Sunday, 1 November 2015

Dungeon Saga - Miniatures Review

 Okay, I'll keep this brief.
Review of Dungeon Saga Mantic

With the box delivered and a little solo play test underway (yes, I'm that sad), I thought I'd put down some quick notes about the miniatures that come with Dungeon Saga. I'm focussing on the easiest ones to paint, the scythe-armed skellies, and I've done a speed paint tester to confirm some of my initial impressions on the models.


In general, the models are well sculpted, with crisp lines and good detail. Cast seams can be scraped off pretty easily, although some of the models have such thin limbs that it's worth being very careful.

There's a couple of models that are pretty meh to look at (Ba'el, Ibrahim, Ally) but not many. Mostly they're good, characterful models. A bit monopose, but that's not a terrible problem considering there's so many different ones in the box.

Scale comparison with Reaper Bones (sword and shield guy on the left) and GW (or, well, MB games Heroquest era GW) on the right. Good for height, but a little on the flimsy-looking side perhaps?


The plastic bends easily, and although it bends back easily too (use hot water first!), they aren't as robust as GW stuff or Reaper Bones.

They all have only one point of contact with the base. If you want to paint them, you'll need to glue the free foot down, otherwise they flap about all over the place as you poke them with the brush.

The manuals claim you can soak them in hot water and repose them, adding a bit of variation. This is true to an extent - reposing them is easy, the plastic takes a new form well. But if you want much variation, you end up twisting arms and legs into non-anatomical positions easily.

I'd say they're on the fragile side, but let's be honest - nerds like us tend to handle these things like Faberge Eggs most of the time, so I think they'll be fine.

Joy to Paint

A grim reaper skeleton isn't the most inspired sculpt, even if it is riffing on the classic Heroquest one. There are other more intricate and interesting models to do, though, and I'm looking forward to them.

I tend to go at models pretty hard with a drybrush, especially when I'm painting in a tearing hurry. The skeleton here took a little under 45 minutes, including drying time for the washes. It didn't like the energetic slapping about it took from the drybrush, though, and you can bend or potentially break a spindly bit if you aren't careful. Not robust, as I said!

They take paint easily, with Citadel Base coats and other layers sticking quickly and without hassle. And they come out pretty well, given that I was aiming for speed rather than anything fancy. The flagstone bases are nice, too, they add easy character.


I like them! Nothing staggeringly beautiful, but certainly nothing to worry about. Good looking, cheap models that will look good painted and stand up to careful use. I can't think of an appropriate or meaningful mark to give them, so let's say a very decent 75% and see if that helps you.

Yeah, I did all three in one fell swoop. Quick and effective, as I said!


  1. Special Rule: Always Paints First

    Nice work!

  2. Flimsier than the Reaper Bones? ...I don't know.

    1. Reaper's rubber is easily torn and can be very floppy, especially if it's thin. But it's also quite tough, and that same flappiness means it just bends if it gets squashed, then bends back again afterwards. You can cut or tear it quite easily, though.

      The Mantic plastic stuff holds good crisp detail and seems pretty resilient, but because some of the sculpts are very fine and slender, it's also vulnerable to being bent. And unlike Reaper's stuff, it doesn't bend back - it stays bent quite fast. It is tough, though, it won't snap easily and it's hard to cut.

      Not much between them, really, I guess!