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dwhite87

Honest review of the Farmers box

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http://midwestwargaming.com/honest-review-honest-land-farmers/

 

More often than not, reviews tend to be just useless praise by consumers who are drinking the cool-aid. And while JD Haigler does enjoy a drink or two from the Guild Ball cool-aid cup, he is sober enough to call it like he sees it and has written up a review that is honesty at its finest.

 

 

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Hmm, I'm a bit torn; I do like detailed miniatures but I struggle with painting these days and the boxes being cheaper is definitely a plus cause I don't have that much disposible income. Would people say the minis are good tabletop / from a distance quality though?

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Harrow and Bushel are the weakest of the models I found - pretty much as @dwhite87 describes.

I live in a colder climate that him too, so melty-model syndrome isn't an issue. Grange and Windle look great in my opinion and paint up really nicely. Windle is massive compared to the others so the limits of plastic don't affect him much at all aside from the pose I guess. Jack is nice too on the front, but a bit too soft on the back. Peck is fine as is the terrain/goal.

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My understanding is that the poses were a thematic artistic choice and not a limitation of the material. I don't know how much of that is marketing-speak, but I'm willing to take the artist at his word. As an aside, the author of this piece didn't mention Ferrite's pose when he was listing "dynamic blacksmiths".

I do agree on the flat spots on Grange. Those were disappointing.

I'm not sure I can find much more common ground with someone that pines for Minx's pose, though :P. The dynamism she shows, while pretty, is 100% the reason I hate that miniature. Can't even pin her properly, the arms are too thin. I'm willing to take a slight dip in detail and dynamism in exchange for never having to deal with assembling something like that again.

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I find the author is over-stating the quality difference between metal and plastic. Or, to be fair, the point of quality between acceptable and unacceptable is high for the author.

You can see in the review who his painted models look.

My bar isn't as high. I liked the Kick Off miniatures and found they painted up well. Biggest issue was Spigot with an unidentifiable lump on his chest which wasn't much clearer on the metal version.

I am currently painting the Fisherman 6 player box and would happily have taken the contents as the new plastic with goal, terrain and cardboard tokens for nearly half the price.

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4 hours ago, Lena said:

Hmm, I'm a bit torn; I do like detailed miniatures but I struggle with painting these days and the boxes being cheaper is definitely a plus cause I don't have that much disposible income. Would people say the minis are good tabletop / from a distance quality though?

  If you're not painting, or you don't care too much about it when you do, there's nothing wrong with these minis, and mine will probably still stand out as well painted in the meta I'm in. 

4 hours ago, Calum Todd said:

Harrow and Bushel are the weakest of the models I found - pretty much as @dwhite87 describes.

I live in a colder climate that him too, so melty-model syndrome isn't an issue. Grange and Windle look great in my opinion and paint up really nicely. Windle is massive compared to the others so the limits of plastic don't affect him much at all aside from the pose I guess. Jack is nice too on the front, but a bit too soft on the back. Peck is fine as is the terrain/goal.

  I'd agree with you about Grange except for his tools and whatever is going on with his back.  Jack, like I mention in the article, is a beautiful sculpt, and could really be competition winning material for good painters, but the softness of the detail leaves a lot of him to the imagination.

  As far as climate, until August, I lived in Northeast Nebraska and it rarely got above 100.  Now I live in Northeast Arkansas where it rarely gets below 32 and I'm finding that I have to be far more careful. 

4 hours ago, Siberys said:

My understanding is that the poses were a thematic artistic choice and not a limitation of the material. I don't know how much of that is marketing-speak, but I'm willing to take the artist at his word. As an aside, the author of this piece didn't mention Ferrite's pose when he was listing "dynamic blacksmiths".

I do agree on the flat spots on Grange. Those were disappointing.

I'm not sure I can find much more common ground with someone that pines for Minx's pose, though :P. The dynamism she shows, while pretty, is 100% the reason I hate that miniature. Can't even pin her properly, the arms are too thin. I'm willing to take a slight dip in detail and dynamism in exchange for never having to deal with assembling something like that again.

  Good to know, and you're right,  I forgot about Ferrite. But then you've got Cinder....  and yes, I put the other end of the spectrum, Grace, together this morning finally. It's a bit easier to forgive those plastics after that fiasco.  Minx actually went together for me really well. It's Gutter that breaks every time I play her. 

4 hours ago, Coyotebd said:

I find the author is over-stating the quality difference between metal and plastic. Or, to be fair, the point of quality between acceptable and unacceptable is high for the author.

You can see in the review who his painted models look.

My bar isn't as high. I liked the Kick Off miniatures and found they painted up well. Biggest issue was Spigot with an unidentifiable lump on his chest which wasn't much clearer on the metal version.

I am currently painting the Fisherman 6 player box and would happily have taken the contents as the new plastic with goal, terrain and cardboard tokens for nearly half the price.

  I agree with you as far as that bar goes, and I think that bar is a direct reflection of who Steamforged thinks their audience is. My meta dumped Warmachine like a hot potato and Guildball was the best option available at that point in tabletop warming. The minis were even a step up in many cases compared to PP resin.  This new material goes down the board game side of things though and that's frustrating for me. 

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I think, as mentioned elsewhere, that the Peck model would have had more sharply defined beaks on the chickens if it were in metal ... I wondered a bit if I'd got a damaged model at first. Getting a bit picky, I also thought the toes on Windle are less clearly defined than eg. on Brick in metal. But pretty happy with the farmers overall.

At the moment there's a nice mix that people can get four guilds in plastic if they want (brewers, masons, farmers, blacksmiths) or go for lots of other guilds in metal, so something for everyone. Plus lots of new limited edition models today for people wanting more metal ... with Union in Chains as well they're keeping pretty busy and there's lots to paint!

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3 hours ago, Jedianakinsolo said:

The minis were even a step up in many cases compared to PP resin.  This new material goes down the board game side of things though and that's frustrating for me. 

Haven’t fiddled with the farmers box, but I have worked on the Blacksmiths - compared to my experiences with PP restic, these are a delight! Course, that bar’s so low it’s hard to even stub your toe on it, but the SFG ones are definitely easier to get ready for painting :D 

I personally don’t mind the change in material, you lose a bit in cast quality but you gain in survivability, cost and weight. Assembly and prep isn’t as good as resin, but I’ve had plenty of metal models that were worse to clean up and assemble. As someone who’s almost entirely a painter I dreaded the change to pre-assembled plastic, but I actually enjoyed painting up Sledge. I don’t think the drop in quality is all that dramatic, but that’s just my opinion (and based on Blacksmiths not farmers). They don’t punish me for wanting to paint them well, unlike some models I’ve painted :)

I didn’t spot any of the missing eye problems, strangely flat panels or that kind of thing that I’ve seen reported on this forum with the farmers. I’m wondering if the Blacksmiths are another step forward working with the new material - farmers improved on kick off, Blacksmiths improved on farmers, presumably the next releases will be further improved... 

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2 hours ago, Jedianakinsolo said:

 

  If you're not painting, or you don't care too much about it when you do, there's nothing wrong with these minis, and mine will probably still stand out as well painted in the meta I'm in.

Well I do care about it; I just have some mental blocks surrounding it. So like, them looking alright painted is still important to me.

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Criticism of the models is fine, they are not quite as sharp as a metal model would be, and their poses are a bit flat. This review read as a bunch of whining especially when you see the result of the painted models at the end. The minor difference in quality between this plastic and metal will not be relevant/noticable to 90%+ of people who buy these because they aren't competition painters. Even an above average painter will get the same result as a metal mini. I have just painted the farmers and they are much better quality then warmachine restic, the kick off box and even some of the metal models in the range. eg. season 1 masons and union. The reviewer says washes won't work and blacklining is required... Yeah.... I washed my farmers as I would with any metal guild ball model and the result is the same. The reviewer says there's not enough detail in the pumpkin so he had to paint his own detail in... Look at the earlier pictures of the pumpkin in the article, the detail is there, and the reviewer even picked it out with a wash in the way he described as impossible... After it is highlighted it looks even better, like literally any model ever produced?...

 

" This isn’t Grange’s worst problem though.  Grange almost definitely is one piece. " - One piece model doesn't = worse. Grange has a stoic pose to match his personality .

 

" The tools on that apron were horrible to paint.  No hard edges.  You’re just fumbling in there with a brush and hoping for the best. " - blatantly false, the tools are raised well above the apron as anyone can see from the pictures.

 

"  Look, a ball.  Hooray.  Again, there’s not enough detail for you to just paint the raised edges like a normal quality model. " - The pumpkin is a round, organic, relatively smooth object so of course it isn't going to have a lot of sharp raised edges.

 

" I didn’t talk about Peck hardly at all.  Also extremely soft details and a resin miniature would have done him well.  Quaff, for example, had a lot of detail in his fur and so did Snow.  ", " He [Peck] turned out ok, but again, there’s not enough detail to actually paint the detail.  You’re on your own painting details in. " - The reviewer seems to have blobbed paint over all of the feather details on the model. I drybrushed and washed this model as I would with fur and it looks great.

 

I've picked out these points because they at least attempted to address the technical aspects of the models. Many of the models had no useful information given... ie. "Boring to paint", "I don't like Windle's name", "I wish Bushel was wearing overalls", "Fighting with saws is unrealistic", "The goal and terrain are pretty good but meh, I'll brush that off because it doesn't fit with the rest of the negative review.

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I'm looking forward to getting plastic Blacksmiths and having a single piece. I got Lucky in our escalation league and he is a pretty robust model. I'll agree that the detail isn't there for painting though and I am a long long way off being a great painter.

 

Given temps here get up to 50C (that's 122F in old world) it'll be a good test to see how they fare!

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5 hours ago, Mako said:

 farmers improved on kick off, Blacksmiths improved on farmers, presumably the next releases will be further improved... 

This is my hope as well, or better yet, they release resin options. 

9 minutes ago, garmerar said:

Stuff

  I'm the reviewer, if my answering comments here wasn't indicative enough. It's fine that you have a different opinion. I disagree with it, but it's ok to have them. There's nothing wrong with being part of the target demographic.  That said, simply because you don't need or desire higher quality doesn't mean that these are ok.  I didn't say Grange's one piece model was the problem because it's a one piece model, it's a problem because it's a bad model. The stoic stance being characteristic is a fine argument except that it applies to the whole guild.  

  Either way, to pretend the end result is the same is blatantly false. I am happy with how they turned out given what I had to work with, but I wouldn't put any of these up against my metal models like Ulfr, or Brisket3.  It may be that your meta is ok with it and that's fine. Again, a boardgaming background appears to be the target demographic. The wargamers that switched to it though, many of them aren't seeing a future with this game.  If Shadespire has the tight ruleset it claims to, it's the kind of thing to peel actual wargamers from GB.

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I don't really care if people are wargamers or boardgamers or dwarfs or secret Shania Twain fans, as long as they play Guild Ball ;)

My opinions aren't strong either way, but I think we can probably all agree that the plastic doesn't look as good as the metal, but is cheaper and great value. How far that gap is is open to discussion but I doubt we'll ever reach agreement on that. 

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Not sure if it's fair to call the review whining because it's critical and values other things than other players.

I do think you might be overestimating stuff a bit with regards to the wargaming community, Jedianakinsolo. I come from that background too, and while there's definitely overlap between people who care about painting and model quality, that certainly doesn't apply to all wargamers, plenty of them just want to have minis that look decent on the board. I've met and played with people on either side of the spectrum.

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7 hours ago, Jedianakinsolo said:

This is my hope as well, or better yet, they release resin options. 

For display pieces, resins are always going to be my pick (though I learned through an unfortunate incident that SFG resin melts in my ultra-gentle paint stripper, so there's pressure to get it right first time :D )

Having transported metal scalpel and lost dagger handles, or resin Friday and lost her hair/knife, or mist (after seeing other people's issues I daren't move the fragile little thing...) I like the plastics for their survivability, but then I'm in England. It doesn't get hot enough to warp marshmallows, never mind models.

Ideally they'd be able to offer all three materials so everyone could pick their preference, but I'm guessing that the economy of scale and warehousing/packing etc makes resin and metal releases too expensive alongside the plastics, and therefore unlikely (except for small run specials). I'm just glad my reaction to the blacksmiths was "oh dear god no not preassembled plastic... hang on, these are actually alright, I'm good with this", as I like the universe and the game :) 

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1 hour ago, Lena said:

I do think you might be overestimating stuff a bit with regards to the wargaming community, Jedianakinsolo. I come from that background too, and while there's definitely overlap between people who care about painting and model quality, that certainly doesn't apply to all wargamers, plenty of them just want to have minis that look decent on the board. I've met and played with people on either side of the spectrum.

  It's entirely possible.  SFG is the one with a marketing research team making the call and I can't pretend to have those resources lol. It's a gamble they seem to be ok making. The meta I'm currently in probably won't care at all. My old meta, it bothered them considerably more. That meta has accurately mostly dried up for GB but I don't think that was the plastic by itself. 8th dropped and that was a lot of it. 

45 minutes ago, Mako said:

For display pieces, resins are always going to be my pick (though I learned through an unfortunate incident that SFG resin melts in my ultra-gentle paint stripper, so there's pressure to get it right first time :D )

Having transported metal scalpel and lost dagger handles, or resin Friday and lost her hair/knife, or mist (after seeing other people's issues I daren't move the fragile little thing...) I like the plastics for their survivability, but then I'm in England. It doesn't get hot enough to warp marshmallows, never mind models.

Ideally they'd be able to offer all three materials so everyone could pick their preference, but I'm guessing that the economy of scale and warehousing/packing etc makes resin and metal releases too expensive alongside the plastics, and therefore unlikely (except for small run specials). I'm just glad my reaction to the blacksmiths was "oh dear god no not preassembled plastic... hang on, these are actually alright, I'm good with this", as I like the universe and the game :) 

  At this point I'd be happy with special order resin. I'd probably still end up with both plastic and the resin of the ones I really want.  Like in this case, I want resin or metal versions of Thesher, Tater, Buckwheat, Millstone, and Jackstraw.  Happily there's the LE Tater so there's that at least. 

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I really don't agree that good painters will hate these models, or that if you like them you must not care about painting. If anything they are harder for weaker painters to paint since they are more likely to rely on wash and drybrush techniques.

 

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11 hours ago, kaladorm said:

I don't really care if people are wargamers or boardgamers or dwarfs or secret Shania Twain fans, as long as they play Guild Ball ;)

 

Look - I'm happy to play Guild Ball but please don't go calling me out here... :D

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On 23/10/2017 at 10:39 AM, dwhite87 said:

More often than not, reviews tend to be just useless praise by consumers who are drinking the cool-aid. And while JD Haigler does enjoy a drink or two from the Guild Ball cool-aid cup, he is sober enough to call it like he sees it and has written up a review that is honesty at its finest.

Sigh. With that kind of elitist attitude, I don't even want to bother reading/listening to the review.

Plus, if all the reviews you've seen so far spoke nothing but praise for the new plastics, you must be living under a rock.

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I dunno. I think the review is a little off. I'm not the strongest painter around (spoiler @Anphiarus probably is) but I think my stuff comes out pretty solid. I'll round up some pics of the farmers stuff I did. The reviewers paint jobs look very, very good. He is correct about Grange and the WTF ARE THESE flat spaces, the straps on Jackstraw, the face and hair on Harrow. These are pretty bad. In my experience he was incorrect about washes. I used citidel white primer then washed my primed models to bring everything back out and the was applied just fine to the primer and to the painted models. I think he was a little hyperbolic about the tools on Grange but they do not stand out from the actual model as much as they do in images online so that was probably fair. Peck's face is a disaster in my opinion and he is the first I've seen to mention it. He put Harrow next to Tater but I was surprised he didn't mention the repeated scaling issues we are running into.

I think some of the responders in this thread want to be mad that anyone was critical of the game in some way. You see it everywhere. I'm not going to call anyone out but I definitely think some of the responders went into this expecting a negative article and got a self fulfilling prophecy by reading it with a strictly negative tone. Just gotta chill out.

Was the farmers box as high quality as it would have been in metal? Absolutely not. Is it a banging deal for $50 American? You bet your sweet ass it is. Are people really going to leave over a batch of plastic models that don't look as stellar as the metal ones? I'd be doubtful. Blacksmiths look like they are going to be solid and they are going to really be the decisive box for me as to whether or not I continue to purchase plastic or just stick with guilds that I can get in metal. Lucky looks amazing. He is very crisp. I haven't tried to paint him yet but I definitely don't foresee any issues doing so.

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Clever marketing. Review was pretty tame in contrast. I accept that the author prefers higher detailed pewter/resin minis over 1 piece plastics. 

I am more interested in how the expression 'my meta' came to mean 'my gaming group'.

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Technically, they're not one piece plastics (ok, some of them are. But not all). They're preassembled, which means more posing options and mould lines that are in unexpected places :D
 

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I'm curious as to how the blacksmith box compares; like has there been a lot of improvement? The warping when it gets hot bothers me too, since I've never had that happen with Games Workshop plastics at least.

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The only realistic fault that can be found with these models is that they are a nightmare to clean up (mould lines, flash etc.). Something about the plastic that has been used makes it really hard to clean up neatly.

Other than that, quality is really good, indistinguishable from the metal models once painted. We'll have to wait and see whether the poses are to do with the plastic; I think the Farmers would look a bits strange with super dynamic poses, Farming doesn't exactly scream 'fast', 'nimble' etc.

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19 hours ago, Coyotebd said:

I really don't agree that good painters will hate these models, or that if you like them you must not care about painting. If anything they are harder for weaker painters to paint since they are more likely to rely on wash and drybrush techniques.

 

  I think you'd find they're harder for any level of painter to deal with.

16 hours ago, Pending Forum Suspension said:

I dunno. I think the review is a little off. I'm not the strongest painter around (spoiler @Anphiarus probably is) but I think my stuff comes out pretty solid. I'll round up some pics of the farmers stuff I did. The reviewers paint jobs look very, very good. He is correct about Grange and the WTF ARE THESE flat spaces, the straps on Jackstraw, the face and hair on Harrow. These are pretty bad. In my experience he was incorrect about washes. I used citidel white primer then washed my primed models to bring everything back out and the was applied just fine to the primer and to the painted models. I think he was a little hyperbolic about the tools on Grange but they do not stand out from the actual model as much as they do in images online so that was probably fair. Peck's face is a disaster in my opinion and he is the first I've seen to mention it. He put Harrow next to Tater but I was surprised he didn't mention the repeated scaling issues we are running into.

I think some of the responders in this thread want to be mad that anyone was critical of the game in some way. You see it everywhere. I'm not going to call anyone out but I definitely think some of the responders went into this expecting a negative article and got a self fulfilling prophecy by reading it with a strictly negative tone. Just gotta chill out.

Was the farmers box as high quality as it would have been in metal? Absolutely not. Is it a banging deal for $50 American? You bet your sweet ass it is. Are people really going to leave over a batch of plastic models that don't look as stellar as the metal ones? I'd be doubtful. Blacksmiths look like they are going to be solid and they are going to really be the decisive box for me as to whether or not I continue to purchase plastic or just stick with guilds that I can get in metal. Lucky looks amazing. He is very crisp. I haven't tried to paint him yet but I definitely don't foresee any issues doing so.

  You and I may have talked about this in person.  We met in Omaha at a qualifier last year.  I was the Union player, and I played your buddy's Butchers.  I can't say I know what scaling you refer to.  The Farmer models actually seemed scaled correctly between the early Masons and the KO Masons which seem to frame the lows and highs of the scale.  

  The blacksmiths have better poses.  I also got a good close look at Lucky last night, and I was pleased with Lucky.  He's still got slightly softer detail but nothing like what I saw on Jackstraw.  I felt like Lucky, while pretty stoic, was well done.  I have only seen the Blacksmiths across the table from me, and I got a look at them, but not the close one I want before I do a review or say if they're better cast or not.  I know I do hate Cinder.

2 hours ago, Lumpyseven said:

The only realistic fault that can be found with these models is that they are a nightmare to clean up (mould lines, flash etc.). Something about the plastic that has been used makes it really hard to clean up neatly.

Other than that, quality is really good, indistinguishable from the metal models once painted. We'll have to wait and see whether the poses are to do with the plastic; I think the Farmers would look a bits strange with super dynamic poses, Farming doesn't exactly scream 'fast', 'nimble' etc.

  Indistinguishable once painted by a lot of painters, maybe. For it to be flat truth is like telling me that if you race a Ford Mustang, and then a Ford Focus, and come in last place both times, they're the same quality of car.  Guildball may be full of drivers that can't push a Mustang any better than a Focus, but that doesn't mean Mustang's not the obviously better car.  They are not indistinguishable once painted.  Imagine getting Benediction or Grace in the kind of quality the Farmers arrived in.  None of that filigree detail would work, and if you wanted it, it would be handpainted in there on probably unraised surfaces which most painters cannot do.  I wouldn't even attempt it in most cases.

 

 

  

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