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Monday, February 10, 2014

Bolt Action - Review: Baker Company - Winter War Finns

Last fall, Baker Company launched its first KickStarter, Winter War Wargaming Miniatures.  The KickStarter campaign was looking for start up funds so Baker Company could make 28mm Finns and Soviets.  Initially asking for a small amount of funding, this KickStarter was wildly successful.  Baker Company raised almost twenty times their funding goal from 428 backers.  The sweet spot for this Kick Starter cost about $120 US, and  that got you a platoon of either Finns or Soviets, plus more than a dozen stretch goals.  I have a large Soviet Army, so I pledged my money and chose the Finns as my reward.

There have been a few delays with filling orders for this KickStarter, partially due to a casting machine going down, but last week I received the first part of my reward.  The package I received included enough troops to make five squads, plus a command section.  55 figures in total.  Over the weekend I painted half of the figures.

When I pulled all the figures out of the box, I was shocked at the number of figures it included.  It also pleased me.  I knew I was going to receive a large number of troops, but after seeing it, it was a whole other thing.

These figures ranged in quality from average to awesome.  There are some proportion issues, and I had to spend a lot of time cleaning up flash.  After I primed the figures and started painting, I kept finding hidden flash as well.  This is annoying.

While some look great, others look funny.  For example, one figure looks very ape like in the face, while others have short, small legs, or oversized hands.  Still, others are spot on, and awesome.

In this photo you can see ape face in the green helmet to the left, but you can also see some cool figures too.  The NCO with his hand in the air is really nice, and so are the guys kneeling with their rifles.  I don't particularly care for the guy with the brown jacket, either.

One thing I struggled with, with these figures, was painting them.  I normally use Army Painters Quick Shade on all my figures.  Dipping saves times and covers up a lot of errors in my painting.  It has served me well over the last five years, and I like to think my figures look good.

But, these figures are wearing white over coats.  When I dipped them, it took away from the winter look, and turned the white, grey.  It looked terrible.  I tried a lighter shade of Quick Shade, but there was too much brown in the shade, and that also looked bad.  White is such a pain to paint!  I primed these black, then primed them white.  While these figures ended up with just a base coat on them, they are table worthy.

On the faces I tried to give some depth by painting them with a light skin color, then highlighted with a darker skin tone.  My thought was to try to make these Finn's faces look a little frost nipped.  It is subtle, but I like the look.

One thing that was nice about these figure was there was a fair amount of diversity in the poses.  This was nice.  I was worried that I would end up with the same six figures over and over again, but there must be about fifteen poses in the set.

There are figures for NCOs, I received three SMGs, two LMGs (not painted yet), and an Officer (not painted yet).  There were also a few prone figures.  I didn't plan on using the prone figures, though.  I find prone figures difficult to use in games, unless they are part of a team weapon.

Over all, I am mostly happy with these figures.  The price was right when I backed it for the KickStarter.  They are all metal, so there was no assembly, which drives me nuts.  There was also a good variety of poses.  The figures are thinner than other 28mm figures I own, but they stand just as tall.  I was worried that they would end up being a bit small.

The downsides were flashing and cleanup (it is rough so prepare yourself) and some of the poses are weird.  Over all, I would give Baker Company 7 out of 10 Finished Finns.

I cant wait to get the rest of my reward.  I also cant wait for Baker Company's next KickStarter; the Balkans War.  After they finish filling the Winter War rewards, Baker Company announced they will be doing Greeks, Yugoslavs, Bulgarians, etc.  I have been waiting to get my hands on some Greeks for a long time.  I was hoping Warlord would make plastic Italians so I could convert them into Greeks, but my hope is fading that it will happen.  I will definitely be backing Baker's next KickStarter, if the Greeks are involved.

If you have received your Finns or Soviets from Baker Company, share your thoughts with the rest of us on the forum.

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