Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Review: Y'Sala and Darkness Studio McVey

I had to own this model, when I first saw pictures of it I just thought it was a beautiful piece conceptually and it had been realised in a fantastically detailed way. Its possibly my favourite of the miniatures that Studio McVey have done so far, vying for that top spot with the delectable Ruby. So yep the naughty faery and her summoned beastie had to go into the shopping cart.

Product Description

I think out of all the Studio McVey pieces that I own this has to be the most complex in terms of composition. Y'Sala herself comes in only 3 pieces, main body, staff and a finely detailed thingymebob (yes that's the technical term) that goes on her back. Simple. Except that she also has to fit into her base and her staff has a cloud like structure coming off of it which joins up to the 'Darkness' and is clearly summoning him as he coalesces into reality. You still with me? Yep that's right the Darkness is coming out of her staff, he himself is attached to the base his two hands which are sculpted onto the base, and his head comes separately. I'm a bit bamboozled as to what to do to be honest, because I think if I put the critter together on the base with Y'Sala it'll be an utter bitch to paint. Hence the reason why I have no shots of her completed in one piece. Yannick Hennebo has not only conceived and sculpted an amazing miniature, its also possibly the worlds first puzzle miniature, its a very bold and brave piece to attempt and I think he pulled it off as the piece does look fabulous and I can forgive its complex composition when it looks this damn good.

Detail 9 out of 10

The detailing though is simply stunning. The Darkness for instance could have so easily become an amorphous blob, however his shape is clearly defined and his pose makes it clear where he is. Yet the nature of his rippled surface means he also has a strange duality of appearing both nebulous and muscled at the same time... I'm not too sure if that's what Yannick was going for when he did the concept and sculpt, but I suspect it is and therefore he gets many kudos points for pulling it off. Y'sala herself is very svelte and dainty looking thing, her staff is a very fine piece and the back thingymebob apes its design aesthetics nicely. The robes she is wearing have some very fine detail on them, looking like embroidery or whatnot. She is quite understated actually but when put next to the darkness really comes into her own. There's a nice juxtaposition between the two of them the dichotomy between the nebulous demon and the restrained, slender and angular look of the faery mage just work really, really well. Beauty and the Beast, if you will.

Quality 9 out of 10

Again the quality of the miniature is top notch, with absolutely no major work required, and although I haven't assembled them fully yet I have dry assembled them and they seem to fit together perfectly well, with little to no fuss whatsoever. Virtually no cleaning up required and its clear the resin used is of a really high quality again. There were no defects that I could find and only a very small amount of 'vents' on the miniature itself to clean from the miniature and all were in places that made it easy to do, so the miniatures and moulds themselves are clearly very well 'cut'.

Service 9 out of 10

As before if you could read my comments about service in the Ruby review; suffice to say I felt the service was good.

Price 8 out of 10

Y'Sala and Darkness will set you back £24.99, and much like Ruby I feel the miniature is worth it, if you're a painter and a collector. However again if you have a limited 'gaming' budget £24.99 is a fair chunk to be spending on a display piece. I guess at the end of the day it really comes down to the sort of hobbyist you are. If you're a painter and love that side of things then these sorts of gorgeous challenging individual sculpts will delight you and the price will be well worth paying... if not it'll come down to how much time, effort and of course money you're willing to spend on a display piece. I'm personally on a drive to convince people that the painting part of the hobby is just as vitally important as the gaming and that enjoying both sides of the hobby is important and stunning individual pieces like Y'Sala and Darkness help keep things fresh for you.

Overall 9 out of 10

I think that personally Ruby just pips Y'Sala and Darkness to my top spot of Studio McVey pieces. Don't get me wrong it is an incredibly close run thing and I totally reserve the right to change my mind when I actually get down to painting them. Y'Sala and Darkness are a fantastic challenge to any painter and I personally would recommend this miniature to anyone who fancies doing something a bit different or out of the ordinary. Its a quality piece with bags of character and I think it'd look fine in anybodies display cabinet. Peace out!

Assembly comments: Honestly this miniature was a real cinch to put together, I'd advise painting both Y'Sala and Darkness separately though because trying to paint them both on that base would be a right son of a bitch. The only issue I had was getting Y'Sala's staff and hand to stick to her body. I was using rapid dry super glue but it just wouldn't hold because the contact point was so small. In the end I just had to do it the old fashioned way and sit there holding the piece until it dried. However it wasn't a drama and the miniature looks simply stunning when its all assembled and put together.

EDIT: I said I reserved the right to change my mind on whether Ruby or Y'sala was my favourite model... well after seeing them the missus has changed her mind and said that Y'Sala is now her favourite piece!!! Women's prerogative I guess.


  1. Argh! This was one I planned on getting but it sold out before I had the money to spare.

    Such a great model.

    1. Ah, it's a shame you missed out. Part of me thinks Studio McVey should look to do limited re-runs of certain popular mini's, without the signed limited editions certificates. Kind of like Kingdom death do.