Monday, April 16, 2012

Reaper Bones Cave Troll Review

I've been a big fan of Reaper for years. My interest in role playing games has been driven, in large part, to my desire to find something to do with all the awesome figures Reaper makes.

I was at the Game Parlor last week and saw that they had come out with a bunch of new recasts of some of their older figures. They were dirt cheap and I was really curious to see how they compared, so I picked up the Cave Troll and painted it.

The first thing I noticed was the price: $2.29 is stupid cheap for a medium sized figure of this quality. This is an older sculpt and it's not the most impressive, but I find most of Reaper's older figures to be classic and elegant in their simplicity. I find them to be good figures that are fun to paint up, and that can be a real good quality when many manufacturers are moving towards complex figures that need to be painted in different stages.
Reaper's prepainted version.
For comparison's sake, Reaper's prepainted Legendary Encounters version of this figure is $4.29 and the old pewter miniature is $6.99.  I'm not a fan of prepaints, unless I paint a figure myself I don't feel that I really "own" it, but it's not a bad paint job or at a bad price. Even the pewter version is very reasonably priced for how large the figure is.

Here's what I came up with when painting the Cave Troll:
I spent about an hour prepping and painting this guy. He painted up fast and was a lot of fun to paint. I based him, as I base many of models, on 1.5" metal washer for some extra heft and stability.
There were a few differences with the material compared to the old metals.  Bones are made of a soft rubber, think harder than Wizards of the Coast D&D / Star Wars mini but probably not as hard or brittle as Heroclix, that paints up well and was surprisingly good at holding detail. I read that you didn't need to prime the figure and I can see how that is possible, although I primed my Cave Troll.
I only really have two problems with this figure. First, there were very few mold lines but the mold lines were hard to see (I blame it on the color of the material) and difficult to scrape off with a hobby knife. It almost felt like the mold lines were as hard as the rest of the figure, and I'm used to mold lines (for metal models, especially) being brittle and tearing off. My second gripe, and this is a small one, was that the figure was made of rubber and I found it bending at the ankles (I held it by the metal washer I glued it to) sometimes when I was pressing down with the paint brush. This isn't a huge gripe, but it was something I noticed happening a few times.

This figure is, on the whole, very worthwhile and I'm happy to see Reaper trying new things to keep costs low. The Bones version of their metal Cave Troll is 60% off and that's pretty huge. My small gripes, and they are relatively small, are definitely worth the discount.

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