dinsdag 27 december 2011

Heroclix... a Gift to Gamers

A question often heard, - or better in this age of blogs and forums, read -, is if someone knows " a manufacturer producing hero x or villain y", usually swiftly followed by "... but not of those crappy Heroclix things".

Why not? What is wrong with these models? Is it because they are collectible and produced by some billion conglomerate instead of the garden shed variety of our regular suppliers to our addiction?

It seems that these are the most common complaints when involving Heroclix:

* It is collectible
* The sculpts are awful
* It`s a hell to strip them for painting
* The model is bend

As you might have moticed if you read my blog, I got a lot of the buggers, and a lot of them are repainted... so let me allow myself to try and give another view on those woes...

It is Collectible

Yeah, true... in a way. We`re looking here for models of our favorite heroes and villains, so who cares if it is the limited edition superstat version of a model? A common Spider-Man is just as good to paint up as limited edition Spider-man dressed Peter Parker (okay, the Bombastic Bag-Man version excluded).
Go to webstores like Troll and Toad or eBay re-sellers and you can probably find almost every hero or villain you need for less then a euro a piece. I even call that good value for money, I regurarely order a heap from TnT and at 0.49 dollarcents a model, wargaming becomes actually cheap.
Of course, I rebase them on standard 20 on 20mm bases and not on their clix bases, so once more a point up for the common over rare version of figures.

The Sculpts are Awful

Agreed, especcially in the first series of the clix ranges. But they steadily improved, and with the arrival of Generation 2 (those with stat cards and such) the models are in my opinion on par or even better then some regular plastic, resin and metal models out there. And remember, you can get minimum 24 heroclix models for the price of one GW resin Failcast model...
Take a look at these two figures, Hobgoblin is from the earliest edition of the game and is rather bulky, though the paint job camouflages a lot. Green Goblin on the other hand is a Generation 2 model, and is finer in scultp, better in detail (the scales for one) and uses clear plastic `special effects` for the smoke of the glider.

It`s a hell to strip them for painting

To be honest, I don`t even strip them, nor undercoat them at all. I paint directly over the `stock colour` of the models, but I do correct their out of the lines mistakes.
This is a problem as such easily avoidable and shouldn`t be an issue at all, and as my Alpha Flight entry proved last year in the Lead Painter`s League, even with three extra layers and a varnish coat, the details and models still weren`t un-deatailed. You might better want to thin your paints a tat like for any model me thinks then.

The Model is bend

Let me explain a handy tip here for those things. The Hair Dryer technique. Warm your model for about 10 seconds with a hair dryer, the plastic will go soft, then straighten the bend part and submerge the model in ice cold water. The model stiffens immediatly.
It might be that several sessions are needed depending the sort of plastic, especcially the Bandai japanese `Gundam` plastic or the thickness of the plastic part, but in 95% of the cases this is a sufficient technique.

Bonus Value: Spoiled for Choice!!!

One thing you get with the collectible series, is a great selection of literally hundreds of various heroes and villains.
Let`s say some regular wargame company would make the models, you`d end up with a range probably consisting of the A-listers like Captain America, Iron Man, the Hulk, Spider-man, the core X-men like Cyclops, Storm, Wolverine,... and some ubervillains like Magneto or Doctor Doom. Maybe a limited edition of a large model like the Sentinel of the `hero of the year` depending what is in the cinema`s...

But you wouldn`t get to see B-listers, C-listers or even less known A-list heroes or villains in that range. People like Whirlwind, Justice, or even Doctor Strange would probably not make the cut to be commercially viable.

So yes, all in all, I hope this has shed a tat of positive light on your views of Heroclix. The range is a blessing more then a curse for all your superhero gaming lovers out there!

1 opmerking:

  1. IN some lines, people don't even have the few complaints you've listed. Halo fans for instance, have HaloClix, which are actually pretty darn good painting and sculpting.

    I use them for everything, and I didn't do anything to them. I should re-base them eventually, as the clicky bases are a little too big.