Punga Miniatures – Review

When I first contacted Punga Miniatures to ask them for permission to use their pictures, they offered me some of their miniatures for review purposes. I took that opportunity and yesterday I received a parcel from Russia. If you don’t know Punga Miniatures yet, you can read my initial article as a kind of introduction. The minis have been given to me free of charge, but I’ll try to stay as objective as I can. I’ll describe the theme of the Team as well as the impressions I got in detail below, but will sum up everything in the conclusion at the bottom.

The set I got was a whole Toa Team, including 15 Orcs and a Troll, which should account to a full roster in most fantasy football games like Blood Bowl. While I mainly focus on fantasy wargames, I assumed that they’d be well fit for that as well, more on that later. For the theme of the Orc team, Punga Miniatures were influenced by Maori culture:

“The creation of the team inspired us to the Maori culture, Toa in translation from the Maori warrior, brave, champion, winner. We consult about Toa orcs with NZ BB community in order to better reflect the essence of the rich Maori culture in our miniatures.” (quote from Punga Miniatures’ Website)

On the Toa Team specifically they state:

“The Toa Orcs team consists of wild orcs living on islands in the far sea. These are experienced navigators and warriors, they often make raids on the banks of Nippon and Katai. They are known as fierce dangerous opponents both on the battlefield and on the football field.” (same source as above)

Nice, some Old World references. The theme certainly fits, with the New Zealand Rugby team performing the traditional Haka dance of their indigenous people and thus introducing it to the world, linking the sport firmly to Maori culture in the minds of the world. Having savage Orcs representing brave Polynesian warriors and seafaring folk isn’t a far stretch either, so I’d say they have an excellent theme up their sleeve at Punga Miniatures.

Above you can see the box I got. It was pretty flimsy, although being made from two layers of cardboard. It came wrapped in a plastic envelope, so it was bent a bit. The miniatures inside though were wrapped in a thick layer of bubble wrap fixed with tape and had all the miniatures inside. There was nothing damaged or bent, so it definitely worked. I can’t see any damage happening with so much protection to pretty sturdy miniatures, the box didn’t matter at all to that. It still is nice to get a box – not only does it look nice, but since boxes don’t often occur with smaller companies it evoces the feeling of a certain production quality.

Here are all parts I got with my Orcs, save for the Troll (that consisted of a body, a baseball glove thingy and a fish as decoration). The Orcs consist of 2 to 4 parts each. For most parts it is clearly visible which Orc they belong to and since each one comes in a small bag of its own, there should be no problem there. The first one I unpacked had pins on his arms, that were produced to perfectly fit in the holes in his shoulders. I stuck him together without even glueing him and called it a day. This did’nt work for all Orcs, but some parts had this neat tight fit, which really helped building them.

The cuts where different parts meet always had some kind of wrist band or other accesories, so the glueing points won’t show much at all. Overall the parts all fit very well together. Some more detailed looks at the components:

In the first and second picture you can see some mould lines. The one in the first picture was the worst I encountered. Most Orcs had some minor ones on their legs. Arms and faces were mostly free of any mistakes. The only harder to remove mould lines were on the upper lip of the Orc in the last picture. It took me about 35 minutes to clean up the whole team.

On the flipside, as you can see with the last batch of pictures as well as with this one, the detail on the miniatures is great. One arm has a shark fin attached to it, the one in the first picture has shells of snails. The second picture shows a turtle shell being used as a shoulder pad. All details are crisp and really fine, I’m especially impressed by the fine, needle-like hairs I found on the fur, which adorns almost all of the Orcs. At first I was afraid to break individual hairs, but the resin isn’t as brittle as I first thought and I haven’t broken off any while building the team and removing the mould lines. The only issue I had was, that I seemingly got the same arm twice and had to trim it of a bit, to fit the Orc that was missing his in turn, since most arms fit only a specific Orc.

The big guy of the team, the Whale Troll, had some mould flash on his left fin and a small bubble on his right one, but nothing bad. I only encountered three bubbles in total with the whole team, two being on elbows, so really easy to fix places. I don’t really know how to describe it, but the Troll feels oddly smooth but yet organic. Oh and it is really big – not from a height standpoint, but from overall mass:

Yet, the Orcs don’t have to hide as well. I’ll probably use mine for wargaming, so please don’t mind the square bases on those, but I just had to try out, if they’d fit in formation, which they do surprisingly well. I took a GW Savage Orc to compare them to, which is nearly exactly as tall as they are:

Conclusion

With their Savage Orc Teams, Punga Miniatures have certainly created a creative team for fantasy football, that draws inspiration on the rich Maori culture of New Zealand and still incorporates them in the Old World, Warhammer was set in till Age of Sigmar and Blood Bowl still exists in. The Miniatures have very fine detail, with minimal cleanup required. Details are very crisp as well, making it easy to distinguish them on the miniature and will certainly keep me from having to guess when painting them.

Allthough they had a long journey from Russia to Germany, nothing broke. If you want to buy a team for yourself, Punga Miniatures not only run their own website, but also operate an eBay shop, which displays prices in € and should be more attractive for European customers. A team in their eBay shop costs 89€. Having a team cost roughly 90€ places the Savage Orcs in the higher mid-tier regarding price.

I wouldn’t build an army out of them, but for their intended use of fantasy football, I consider this to be a fair price point regarding the quality and roster options the team covers. Consisting of 4 Blockers, 4 Blitzers, 2 Throwers, 5 Linemen and a Troll, it gives you the option to field the most elite Orc team possible. For other team options, their Magma team comes with a Goblin and a Star Player as well.

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