Batman Miniatures Game Model Review

Back at the start of October I reviewed the Batman Miniatures Game and after a considerable amount of preamble I got down to the business of reviewing the game. As it turned out it was pretty good, much to my relief. It had its issues and bug bears of course. The main one being that it had a painful habit of over explaining everything which I couldn’t figure out was either the writer’s need to make sure everyone knew what they were doing or a ‘lost in translation’ thing.

A worry I had, when flicking through the book, was that the models weren’t going to be up to snuff. The photography and the paint jobs weren’t stellar and pap models could rather sour the pudding.

Of course there was only one thing for it: I was going to have to get some.

I opted for the Dark Knight himself, obviously, and some Joker Clowns. Rather usefully the rules came with a limited edition Alfred Pennyworth model as well…which was nice.

Let’s start with the Joker Clowns. Simply put these are the models that should have had the least amount of effort on the basis that they are just lowly minions. However, at £13.99 RRP for two I was expecting a certain something.


Where to begin…well, the casting quality is very good. The models needed little clean up at all which is impressive from a small studio games company like Knight. The nice thing about the models is that they are immediately identifiable as Joker Clowns from Arkham City. This, of course, means there are lots of nice little details like the thugs being a little bit on the podge and il-fitting boots.

However the overall standard of the sculpts isn’t amazing. It’s not bad, but not amazing. The clown masks have been sculpted so flat that it’s impossible to see any real detail until there’s any paint on them and even then low lighting maybe in order so they don’t look too washed out.

The arms – which were separate for these models – were quite disappointing. The casting quality didn’t match the rest of the model and the arms don’t fit the bodies very well. The axe arms required me to bend the impossibly thin axe shaft which almost snapped.

I’m all for accurate scaling but I think some consideration needs to be given for scale and the material the models will be cast in. The shotgun, whilst having a pretty decent amount of detail for its size, came with a barrel at a 45 degree angle. Drop that model once and you’ll be fielding a Clown armed with a sawn off whether you like it or not.

I’ve seen hundreds of 28mm scale models with scale weapons and they always suffer from being cast from metal. Barrels, blades or handles are too thin and it’s only a matter of time before they break. It’s a shame because £7 a model is quite a lot for something that’s got a good chance of breaking in the building process like the one I received.

The models also come with the all important profile cards – one per model which is excellent – so you can actually use them in the game. This is a real barrier to entry as far as I’m concerned as, looking at the game insolation, you have no way of knowing how good or not the models you’re buying are until you get them home.

As one would expect the Joker Clowns are pretty generic in a fight but what’s very cool is the subtle but significant differences between the two models. They aren’t just Clown 1 and Clown 2. Triston (shotgun bloke) gets a point more endurance, a point less willpower and has the Runaway trait. August, on the other hand, gets that slightly higher willpower and the Psycho trait. Which makes sense as his weapon of choice is an axe.

But what of the Dark Knight himself? This was the model I was most anxious the pose was rather uninteresting. The paint job had something to do with it as all the low lighting and shadowing makes the model incredibly flat.


The reality, though, is the model is let down by an average sculpt and the fact it was cast in metal. The quality shown in the image above is nowhere near what you actually get. You just can’t get the crispness of detail needed for something as subtly designed as the bat-suit depicted in the Arkham City game. It’s not that the detail isn’t there but it’s that it lacks definition.

Batman‘s pose is fine but not really cool enough in my opinion. They did a very good job of making the cape feel dynamic yet weighty enough that it could be used to glide across the fair city of Gotham. The cowl was a different matter entirely. One of the ears(?) was bent so badly inwards that bending it back broke it. Not clean off but enough that I can’t touch it again. The metal was just too thin and for £13.99 a pop it’s not acceptable. Thankfully the arm holding the batarang was cast of sturdier stuff and even fit the model which is a bonus.

Overall it kind of reminds of the Nolan Batman trilogy. It looks like Batman but doesn’t feel like Batman. It’s not a bad model – casting issues aside – and with the right paint job could actually look pretty good, it’s just not the centre piece model I think it should be. Especially as a very high percentage of gamers collecting the good guys will want Batman at some point.

With good reason too. In the game Batman is, unsurprisingly, nails. Not impossible to defeat but they the writers of the game managed to strike the balance between video game badassery and the vulnerability that is often communicated through the comics. He can comfortably take on three, maybe even four, thugs but anything more than that and he’s going to get his head kicked in.

Obviously his bevy of gadgets and gizmos makes Batman far more than a blunt instrument but we all know that that’s where the fun happens. At reputation 130 he’s worth 5 thugs so making use of all his talents is the best way of making the most of the investment.

It’s a tricky one because the game is great and something I would happily play but the quality issues around the models have given me pause. Realistically the problem with the cowl is unlucky but proves a point, the axe shaft is just poor sculpting. It reminds me of something Lee said to me – wargaming is the only industry in which consumers routinely put with a ‘that’ll do’ mentality from the manufacturers. Which is very true.

The Batman Miniatures Game models I have seen are good models. Not amazing but good. They are sculpted to a good standard and with a lot of love and fidelity but between the insistence of true scale and casting them from metal you may well be frustrated with the repair work involved.

All that said, the models are cool enough that you’ll want them and the game is cool enough that you’ll buy lots of them.

Batman Miniatures games models are available from Firestorm Games and the range starts at £3.15.

Shopping Lists

This evening I had Neil of The Chaps round to work on a game we’ve been developing with Lee of The Chaps. We’re reaching the point where we’ll be able to start basic playtesting as our mechanic is, if I do say so myself, rather elegant and so we need to make sure it holds up to full scale games before we get too involved in the more exotic rules and campaigns etc. So, inevitably we started browsing the interwebs for models that would proxy until such time as we’re ready to get models designed and cast.


As we started to put together a list of companies we liked the look of we naturally started going through the list of traders attending Salute  2013 to see if they would be there. And before we knew it a shopping list had started to form as well as an increasing list of traders to visit.

This got me thinking about how much fun events like Salute can be as it’s not always about running around like a child trying to spend all your money as quickly as possible (although that can be fun too). And it’s not always about looking at and investing in new games or just picking up models because you like them. This year myself and Neil and Lee are going there with the intention of seeing what models we can find that fit in with our various hobby projects. The age-old art of Proxying.

The really exciting part is that there are so many good companies out there producing some wonderful games and some awesome models and is this very reason that gives this site its main focus. As we browsed the internet we came across models that we wanted to buy and we dutifully added them to our shopping list and made notes against the trader list (which is so full of mistakes it’s actually embarrassing). I thought I’d share some of the models we have our eye on and the companies that produce them…

Troopers from Heresy Miniatures


The Convoy from Taban’s Eden



A couple of hard nuts from Pulp City


And a few villainous sorts from Knight Models


And maybe finished off with a few Special Forces from Urban Mammoth


And this is on top of all the other stuff that was already on our shopping list but you know what, it’s part of the fun of going to events like Salute because no matter how strict you plan on being, and how rigidly you stick to your shopping list one still can’t help but run around the place like a child on a sugar high because there’s few things better than going round with your mates, looking at cool toys, buying a few and in your head work out how much you’re going to tell the wife how much you spent whilst grimacing at how much you really spent.

For all those going to Salute this year I’d love to hear what’s on your shopping list…





Batman Begins…Again

I’d heard about this some time ago but wanted to wait until there was, if nothing else a few more snaps before I put something up about it. There are certainly more snaps and there’s even a bit of info from the developers, Knight Models; a Spanish company who primarily produce detailed miniatures of DC & Marvel characters. Not cheap but very awesome.

No release date has been set yet, at least not as far as I can tell but the models look awesome. The unit cost trouble me slightly but one can only reserve judgement until more information becomes available. On the game Knight Models had this to say…

Batman Miniature Game is a skirmish turn-based miniature game.

The first thing is band creation, you will love this part because there will be a lot of possibilities. Batman universe has a very rich and detailed background, with over 65 years of comic-books, tv shows, movies, etc. The idea is that there will be bosse like the Joker, Penguin, Two-Face …. and they can fight each other as well.

On the other hand many characters of the Batman Universe are not so important to form their own band, these are called “free agents” and will ally to one side or the other according to that point of the story and their background. Each boss can have sidekicks and lackeys, or be replaced by one of them, these sidekicks will modify the way you play with that band.
Each character will have a Reputation value (is the equivalent to what other games call “cost” or “points”). Also some characters will cost USD because they have some special rules or expensive equipment. Dollars will be used to buy additional equipment for your lackeys as well.
Turn will be divided in several phases, first Plan Preparation. The Motivation score will determine the number of actions each character can take each turn, in this phase you will distribute this tokens forming your plan. The plan is open so the opponent can see where you place your tokens, making a very tactical and deep game.
Then comes the activation phase of the miniature, eachn player take turns activating the habilities of the characters following the previous plan, p.e. Batman can use the Batclaw or throw a Batarang, Bane can use a Titan dosis, a Clown his Insane Laughter… as we release figures you will discover the potential of each character and their rules. Each character will be special and charismatic so the player can feel the resemblace to comics, video games and movies of this wonderful world.

After activation phase the turn is over and any effect or recovery of the characters is resolved (yes!, characters can recover from KO or heal injuries).

There will be scenarios (we want it to be an spectacular game!), but I prefer to tell no more, we want you to discover many surprises when the game is available.