Wednesday, September 11, 2013

What are Bones good for?

So a week or so back I finally got my last bits of my Bones Kickstarter (I'd gotten a duplicate of one bag, and was missing another). Yesterday the single mini that was missing after all of that shipped to me.

I have been painting Bones pretty steadily since I received them, along with lots of my GW plastics and assorted metal minis I've had in my painting queue for a while.

In short, I like them, but they aren't the best minis I've ever painted.

There are good things and bad things about the Bones.

The Bad

Bones aren't perfect.

These really aren't art pieces. The mold lines aren't easy to remove (and often hard to see). Some of them are not as detailed in plastic as they are in metal. The gaps between multi-part minis can be really, really big - big enough to require some serious greenstuff filling. If you paint around them it's extremely noticeable.

They are also a bit hydrophobic - the first wash of paint will often pull back and pool. It's easier to overcome, but it's annoying that you can't just go prime them and then work from there. I ended up having to paint them white or grey or black by hand, watching for uneven paint spots, before I start my real paintjob.

The Good

On the other hand, there is some great stuff about them.

They're often fun to paint - the fact that you can bend them freely means nothing is really "hidden" behind a wing, a shield, a sword, or an arm. Just bend it, paint, keep it bent until it dries, and move on.

They are inexpensive - especially for large minis. Don't want to drop $25 on a big demon? Try $10 or so for a Bones mini, if that.

They're not fragile. They bend and bend back, which means you don't get that "snap" when a resin or hard plastic or metal mini hits the table the wrong way, leaving you with a crossbowless crossbowman or a one-armed orc.

They make great play pieces. Since they are light and not fragile, and inexpensive (compared to metal), it's easy to deploy a fair amount of them and not worry they'll get broken in use. If you're using minis for tabletop games instead of painting showpieces this is all you really need. Detail that is good enough plus what I just mentioned and you're good.

For the larger minis, especially, their lightness and lack of fragility is awesome. Ogres, trolls, giants - these guys are one hard knockdown on the table or one "oops" away from destruction - but for Bones, not really.

The Upshot

They're good play pieces, they're a very cheap way to get a big mini, and their lack of delicate bits mean they're ideal for minis you need to transport around. They can be fun to speed paint if you ended up with a hundred or so "take it or leave it" sculpts like I did. And while they aren't cheap for a plastic mini, they're cheap for minis in general.

I am really happy I got my Bones Kicktarter, and when the Bones Kickstarter 2 comes along (they revealed this at GenCon) I will certainly buy in. Just don't go into them expecting artwork. They're play pieces.

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