Review: A New Batch of Reaper Figures

Copyright Robert J Defendi © 2004

Edited by Suzanne Campbell for The Guild Companion

"Lorus Hightower holds with none of these newfangled wizard fashions."

With the splash of the pre-painted D&D miniatures on the market, many people have forgotten about Reaper, a company thought by many to produce the finest miniatures on the planet. Reaper has been putting out high quality figures for years now, and they haven't stopped with the advent of d20. This month I'll review the most recent batch of figs to come out of Reaper HQ. This series comes from such notable sculptors as Sandra Garrity, Werner Klocke, and James Van Schaik. As usual with these top-of-the-line figures, they require minimal cleaning and preparation before they are ready for painting. They range in price from the least expensive at $2.99 USD for Woody to the most expensive at $14.99 USD for Lunkh.

2769 - Woody Stumpwimple, the Halfling Ranger:

First off, Woody is suffering under a terrible name, but let's not hold that against him. My favourite halfling character of all time, a dear little thief named "Lucky" suffered a similar fate, and since I named him, I won't be the one to start casting stones. Halfling rangers are oft ignored by miniature companies, so Woody serves to help fill an important niche. He's wielding a short sword and bow, and while he wasn't sculpted by Michelangelo, his pose is fluid, not an easy feat with a fellow of his size. He's wearing a hooded coat (not a cloak) and has layered boiled leather on top of his scale mail. He's not a victim of the newest plague caused by d20, halflings wearing shoes; his feet are bare, furry and magnificent. Ah, Woody would be a fine addition to any party. He's got enough detail that he won't be the easiest figure to paint, but he's covered in beautiful wrinkles and valleys that should make for a lovely finished product for those skilled with ink and/or dry brush.

2770 - Lunkh Bullhoof, Hill Giant w/Rock:

I didn't receive this figure in the batch. It was probably released before Woody. This happens from time to time.

2771 - Lorus Hightower:

Ah, the days where all wizards looked like Gandalf. It's been a while and I have to say I've missed it. Lorus Hightower holds with none of these newfangled wizard fashions. Coats and pants? Bah! Leave that to the gnome mages. Lorus is above all that. He's wearing a long, flowing robe, quite plain except for some sleeve ornamentation, with a utilitarian belt to hold his spell components. His cloak matches, though it's ornamented all along the edge to give him his flair when moving among the courts of the great and powerful. Not one to miss a wizard staple, he's wearing a large pointy hat and has a flowing beard. He carries a scroll in one hand and, his crowning glory, a dragon-headed staff in the other. He could easily pull double duty masquerading as Elminster or the Maia of recent movie fame. The best thing about this fig (aside from the fact he's named after the first college where I ever attended a frat party) is that staff. The detail will make for beautiful painting and take ink and dry brushing easily.

2772 - Iris, Female Gnome:

Iris is wearing scale mail and boiled leather. She carries a battle-axe and sword. Generally, she looks ready to kick butt and take names. She has good facial features and a well sculpted heard of hair. She should paint well, but let's face it--if you're looking for a female gnome there aren't many other games in town, and that can go a long way (the only non-Reaper female gnome I can think of off hand is one of the weaker D&D miniatures figs). Don't let that fool you; she is a fine piece. The most interesting thing about her is her helmet hanging from her back. It's an interesting piece of sculpting business and I rather like it.

2773 - Tana, Female Barbarian:

Tana is wearing a chain mail loincloth, boots, gloves and a belt. Not much more. She's proudly holding up a long sword and carrying a shield. She has good facial features and passable hair. Her pose is too rigid, however. If you like painting bare skin, you'll enjoy painting her, but honestly this is one of the less interesting figs from this batch.

2774 - Braskus, Gladiator:

I didn't receive this figure either.

2775 - Edward Dumond:

Let's face it, Edward is a bit of a dandy. He's wearing a wide-brimmed hat with a large, beautiful feather. His doublet is well sculpted, and as long as you aren't trying to put white undergarments in the slashes, it should be easy enough to paint. He's wearing a broad belt and has one arm jauntily perched on his rapier. He's wearing tights, complete with subtle wrinkles and a codpiece. That's right, a codpiece! The codpiece even has fasteners. This figure has some decent fluidity to its pose and, while it's not for everyone, if you need a dandy, this is a fine choice.

2776 - Male & Female Lion:

These figures are packaged together, probably because few people would buy the female by itself. The mane on the male is beautiful and the poses are decent (a little rigid). These look fine and they'll probably paint really quick, due to the skilled sculpting of the fur, though if you need lions, there isn't a lot of competition out there.

2777 - Earth Elemental:

There isn't a lot to do with an earth elemental. I'll forgive the rigid stance, due to the nature of this fig, but really, they could have done more with the texturing, to make for a more interesting paint job. There is texturing for the inking and the dry brushing crowds, but I think more would have been better.

2778 - Air Elemental:

I should probably preface this one by saying that I've never seen an air elemental I really liked. That being said this figure is about as good as I've ever seen. The pose is way too rigid but the texturing should make for a good quick paint job. If I had to buy an air elemental, this one would be it. Still, it's not competing against anything of quality.

Editor's note:

Go to Reaper's website at http://www.reapermini.com/store/customer/home to see detailed pictures of the figures.