Thursday, 8 November 2012

Product Review - Gale Force 9 Crystals

So as some readers may have already glistened I'm in the process of building the second in my themed Malifaux boards, this time a Neverborn board, which I'm calling Crystal Canyons.

Whereas the first board had a heavy emphasis on GW terrain, and say what you will about that company, they do make some awesome terrain, this time around I'm using Gale Force 9 almost exclusively.

Crystal Canyons wouldn't be the same without some crystals and I'd bought 4 sets of the green crystals for a 40k board concept some time ago that were languishing in my pile of shame.

Since I bought these the company has started to offer red and blue colour crystals, which might suit a snow or mars board better.

The set contains 10 crystals of varying sizes and disposition. There are smaller clumps and some bigger standalone crystals. There is one crystal that's obviously designed to sit on its side and another where there's a stump, which could all be crafted into a diorama implying some pretty strong weapons were used on these crystal formations.

The smaller crystals are anywhere between 25 and 35mm in height, whereas the larger crystals are approximately two inches in height.

The models themselves appear to be made from an acrylic or coloured resin, with the colours themselves leaning towards the luminescent end of the colour spectrum. Don't get me wrong, they're not 80's luminescent but I think most games would probably be tempted to repaint these in darker colours. Certainly a straw pole of the product amongst our gaming club committee came to the conclusion these needed painting.

The models also exhibited a lot of air holes and were badly cleaned up. Even if you intended to use these out of the box, there is a mould release agent on most surfaces that would be best washed off before play.

If you're intending to paint these, then prepare for the model to drink your paint. You'll want to use a heavy undercoat and lots of layers or an airbrush. Consider using much darker colours for the first few coats and have lots of it.

In particular, the crystal designed to lay down will need a lot of tidying up and filing down if you intend to stand it up. The surface it lays on as standard is really badly defined and needed a lot of work.

After undercoating you might want to go at these with some liquid green stuff to fill all the air holes, a prospect I think I'm going to have to do if I'm ever going to be satisfied and use these on a board.

All up, this product isn't entirely of the quality I've come to expect from GF9. I can't speak for the newer blue and red crystals, maybe because they were released almost 6 months apart, GF9 has had a chance to improve on the production process, but these earlier edition green crystals disappointed me and members of my local club.

Rating 2.0 out of 5

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