The other day I wrote about the Indiegogo campaign that Hugo of Ichiban Painting had launched with Dennis Zarnowski to get their miniatures company – Ichiban Studio - off the ground.
A common concern with Indiegogo campaigns, or any crowd funding project for that matter, is that it’s hard to judge exactly what you’re going to get for your money and if the juice is worth the squeeze. Well as ever I’m here to help as what should come in the post on Friday but none other than the full size edition of The Mean One. The model can be acquired in exchange for a $100 (£62) donation on the Ichiban Studio campaign page. And in this world exclusive review I’m going to see just how much awesome can be squeezed out of it.
Yes, I am a lucky bastard. But not an idle one as I immediately set about scrutinising the kit and then attacking the kit with clippers and files to better understand this hefty slice of awesome.
The Mean One is, depending on your point of view has either a Catachan Jungle Fighter type vibe or a Space Marine that forgot his power armour. Either way, the dude is hench. He’s also massive, standing at 23cm tall which makes him not only an impressive display piece but an awful lot of resin for your money and cheaper than an equivalent item from Forge World.
So what’s in the box? Well, as I say, a shit load of resin; in the form of two feet, a body (including head) arms, a hand clutching an Ork head and another holding a fooking huge knife. And, if I’m honest, a lot of flash. I mean a lot. This isn’t really a complaint, more of an observation as if you don’t have a hobby saw – like me – it can take a while to work your way through the chunks attached to the various body parts. As you can see from the picture below the blocks attached to TMO’s legs are very thick which took a while to clip through with my standard issue GW clippers. This has the added arse ache of all the associated filing so all the parts fit flush together. But, because the resin is from good stock you won’t get any cracking or shattering if you cut in too close. It all came away (eventually) very easily.
As I say, it’s not so much a complaint as something to be aware of because despite that, every inch of every component is extremely well cast, and if that comes at a cost of a bit of hacking and filing then I’ll live. Where I do have a bit of a grumble is that because the flash is so large and thick it’s a pain to get completely smooth and you may find, unless you have either (A) the patience of a saint or (B) really good hobby files, that you’ll be doing a bit of greenstuffing around the joins. That said this is not a gaming piece so that fact that it takes a little while to clean and prepare is not big deal, especially as you’ll want to take your time painting it. The other grumble is that it needs a base. Nothing fancy just something to mount it on because, as it’s sculpted mid stride, it’s not going to be the most stable of display pieces. And it’s £60.
But, that aside, it is beautifully detailed. The fabric hangs so naturally, even the thigh pouches on the fatigues and the bootlaces. The boots themselves look well broken in and used – even without paint which I think is quite something – and they have stitching all over them. Including along the sole edges. Which is mental. The arms even have that massive vein that only really buff people get. As one would expect from a display piece: all the little details are there like a patterned belt buckle, stitching on the trousers and even on the back of the boots.
The Ork head is also excellent. I mean really excellent. It’s not just the angular features, the leathery skin texture or the grisly detail at its severed neck – although they are awesome – it’s the detailing on the teeth, the fact that one has pierced its slack tongue, no doubt at the point of death and the fact that it has a slightly sad expression on its face. But more than that an all the other details, it’s the finished article that is the most striking as for all the brilliance of each part its the coming together of it all that gives such an organic feel. It’s a sculpture rather than a model. It all just feels, once built, all so effortless and natural. Putting the whole ‘Sci-fi soldier lopping the head of an Ork’ to one side. I also like how he kinda looks like G’Kar from Babylon 5. But I suspect that’s accidental.
The Mean One is a fantastic model. Almost intimidatingly so. It fits well into almost every Sci-fi soldier archetype so it’s accessible to all and it has also been well designed so joins have as much surface area as possible for gluing. As a launch piece of Ichiban Studio it’s exceptional and certainly impresses. If anyone is on the fence about supporting Ichiban Studio in their efforts, based on what I’ve seen you’d be a fool not to donate something, even if you don’t have a spare hundred dollars.
The juice is most definitely worth the squeeze.
You can donate to Ichiban Studio’s Indiegogo campaign here.