After seeing the pictures of this new release for the Hobbit range, I was very excited and decided to get this set, which in my opinion counts among the best miniatures that have been realeased for the Hobbit up to date. In this article, I'm going to get a closer look of the contents of this box and say a few words about the quality of the kit, which is as most will know in Finecast.
After opening the cardboard box, you'll find a plastic box (which is usual with these kind of sets) containing all the different pieces needed to assemble the miniature, aswell as a large base (more words on that later!).
There was a lot of speculation about the base on the forums. On the official pictures it was impossible to see the real size of this base, and due to its shape, some assumed that Radagast's sleigh would come on the Mumakil base, which is extremely large. In fact, this base is the same size as the dragon's base (thanks River Zora over on one-ring.co.uk). I took a picture with a regular 25mm and a 40mm cavalry base as comparison. The ruler will give you the exact length/scale. Even if it is smaller than the mumakil base, there is a lot of space for the eager hobbyist to create a nice scenic base (e.g. a forest base).
The pictures above show a more detailled view of some of the sprues contained in the box! In general the quality of the cast is good, I found a few issues (mostly airbubbles) on Radagast (especially the nose an the hat unfortunately) and the rabbits. This certainly can be repaired with some Liquid greenstuff or milliput juice, but it's still kinda annoying. Also there is general mould lines and flash, which can easily be removed with a sharp hobby knife and some small grain sandpaper. As stated above, there where no deformations or major faults. However, I find that the sculpt is not as good as it could have been...compared to Radagast and Sebastian released earlier this year, the sculpt lacks detail, especially in the face. While on the foot version the actor's facial features were greatly reproduced, on this version the face seems to lack detail in general. Some of the rabbits look like they were sculpted in a rush. Apart from this, this really is a good miniature, but it takes some skill, a lot of patience and a very sharp knife to assemble this kit. Due to the fragility of finecast, the different parts should be handled with care, because some parts ( the sleigh in particular) are very thin and therefore difficult to repair if anything should break of.
Despite the minor flaws and the rather complex assembly, this is a miniature I'm really looking forward to painting. I will publish further articles concerning assembly&painting!
I hope this review will be helpful for people who are not decided yet wether or not to get this miniature.