3D printed large-scale alternative for a popular SF tabletop wargame

Mystic Wargames: The Iron Lord - Iron Warriors Primarch (70mm)

What can I say? We are living in a very interesting time - the time when 3D printing actually reached a level of maturity where it can genuinely be considered as an alternative of the "traditional" figure design and production methods (plastic and resin). 

There has been an explosion of available conversion parts for figures used for wargaming (armor parts, weapons, heads, etc.), and even complete alternatives coming to the market. There are a couple of ways these new companies work: either design and print the master, then use traditional resin technology to create copies, or just sell the actual 3D printed mini, or just sell the 3D file, and leave the customer print it for him or herself.  In fact you can now print (even design from scratch) your own armies for many popular games out there should you wish so. 3D printers came down in price you can now buy a decent one for less than 200 USD. (N.B. it is not a straightforward thing to print; some knowledge is required. And most types of liquid resin used in these printers are seriously hazardous to health...)

Mystic Wargames is one of those companies providing exciting 3D printed alternative figures for wargames - Warhammer 30K-40K among them. Here I am reviewing a figure from their Primarch range - the Iron Lord.

The figure is an obvious alternative for one of the primarch in WH30K. It is available in three sides: 55mm, 70mm and 100mm. I ordered the 70mm version, a good compromise between the gaming and the pro-painter sizes. To be honest I was really, really curious how a 3D printed object looks and feels like.

The figure arrived very quickly in a zip-lock bag. You would think that this was a risk for delicate resin parts, but the resin used for printing is really, really tough. None of the delicate parts had any damage. The resin itself is shiny and very hard. It looks brittle, but it really is not; if you need to cut it, you will definitely struggle with it. (Fortunately there is no need to remove any pour plugs or support; everything is done before the mini gets to you. You just need to glue and paint it.)

Because how shiny the material is it is a pain to take good photos of the parts, so I assembled the figure and primed it with grey primer.

The detail is really, really good - the computer-based design and the high resolution of 3D printers allow for very, very fine details indeed. There are very faint tide marks on the top of armor which you can polish off, but they are not very visible to the naked eye.

The pose is very dynamic and excellent - it really conveys the lumbering gait of the character clad in a huge, custom-made Terminator armor. The bores of the guns are hollow -no need to drill them. The face is very expressive -although I do have trouble painting faces, so it might have been lost on me. (Personal shortcomings.) A pro-painter will get amazing results with it. 

The ammunition belts feeding the hand-mounted guns are particularly very well executed. They do look realistically flexible although I have to admit it was somewhat difficult to glue them together and to the mini. (Nothing some blue tac support won't solve.) 

I was really impressed with the model when I opened the bag, but only during the painting stage did I start to really appreciate the level of detail it provided; wherever you look there is something: a rivets, cables, armor plates... it is very impressive overall. The price is quite high but not too high -after all in this hobby most figures are very expensive anyhow, so there is no surprise there. Mystic Wargames offers several other named characters from the lore, so it is worth checking their catalogue out (make sure you mention Modelgeek, please). I am not sure how useful these models are in tabletop games (I do not play, so I do not know how useful the Primarchs are in an army), but as miniatures they are amazing. 



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