Staring into the Abyss – Part 2 : Abyss Warband Booster box opening and review

I continue to stare deep into the Abyss, looking for more powerful and varied demons to summon to my cause.

As part of the Your Club, Your Story initiative with Mantic Games, I’ve been carefully taking pictures of everything I’ve been doing! Hopefully this is a useful reference for everything in the Abyssal Warband Booster box.

So opening the box up, given there’s only 3 models in here, there’s a good amount of bubble wrap, so nothing shifts, its really well packed.

Looking inside the bubble wrap then, we find some baggies with Mantic resin models in. There’s also the super handy unit cards and some bases. As I mentioned in the previous blog I’m not a fan of the MDF bases so I’ll be replacing those.

I’ve not previously owned any Mantic resin, just lots of hard plastic, restic and metal so I wasn’t sure of the quality. I’ve had mixed success with resin over the years, from top end suppliers like Mierce and Forge world (at least by price) to smaller independents, like Heresy and Krakon – all generally excellent, whilst Finecast had famously poor quality controls (and I own several examples as evidence).

The models are still attached to the resin blocks they were cast with, so careful removal with clippers and then fine cleaning with a craft knife is required to tidy any mess up. The models were largely mold line free, certainly nothing that took long to sort out. Most critically, there were no bubbles in the resin, excellent news!

The seductress comes in 5 pieces. The wings are, I think, designed to be glued together then positioned on the back. I got over zealous and cleaned off some of the positioning geegaws so I ended up doing them separately, so something to check before assembly and cleaning. The tail I left off, but that’s just my choice. Its a lot smaller than the tails on the rest of the range and pretty much lost under the wings. You’ll be best gluing it on before the wings if you do want it on.

On a whim I swapped the mantic base out. As a solo model, I think she’ll look better with the sloped sides this way up. As I discussed in my first abyss staring post, there are some challenges with the mantic bases which this avoids. Quite a nice model, certainly a key one from a Vanguard rules perspective so she’ll be seeing a fair bit of use I expect. In Kings of War she appears to be a bit of a flexible hero so useful for that game as well, although we’ll have to see what V3 brings in October!

Next up is the Abyssal Warlock. 7 pieces, but most of the bulk and detail is on the single large Imp-Hulk body! This model is intended for a 40mm base, so I dug out another plastic one to replace the MDF. The only real challenge with this model is getting the warlock to sit neatly on his throne. Take care to clean the bottom of his seat so that it meshes nicely with the plinth underneath.

I did find the poles on the back of his chair to be a bit out of shape, so I dipped the model in boiling water to bend them into the position I wanted and then quickly dunked it in cold water (still holding the position) and that fixed the problem permanently I’m pleased to report, not all resin is so accommodating!

Here’s the model in all his imperious glory! This really is full of character and with the changes from the updates to the Abyss warband he’ll be much easier and rewarding to use in Vanguard scenarios going forwards.

Finally then, the mighty Despoiler. Somehow even though its pretty big only 8 pieces. With the changes to the Abyss warband oddly this is now the only large class model to pick from, perhaps Molochs will get added in future (ideally with an update to the models, more on that in future). Designed to fit on a 50mm base this is a pretty big model by Vanguard standards.

The challenge with this model is the 4 legs, they look very similar so a lot of trial and error fitting was needed to get the best positioning. Key to this is pairing them up, the bigger two legs go at the front but dry fit everything to make sure you’ve cleaned it up effectively and you’ll get a pleasing pose when its all glued together.

Once I’d got everything roughly where I wanted I dunked this guy in boiling water to get the feet to sit nicely flat with each other – you don’t have to do this if you are using any basing materials (e.g. sand) you can probably fix any small gaps with that, but I wanted extra stability with the model for transport and handling purposes.

So here’s the beastie in all his glory! I have fixed the mold line on his belly that I only noticed after taking this photo, using a craft knife for the job. Imposing and just slightly reminiscent of Henry J Waternoose III, I might call him Henry IV…

I really like this brute and I’d love a unit in Kings of War, but they aren’t very easy to get hold of if I want to field a horde (I’d need 6, and I always want hordes) plus they’d all look very similar without an awful lot of conversion work, so I have some plans to solve that until Mantic do.

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