Monday, 27 June 2011

Review: Isabella Studio McVey

This was the first miniature that went on the order from Studio McVey, there was just something about the pose that made me think I had to own her. There's something Gaelic and French about her, she's chic, nonchalant yet remains totally deadly looking... in a feminine and none brutish way. Its probably the cigarette and the bob hair cut now I think of it, but still she's cool.

Product Description

The concept for this piece was done by Ali McVey and I think its fair to say the image is just as sultry and sassy as the final piece, which was sculpted by the brilliantly talented Jacques-Alexandre Gillois. This is the first of two miniatures from Studio McVey that I have who don't come with resin bases, the other being Al-Vianna. Not that this is a problem at all because it just means I get the chance to pick the setting for the sultry vixen!!! So without that resin base the miniature comes in two parts, the main body and her right arm that is nonchalantly holding a very long cigarette.
Character 9 out of 10

I think Ali did an exceptional job imbuing the original concept sketch with such attitude and poise. Then Jacques followed this up with an awesome job of realising all that sass and attitude into this wonderful little sculpt. Just look at her... more attitude than all the teenagers in Britain and she looks like she's got the skills to back it up too.

Detail 8 out of 10

This miniature is mainly all flowing coat, with a few nice details like the coats HUGE lapels and collar. Again like all the faces so far from Studio McVey hers is subtle and realistic, while being well framed by that ever so severe 80's style bob cut. Again like Ruby her ample bosom is popping out of a clearly ill-fitting bodice, which coupled with her hipster trousers is showing off ample midriff... the hussy! There is a strange monkey like creature whispering sweet nothings into her ear, her left hand resting gently on the hilt of her pistol. Then there is her right arm that juts out from her body and angles perfectly holding an incredibly fine cigarette (be careful with this) that just seems to give the piece almost all of her character, its a great piece of design.

Quality 7 out of 10

This miniature is mostly cast very well but actually when I took a closer look there were two sizable air bubbles in the trail of her coat, one to the left of the miniature, as you look at it, at the bottom on the front and the other to the right actually below the surface and only noticeable with a light source behind it. However this second air bubble required 'knocking out' as it left such a thin layer of resin like that wouldn't have be prudent to leave to fate. So I had to dig out the old green stuff, neither were a major hassle to deal with and certainly not as bad as some pieces I've had from other companies down the years that I've viewed as perfectly acceptable so its not a deal breaker by any stretch of the imagination. However given the very high standards set by Studio McVey miniatures so far it was a shame. There was also a fair bit of flashing to clean up and my first visible mould line but again nothing out of the ordinary for anybody who has been painting models for as long as I have.

Service 9 out of 10

Please see my comments on service in the review of Ruby. However as a brief recap the miniatures got to me in a perfectly acceptable time frame and in good working order, the fact that the air bubble in Isabella's coat wasn't 'popped' in transit is actually a testament to how well packaged everything was.

 Price 8 out of 10

This is getting an 8 because there isn't a resin base, maybe that's being slightly picky there but I've got to differentiate on price and value for money somehow. Isabella at £11.99 is still good value for money make no mistake and a fabulous miniature to own, but there isn't as much too her in my humble opinion as say Ar-Fiach who is also £11.99, thus Isabella only scores a very respectable 8 out of 10.

Overall 8 out of 10

I love Isabella and I think she'll be my reward for getting my Sorylian fleet painted and getting the accompanying painting guide for them finished and up on the Blog. I think I probably just got a little bit unlucky on the air bubbles as the other miniatures I have are totally free of any blemishes. She's a damn fine sassy individual sculpt all round though, very elegant and full of Gaelic charm, I'm almost certain that somewhere in her trench coat is a pocket full of garlic!!! Peace out!

Assembly Comments: I think its fair to say there were no problems putting Isabella together. One arm to attach to the body and then you stick her to a base. Not too taxing. There were the two air bubbles the one you can see in one of the pictures above on the base of her coat, but it was so easy to fill that its not too much of an issue, the other I chose to 'knock out' as a precaution although I might have got away with it.


  1. Studio McVey's products thus far look great.
    Sorry to hear that politics claimed you as a victim for a short time, it happens.
    Of course one could argue that fighting for what you believe in is far nobler then building and painting minis.
    Not sure I'd agree, but then again, I'm American, and we can't be bothered to care about a corporate run state, where the biggest money writes the laws. (bitter sarcasm here, don't mind it too much?)
    Glad you're back regardless, and I look forward to more reviews.

  2. Yeah, massive cuts and who get kicked in the nuts first? Those in need the most, I am a policy research manager by trade and my job was to make sure those in need were properly looked after, but its always those who have the smallest voice like the sick and elderly who get it in the neck first... while we bail out yet more multi-millionaire bankers. Something with our society is very, very wrong. Not really concerned about myself but I know the more people like me they get rid of the worse things get for those in need, Tories are utter scum bags and I'd gladly watch them all burn and not do a thing.

    Back to mini's Studio McVey have done a fantastic job building up a great little range of gorgeous miniatures they really have. If your the sort of person that likes getting the paints out and taking your time and care with nice individual sculpts you could do a lot worse than pick up some Studio McVey pieces to dabble with. They're all just so beautiful!!!