Monday, 27 June 2011

Review: Ruby Studio McVey

This was part of my 'splurge' order I made from Studio McVey after having decided that I needed 'little presents' or rewards to keep me going while painting the figures I have for the gaming systems I play. I have to be honest I wasn't going to put Ruby on the order until Mrs Frontline Gamer said, 'what you're not going to order the the kick ass cowgirl on the dinosaur'... and when you put it like that why the hell wasn't I going to order her?

Product Description

She could have thrown sassy and sultry into the old descriptive mix as well!!! Honestly I have no frigging idea why I wasn't going to add her to my original order from Studio McVey, I really don't. She's a Cowgirl, with a stetson hat, long trench coat armed to the teeth with a kick ass look... while riding a fricking dinosaur, a dinosaur people and everybody knows things get a hundred times better when you put a dinosaur into the mix!!! Sam Wood's original concept for the piece was pretty 'sick' as the youth of today say and Jacques-Alexander Gillois has done a damn fine job realising it in 3D. Utterly fabulous darlings and this years must have mini... she might just be my favourite of the lot!!!

Character 9 out of 10

If I was Tyra Banks I'd probably describe Ruby as 'fierce'... I mean Cowboy hats and trench coats are so now darling!!! Look its kick ass, she's a buxom chick riding a dinosaur loaded with guns. Hows that for character for you? If your not already sold on it I really don't think there's much hope for you.

Detail 9.5 out of 10

Still not shooting for the perfect 10 with this one but it was damn close. The scaly hide on our dinosaur friend very nearly tipped my hand to a perfect 10 it really, really did. I think the other half got angry with me telling her to 'look at the fricking scales on the dinosaur, no LOOK AT THEM!!!' however I think she was quietly impressed even if she did voice her concerns that I might be going mad. Trust me when I say that they are amazing, they aren't 'deeply set' say like the scales on a Cold One from Games Workshop but instead are clearly defined with a shallow groove between each scale so it actually looks like a fricking lizards skin. Its insanely good it really truly is and I haven't even mentioned the tiny razor sharp teeth, oh I just did! As for Ruby herself... yeah she's a sexy bad ass and make no mistake, with an ample boosom barely kept in check by what I'm reliably informed is a really impractical makeshift bra, 'especially if she's riding a giant lizard' I know, I know I did tell her it was a dinosaur!!! All her finery and detailing is amazing and make no mistake, her face is wonderfully subtle and natural looking, none of your 'heroic scale' nonsense here but its her mount that steals the show. The piece also comes with a nice little resin base insert.

Quality 10 out of 10

Again utterly breath taking quality from the casting process. Those scales are an unbelievably fine detail that in the hands of a lesser caster would be at risk of being totally lost and the fact that they aren't is a credit to whomever pulls these miniatures from their moulds, master of their craft that they are. Again I struggled manfully to try and find a miscast, air bubble or mould line and found none... although I pretended to find a bit of mould line, but seriously I either need to go to specsavers or there aren't any. Some pieces come on a spru because they're incredibly fine little pieces and you'll have to take care of them, at least as much care as the person who pulled them from the mould so delicately for you anyway... it'd be a shame to cock up all their hard work by not taking your time and care with this piece. My only potential gripe is with the base where there's an awkward piece of venting to the side and underneath of the base, not really too much of a hassle to clean up, but after the ease with which the rest of the miniature went together this was a minor annoyance, but really it wasn't even an issue, I'm just trying to pick faults where there are none.

Service 9 out of 10

I've learned over the years to cut hobby stores and large multinational hobby companies slack for their shoddy and incompetent service... but as I've said on many occasions in my reviews of late I'm utterly shocked and bemused at how speedy things are now. I'm also surprised how well packaged things are. I expected Studio McVey to have a minor struggle on their hands being such a small company I was expecting to wait maybe 2 weeks or thereabouts, so a 5 day turn around including a weekend isn't too bad at all, and more importantly the pieces came nicely packaged and unharmed, A minor miracle given how delicate and fine some of the pieces are.

Price 8 out of 10

Ruby is a classy bird, and the ancestor of an actual bird (dinosoayrs and evolution people) and as such she comes at a price, £24.99 to be precise. While I personally think she's worth absolutely every penny of the £24.99 price tag, when times is tight and hobby money has to stretch there's no denying that for many this will be a luxury item, and it has to be a labor of love. I personally love her and have already started looking up images of dinosaurs and lizards to work out how I'm going to paint her... she will be a pet project for me and for the painters out there I can't think of many, if any, better pet projects to have right now, I really can't. I'm not too sure what I'm going to have to paint to get her as a 'painting reward' but its going to have to be a harsh task indeed because she's a damn good miniature.

Overall 9 out of 10

I'm really glad my other half forced me at gun point to spend even more money than I originally intended... OK so maybe she didn't need the gun. However it doesn't change the fact that I love Ruby to bits, she's possibly my favourite miniature right now, and even though I've in effect spent £24.99 on some objet d'art I think its worth it because of the joy I'll get while painting her. That's where I think the worth in pieces like this lie, they bring the joy back into painting again and can you really put a price on bringing a bit of joy back into your hobby... obviously you can and it turns out its £24.99 but I think my point is once again if you're a painter it's well worth the entrance fee. Peace out!

Assembly Comments: I think Ruby is as straight forward a miniature as you can find to put together. The only minor hassle I had was with the fiddly little reins and the teeny tiny spikes coming off of the dinosaurs jaws. Any parts that small are bound to cause issues, I'd advise attaching them before those little raptor arms certainly and grabbing some hobby tweezers to help. Otherwise it was a piece of piss!!!

Edit: The other half decided that Ruby wasn't her favourite mini from Studio McVey after all, and its actually Y'Sala and Darkness... well she is a girl and Y'Sala is a faery!!! However I'm sticking to my guns and saying that Ruby is still tops for me.

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