Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Review: Freebooter's Fate Chulo Bolu & Momma Galina

Chulo and his mommy watching his back.

I suppose I could have reviewed these two miniatures separately, but the truth is they clearly belong together. If you haven't read the back story behind this Goblin pirate duo I'll briefly fill you in. There's not really too much to tell, Chulo was a slave to a particularly smart and crafty tradesmen, who taught Chulo a thing or two. So he's a better educated crafty Goblin than most. He fancies himself as a bit of a rebel leader, wanting to lead his green brothers and sisters in glorious revolution... except he's a bit of a weedy git and a totally spoiled brat who throws temper tantrums. In short he's not hard enough to be leader! That is where his mommy steps in, Momma Galina is hard enough to be leader, but like most smitten mothers who spoil their sons rotten, they want them to be the leaders, and they're willing to clip anyone round the ear who says otherwise. So put simply Chulo is in charge because if you say otherwise his mommy comes and gets you. The stories behind the two of them are genuinely humourous. So that's there background and why I just feel like I had to review them together. I mean I just don't think Chulo would leave home without his mommy in tow.

Product Description(s)

Well I guess I better start with Chulo as I don't want to make his inferiority complex any bigger than it clearly already is!

As you can see Chulo comes with two cards, firstly there is the games native language German card as well as the English language card, which is handy for me as my German doesn't stretch much further than buying a return train ticket, ordering a beer and possibly asking for directions to the nearest krankenhaus! The miniature itself comes in 6 parts, one of which is the black plastic base. Next up is the nice scenic base insert you always get with Freebooter's Fate miniatures. Into this goes Chulo's legs, which are actually standing on top of a wooden stool. On top of his legs goes the largest piece of the miniature, his body and left arm, which is brandishing a blade. Then there is his head and right arm, which is holding a pistol like a club. He's not a massively complex miniature to assemble, but the fact the main miniature is cut into four pieces does me his stance is quite dynamic. Next up is Momma Galina, Chulo's over protective mother / personal bodyguard!

Ms Galine actually comes in 7 parts, one more than her son Chulo. As before you get the Freebooter Miniatures black plastic base with indentation for the scenic base insert. Momma Galina is mainly comprised of two large components. There is her main body, legs and head, which comes cast as a single piece and a large over coat. Again as always with Werner's Freebooter's stuff, both pieces are cut exceedingly well. The remaining three pieces are all relatively small in comparison. There is a parrot sitting on her right shoulder, her left arm, which is holding a harpoon gun and her right arm, which ends with a pirate hook for a hand.

Character 9 out of 10

As always when I do these sort of joint reviews it can be quite difficult to pitch these overall scores right, because sometimes the miniatures aren't of comparable quality. In the Case of Chulo and his mother though that simply isn't the case, both have bags of delightful character. Lets start with Chulo again though...

Chulo Bolu

So starting with the diminutive Chulo again I can honestly say he's possibly my favourite of the Goblin Pirate Captains. Given that the competition is Malo Gordab and Captain Ulgat that's saying something! But Chulo is just so full of character, and the sculpt closely captures the sense of inferiority that the fluff behind him portrays. The fact that he is standing on a rickety, badly crafted stool to make him seem taller than he actually is, is just such a nice touch I feel. As is his overly ornate and dressy tricorne hat, it\s arguably the fanciest hat of all the captains in all the factions, it has an octopus on the front with further gold trimming. His fancy attire doesn't stop there though, his overcoat is also rather grand looking for a Goblin Pirate, with more buttons than it needs and frilly shoulder pads. No doubt he doesn't want to be outshone by his Imperial Armada counterparts. He also has a frilly shirt with a ruff... I'm really not sure Chulo wants to be a Goblin you know, hell it even looks like he takes care of his fancy boots and polishes them. You have to hand it to Chulo, the Goblin's got style and looks rather dapper. His stance too apes those of the humans in the range, his left arm, his sword arm thrust out forward in a gesture of open challenge, he's trying so desperately hard to be something he's not. So the best part about Chulo is that this is all a very thin veneer, and Werner has managed to get a few nice touches in that hint to Chulo's more animalistic Goblin nature. The first one I want to talk about is a very subtle addition, in Chulo's right hand he hold a rather fine looking flintlock pistol. He isn't holding it by the handle or grip though, he's holding it by the barrel of the blasted thing and wielding it like a club. It's a brilliant little touch. The second and more obvious feature is that of Chulo's face, it has a wonderfully expressive snarl across it and two very shift and beady looking eyes. His pig like nose also adds a sense of not only snooty arrogance, but also clearly mark him out as what he is... a Goblin.

Momma Galina

So onto Momma Galina, the real force behind the duo. I was honestly not too sure what to make of her when I first pulled her out of the blister pack as starred at the pieces. She looks for all the world a Captain, a boss if you will. But in game terms she isn't, so I wasn't sure of the direction taken at initially. But she began to grow on me as I assembled her. I guess no mother of Chulo's was going to wear anything but the finest damn clothes he could get his hands on... as long as they weren't as fine as his of course! So Momma Galina wears a fine looking overcoat, complete with harpoons sticking out of a side pocket, frilly shoulder pads, grand looking lapels and of course more buttons than a coat really ought to have. She also has a top made out of a sail, well I guess it must be made out of a sail given the huge pot belly it has to cover and of course her ample Goblin bosom! She's clearly been kitted out in the very best of Goblin chic. It's her stance though that impresses me, harpoon gun held out nonchalantly to the side, right foot planted on top of a cannon ball wedged into the deck. Her right arm held in front of her with a rather menacing looking hook for a hand. She looks like she means business to me. Her tricorne hat also seems slightly more menacing than they normally do too, with a rather severe looking fork in the middle pointing to a real skull and cross bones it seems. Possibly the remnants of some rodent or other no doubt found leaving a ship a little too early for Momma Galina's liking. She also seems to have a pendant around her neck made out of some fish bones, a gold hoop earring and some trinkets slung at her waist from her belt, she is covered in nice little details like this. There's another fine piece of detail on her rather round, stern and boil ridden face, a monicle, no doubt taken off of the face of some vanquished foe. Her pursed lips make her seem angry, as does her arched eyebrow... perhaps someone has insulted her precious baby boy? Yet I haven't even touched on her best feature yet have eye? Continuing the theme of trying to look like human pirates and not quite getting it right she has a chicken on her shoulder... no not a parrot... a bloody chicken. Brilliant!

Photo of the studio paint job taken at Salute 2012.
Detail 8.5 out of 10

As is the case with most of the Freebooter's Fate miniatures the level of subtle detail is really quite impressive. From all those trinkets and bits and bobs I mentioned in the character section of Momma Galina's review, to the detail on Chulo's coat and hat, it's all very impressively fine and crisply reproduced. The features of both Chulo and his mothers faces are wonderfully detailed and are very fine. In pictures I guess it's difficult to appreciate just how good the sculpting is of this detail, because it's hard to get a sense of the scale and size of the pieces. But these two miniatures are Goblin sized with Goblin sized proportions and that makes them small, very small. So to cram as much detail onto the surface of these miniatures is a real credit to the craftsmanship of Werner Klocke. The cloth of both of their overcoats seems to flow realistically and has some really nice ripples and folds. The same is true of the aforementioned ruff around Chulo's neck is brilliantly reproduced with every fold clearly defined.

Photo of the studio paint job taken at Salute 2012, I love the blue on his overcoat.

So many of the details on these miniatures though go unnoticed at first glance. I for one have learned to look at the Freebooter's Fate miniatures in the same way I'd look at Infinity miniatures, or the resin pieces from companies like Studio McVey, Kingdom Death and BaneLegions, I look at them, make notes, put them down and walk away. The I come back to them a few days later and take another look to see what else pops out at me. I repeat this pattern a few more times, until I'm satisfied I've spotted everything. In the case of both Momma Galina and Chulo it was the scenic base inserts that eventually popped out for me. I'm so used to seeing wooden decks or sandy beaches that initially I overlooked them and took them for standard. However if you look at them you will see how swollen and warped the planks are. The nature of the wood is clearly low quality and whatever ships deck they are standing on it has clearly seen better days. It's these little details and touches that bring the Freebooter's Fate miniatures to life.

Quality 8.5 out of 10

If you've read any of my previous Freebooter's Fate reviews I'm sure you'll not be massively surprised to see such a high score for quality. These are yet again simply bloody brilliant casts. Hardly any flashing to clean up, and those pieces that did require a bit of attention were not majorly difficult to deal with and were placed in spots easy to get too with both files and craft knives. The two of them were yet again cut to within an inch of perfection. I've come to expect clever cuts on Freebooter's fate miniatures, it started way back when looking at Rosso's overcoat and Curly Ann's Rifle, and is continued with these two on a number of pieces. Firstly Momma Galiona's overcoat is every bit as well cut and realised as Rosso's is. The notch in her right shoulder for the chicken and shoulder pad to slot into is brilliant and hold the piece in place exceedingly well without an need for a pin. Chulo being cut at his waist allows him to be as animated in his twisting motion as he is. It's all very impressive and very well cast, and I'm not in the least bit surprised to be brutally honest with you, because it's what I've come to expect from Freebooter Miniatures.

Service 10 out of 10

Well I got this at Salute. It was part of my own personal swag haul, and Werner and Hendrik were both exceedingly pleasant to deal with. Now obviously Salute isn't held every weekend and you can't therefore walk up to their stand and have the sculptor of these fine miniatures sell you his wares... however the experience was a good one and deserves its score! Obviously most of you know what shops you use and why, so I'm not going to tell you where to shop.

Price 8 out of 10

I think Chulo cost around about £9 and Momma Galina was around the same figure too. I believe they cost €10.90 each on the Freebooter Miniatures webstore, which works out at about £8.80 or so. So my guesstimation sounds about right. Some people might say that's a steep price for a single miniature, and I could see their point, however we're talking about wonderfully sculpted and cast miniatures, and they're still cheaper than many of the market leaders single pieces. I personally think that's a more than fair asking price.

Overall 8.5 out of 10

So there you have it, two of the funniest characters in the Freebooter's Fateuniverse. I personally love the look of both of them, and I think the miniatures themselves capture wonderfully the personality of these two characters, from their back stories. Werner's sculpts are always packed with charm and cartoon like animation, and these two clowns are no different! You can find the rules for them both in the Deep Jungle expansion book. All I'm going to say is that buying the pair of them doesn't come cheap at 85 doubloons each, you'll be dropping 170 doubloons to get them both into your Goblin pirate force. Chulo isn't the heaviest hitting of the captains in the game either, in fact he's probably one of the weediest, yet he does have some abilities that make him useful and definitely worth the points like Rallying Cry, Order, Agile and of course he can call on his mommy. Speaking of whom, Momma Galina is a more straight forward character. You can clearly see what you are getting for those 85 doubloons on her profile line. She also gets some nifty abilities like Monstrous Arrows and tough. Both are worth the asking fee if you ask me, and if you can get them both on the table I would. Peace out!

PS. As I concluded the prize draw for the rather spiffing Heavy Gear Blitz PDFs yesterday I will be posting my prize draw for the Werner Klocke signed copy of the Freebooter's Fate rulebook later on this afternoon. So pop back then and put your name down to win it.

PPS. The competition is now live!!! Enter here.


  1. these models are sitting proudly on my paint table demanding paint. I will treat myself with them after painting 9 grail knights!

    1. And I took forward to filling them with poison darts!!! :P

  2. I just want to say I discovered how cool Freebooter's Fate is because of this site. Thank you.

    Now to convince my friends to try it out.

    1. Well I wish you all the best in your endeavours and attempts to convert your friends. If you have any problems send them my way and I'll box their ears in, until they agree to play it with you. :P