Note: I moved my family into a new house this weekend. In addition to this editorial, the next review will be published this Wednesday.
We’ve had an increasing number of miniature and hobby related kickstarters over the years, thanks to the well-deserved success of those that many of us have backed. However some are of questionable value. In the past I’ve done editorials on some of these and decided to add a new feature to the website that I’m calling:
A look at Heavy Metal by Acheson Creations
Acheson Creations is a company I was unaware of prior to researching this article. They have a rather prolific assortment of miniatures available from their website and have successfully funded 6 out of 7 kickstarter campaigns. Their most funded campaigns were for their terrain products.
Taking a look at a fair assortment of products available on their website they produce a wide range of terrain and character options that range rather wildly in quality between passable to good, with their terrain composing most of their best pieces.
For this particular kickstarter their business model seems bizarre. Each pledge level grants the backer the ability to choose any options that total the amount of their pledge. This is going to have a large impact on organization as each order will be wildly customized. But, even more important, the prices presented does not seem to offer backers any discount when compared to existing products on their page. 4 individual wooden barrels are $5, but stacks of barrels from their website are $0.50 each.
Now, I do know that metal casting is a more expensive process, but the price difference in comparable items seems to be skewed high for the items available here.
Another issue that I have a problem with is the Stretch Goals… the math is wrong!
#1 – says get an additional $5, but the example shows getting an extra $10. This error is repeated throughout all of the stretch goals.
The current offering of their kickstarter, however, leaves a lot to be desired in terms of quality. If these were the only exemplars of their work available I’d frankly suggest potential backers should run for the hills.
I’m frankly shocked by the containers they have on offer as many of them are not good. The Sci Fi Containers Set #1 is mind boggling. Looking past the terrible blacklining and poor painting, I see that none of the geometric objects are actually geometric. The cube container doesn’t look like it has an actual straight line anywhere on it. The cylinder looks like the best of the bunch, but only barely. It also doesn’t help that many of the details on these containers look painted on rather than sculpted, so I can’t tell what’s really going on with them.
The 28mm horse concerns me mainly because there is no sense of scale for the animal. Based on the tufts I’m thinking that this particular animal will be out of scale with any modern 28 – 32mm figure.
The miscellaneous pack (Packs, Shovels, Ammo Pouches, etc.) contains an assortment of ill-defined objects that are sometimes overshadowed by the gate they’re attached to. Based on the picture I have some genuine concern that clipping off these items will result in a fair amount of filing work.
The popular bigfoot miniature they mention is a sight to behold. The left side of the face looks melted and the mouth is terribly lopsided. I like the attempt at stringy, heavily matted fur, but the appearance here doesn’t work very well. It also doesn’t help that the drybrush job on this miniature works to obscure more details than it reveals.
From the dinosaur line the Styracosaurus Adult is easily the best looking of the group. The picture portrays good texture on the skin and a decent post. The integral base looks too extreme, as the creature’s toes melt into the base, but the picture makes it a little difficult to tell.
However, he is exceptional compared to the poor Dilophosaurus whose forelimbs seem to have suffered a tragic accident.
While I have enjoyed picking out some prime examples of poor product, I do have to say that this next section is much more serious.
The 54mm Vietnam miniatures are, as a good friend of mine would say, righteous trash.
First, I take issue with the facial depiction of all the Vietnamese figures. Their features are grossly stretched into a caricature of an asian face. My next door neighbors are Vietnamese (I rescued them from a rat snake that got into their house last week) and while I am not going to make any further statement about this particular issue I will say that my neighbors would be terrifying if they looked anything like the facial features depicted here.
The quality of these miniatures is truly terrible. Major problems with proportion, inconsistent internal design between figures, terrible prop design… it’s well and truly awful.
One of the things I’m having the hardest time accepting with this Vietnamese set is that they are 54mm. With more than double the scale of their other figures I find it hard to believe they couldn’t put more and more precise details into something like this… which leads me to another thought.
While I have no basis for this, I am curious if this Vietnamese line was purchased whole-cloth from another company. The sculpting style is very different from their other projects, while internally consistent to a degree. Also the miniatures in the pictures seem to exhibit the same time of oxidation/scaling you see on older white metal miniatures.
I’m really not sure why the wolves were separated into their own category, because that’s all that’s in this category.
Look at these wolves and tell me they don’t look exactly like those stereotypical carved wooden wolves you find in trinket shops.
The success of this kickstarter, however, shows that his company has some loyal customers who support them. GIven the large imbalance between quality and price, I find myself surprised by this. While I would never wish failure on any miniature company, I do think a serious injection of quality is needed for this company.
Personally, I wouldn’t recommend this kickstarter as it seems like a bad value for poor product.