Monday 1 May 2023

Reviewette: Wizkids Icons of the Realms Sand & Stone and Shadow of the Dragon Queen

I am, by and large, not a huge fan of Wizkid's pre-painted line. The soft plastic they use results in curved weapons, the paint jobs aren't great - with a particular blind spot for humanoid faces, and they come in blind boxes, which are Satan's favourite abuse of capitalism.

That said, I do sometimes spot nice miniatures I'd like and grab one or two for use in future campaigns I run. Rather than fish into blind boxes, I usually shop from Tritex Games, who sell singles of various models from the blind boxes. I'd rather pay a little more and get the models I actually want...

From the Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen set, I just grabbed the Wraith and Leedara, who is a named ghostly person who will do very well as all sorts of weird ghostly apparitions in future. Most of the humanoids really didn't appeal at all. I liked the Behir and the Treant Noble in this set, but the Treant Noble was a little too pricey for an impulse purchase, and I managed to find a Gale Force 9 Collectors Edition Behir recently, which is just prettier in every way to the Wizkids offering.

In the Sand & Stone set, I went a little heavier, grabbing a Rust Monster, Flying Snake, Basilisk and Bulette. The Flying Snake isn't great, but it was cheap so I threw it in the order. The Rust Monster and Basilisk are both excellent monsters and iconicly D&D. I'm less of a fan of the Bulette sculpt but it managed to make the cut for models I think are OK.

I'm regretting not having grabbed a Galeb Duh from the Sand & Stone set as I think it's a pretty good sculpt. I didn't bother with the Dinosaurs, Hyena, Giant Scorpion or Death Dog as while they were OK, I think there's enough other people making them that I'll find good models for them elsewhere. The Spirit Naga looked great but I've already got a very similar mini I bought from elsewhere.

I really, really wanted the Jackalwere, Lamia and Androsphinx to be good, but they just weren't. They're some of the models that really show the limitations of the Wizkids line. Finally, while I liked the Kruthiks, the adults coming in at £20 a time and canonically running in swarms was far too rich for me! If I want some swarming subterranian horror bugs, I'll be going with a generic alternative instead...

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