Maidenhead Feral Elf Heavy Infantry Review
As you'll all remember from the Centyr review (just nod), Maidenhead Miniatures is an Australian manufacturer of all-female fantasy ranges in the 28mm scale. Their current "hottest" range is the "Feral Elves", the beastly yet sexy offspring of elves and beastmen. You can read all about their fascinating origins in the feral elf background on the Maidenhead site.
My previous review covered the light centyrs, fourlegged centaurlike cavalry figures who form the lower caste warriors. This time the kind people of Maidenhead have graced us with a selection of their latest heavy infantry figures, belonging to the middle caste and sporting horns and hooves. As always the figures are sculpted by Mike Broadbent based on the artwork of Alejandro Gutiérrez Franco.
The first look shows the same dull greyish metal I've grown to appreciate so much. All the figures are slotted and come with 25mm square plastic bases of the GW-type. As with the centyrs there's a little flash on some of the models' weapons' extremities. For all but one figure the mouldlines are very faint. I say all but one because one of the figures seems to have a bit of an issue with that (center image, middle figure). The mouldline is running straight across the face and it would seem there is a very slight misalignment of both mould halves there. After inspecting the problem and doing several spins of that particular mould Mike decided that it was an intermittently occurring fault. He said that it was unlikely to occurr on a regular basis and that he would routinely inspect the figure cast to insure that it had cast properly. He suggested that in the event of it becoming a reoccuring problem then he would rework or redo the mould. So no need to get worried about it, folks.
the Heavy Infantry there are nine different miniatures in all, three command
figures and six figures with two-handed weapons. The concepts of "full
frontal nudity" and "heavy infantry" not being easily interchangeable,
these figures present the most heavily dressed Feral Elf offering yet,
with all the figures wearing leather and scale armour. They still don't
look heavily armoured as such, but they sure do in comparison to the rest
of their kin. The figures all have massive curved horns which in the Feral
Elf background usually indicates the strongest ones, who form the shock
The figures in the first picture above are the command figures. The leader (middle figure) is assuming a very commanding position which works well for the figure. She comes with a set of small leatherlike wings which are to be attached to her back like some sort of backbanner or Polish hussar wings. All in all a very nice figure with the sole reservation that the fingers on her left hand seem to be somewhat thin and short, almost like not all the metal reached that part of the mould. This being said and given the pain sculpting open hands can be, the result is not that bad and does not in any way detract from the overall appearance of the mini. The musician is another two-piece figure, with the upper end on the horn being a separate piece which, once put in place, curves back over the shoulder of the figure. The standard bearer is a nice figure too, the only reproach being that the figure tends to look a bit flat because its body, weapon arm and banner are all in the same plane to allow casting this figure in one piece. Some judicious bending and proper basing should eliminate this objection.
The other two pictures show the rank & file. The attention to detail stays constant throughout and there are no noticeable slip-ups. There is a good variety of poses, and if one or two sometimes reflect an obvious love of the mould (as with the standard bearer), once based up this is no longer visible. Out of all nine figures, I couldn't find two who shared the same lower body (legs).
I personally think Mike did a good job with these figures, they are not 'over the top' and stayed very close to the original artwork. Click on he images below to see how close.
The heavy infantry is made from the larger, stronger feral elves and this shows in the figures. They measure almost 29mm sole to eye when standing upright (see picture), which is about 32mm to top of head. They should easily mingle with large fantasy ranges like say GW. The second image shows the size difference with the feral elf light centyrs, the youngest representatives of the lower caste. The comparison makes the light centyrs look like child (or teenage) centaurs, and in a way that is just what they are.
Conclusion: The heavy infantry forms a good addition to the range. The level of detail is good and stays true to the original concept. Sizewise these figures easily fit with the larger end of the scale. Furthermore, all the sensitive area's being covered up, there will be no need to think up any excuse to justify nudity to our non-gaming friends and relatives. Overall I'd rate these figures as the best models in the range so far.