Saturday, October 17, 2015

Northstar Miniatures: Hard-Plastic Frostgrave Soldiers Boxed Set Reviewed!


Today we will take a look at the Northstar Miniatures Frostgrave Soldiers! These plastic miniatures were released as part of the first Frostgrave crowdfunding campaign also named Nickstarter after the owner of Northstar Miniatures. Since the hugely succesful launch of the Frostgrave rules and miniature range by Osprey Publishing and Northstar Miniatures the game has become very popular.

Northstar Miniatures: Hard-Plastic Frostgrave Soldiers Boxed Set
Frostgrave is a fantasy skirmish game in which you take control of a wizard and his warband. During the game you must battle with other warbands in the frozen ruins of Felstad to take treasure and powerful spells and potions. The game is best used for playing campaigns in which your warbands and wizards gain experience and more specialised weapons and magic. Some compare the game with Mordheim but way more easy to play with less book keeping required.

Here's a quick introduction to Frostgrave and then we move on to the excellent Frostgrave Soldiers! Amidst the frozen ruins of an ancient city, wizards battle in the hopes of discovering the treasures of a fallen empire. In this fantasy skirmish wargame, each player takes on the role of a wizard from one of ten schools of magic, and builds his band of followers. The wizard's apprentice will usually accompany his master, and more than a dozen other henchman types are available for hire, from lowly thugs to heavily armoured knights and stealthy thieves. Wizards can expand their magical knowledge by unlocking ancient secrets and may learn up to 80 different spells. While individual games of Frostgrave are quick and can easily be played in an hour or two, it is by connecting them into an ongoing campaign that players will find the most enjoyment. The scenarios given in the book are merely the beginning of the limitless adventures that can be found amidst the ruins of the Frozen City.

The Frostgrave Soldiers Boxed Set

The boxed set contains 20 hard-plastic Frostgrave Soldiers along with 20 round plastic bases. These miniatures were designed to be used to create the bulk of your Frostgrave warband which consists out of all sorts of warriors ranging from lowlife thugs to more trained soldiers such as men-at-arms and crossbowmen. As you will see in the picture these miniatures are sculpted with the Frostgrave cold climate in mind, so the miniature are packed with thick clothing most suited for the frozen ruins of Felstad.

The boxed set contains four identical soldier sprues and two round bases sprues. Each of these soldier sprues contains enough parts to make five soldiers armed and equipped with a variety of weapons and equipment. The sprue contains five bodies along with ten heads so plenty of choice so no need to have any identical soldiers in your warband. The sprue is also packed with loads of weapons such as swords, daggers, mace, two-handed sword, pole axe, axe, crossbow and handbows along with two different shield types. As previously mentionned the sprue also contains lots of extra equipments such as ropes, bags, lanterns, torches and so on. You can check all these parts in more detail in the pictures below.


Northstar Miniatures: Hard-Plastic Frostgrave Soldiers Boxed Set



These miniatures are tooled and produced by the experienced team over at Renedra Limited. Renedra Limited tooled and produced for example the plastic miniatures for Perry Miniatures and Conquest Games to name a few. The actual miniatures were sculpted by extremely talented Bob Naismith.

The assembly

The assembly of these 28mm scaled miniatures is very straight forward as all parts fit extremely well. Although modular you must still check if the parts actually fit the chosen body without some extra work. So before you start glueing your miniatures I can only recommend to dry fit them first to avoid much cursing and ruining your miniatures. To glue these miniatures I used some Revell plastic glue which is my preferred brand for easily assembling plastic models.

As my miniatures would be used for the Frostgrave miniature game I first of all calculated my warband and made choices about the armament of the soldiers. In the end I settled for a nice variety of troop types allowing me to also easily upgrade my team with more specialist troops.

Northstar Miniatures: Hard-Plastic Frostgrave Soldiers Boxed Set

In the picture above you can see a fierce viking like men-at arms armed with an axe and equipped with one of the round shields. Next to this miniature you can see a more civilised men-at-arms armed with a short sword and equipped with a nice heater shield. Then we have some armed support in the form of a bowmen. Online I had seen comments that these miniatures could easily pass as female miniatures due to the thick clothing which obscure female forms. This is great in my opinion so I have fitted a Wargames Factory Female Apocalypse Survivor head on a Frostgrave body. You can check the review of the Wargames Factory Female Apocalypse Survivors here. Then we have an experienced ranger armed with a dagger and handbow. As you can see quite a dynamic bunch of adventurers and warriors armed with a nice variety of weaponry.

Northstar Miniatures: Hard-Plastic Frostgrave Soldiers Boxed Set

The picture above shows another four miniatures armed  and equipped ready for some fierce battling and treasure hunting. The first miniature is a lowlife thug solely armed with a lousy yet deadly mace. Next to this miniature we have our brave infantryman armed with a huge two-handed sword. Then we have another thug armed with a sword and equipped with a useful lantern. Last but not least we have a men-at-arms armed with an axe and equipped with a metal helmet  and heater shield. In the meanwhile I have assembled to all the other miniatures to fit as more thugs, knights and even some crossbowmen. So in the above pictures you can only less than half of the twenty miniatures that are included in the boxed set.

Scale Comparison

These miniatures were sculpted as heroic scaled miniatures ideal in scale for a large amount of other fantasy miniature ranges such as Reaper Miniatures and Games Workshop to name a few. In the picture below are some scale comparison pictures taken to show you the scale of the miniatures. Along with some conversion made using parts of these Frostgrave miniatures with Games Workshop and Wargames Factory miniatures.

Northstar Miniatures: Hard-Plastic Frostgrave Soldiers Boxed Set

So from left to right we have: Games Workshop empire miniature fitted with Frostgrave arms and weapon as you can see great fit in both sculpting style and size. Then we have a Games Workshop Lord of the Rings non-heroic scaled Morannon Orc. Next to this a Frostgrave miniature flanked by a non-heroic but large Conquest Games Norman soldier. Last we have a metal Reaper Miniatures Warrior. As you can see these Frostgrave miniatures fit best with the Games Workshop miniature as parts can also be easily swapped. Done some conversions using the crossbows with Games Workshop bodies as they were just fitting excellent!

Northstar Miniatures: Hard-Plastic Frostgrave Soldiers Boxed Set

Above we have a comparison of the metal Frostgrave miniatures along with a lone Gripping Beast plastic Saxon soldier. As you can see the elementalist miniatures which you can see top left and right scale the best with the plastic Frostgrave soldiers. The Templar miniature although also part of the Frostgrave miniatures range is a giant compared with the Frostgrave soldier.

Converting

These miniatures and especially their weapons and equipment are also very useful for converting other miniatures. I have converted multiple Games Workshop miniatures using the weapons, arms and equipment of the Frostgrave plastic boxed set to create more unique poses for my Mordheim and Frostgrave warbands.

Northstar Miniatures: Hard-Plastic Frostgrave Soldiers Boxed Set

In the picture above you can see a Games Workshop handgunner from one of their old starter set which can be picked up really cheap online. The conversion was really simple as I simply cut off the left arm along with the handgun and replaced the arm with the Frostgrave archer arm.

Northstar Miniatures: Hard-Plastic Frostgrave Soldiers Boxed Set

The following conversion was also done using an old Games Workshop miniature from their Empire range. This one was a bit harder as I removed both hands and the handgun along with a small part of the body as the miniature was cast this way. Then I added the Frostgrave crossbow and it fitted like it was made for this particular conversion!

Northstar Miniatures: Hard-Plastic Frostgrave Soldiers Boxed Set

Here are some other conversions using some of the new Games Workshop Empire bodies and Frostgrave weapons and arms. The first miniature of the left was converted using the Frostgrave bow arm and shooting arm along with a quiver. The second miniature has the Frostgrave double handed sword and the resting arm. The last miniature has the Frostgrave sword arm and another arm.

Northstar Miniatures: Hard-Plastic Frostgrave Soldiers Boxed Set

Last we have a bunch of thugs very suited for both Frostgrave and Mordheim. The first miniature has the Frostgrave axe arm and the arm holding a sack. The second miniature has the Frostgrave sword arm and resting arm. The last miniature my absolute favorite is a thug holding the Frostgrave dagger and lantern! Ideal for some dungeon exploring and treasure hunting!

Conclusion

If you are looking for some fantasy adventures to spice up your dungeon adventures or are looking to assemble some warbands for your Frostgrave games then these are the miniatures you have been looking for. I can also see these easily being used for The Game of Thrones Black Watch or Stark Soldiers combined with some Perry Miniatures bits. 

These miniatures were sculpted by Bob Naismith, one of the most talented sculptors around in my humble opinion. Tooled and produced by the experienced team over at Renedra Limited you can expect excellent quality and a minimal of mouldlines. These miniatures are sold for twenty pound and can be bought directly from Northstar Miniatures here or from Wayland Games here for only £17.00!

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