The postie dropped off an interesting looking parcel at Nerd Towers this morning – and on opening, there appeared to be two rather chunky DVD-style boxes inside. It turned out to be our Dreadball teams!

First impressions where “not bad”. But then we opened one of the bags of (unassembled?!) miniatures and took a closer look. Oh dear, Mantic. You aimed for $20k on KickStarter and hit $728 so there really should be no excuse for such badly moulded miniatures.

The actual miniatures themselves are ok. But only ok. They’re nowhere near the quality of some other miniature providers (cough, Games Workshop) – and much smaller to boot. But the thing that really rankles is not that you have to assemble the miniatures yourself (personally, I hate this idea, but some people might like to mix-and-match the heads/arms/poses, so we’ll let that one go for now) but that each of the models has nasty mould lines across them.

So a lot of miniatures arrive like this, with no heads or arms attached. Careful with that polystyrene cement when sticking the fiddly little extra bits on!

What’s really disappointing is that mould lines are in some really tricky places. I’m not looking forward to clearing out the lines inside this character’s hand – and doing so without losing the details on the fingers and nails is going to be extra difficult.

On the goblin players this isn’t such a problem. Because the hands don’t have much detail on them to begin with! This character doesn’t appear to have a fist, more just a blob on the end of his arm with a finger-like protuberance at one end.

Or maybe this goblin is just wearing mittens or something – but compared to the rest of the model (the armour plating on the legs, for example) the hand is distinctly lacking in detail.

It’s bad enough that the model is missing details where they should be – but some also have these nasty little extra bits that need cutting off. If these were cheap nasty knock-offs  or clones of a bigger, better-known brand (cough, Games Workshop, cough) but a fraction of the price, you could forgive such sloppy finishing. After all, when the game first game out, everyone immediately thought “Blood-Bowl-rip-off-set-in-the-future”.

But this was a Kickstarter Campaign for a new game (albeit an exciting, interesting-looking game) which not only met, but smashed the targets set. To have skimped on the tooling, or moulding, or whatever, seems a little bit cynical given they raised such a massive amount.

Sorry Mantic; the game looks great – we’re really looking forward to getting our board finished and actually playing a game – but the miniatures just aren’t up to the quality expected, when you’re charging nearly two quid a figure.