Windmaster Miniatures – Review

Let’s tackle something big. Back in July 2017 I backed the “Yepas Warband” Kickstarter by Windmaster Miniatures. If you don’t know anything about them yet, or want to see shiny product pictures first, please look at my entry in my “Greenskins and where to find them” series on Windmaster Miniatures. If you’re ready, here we go. The journey to this army was rough at points, but don’t let that cloud your vision too much, I’ll talk more about what I like in the verdict below!

The journey

Delivery was planned end of December 2017, however they seemed to have a lot of work, which delayed the progress. I wondered why they didn’t give updates via the updates feed until end of January, but when asked they were always quick to answer. I got mine early March, but since it took me another year to build them, who am I to complain.

I bought all the stuff plus an Orc boss and a shaman from their normal store. All the parts came in clear bags and the models from the shop had a cardboard with their company logo stapled on, so I suppose thats their normal mode of operation. So, what did I get?

There’s a lot of pieces, sometimes very small ones at that. All of that had to be cleaned up of course, since it is resin. A nice touch for inexperienced collectors: they actually put a note in the package to wash the resin before building and painting. Sounds stupid but the first time I worked with resin I didn’t know that, so that’s a nice touch.

Washing them took pretty long, since, how I mentioned, there were a lot of small parts. This especially bugged me with the wolves, since I had to glue on the hind legs for them and the tail individually. Which doesn’t sound so bad, but confused me at first:

There was a lot of surplus resin at he tail end and most of the legs had air bubbles. I only had 2 or 3 Goblins and a bunch of spears that had air bubbles other than that, but here I had to fill holes. It actually surprised me however, how good those hold on to the bases. Considering the overlap of the model standing at the hind legs and the small glueing surface, I was pleasantly surprised. The Squigs actually use exactly the same legs it seems, which is why they might come off as a little feeble. The next big project was the giant spider though. This thing had intimidated me before, but Windmaster helped me clear all the questions I had.

There’s a rather big gap in the middle, but it shows predominately from the bottom and was easily fixed with some green stuff. The spider as well as the stone golem came on round bases, I put my spider on an Arachnarok base. It is very broad, but not as long as GWs Arachnarok (it’s not a very fitting comparison regarding price and material as well as the size of the company). But since that is what it will be used for by most people, here’s a comparison shot:

While we’re at the big stuff, the stone golem is pretty cool as well. It only came in 3 parts, gaps were pretty small and probably won’t turn anyone off with a giant stone monster. There’s however a mold slip in an unfortunate place and some hard to remove surplus under its arm. Both isn’t as bad because of what the miniature represents.

I had some other stuff with mold slips, most of them on the normal Goblins. Those I was only able to scratch of and well… when they are painted it won’t matter so much anymore. I surprisingly had very few bent pieces throughout all the stuff, but that would have been easy to fix as well. My biggest issue with the normal Goblins was their weapons. While I have a lot of leftover swords and spears (most of which I won’t use because they have bubbles or a resin pin on them that I wouldn’t be able to remove without damaging the details), I only have two bows left and had to cut most of the tips of the bows I used, because I would have had to carve them out of a lump of resin. Now they look like they’re just wood, which looks fine but was not intended I suppose.

As you can see, there’s not a lot of bits left, but hey, I wasn’t promised any and everything was there. The surplus of spears and swords was really neat, although needed as well. Now for something positive. There are some really really intricate and good details I found. For instance the book one of the heroes holds and the scroll on his back. Those are so fine, you can recognise individuall pages and scribblings on the pages. I don’t think my camera can do it justice. Size-wise the Goblins are appropriate as well, just a bit bigger than the Skulpass archer, but that one has his knees bent a bit more anyways.

My conclusion

This might all have sounded a bit more negative than it should. We’re looking at a small company and casting models is certainly not easy. There were some slip-ups, but the overall quality is good, in parts even great. The models have a very solid design and are really cost effective. While I wouldn’t recommend them to someone without any experience, I’d highly recommend them if you like the design of a bit of a Goblin Nightwatch, like I do and are willing to put work in.

Washing the models and cleaning them up took me a lot of work, I couldn’t do it all in one sitting. Of course, if compared to stuff like Black Scorpion in my last review, that sounds like a lot, but most companies that produce high end miniatures do this for skirmish games and charge a multitude of Windmaster Miniatures. Another positive point: whenever I didn’t know what to do next (there are no instructions whatsoever), Windmaster Miniatures were always quick to respond and helped me out. With a bit of trial and error it would have worked as well, but to feel helped by them goes a long way.

I payed a total of 137€ for the models, which may have been Kickstarter prices, but isn’t far off from what they charge now. If you’d buy the same stuff in their shop now it would be 169€ plus the cauldron, Fanatics and mushrooms which aren’t available as I’m writing this. For your money you’ll get 60 Goblins (1€ each!), 5 Heroes (ca. 5€ each), two Squigs (for 7€), 10 Wolf riders (2,80€ each), a giant Spider with crew, including a Hero (28€), a giant rock monster to use as a giant or Rogue Idol (for 18€) and a pretty big Orc boss (I had to put him on a 40mm base. He’s 8€ now but has a far prettier new model than the one I got back then).

Thats a pretty big army for not so much money. From what I’ve seen on Facebook, the quality of the casts seems to have gone up as well, and in benefit-of-the-doubt-fashion I’ll assume, that the Kickstarter was really stressfull and that influenced quality. I am really happy with my purchase in hindsight. At first I was enarmoured by the Kickstarter campaign. They had 360° videos of all of their models, with music and sound snippets in the background – Windmaster Miniatures, if you’re reading this, I want a 1-hour version of that as ambience for my games, this tribal music with laughing Goblins, the boiling cauldron… genious! This was followed by a box of miniatures that intimidated me, which may have been my own fault, since big hobby projects are intimidating most of the time after all. Finally it all resolved into a really cool army of very unique models for a fraction of what you’d pay with other manufacturers. Maybe there’s a big dose of Ikea-effect in it, but I’m very fond of the little gits.

using a lot of stuff as fillers, I have 88 Night Goblins, 10 Wolf Riders, a Troll (the Orc), a Giant, a giant spider, two fanatics and 5 heroes on my hand!

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