|Miniature: Draconid Warrior|
|Manufacturer: Dark Sword Miniatures|
|Material: White Metal|
Powerful, intimidating, ferocious, and just plain cool. Those are the adjectives that come to mind whenever I think about partially draconic characters from fantasy. Almost everyone has their favorite version of one. For some it’s the Dragonborn race from Dungeons & Dragons or, like me, the Dragon Disciple from Neverwinter Nights. Finding a good looking miniature for this type of character can be challenging. Is Dark Sword Miniatures’ Draconic Warrior a fitting choice?
- Parts List:
- Body with integral base
- Right hand with sword
- Left hand with sword
- Left hand with shield
- Belt knife
When it comes to dragons everyone has their preference. Eastern vs. Western style, dragon vs. wyvern, etc. There’s a lot of wiggle room depending on who you’re talking to and how specific their opinions are on the matter.
The first feature that jumped out to me on the Draconid Warrior was the design of his head. Too many of Reaper’s draconic characters have what I consider to be a snake-like head; it says serpent to me, instead of dragon. Here we have a proper dragon’s head that looks regal and deadly. It’s teeth are bared in a ferocious snarl, with each one perceptible in clear detail. The scales along the lower jaw are crisp and the bony protrusions well defined.
This level of crisp detail is evident in every piece of the kit. I could not find a single instance of detail that was not clear. Even the eyes on the head are well defined, which is impressive given the way they are set deeply inside the skull. Often in cases like this the eyelids lose some definition, but here they are easily visible with the naked eye, providing excellent guides for painting.
Nowhere could I find an example of significant mold lines and nowhere did these mold lines cause any problems for the sculpt’s details. One of the largest mold lines I could find was on the main body itself. It is clearly visible traveling across both arms and shoulders. In the majority of sculpts with this kind of mold line, running across armor with raised edges, you commonly find that the mold line interacts with the perpendicular edge, leaving a small glob. This is most likely caused by wear on the mold at that location. Here, however, there is no such issue. The elements come together with no extra deposits of metal, no loss of detail, and no added problems to cleaning out the corner where they meet.
I found a few areas of flash, mostly on pointy areas of the miniature. There were some small areas between the upper and lower horns on the head. Because of how close these elements are they were a bit tricky to clear out, but the flash was thin enough that my hobby knife was able to clean it with a bit of time. There were a few other areas like this: the tips of the wings, tips of the swords; but none of them were difficult to remove.
The biggest problem this kit has are the gate tags, of which there are a few. The one between the edge of the Draconid’s kilt and the integral base is the largest of them and, because of the position of the legs, is tricky to snip off at a good angle. Mine snipped away easily at the kilt, leaving behind very little I needed to file down, but the base was a different story and will require a little more effort to smooth away.
The tag on the shield came off on its own with the slightest amount of wiggling, but the line of roughness it left behind required some care to clear away. This is because it is immediately below some of the runes sculpted around the shield’s edge. Slow and careful filing is required to keep those details intact. Now, this is a non-issue if you’re not planning on using the shield.
While tacking the miniature together for a test fitting, I noticed that the tail had a very wide gap between it and the body. Filling that gap well will be an involving task due to how well the scales were sculpted. There’s a lot of detail there that could be lost.
The wings also had a slight gap along the top edge, but it can be filled much easier.
Overall, this is a very good miniature. I prefer the realism shown in this type of draconic sculpt to the more cartoony or serpent-like items available elsewhere. Reaper does have some miniatures that emulate this same style, and for less money, but they don’t have the same level of crisp detail or high quality shown here. If a half-dragon is what you’re looking for, you’d have a hard time finding a better one than this.