Yes, those fine chaps at Freebooter kindly sent me a couple of their models to review. Specifically, Romerto the Strangler from the Assassins faction and Totol from the brand new, and thoroughly shiny Amazon faction for the Freebooter Fate expansion; Deep Jungle.
Now, I’ve always been a big fan of Freebooter Miniatures ever since I stumbled across their stand at Salute many many many years ago and bought myself the Huntress and Aedui (an Elf) because they were just fecking awesome models. After then I always kept a weather eye on their website, picking up the odd model just to paint until the fateful day when I had the bright idea to start a Mordheim campaign with the chaps and with it start a new warband. The most recent addition of which was the Comtessa model that I reviewed here.
Now I find myself in a position with yet more thoroughly cool models and an opportunity to write about them. My cup runneth over.
First of all I have to say something about the quality of the casting. Considering each model came in four or five pieces (excluding the bases) and both are in dynamic poses, the models needed very little cleaning up beyond the areas that had to be cut from the casting flash. The castings were seamless and I think I spent more time trying to get Romerto’s right hand and bolas to line up with the left hand than I did removing mould lines. Which, I must say, is quite exceptional and puts certain other companies to shame with their self-proclaimed ‘superior casting technology’.
But on to the models specifically…
Romerto the Strangler
This old boy is getting quite a lot of space on my blog at the moment as I’d decided I wanted to use him for my proposed Middenheim warband for Mordheim because, well, he’s a lot awesome. An earlier model of Freebooter’s, but no less appealing especially as all of Freebooter’s models tells a story. Romerto, for example is clearly getting on a bit, judging by the thinning hair, and has had his nose broken a number of times which tells of a hard and violent life.
That aside, the model sets the benchmark for how simply an imposing character can be created by dynamically positioning the model. The massive hammer helps too… The model is nicely detailed and much of it gets lost the first time around. Aside from stuff like a superbly sculpted face, with its flat nose & grim set expression and theatrical masks dotted about his person – in keeping with his assassin allegiance, there’s also little touches like buckles on his boots and a spare bolas on his belt. Also the head of that hulking great warhammer is just awesome. As is the clenched fist pommel.
I think what makes this model work so well is the sense of power it evokes. A strong striding form, intent on bringing woe to someone. But really tips it over the edge into brown trouser territory isn’t the bulging muscles or the model’s height (he absolutely dwarfs the other Freebooter models I have) it’s the fact that the Romerto isn’t bothering with the hammer. Yes he has it, and yes he can burst heads with it, but why bother when a good old-fashioned thumping will achieve the same results.
On a pesonal level I’m delighted to have Romerto because he’s just fantastic to look at and going to be even better to use. And for the simple fact that there are few better feelings when playing a game [with The Chaps] then when someone picks up one of your models to take a look and is slightly jealous of you for owning it. Romerto will do just that. Then clobber someone with his hammer. Just coz.
Totol is lovely. The end. No really. Okay, not really. But she is a lovely model. The image above doesn’t even come close to putting across how nice it is. Models like this are a bit of a painter’s dream. From the base up it’s a bevy of detail. The base and tree the model perches on has enough detail that you’ll enjoy painting it, but doesn’t over load you so it won’t feel like an inconvenience, but, at the same time, sets up what is an incredibly dynamic model. The elegance with which Total is posed is a real credit to Freebooter as it is the kind of snap shot pose you’d expect to see in a film.
And looking even closer you notice yet more. The hide that forms her outfit is hemmed with the fur of whatever poor hapless creature donated it. The leather strap of the quiver as little rings on it. The flowing hair, combined with the pose tells the story of a hunter laying in wait, letting the world flow around them whilst never being moved. Even her Amazonian wonderbra (other Amazonian bras are available) looks the part and appears necessary for the model rather than preventing small children from seeing 30mm scale boobies. It’s just ace.
In total contrast with Romerto’s slow, purposeful brute force, Totol, as a character, oozes viper like menace – coiled tight ready to strike – with a combination of the lithe form, agile pose and a bow clasped in one hand and a wicked dagger in the other. In fact a fight between two such characters would be a spectacle to be sure. And most likely with the pair of them ruined corpses on the jungle floor.
But combine that lithe aggression with the contrast of the long hair, feminine figure and skimp-tastic outfit and you have the utter embodiment of an Amazonian warrior woman that evokes myths as well as the urge to tell tales of your own. I wanted to review this model because I wanted to take a look at the newest models compared to the slightly older ones, but now I have to somehow find a use for her because Totol is just too nice a model to have sat on a shelf gathering dust.