Monday, 27 April 2015

Skink Skirmishers and plastic Skink Priest build reviews

(images from Games Workshop's webstore as the plain grey plastic didn't come out well in photos)

(I'm reviewing the Lizardmen Skinks box set as “Skink Skirmishers” because that's what I built the twelve from the Lizardmen Battalion as and because there are a couple of issues specific to the Skirmishers build I wanted to discuss.)

Ease of Build
The build itself it pretty easy. There are only three components: the main body and the two arms. However, there are a couple of issues. For one thing the swords have a tendency to snap because they are literally designed to do so. In the alternative build these hands are used to hold the shields after you cut or snap off the sword blade. It is a little too easy to do this accidentally when removing flash lines so do be careful.

Fortunately, I had plenty of spare sword arms. This is because of the main problem with the kit: I had to buy another box set because there aren't actually enough blowpipes to make twelve Skirmishers. To be clear, this is not to do with the fact the Battalion has only half a Skink box set in it: each sprue has six Skinks and only five blowpipes. Now, I was planning on getting a full box to make a Skink Cohort (the alternative build) later in the project but it seems a bit of a cheek to have a kit where you literally have to buy a second kit to fully equip a unit. I think the last time I had this happen to me was the old eight-man Chaos Space Marine kit which had exactly one too few of each kind of basic weapon.

There are also command options for the Cohort in the Army Book unavailable in the kit: there's no musician and no standard bearer components. If you see the images for those options in the Army Book, do note they are old metal models that are no longer available.

Conversion Potential
Well, as mentioned, if you want a challenge you can (with the Cohort) convert a full command for the unit as you only get the Champion components. Musician you could probably make a flute out of a blowpipe (you'll have some spare as only the Cohort has the musician option). The standard is a little trickier: some kind of Lizardman icon on top of a javelin, I guess?

Spare Parts
Okay, so on each sprue I have spare : seven javelin arms, a big champion sword, six shields, a shield-holding arm and a belt that was meant to be stuck on the underside of the champion's blowpipe. None of it of particular use, really, as the arms are only compatible with other Skinks. The shields are a bit small for humans but they'll fit better than the Saurus version so might be useful if you want to do, say, Empire State Troops or Chaos Marauders who have survived the Lustrian Jungles.

Ease of Build
Considering that I lost the instructions this model was pretty much hassle free. I had some slight issue positioning the arms in their sockets correctly. I don't think I quite managed it as the pose I achieved is a little off from the official photographs but it doesn't look unnatural so I'm calling it a win.

The only difficulty was a very, very small connector on a string that runs from the staff to under the arm, half on each component and the connection between the two ends is literally only a millimetre in width. I had to push the two together with the end of my mouldline scraper until the glue set.

Conversion Potential
Not a lot. Common to just about all clampack minis there are a lot of non-standard connections. Also, being a Skink there aren't a lot of other miniatures to source parts from. He's also slightly larger than the standard Skink infantry so the parts might not look entirely natural together. Probably the best part to replace is the left hand. I'm not sure what with but its the only place that seems to make sense.

Spare Parts
Like most clampack characters the Skink Priest isn't big on options. There's a ritual knife on the sprue I can't find a place for but that might just be down to my having lost the instructions. 

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