Monday, 27 June 2011

Review: Ar-Fiach Studio McVey

Well this is the first model I got from Studio McVey. I'd seen a fair few miniatures of theirs via other people who shoved them under my nose and I'd been impressed, but never taken the plunge as I had so many identikit plastic toy soldiers to get through first. However on a very grim night while realising that I was was no longer enjoying the hobby, painting miniatures I didn't like for a game system I was starting to loathe... I had an epiphany... I should really be only painting things I wanted too. It was that short sharp shock to my system that lead me to this little lady, or faery.

Product Description

This is a really nice little sculpt, its part of the studio's faery series and I think it was the miniature that actually made me want to pick my paint brushes up after a few months of inactivity. I just loved the look of the Victorian chimney sweep urchin faeriness of it all (forgetting that TV aerial for a second). Stephen Tappin's original concept was ace and a lovely idea and Yannick Hennebo has done an amazing job of bringing that concept to life with a brilliant sculpt. The miniature comes in 6 parts, the main body and the chimney are sizeable pieces but the others could be fairly described as 'fine'.

Character 9 out of 10

I'll keep this brief as much of the character of this piece is discussed elsewhere in the review. Suffice to say that I love the Victorian street urchin feel this piece evokes. She's just such a lovely piece, really truly she is.

Detail 9 out of 10

Well I've got to give myself somewhere to go with these miniatures so I can't really bat off with a straight up 10 now could I? It is however a shockingly detailed sculpt that puts the work of many companies to shame... total shame. The TV aerial itself is insanely thin and yet retains a great level of detail, with things like the cable wrapping and twisting its way down the entire length of the metal pole, while the aerial itself is as fine and delicate a piece you'll ever see on a miniature, the crow is also a nice touch (its the Studio McVey logo). Ar-Fiach herself is a huge mass of hair, each strand lovingly sculpted and styled, her coat clings to her delicate slender frame, with nicely cut lapels and it's festooned with teeny tiny buttons that were probably sculpted by actual faeries. The coat tales whip off to the back of the miniature indicating the she might just have landed on her perch. One hand grasps tightly to that TV aerial while the other gently cradles a rifle... its a fantastic piece it really is.

Quality 10 out of 10

I'm sure some of you will have come across Forge World pieces in your time and come to expect the odd miscast and air bubble. This miniature was so well cast I really, really had to look for the mould lines. There was one piece of venting to be clean off on the tale of her coat. That's it. The resin was easy to work with and put together I think its fair to say I'm impressed with the quality achieved and I can only really think of two other companies that share similar high standards in casting of fine resin pieces (Kingdom Death and Bane Legions both of whom I will cover).

Service 9 out of 10

This piece I actually ordered from the Maelstrom with a rather large order of Infinity stuff. Its going to be my present to myself for finally finishing off my Yu Jing... yeah, yeah I know I'm never going to get to paint her!!! But as normal the service was fine and I had my first Studio McVey mini in under two days, no grumbles or gripes.

Price 9 out of 10

I really do struggle to give a 10 out of 10 for price, however when I compare Ar-Fiach to some 'other' resin pieces I might have purchased recently which claimed to be 'fine' but were anything but, this is in a whole different league. Sure I probably can't use her in some grim dark future or some horrible fantasy infantry grind fest... but I will love painting her, and it'll give me an immense amount of joy to put her on display and more importantly my other half is actually getting interested in what I'm painting, now I'm painting cool faeries (what with Dwarf Kings hold I'll make her a wargamer yet!!!). So £11.99 for this fabulous product that oozes quality or £20.50 for a defective wizard on a horse who doesn't look half as good as Ar-Fiach anyway? I know where I'd rather put my cash.

Overall 9 out of 10

Its a delightful idea, exceptionally well executed and manufactured to the highest levels. Truly what on Gods good green earth is there not to like? Maybe faeries aren't manly enough for you... but I tell you what I'm man enough to say this faery is cool and give me more faeries IF they're as awesome as this one... and by the way they are, you'll see. Peace out!

Assembly comments: Right first things first, that TV aerial is insanely thin and I had mine snap on me while putting her together. It wasn't a major issue as it was such a clean break just below the hand. However I'd advise extreme caution and care here, I'd attach the bottom of the aerial to the chimney first and then attach the arm to the body. The top of the aerial should have the crow attached to it first before putting it on top of the pole. The rest of the miniature should be a doddle to put together and really the aerial isn't all that bad either if you know what you're doing.

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