In my first review of 2012 we take a look at a limited edition resin miniature by Guild of Harmony.
Steampunk Tinker Belle (limited to 350)
Guild of Harmony
Picture of sculpt by Sebastian Archer
The miniature: Tinker Belle
Steampunk Tinker Belle is a resin miniature, with a limited production of only 350 castings. However, according do Guild of Harmony, a metal version of the figure is planned for the future.The resin miniature comes with a 25 mm base, and a number and signed certificate of authenticity. The miniature is packed in a small zip-lock bag.
As I also explained in the Al-Vianna review, I only buy miniatures that I like and I wouldn't buy a miniature for the sake of writing a review. My main objective for buying a miniature is the sculpt. What I really like about the Tinker Belle sculpt, and in fact of many other Guild of Harmony miniatures, are the proportions. It just looks really natural to me, and I love not seeing an oversized head. There are a huge amount of details on the sculpt, ranging from a number of belt buckles to laces and gears. The miniature is 32 mm from head to toe.
The miniature comes in three pieces: The main body and head, the right arm, and the wings. The pieces have specials holes and bumps which should make assembly very easy. For extra strength the right arm could be pinned (with a very tiny pin I must add), but I don't think it is necessary because the resin is naturally quite light. (foam in picture is not included in packaging)
This miniature is sculpted in resin which holds details really well. This comes in handy of course as the mini is covered with details. Many miniature painters have been quite sceptic towards resin at first, but nowadays resin miniatures receive a lot of praises. Resin miniatures are lighter than metal miniatures, they are typically easier to assemble and easier to clean up. The downside of resin is that bad casting can result in air holes, lots of flash and strong mold lines. Another thing I personally find difficult with resin is that the surface is generally so smooth that it makes the minis harder to prime.
But...WAIT! The negative rambling about resin stops here, because some companies have proven that with great casting resin miniatures are far superior over their metal cousins.
Guild of Harmony definitely steps up it's game with this miniature. The quality of the cast is superior. The light grey material of this resin feels slightly rough, but it is incredibly smooth. I cannot find a single air bubble, even after checking it under my microscope. There are no visible mold lines, but after a huge magnification one can be seen on the side of the miniature. I'm pretty sure that it will be gone after washing and priming. There is a little bit of flash on the back of the mechanic wings, but it is really too easy to clean that up and hardly worth mentioning. To prove my point, you can see this in the images below.
I have to mention though, that some edges on the mini might come across as rough on the pictures, but that's just because my camera cannot pick up the grey of the resin very well...
The details on this cast are very scrisp, it really helps to make the miniature come to life. When zooming into the face, you can really see the amount of love that went into sculpting this mini. Her face is incredibly pretty and even the tiny eyelids are perfectly sculpted and cast!
As a small addition, especially for people that are familiar and/or own the resin miniature of Steampunk Dorothy (also from this new range, but released earlier this year as a limited release for Auscon), here I show a comparison between the two casts. As you can see in the picture, the resin material is really different between the two minis. While Dorothy felt a bit more bendy (it wasn't really, just a feeling), and the resin was whiter and slghtly glossy, Tinker Belle is cast in a matte grey resin. I would say that the cast quality of Tinker Belle is higher than Dorothy - while the last was already very good.
This picture is crappy, I know. The Dorothy cast is too white for my camera to photograph, but you can clearly see the difference in colour. And for people that held Dorothy will know what I mean in my previous statements.
For me, this mini is flawless. Seeing the great quality of this sculpt really made my day! When considering what you get, I think the price is absolutely worth it. The metal release will probably be a bit cheaper, so if you are thinking of buying this mini you could wait for the metal version to be released. But, personally I would suggest the resin version.
I do have to add that I was a little worried when I received this miniature packed in a zip-lock bag, shipped in a bubble-wrap envelope only. Probably I'm being over-cautious, and I can imagine that shipping larger packages from Australia would be quite expensive, but maybe it would be nice if the packing is a bit sturdier. As you have seen, the mini I received was in perfect condition, so maybe my worries are not grounded.
If this is what we can expect from the next releases of the Guild of Harmony Steampunk range, then I can't wait to see what's next! I really hope that we can soon see this miniature painted by Sebastian Archer himself.