When Mark Mondragon (isn’t that just a cool name?) of Dreamforge Games posted some 3D model WIP shots for some figures for his Iron Core setting we all knew he was on to something cool. He decided to jump on the kickstarter bandwagon and with such promising designs I decided I’d back him on it. I
have absolutely no use for them but do feel that it’s important to support those who are making high quality miniatures as an alternative to Games Workshop and Forge World.
Mark was working on two troop types: Kriegsmarine and Sturmtruppen, being the standard and elite troops respectively. It was the Sturmtruppen that grabbed my interest so I decided to pick up a pack of 5 of them in the kickstarter campaign. It took a while for Mark to finalise the designs (he went through a couple of 3D print revisions) and get them cast but I finally had a package arrive the week before last.
I’ll be honest and say that when I discovered that the figures would be metal cast I was a little disappointed. I’m sure it will come as no surprise to hear that I just have a strong preference for resin – this is mainly due to the superior level of detail that a resin cast can reproduce. Mark knows his stuff and not only does he have a very good spincaster, but he has designed the figures with a perfect level of detail for metal reproduction. Not to mention breaking them up into parts perfectly.
The casting is perfect. Now I’ll be honest and admit that I haven’t bought all that many metal miniatures over the years, but those that I have bought were all Games Workshop. Let me say that the Dreamforge metal casting quality leaves the GW casts for dead. There really is no comparison. The slight mould lines that are discernible are well placed to make removal easy. There was no mould slip at all. I was impressed!
I only have one negative comment: print lines. Many miniatures manufacturers have turned to 3D modelling to design their kits. In order to translate the 3D model into a master pattern that can be moulded a 3D printer is used. Unfortunately all but the most insanely expensive 3D printers produce striation-like lines in the finished print where each layer slice meets the previous. The 3D print therefore needs to be have its surfaces cleaned up by hand to ensure a smooth finish devoid of these print marks. I was quite shocked recently to see some close up images of the new Secret Weapon 6×6 Rapid Assault Vehicle which showed really prominent print marks on some of the flat surfaces of the cast models. To be blunt this is unacceptable.
But I digress! The reason for the explanation of the print lines is that I did find some on my Sturmtruppen minis. The top of the collar still has these obvious marks visible, but at least they are very quick and easy to remove from there with a file. In fairness to Mark I know that he does spend a lot of time and effort cleaning up his prints prior to moulding so it’s quite possible that the top of the torsos just slipped through. And the rest of the models are flawless so I really can’t deduct any points for this
I’ve only assembled one of the Sturmtruppen as a test. I figure I’ll wait until I know what I’m going to do with them before I assemble the rest! I guess I’ll build up some kind of vignette/diorama to mount them on (I’ll just add that to the list of projects!). Certainly within the 5 figures I received the poses seem varied enough. There’s also a couple of different weapon types. Actually what I think is even more enticing is the “command squad” style figures that Mark has planned for future release.
So all in all I’m very pleased with the Dreamforge figures and couldn’t recommend them enough! It will certainly be exciting to watch the range grow as Mark expands and fleshes out his Iron Core universe.
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