Friday, June 24, 2016

Unboxing: Darklands Albiann starter set

Howdy! Today, I'm going to be unboxing the Albiann starter set from Darklands: Metal Age. Follow the jump for more metal-resin comparisons and review!

Opening the box

The box, label and everything!

I'm very pleased with the packaging. Any time Mierce can get painted models on a label, it bodes well.
Opening it up shows what I expected: bagged models wrapped in bubble wrap
The models were packed in pretty tightly, and didn't have a lot of room to move around, which was a good thing. The other thing that surprised me was the weight; I'm not used to Mierce models having this heft!
The bags pulled out

The infantry came two to a bag, with the exception of the unit champion and banner bearer, Ciniod, and the Oghurithne, who were all individually bagged. Two of the bases I expected in this box were actually in the larger outer box, but I had the number of 50mm bases I expected, so I think it was just a question of where they were put.

Model components

Two copies of the rank-and-file models The other rank-and-file model

There were four of the rank-and-file models; two each of the two sculpts.
The unit musician, with alternate arms Alternates of the musician; the box came with two.

There were two alternates of the musician and one that came with the horn, for a total of three musician bodies
The banner bearer, who also came with alternate arms The alternate banner bearer

There were two banner bearer bodies; one with bits for the banner and alternate arms, and the other with just the alternates.
The unit champion Ciniod, the army commander

Itania, the backup commander, and Domnech, the invoker.

The first of the Oghurithne

The second Oghurithne

The third Oghurithne
The Oghurithne bags came with the body and a sprue that held the head, both arms, and any accessories. One of the heads popped off the sprue in the box, (as did the alternate Gairmorlom banner bearer's spears) but that was the only damage to models, and it was at the sprue rather than breaking part of the actual model. One of the spears was also slightly bent, but fixing it was much easier than fixing a resin component would have been.

Gairmorlom Model assembly

The first pair of rank-and-file models The alternate musicians

The alternate musicians were so well done that at first I thought they were a third rank-and-file sculpt; I had to check the artwork to remember otherwise
The second pair of rank-and file models The running model had to be pinned to the base

These two guys were my only complaint about the unit; the running model didn't have enough surface area to glue to the base. In the end I had to drill out his foot/ankle at an angle and pin them in place. His arms also had to be pinned in place; I did not have to pin any of the other models.
The banner bearer and his alternate The unit commander

The banner bearer and command were straightforward builds. The shields hang on their backs for easy storage; they come with extra shields that do not have the arms built in.
The musician with his two alternates

Similar with the musician shield; it is an additional component that does not have the arm attached.
The 10-man unit A closer shot of the 10-man unit

Metal/resin Noble comparisons

Ciniod next to his resin version The back of the resin and metal Ciniods

Ciniod looks absolutely gorgeous, though I'd forgotten how small he is.
Itania next to her missing-crossbow resin version Domnech next to a mostly painted resin version

My resin Itania lost her crossbow in a vicious Frostgrave accident and it has not been reconnected; I do not think this will be a problem with the metal version!

The Oghurithne

The first Oghurithne The first Oghurithne with his resin version
The Oghurithne are solid, solid weight models. The details really shine through on the metal.
The second Oghurithne The second Oghurithne alongside his resin version
The third Oghurithne The third Oghurithne with his resin version
The three Oghurithne that came with the starter
I'm just letting the Oghurithne pictures speak for themselves. They went together easily, and I didn't have any issues building them.

The Oghurithne command

The Oghurithne banner bearer The assembled Oghurithne banner bearer with his resin counterpart

The Oghurithne musician The assembled Oghurithne musician and his resin version

I ordered the command as well, as I wanted to have a lot of options with my Oghurithne (I now have 13 of the lovely buggers). Again, the metal ones have a ton more weight than the resin ones do, especially in the banner bearer. The metal seems to hold detail on their weapons better as well; I'm not sure why that would be.

Final thoughts

The entire starter set (750 gold)
All in all, I'm thrilled with the unit. The spears are so much more solid; I will probably not order another infantry model with a spear in resin. I don't have any fears about breaking bits off if I hit them (though since most of the joints are not pinned, falls from the table will probably break joints). The Oghurithne are some of my favorite sculpts in the Darklands line, and still I've got a whole second box of these to assemble still.


  1. DAMN!

    The metal Albainn look FANTASTIC!

    And now you have me contemplating adding in yet ANOTHER Kindred!!! :)

    (On top of the...yikes!...nine I'm already collecting!)

  2. Very nice review, thanks for sharing!