Thursday, September 24, 2015

Review: Mierce Miniatures miscast bags

Some time ago, a number of Mierce's Kickstarter backers started clamoring for Mierce to sell their miscast bits, rather than just throwing them away. Mierce started obliging us this year, and I was fortunate enough to grab a couple from their initial run. After the jump, check out what I got out of the first batch, and whether or not I'd buy each one again!

Please note that the contents of each bag are subject to whatever they have been casting lots of, and these bags were purchased before a lot of the lines were expanded upon. Your results may vary.
It's also worth noting that Mierce sprayed the models with paint to mark them as miscasts to prevent any returns. If you're wondering why the models are colored the way they are - there you go!

Brythoniaid - 500g bag

Contents of a 500g Fomoraic miscast bag
For the Brythoniaid, I went with a 500g miscast bag. I was hoping for dragon wings, an Angrislaug torso (for sawing apart purposes), and a Dyndraig or two.
Bag Contents: 
  • Dyndraig champion 4x torso (1 not pictured), 2x left hand with weapon
  • 3x Dyndraig banner bearer torso
  • Tawrdraig 2x torso
  • Wocor torso, legs, left wing, right wing
  • Wyvern: Upper torso, left wing, right wing
  • Angrislaug left wing, lower tail, right arm, right hind leg
  • Cawrdraig 3x lower torso, 2x upper torso

The Dyndraig

Dyndraig banner bearer torso 1: air bubbles in feet Dyndraig banner bearer torso 2: air bubble in upper shoulder

All of the banner bearers had issues with air bubbles: one was missing both heels, one was missing a large portion of its left shoulder join, and the last was missing a toe and had a mold slip.

Dyndraig banner bearer 3 (on right): mold slippageDyndraig Banner Bearer 3: air bubble in right toe
The champion torso miscasts were more air bubble problems. The first was missing an entire foot from a bubble in his ankle, while the second had little bubbles on the back of one of his legs. The third had a pretty rough mold slip, while the fourth (pulled out for a conversion; not pictured here) had an bubble at the top of the neck where the head joins. The extra weapons were more air bubble problems, enough that the hands wouldn't connect to the arms if they were present.

Dyndraig Champion Torso 1 (on left): Missing right foot Dyndraig Champion Torso 2 (on right): Air bubbles on right leg/rear
Dyndraig Champion Torso 3 (on right): Mold slippage on lower leg Dyndraig Champion Right Hands: Air bubble in wrist joint

Tawrdraig  & Wocor

Tawrdraig Torsos: tiny air bubbles
The Tawrdraig only had one issue: tiny air bubbles along their left hip point. While most would have been covered by the left hind leg, it's a testament to Mierce's quality control that they pulled these out of their production line.
The Wocor had air bubbles in its top hips that would have made the join difficult, and multiple issues with the wings. Tim Fisher, Mierce's master moulder, is on record as saying that if he could replace any one component of any model, it would be the Wocor's wings because of their casting difficulty.
The Wocor hind legs had air bubbles in the waist joint.
Wocor wing: thin enough that a crack has split it (visible above finger)Wocor wing: cracked at top center


Wyvern neck: resin failed to cure, center of picture
The wyvern's upper torso had a portion that looked as though the resin had not fully cured, leaving details obscured in the upper neck.
Both the wing issues actually looked like handling problems, as both had holes poked in them that weren't supposed to be there.
Wyvern wing: hole in center; air bubbles (seen through backlight)Wyvern wing: hole cracked out of bottom center of wing


More air bubbles, in what I'm sure will be a recurring theme. The hind leg had one on the bottom of the foot, which would not have been visible when assembled on a base. The right hand  had another bubble, though this one obscured the entire side of the hand and would prevent addition of a thumb. Similarly, the wing had a massive air bubble along its entire connection to the body, and would have been unusable in the model proper. The tail also had an air bubble on its torso join, and would require massive work to attach to the body.
Air bubble in hind leg, outside toe Air bubble in wing removes entire join to body

Air bubble destroys the hand detailAir bubble ruins any chance of connecting the tail


A model I'm highly familiar with after sawing up three of them. Most of these had issues with tiny air bubbles, as only one torso had a major air bubble. Minor air bubbles are the easiest problem to fix, as it only takes a thin layer of greenstuff.

Miniscule bubbles in the one on the right Giant air bubble on bottom torso
Tiny air bubbles in torso on left Tiny air bubbles in right torso, lower portion
Suspender strap tabs broken on left torso Air bubble at base of spine on left torso
Final analysis for Brythoniaid
8/10. The Wyvern and Wocor wings are paired, which means I can use them to add wings to something cool. The Draig models allow for a lot of conversions, and I can probably stretch them into 3 models with a minimal Mierce bits order. The Angrislaug solo wing is not as useful, but would be awesome as part of a multibase diorama, particularly if paired with one of the Tawrdraig torso backs - sawn apart, those will make for great displays. The solo arm and leg are similar - great for basing, but will require work to use as part of an actual model. The Cawrdraig is actually the only part that isn't very useful to me, but it may just be because I've already done pretty much all I can with that model. If you get its lower arms/legs with it as part of a miscast bag, there's a lot of potential there, but just the upper/lower torso is slightly restrictive.

Fomoraic - 500g and 250g bags

Fomoraic have quickly become my biggest kindred, so I got one of each bag. Unfortunately I mixed them together, so I couldn't tell you what came in which bag. I've already used a ton out of this bag, using Uuthuil's leg and groin, and the Tarvox chest, left leg, and right arm to make my Wolf-Vore.
  • Kairoc-Cro 2x torso (one not pictured), right foreleg
  • Drackox lower torso, upper torso, right foreleg, 3x top left arm/right hand
  • Tarvox Torso (not pictured), top right arm (not pictured), left leg (not pictured), club-hand
  • Risen Kraken torso (not pictured), right leg (not pictured)
  • Toracx torso
  • Swordtooth 2x torso
  • Tarvax Tain 4x torso
  • Tarvax champion 2x torso
  • Tarvax banner bearer 2x torso, 2x right arm, 2x banner
  • Tarvax 3x torso
  • Darkaan torso* Tundaar torso
  • Tundaar/Kraan 4x shield sprue
  • Sronax 2x torso (one not pictured), banner
  • Sronax Tain right arm (not pictured), mace
  • Gabrax shaman 2x torso, 2x shark-mouth
  • Gabrax 3x banner
  • Chaagmuth torso, head
  • Chaagmuth on boar torso
Contents of the bags, minus a Tarvox torso/right arm/left leg, kraken torso, and Kairoc-Cro torso


Air bubbles at bottom of image,
between joints
Air bubble on top of middle armor plate
What I would consider nit-picky air bubbles, one on the torso behind the tail join, and the other obscuring the detail of armor plates on one arm.

Massive air bubble obliterates detail at top of picture


The torso had all kinds of problems, while the appendages only had minor air bubbles.
Minor air bubbles on forearm Air bubble on bottom left of torso

Handling issue - bottom of polearm sheared off Major air bubble above thumb

Tiny air bubbles along shin Flashing too thick to be easily removed


One of these torsos was ruined by an air bubble in one of its hind legs; the other by a patch of uncured resin.
Left torso ruined by air bubble in top left leg Right torso ruined by uncured resin (bottom of model,
between center line and shoulder joint


Oh, the possibilities! Enough of these models are mostly intact that I could probably press-mold the miscast bits where they are missing.
For the Tain, the miscast problem is almost universally the feet. One cast with no feet at all, while two more have air bubbles in their feet that would not be visible when assembled, but would make attaching it to a base difficult. The other problem area seemed to be around the crotch; one of the remainder was cast with an air bubble obscuring part of the tail, while the other had testicle bubbles.

Five Tarvax Tains! Air bubble issues in the feet of the middle three; the middle is missing both feet, while the middle left is missing his left foot.

The missing tail on the Tain on the rightOut of focus testicle bubbles
Tarvax Champ on the right has an air bubble on his leftmost hoof Excessive flashing between the legs of the Tarvax Champ on the left
Air bubble on the Tarvax on the left, center of his groin Air bubbles in the tail of another Tarvax
Tarvax Standard Bearer's arm
melted away by air bubble
The other Tarvax banner bearer is also
missing his arm
Tarvax arms - one on the left weapon snapped off, air bubble
did the same for the one on the right
Tarvax Tain's axehead snapped off
Backlighting this Tarvax banner shows the air bubble insideWhereas this banner cracked from the top to halfway down

A pair of Tarvax tails, just for good measure I couldn't figure out what was wrong with this weapon

Air bubble in the tarvax hand on the left,
broken weapon on the right
Tarvax banner bearer arm; air bubble in joint


The second Sronax torso, missing its right leg
 With the two Sronax torsos, one had minor chest bubbles and was removed for conversions, the other was missing a leg from below the knee. The banner had a few air bubbles, while the Tain's mace head had a massive air bubble.

Two visible air bubbles, as well as a backlit third Does this make it a holy mace?


The Tarvox torso had a giant air bubble in the crotch; I ended up sawing it in half at the waist and adding it to Uuthil's miscast torso (which I also sawed in half at the waist) to make my Wolf-Vore. His entire right arm was intact, except for an air bubble at the top of the mace it held. I sawed the mace off, and used the arm in the Wolf-Vore as well, as well as a leg that had an air bubble in the hoof (I sculpted claws over that hoof).
Air bubbles on top of Tarvox mace Another miscast that's not visible when attached, but makes attaching it hard...
Air bubble on the underside of the torso
The Toracx had an air bubble underneath, easily sculpted over. The three banners had minor bubble issues; one on the surface, and two others underneath that could compromise the integrity of the banner on a model. The two shaman had the same miscast - air bubbles that ruined their "stick-arm" - one is completely unformed while the other's staff was destroyed by a bubble. The lone Gabrax rank-and-file torso I got was only slightly blemished - tiny air bubbles on the underside of his loincloth.

Tiny air bubbles in the first banner Large air bubbles, backlit More backlit air bubbles

Bad mold line on the Chaagmuth on Toracx torso Chaagmuth head with broken horns

Gabrax shaman, both right arms have bubble issues Gabrax loincloth, with bubbles
Two broken staffs, and a broken trophy skullBroken spikes on the shaman's shark teeth

Characters of Baalor

The Eye of Baalor models had not yet started casting, so the only human models I got were minor miscasts of Daarkaan, Tundaar, and a bunch of miscast shields.
Air bubble in Tundaar''s cloak Air bubble on Daarkaan's foot-holding sprue. Really. Kraan's shield arm, with little bubbles
Backlighting shields highlights the bubbles Two more shields, backlit to show the holes
No idea what caused the bulge at the bottom of this shield One of Kraan's shoulder pauldrons had a bad air bubble
Final analysis for Fomoraic:
Solid 10/10. I've already gotten one great conversion out of these bags, and that paid the cost for them right out of the gate. Being able to almost double my Tarvax force with a minimum bits order is also helpful, and it still leaves me a lot of flexibility for basing options.


For the Vras, I got a 250g bag. I knew this one would be very restricted, because the kindred only had four models available at the time! I ended up with:
  • Flint-Fang: 2x bodies, 2x heads (1 not pictured), left leg, tail
  • Scar-Scath: 7x bodies
  • Blunt-Claw: 4x bodies, sprue of hands
  • Banner Bearer: 12x bodies, 7x banners, 1x weapon

The Vras 250g bag contents

The Flint-Fang neck on the right has a giant air bubble

The torso on this one was odd. The first came with legs attached, but was ridiculously thin, as though someone had sat on the mold while it was casting. The second had no legs, but had a giant air bubble for its neck. Without having right legs for it, these will probably end up as either basing options, or horrible Conjunct creations.
The body on the right looks like it was squished down, very odd Again, see how much thinner the bottom one is? Odd...
Both legs had air holes at the knee, though one is more obvious An air bubble in the tail, for good measure The air bubbles on the back of Flint-Fang's head


Bubbles on its fingertips!
Almost the same problem for every one of these bad boys: air bubbles on the loincloth. The one sprue I ended up with had fingertip air bubbles.
The same problem four times


Scar-Scath, like Blunt-Claw, had a consistent set of air bubbles. His seemed to congregate in the left knee, though a few formed so large that the leg wouldn't get fully formed.
Same caption as previous picture; replace 4 with 7.


The real reason I ordered Vras was the hope to get some of these. Boy did I! Most of their moulding issues come from air bubbles on either the bottoms of their feet or their loincloths. A few had tail issues. Other than that, it gave me a lot for conversion/basing options!
Seven rats a... squeaking

Misformed tails Bonus banners

Final analysis for Vras:
I'd go 6/10 on this one, but I knew what I was getting. I'd initially budgeted to pledge this for Albiann, but it sold out before I got one, so I bought this one on a whim. I used one of the Quick-Blade bodies for something for the Wolf-Vore to eat, so I'm already halfway towards getting my worth out of it. I probably wouldn't order it again until Monstrous Mounts is completed (I love Backcracker) and the Spear-Vras are available.

Ysians - 250g bag

I got this one apathetic about what I'd get. I don't like the look of Brutes, and fortunately I didn't get many of them. I wouldn't have minded getting some Drunes, but they've been around so long that I think Mierce have casting them down to a science. Instead, I ended up hitting the jackpot, with both Chimera and Manitchora bodies.
This bag contained:
  • The Terror of Fortriu body
  • Mantichora body, right front paw, and wings
  • Torku body and left legs
  • Brute body x2
Small in number, large in weight

The Terror

The Terror's air hole
While I didn't get any wings for this guy, I got the vast bulk of him. The only miscast part was an air bubble on his stomach - which is so low to the ground anyway that it will be hard to see even if I don't fix it! I have plans for this guy.


Torku body - mould line
Torku was unexpected and probably won't be very useful for me, but I'm not complaining at all. The only issue on the body itself seemed to be a minor mold line slip, and since I have both legs for half the body, I might end up sawing her in half and using her for a diorama display.

Front leg, bubble on claw Back leg, bubble on bone shield
The Brutes are a nice bonus, but I don't see myself using them for anything but basing at the moment.
Bubbles on the kneed/loincloth Air bubble castration!


Another unexpected surprise, I have almost the entire Mantichora. I expect I'll have someone riding it within a year or two.

Ungefelic front paw, air bubble in claw Small air bubbles on Ungefelic's hindquarters
The top of this wing looks to have snapped offAn air bubble would make joining this wing complicated

Final analysis for Ysians:
8/10. I didn't get many models out of it, but to end up with that Terror body at 250g was a coup. adding Ungefelic to it was just icing on the cake, and Torku gives me all kinds of fun options.

Norse 250g bag

The last of the bags I ordered, I was hoping to get some trolls to play around with, and a Blood-Maw body so I could do some texture work. Instead, I got no trolls, but ended with an almost complete Mjagnir.
Bag Contents:
  • Blood-Maw body
  • Mjagnir body, right arm, and hammer

Contents of the Norse 250g bag

This mold line is the only thing wrong with Blood-Maw's body

I was hoping for a Blood-Maw body so I could do some experimenting with textures using his skin as a study. I was afraid I would end up with air bubbles destroying the pattern, but I didn't. Very excited for this piece.


If I had a hammer, it better not have an air bubble
Mjagnir was a surprise, and I'll have to come up with something to do with him, because I'm only missing a head and an arm. The hammer head is deeply flawed, but if I give him an alternative top (like a pickaxe) that won't nearly be an issue. The only issue with the body is a tiny air bubble in one of the feet, which must have made the quality guys sick, and the only arm issue is another small bubble.
Giant hunk of resin, tiny hole.Shoulder joint bubble. Bad for Mierce, good for me!

Final analysis for Ysians:
7/10. I got even fewer models out of it, and got no trolls, which disappointed me. Mjagnir is a giant hunk of resin though, and I'm excited to have one to experiment with. My excitement is just tempreed by the fact that I already have two. I'll have to put this one to good use!

Final Summary

I liked the miscast bags so much that I've bought more of them: 500g and 250g of Albiann, 500g of Infernii, and a 250g of Norse, with a 250g bag of Norse wings, which I hope to get soon.
The mould slips, when they are the problem, are actually less significant than models GW releases commercially on a regular basis. Large air bubbles are a problem, but they tend to congregate at joints and in corners of flat places, where greenstuff can fix them easily, or they will be hidden by the joint. The only ones problematic are the tiny air bubbles, which can ruin surface texture they're on, but are relatively easy to fix with some greenstuff.

I encourage any modeler to do the same when they become available! Just... don't put them on eBay. Someone did that with the first batch, and it really frustrated me because the knee-jerk reaction was to make these more expensive. Buy them, use what you can, and then trade the rest with other people with them! By the way, anyone have some spare Parawn heads? I have a Chimera body that needs a dragon head...

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you got some neat stuff there, I love the miscast bags too

    from what I've seen in my bags there are clearly some 'problem' customers in the casting department,

    and Tim clearly experiments with combining bits into more complete casts which even if they fail more often the savings in silicone and mould maker time may still make them a better option (they'll also be more user friendly for less experienced builders, as finding a mini is in 20 parts (when you count all the claws and horns) can put some off