 unique models based on six different personalities. I’ll be reviewing LC01 Dr. Zander (normal), LC02 Dr. Zander (armed), and LC03 Dr. Zander (zombified). Each one retails for $4.99 USD, or buy all three at a discount for $13.50 USD.

There are ten different miniatures in the Sinbad line at this time. We’ll be taking a look at SB01 Zokoura the Sorcerer, SB03 Lesath, Kali Cultist Leader, SB04 Horror Hound, and SB07 Vidocq. The first three models retail for $6.99 USD, while Vidocq is priced at $9.99 USD.

Dr. Zander (normal, armed, and zombified)

Dr Zander

Dr Zander

I really like the Dr. Zander (normal) pose – he’s standing there with his hands in his pockets, a slightly bemused expression on his face as if he’s saying “Why yes, I am indeed the brilliant Dr. Zander. How may I help you?”. He could fill several roles, including research scientist or university professor, good guy or bad guy.

If you choose the Dr. Zander (armed) pose, he looks like he’s guarding (or stealing) something of great importance in the satchel he’s carrying under his right arm. His pistol looks about right scale-wise, but since it is on the smaller size, the end of the barrel is not visible.

And what’s not to like about a zombified Dr. Zander? He certainly has the classic zombie pose: mouth open, head titled to the side, and a tattered look about him. I would have liked to have seen him slightly more zombie-like – say a massive head wound or sporting an obvious broken arm.

All three models have nice levels of detail, with minimal clean-up involved to remove the mould lines that run up and down the sides of each mini. Just take care when removing the mould lines on the head – you don’t want to damage the ears.

My main complaint with Dr. Zander is a minor one – the base tabs are very thin and the miniatures need a little extra attention to ensure they stand up straight in the slotta base. Also, it will take a bit of extra effort to properly base them, as there are large gaps left exposed after gluing them to the base. One could always snip off the base tab to circumvent that problem. Again, not a big deal, but something to be aware of.

Pros:

  • Nice clean sculpts.
  • Flexibility – could be good or bad and used in several different genres.
  • Zombies! Having three different versions of one model is a nice touch, especially when the GM has the option to bring out a zombified version of Dr. Zander.

Cons:

  • Thin base tabs require a bit of extra effort when basing.
  • Zombified version could use a little more zombification.

Zokoura the Sorcerer

Zokoura and Lesath

Zokoura and Lesath

The first thing that crossed my mind when I picked up Zokoura was “This guy is going to get painted up as a Red Wizard of Thay for my D&D group’s Forgotten Realms campaign!”. Nothing against wizards with pointy hats, but I’ll take a Zokoura any day of the week – shaved head, goatee, glowering look of contempt as he points and/or unleashes a spell at some hapless fool. The detail is outstanding from head to toe.

Zokoura is more along the lines of heroic scale, compared to Dr. Zander (who I would categorize as closer to true scale). It’s a clean casting, with minimal mould lines present.

Pros:

  • Great level of sculpting and detail.
  • Pose is dynamic without looking over-the-top.

Cons:

  • Mould line runs through one ear.

Lesath, Kali Cultist Leader
Cult leaders in general are never pleasant to encounter, so how about a cult leader with not one but three snakes on her, wielding a wickedly curved dagger? Lesath is showing a fair amount of skin and has a nice-looking coiled bracelet on her right arm. The snakes wrapped around on her are all on the average size as far as snakes go (no giant pythons), and are well-sculpted.

You cannot see (or paint) her eyes, as they are concealed under her headdress. Her hair is long, all the way down to her waist, and held fast with ribbons. Mould lines are negligible; just take care when you are cleaning them up around the snakes and on her dagger.

As with Dr. Zander, Lesath has a thin base tab, and will take a little extra effort to cleanly base.

Pros:

  • Excellent detail all around.
  • Snakes! The reptiles coiled around Lesath really add depth and character to this sculpt.

Cons:

  • Thin base tab requires a bit of extra effort when basing.

Horror Hound

Horror Hound

Horror Hound

The Horror Hound is a two-piece casting, consisting of the head and right front paw, and the main body and other three paws. I must say that the fit and finish right out of the bag is spot-on. The test fit showed a nearly perfect fit and it looks great when glued. The perfectionist might want to add a dab of greenstuff to the seam just behind and below the right front paw, but for the rest of us, just glue it and go.

If you need a demonic hound, the Horror Hound is a perfect fit for both fantasy and horror gaming. The double row of shoulder spikes and tail spike sets this canine apart from your average large dog or wolf.

You can see the flash between the tip of the spiked tail and the body in the photo, so a bit of extra clean-up is necessary. Finding the other mould lines in the fur is somewhat tricky, but quite manageable.

The hound comes with a small rectangular slotta cavalry base (50 mm x 20 mm).

Pros:

  • Easy assembly thanks to great sculpting and casting.
  • High levels of detail.

Cons:

  • Would be nice if a larger version was available.

Vidocq

Vidocq

Vidocq

I’m not exactly sure who or what Vidocq is supposed to be, but I’m a bit freaked out by it. It has that wraith/undead look about it in general, but one can’t help notice the humanoid hands and the tentacles it has in place of feet. Oh, and the face – or the lack thereof, in particular. Very creepy. Vidocq is a two-piece casting, with the right arm needing to be attached at the elbow. A 40 mm round base is included.

The lack of a defined face is both a strength and a weakness. On the positive side, it’s a blank slate. Paint it up any way you wish, or simply leave it black. Drill some eye sockets in it. Add some greenstuff tentacles or lizard tongue. Go crazy. On the down side, with no defined features, some beginning or average painters might be at a loss as they ponder how to proceed.

Pros:

  • Creepy, evocative sculpt of an alien/undead/man-worm assassin.
  • Blank face offers a lot of customization options.

Cons:

  • Blank face challenging for beginners.