With their new Kickstarter campaign just started, I thought it might be a good time to pull out some of the booty I received for backing Shieldwolf Miniatures‘ first Kickstarter campaign – specifically the “Great War Mammooth”and share some impressions on it as a kit. I received this towards the very end of 2015, and so – like Cthulhu Wars, it’s just sat in its box until I’ve had time to look inside. With Shieldwolf’s second Kickstarter just having started this morning (my time), I thought this was an opportune time to have a look at it and snap a few photos. As it’s clearly a fantasy Mammoth, that explains “Mammooth“, I guess.
Packaging is pretty simple and utilitarian. I understand that the Mammooth is going to remain a Shieldwolf webstore exclusive for at least some time, so for that kind of purpose it’s fine.
The Mammooth is split into a number of pieces. The core parts – Body, head and four legs – and then the “Detail” parts.
The model’s fur is traditionally sculpted, with what feels like a nice, detailed naturalistic flow. I was glad to see in hand that the fur is nothing like the CAD-sculpted “fur” resembling leaves that many of GW’s more recent kits have had.
The elephantine head is also nicely sculpted. They’ve left an unfurred patch around the eyes and forehead for some reason. While I’d have preferred a full-fur face, I can live with the bare skin. If it really bothers me, I can always try my own hand at sculpting some fur.
As you can see, the model comes with four tusks. Two larger and two smaller. One of the smaller one is split by design, though modifying it would be easy enough for an experienced modeller if you wanted it intact. The trunk has a number of spikes on the wrappings near the tip. A few of my spikes were broken in transit, so it might be worthwhile for Shieldwolf to put the trunk into it’s own, separate zip-lock bag to help avoid breakage. They’re easy enough to glue back, but obviously I’d rather not need to. The “shields” look to be glued down to the shoulders, hips and shins of the Mammooth, though I could personally see mounting one of them on that bare forehead instead.
As can be seen here, the Mammooth absolutely towers over a variety of other models. All of these are slightly older Citadel ones, but the size is clear to see. (L-R: Night Goblin, High Elf, Ogre, Kroxigor, Dark Elf). It’s pretty impressive in hand. I’d recommend using green stuff as well as superglue when assembling this model. Each cast join was clean and clear, but the male tabs have a roomy fit into the female sockets, so I’d bulk them out with greenstuff and superglue for a more secure and stronger fit. I usually pin larger models, but I’m not sure if I feel I need to do so with this one. I’ll be more concerned with finding an appropriately sized base for him! Shieldwolf’s website talks about having a resin base for the Mammooths coming soon, so I guess it’ll depend on what it looks like and how much it costs, since I’ve got a couple of other large models that need bases as well.
The howdah comes with quite a few parts, frankly way more than I’m willing to even try to assemble for a temporary photo.
So what do I think?
I was expecting a good model, and even so I’m impressed. It’s not cheap, but it’s a huge model and will make a fantastic centrepiece for many armies. I got two and I’m glad I did. I’ll be using at least one of them in my Kings of War Ogre army, though I could see Warhammer Fantasy/9th Age or even AoS players easily using it as a better-looking Stonemaw or Thundertusk (and I don’t hate either of those models, either). I’m down at present for that $200 Shieldmaiden Campaign army in the new KS as well. I’m keen for the female warriors that look much more like warriors instead of bikini models than is usual for wargaming, but the prospect of getting a third Mammooth certainly doesn’t hurt my interest.
Since all I’ve been able to share are a few semi-assembled blu-tac shots, here’s Shieldwolf’s promo shots of both variants:
(If anyone wants any specific additional photos of the kit, just leave a comment or message and I’ll do my best!)
It’s available again in their second Kickstarter, though not as a discrete add-on as it was last time. This time it’s included as part of one of their pledge levels on offer – specifically the US$200 Shieldmaiden Campaign Army alongside 60 female viking-esque warriors in HIPS, a resin dragon, resin wolves and some resin heroes. This version on KS offer lacks the howdah, which can be added on along with a crew of 8 HIPS Shieldmaidens for an additional $50. Not bad value since the model by itself is worth US$108 by itself – though KS shipping is a separate payment, and more costly than direct from the webstore. (To be fair, you get a pile more stuff in the KS, as you’d expect.)
On their website, the Mammoth is available now as a single model, without Howdah for €100.00 or €149.50 with the Howdah. The Howdah version comes with worldwide free shipping, while it looks like the regular version uses Shieldwolf’s flat ship rate of €3.90-5.90/US$5.00-6.90/£3.10-4.70. I’m a notorious tightarse when it comes to shipping costs, but these rates seem quite reasonable to me.
After opening it up and having a play, I’d quite like to start working on this big guy now, but I need to have some discipline and finish the December models before starting any new large models…
FULL DISCLOSURE: I’ve been chatting to Angelos from Shieldwolf in a friendly informal way on and off for some time since they released their Mountain Orcs – and more recently have been looking over some of their background fiction (at a slack-arse rate) for their upcoming game. I have not received any payment or remuneration for any of this or this blog post, and neither having a chat nor helping them out with English grammar (their native tongue is Greek) has influenced my thoughts. I’ve paid full retail price or KS price for all Shieldwolf product that I own, and even if I were to receive any review product in the future, I’d still be perfectly honest. Because integrity is worth much more to me than a few bucks worth of models that I can afford to buy anyway. I’ve seen some blog-beggars and it’s ugly watching people demean and whore themselves out like that. No-one who I currently follow, though. 🙂