We always knew Kris was a liar, he said part 3 was supposed to be about Solo Play, and here he is writing about a comparison between the Resin and Plastic kits for Elder Scrolls: Call to Arms.
I know, I know, this isn’t what I was supposed to be writing about for this article, but I will hold my hands up and say that, in all honesty, I don’t want to post photos of me playing solo games with unpainted miniatures…
So, as I had to paint stuff anyway, I figured I would do a direct comparison between the Resin versions of one of the Boxes and the Plastic Version, but, as that seems like it would be a little light on content, I have some bonus stuff to show off too, but more on that later!
The Bleak Falls Barrow set seemed like the best box to use for this comparison as I would go as far as to say that it’s the real starter set that is ideal for learning the game.
Given that the image is the same on both sets, it leads me to believe that they actually just used the Resin miniatures for the photographs due to the sculpted bases, but let’s have a look at the actual contents of the boxes.
The first difference that was immediately apparent was that each of the resin figures is effectively loose on its own small frame. This reduces the amount of assembly as you can see, the plastic Dragonborn is about ten pieces whilst the resin one is three pieces including the base. This is awesome for a time saver as the assembly was a little fiddly for the plastic set, unfortunately, there was also a decent amount of flash on some of the resin figures as well as some warping from them being removed from the mold on a couple of the weapons. This was not really an issue as it’s no worse than cleaning up mold lines on the plastic miniatures and doing a hot water bath to straighten the swords lined up with what is the second issue with going Resin over Hard Plastic, the need to scrub off the release agent.
The release agent was not actually that bad on this set but you really can’t afford to take the risk as you want to do it before assembling the models so that they glue together nicely and take paint with ease. Doing the dip in hot, soapy water to allow the weapons to reset and then transferring to cold water to set them and then scrubbing off the release agent with a soft bristled toothbrush was fairly easy.
[Ed – We received feedback from the creators to correct that they don’t actually use release agent on their models and so this should not be an issue with any of these sculpts taking any paint, on reflection, if you don’t need to scrub the miniatures this would change the assembly time in favour of the resin kit]
The final issue I had with assembly was that the tabs on the Sculpted Resin bases are huge!
This was honestly my only real issue as one of the big features of getting the Resin miniatures over the Plastics is the fact that you get sculpted bases, but having to spend time trimming them down and trying to maintain the angle of the base and not to ruin the circular shape of each base just adds even more time.
Over all, I would say it took longer to assemble the resin miniatures, but it didn’t feel like it as it was broken up into stages, and I still have to give the win to the Resin Miniatures here as overall sorting out the bases was less annoying than assembling a 10 piece 28mm miniature…
For the painting I took a more traditional approach to the resin set, whilst for the plastic set that we have already covered in more detail I sued a fair amount of contrast paints, so I am not going to go too deep on the actual quality of the respective paint jobs.
I went for a Black undercoat for the Resin Set and was also testing out the Gadzooks Gaming Brushes that we recently brought in to the store as a new line (read Uncle Mike’s review of the brushes here) for my thoughts, the Gadzooks brushes are excellent value for the price, whilst they won’t become my go to brushes, this is largely due to my dislike for the larger grip, but for the prices I honestly don’t think you are going to get a better brush for the money.
Anyway, as for painting the actual models, they took the paint with no issues, and felt like they had sharper details to the Plastic set.
I don’t know that there was enough extra that I would want to pay the extra for resin for just the sculpts, so again, it really does come back to the bases, and I really like them, but I do think it comes down to your preference, I always struggle to come up with basing ideas and so having it all done for me is a big help.
Ultimately, when there is a choice, (not all of the sets have a plastic version available) I probably would recommend the plastic box to 90% of the people who asked, and the people who the Resin Box would be better for probably know that they want that one already anyway.
As I said, that felt a little light but luckily, I have been working on getting some terrain together to have a nice looking table to play on.
Generally, for my miniatures games I used to run on the assumption that if I was going to play, I would be playing on the Sentry Box’s Tables, using the Sentry Box’s Matts and the awesome Terrain that they have available for people to use for free.
But, it is the COVID times after all…
As such, I figured I should actually get my own collection together and having to balance a few considerations, like if I am going to spend money, I want it to work for a few systems to maximise my chance of getting my monies worth.
Luckily, the aesthetics and scale of Elder Scrolls: Call to Arms works fairly well with a bunch of good options, so lets look at what I did.
First up was my choice of Play Mat, there are two great choices available, the Official Elder Scrolls: Call to Arms is a double sided 3ft x 3ft mat that looks good, one side has a Winter themed side and a Nord Tomb Dungeon side.
The Wilderness side is fairly generic so fits the bill for being usable for other systems, whilst the Nord Tomb is a little busy, but is possible as any cave system.
The other option is one that I actually already picked up after I reviewed the product last year, the Monster Fight Club 3ft x 3ft double sided map, which you can read my review of the entire line here but that mat features a Grass side and a Barren Desert side, which is much less busy so is really down to taste, but I ended up with both…
As scatter terrain, the first and only choice I even considered was the Monster Fight Club pre-painted terrain. I went with two of the Verdant Forest boxes, one Rock Hills box, one Broken Ground box, and one Bushes Verdant Green box.
This gave me a bunch of lay out options without feeling too repetitive on the 3×3 table, but to really add some extra to the table, I wanted to be able to make a small settlement, so finished off with a birthday treat for myself of two of the Games Workshop Rohan House kits and a Rohan Watchtower and Palisades, whilst the GW kits are relatively expensive, and required assembling and painting, the quality is unquestionable and they really set off the table, and Games Workshop have some handy guides on their YouTube Channel for how to paint them, so I had to put zero brain power in to getting the colours how I wanted them to look!
Finally, if I was going to have a small settlement, I could not resist buying the box that has the best part number in all of my years building miniatures.
The Farmyard Animals, by Warlord Games, gives me some chickens to be wondering around my little village, as in my mind, it’s not really an RPG if there are not indestructible chickens wandering around.
To add a little more to the feel of the game I also grabbed the Elder Scrolls: Call to Arms deluxe tokens and objectives. There is a decent amount of variety in the box and so I used a few different techniques to try to get the look I wanted, but lots of glasses to get some interesting effects on the different stones, playing around with the different AK water effects for the pit traps, using Black Templar Contrast to do the Black Lining on the etched stone.
I am really happy with the look of the table now, and more importantly, so is Evie…
So that was money well spent in my eyes, just have to finish painting some more adventurers so I can write the article I was actually supposed to be up to looking at some real in depth gameplay…