Untamed Wilderness

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Much of the Kingmaker Adventure Path's story involves wilderness exploration and the taming of an untamable land. So of course we had to include a lot of "wilderness monsters" in Pathfinder Battles: Kingmaker.

The first of these is the imposing smilodon, a saber-toothed tiger from the nearby Realm of the Mammoth Lords. This primordial feline takes up the entire base, and makes for a very intimidating opponent (or animal companion, if you like that sort of thing). The smilodon is an uncommon Large figure.

Since we're showing off some exceptionally large creatures, how about a big-ass frog? You'll be adventuring in the River Kingdoms, after all, and that means swamps and rivers and stuff. So I bet you'll be facing a few of these amphibious menaces. Despite their size, they remain frogs, so you should have no problem making them croak. The giant frog is a common Medium figure.

Amphibians and reptiles are similar, right? I'm no biologist, so I think they're all just different levels of slimy—beasts I'd rather kill than touch. So we included a monitor lizard to kill (or touch, if you like that sort of thing). Based on new concept art for the Kingmaker CRPG, the purple monitor lizard is a common Medium figure.

Since I'm sure the comments are going to be full of slimy creature-lovers yelling at me for being mean, I'll distract you all by showing off a creature everyone likes: a swarm! Swarms are tough to do in miniature form, because they don't always take a square shape, and they are at their best when they are sharing a square with other creatures. That has resulted in many, many swarm figures looking more like bumpy coins than the creatures they're meant to represent. So we went with a more cinematic look for the army ant swarm, a common Medium figure, which is a 4-foot-tall mass of insects that have already stripped an earlier victim to the bone.

Finally, we need a skilled ranger to hunt or tame these beasts of the Stolen Lands, and who better to fill that role than the quiet archer, Ekundayo, from the Pathfinder: Kingmaker CRPG. A Garundi native of Absalom, Ekun makes an excellent PC or ally mini, with his nocked arrow and sweeping cape. His rare rarity means he'll remain unique in most collections, making him stand out among the myriad bow-wielding ranger figures out there.

Just two more previews left before the set releases on October 24, so keep your eyes tuned to this spot in the coming days. Until then, roll 20s and don't split the party!

Mark Moreland
Franchise Manager

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Tags: Kingmaker Licensed Products Miniatures Pathfinder Battles

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The monitor looks really weird, more like a bedazzled Gila monster than anything else, but the rest of them look great, especially the Smilodon!


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Finally a decent looking large cat! I can’t wait to add the Smilodon to my animal ranks. The giant frog is nice as well. Even though there are two other versions of this guy already out there, I think I may like this one best.

Shadow Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Loving every single one of these. A smilodon at last, been wating for a sabre tooth, seems odd but these come up in my games with alarming regularity. Now i just need a Hyenadon, another big prehistoric anumal ive been hoping will happen for a long time.

Frog is great, but Wizkids seem to excel at minis like this. Like the smilodon its a perfect rarity as well.

While the monitor is a little oddly coloured i think i can find a few uses as a proxy, its a very cool mini.

Ekundayo is aN excellent PC mini, can see a few players using this one. Hes a pretty good character in the game as well.

The swarm is the weakest one for me, not for appearance. Its a good looking mini and probably as good as you can get a swatm of tiny red ants to look for detail. The utility isnt great. Flat swarms are the way to go, like the demonweb swarm. You need to be able to place minis on the swarm. Wizkids really need to look into that. Dont get me wrong the towering wave image is creepy plus, and i love the idea, i just know in practice ill end up using a flat swarm from the old line for my table.

Even missing the Ankou, boy do i hope we get him in the next set or the one after, this looks to continue the extremely strong growth in the PFB line. Hats off Mark and Wizkids.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Blog Post wrote:
SMILODON!!!!

KITTY!!!! :D

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

These all look good.

I also prefer 3D swarms, but liked them when they were small (like the earlier grub swarm). I put them on a grid intersection to show where they are, and they are usually small enough that you can fit minis around it. And I prefer them over the bumpy coins because you only need one, and you don't ever need to worry about balancing a mini on top of one.

Not a complaint, just a personal preference.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Mark Moreland wrote:
Swarms are tough to do in miniature form, because they don't always take a square shape, and they are at their best when they are sharing a square with other creatures. That has resulted in many, many swarm figures looking more like bumpy coins than the creatures they're meant to represent. So we went with a more cinematic look for the army ant swarm, a common Medium figure, which is a 4-foot-tall mass of insects that have already stripped an earlier victim to the bone.

I know swarm mini appearance is always a hot topic, however I think you could in theory appease both sides of this topic.

Imagine this:
A large pile of ants crawling all over a skull. When this swarm engulfs a character, then you pick up the pile of ants and you are left with a base, with a flat-ish surface of ants which you can place a figure on top of.

This would be a 2-piece miniature. The removable top would just fit somewhat snug on top of the base. I know this would increase the cost slightly, however since swarms don't typically require a lot of paint steps, there shouldn't be much of a cost increase to paint it.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Kor - Orc Scrollkeeper wrote:
Mark Moreland wrote:
Swarms are tough to do in miniature form, because they don't always take a square shape, and they are at their best when they are sharing a square with other creatures. That has resulted in many, many swarm figures looking more like bumpy coins than the creatures they're meant to represent. So we went with a more cinematic look for the army ant swarm, a common Medium figure, which is a 4-foot-tall mass of insects that have already stripped an earlier victim to the bone.

I know swarm mini appearance is always a hot topic, however I think you could in theory appease both sides of this topic.

Imagine this:
A large pile of ants crawling all over a skull. When this swarm engulfs a character, then you pick up the pile of ants and you are left with a base, with a flat-ish surface of ants which you can place a figure on top of.

This would be a 2-piece miniature. The removable top would just fit somewhat snug on top of the base. I know this would increase the cost slightly, however since swarms don't typically require a lot of paint steps, there shouldn't be much of a cost increase to paint it.

I've always been confused why they didn't make swarm miniatures on large bases where you could put medium sized minis on the corners, but have something like the Ant Swarm miniature here as the model in the middle with lots ants covering the rest of the base. You could even have some ants curving up around the edges to hold the medium miniatures inside the large base. I think this would give lots of opportunity for the artist to create a really interesting sculpture around where the miniatures would normally stand.

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

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Feros wrote:
Blog Post wrote:
SMILODON!!!!
KITTY!!!! :D

Funny story:

I added those excited notes not to be headers, but to indicate to the web team where to put the art. Ooops! I'll get that changed tomorrow, because as it stands, they're all one paragraph off.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I should probably go open my case at some point.

Dark Archive

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Kalindlara wrote:
I should probably go open my case at some point.

I wish you good luck and fun with your draws, please share your thoughts here, Kalindlara! :-)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Looking at the smilodon and thinking, "nice mini, but something's not right", and then I twigged, the feet.

Smilodons had retractable claws. Not only are the ones shown too big, they just shouldn't be there.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Swarms, like the bat swarm, also present a problem. The earlier Monster Menagerie swarm of bats is a better rendition, because medium figuers can be placed on top of the swarm base. It falls short, since it can’t be placed in any other configuration than 2x2. If the Kingmaker Bat Swarm had actually attached to the base on the side, and contoured the base shape, then it would be much mor eversatile for swarm mechanics in the game.

Grand Lodge

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Got mine last night, need to have an unboxing party tonight!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Got mine yesterday, and unboxed about a quarter of it. Generally looking good!

One gargoyle had a broken wing, but what really puzzles me is this green ... thing. It's a lumpy piece of green plastic about the size of a mini snickers bar, with brown streaks on it.

I have two theories: either it's a shrubbery, or else it's something that an extremely ill dog left behind.

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

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Tinalles wrote:

Got mine yesterday, and unboxed about a quarter of it. Generally looking good!

One gargoyle had a broken wing, but what really puzzles me is this green ... thing. It's a lumpy piece of green plastic about the size of a mini snickers bar, with brown streaks on it.

I have two theories: either it's a shrubbery, or else it's something that an extremely ill dog left behind.

It's a brambly bush. It was supposed to be previewed last week, but that blog appears to have disappeared. Maybe it'll show up soon? It's not the final blog this one alludes to, so when it does show up, pretend it came out before this one.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Mark Moreland wrote:
It's a brambly bush. It was supposed to be previewed last week, but that blog appears to have disappeared. Maybe it'll show up soon? It's not the final blog this one alludes to, so when it does show up, pretend it came out before this one.

I was contemplating setting up betting squares for people to guess it's name . We've had quite a few creative names come out for it already :)

Thank you for confirming the proper name for this miniature.

Dark Archive

Mark, this is an honest question; you know I wouldn't troll around here, even though I'm a Lawful Evil Fiendish Dwarf Librarian (and a Chelaxian one to boot). And I rarely call anyone out on anything, but this is something that bothers me a *lot*.

Namely, what is going on with PF Battles miniatures? I've already wondered this aloud on some other threads, but it just baffles me how much the quality has dropped while the prices have gone up. I'm fine with paying more if that means I'll get well-painted, good-looking miniatures such as the ones in Wrath of the Righteous or Shattered Star sets. Now I've taken a good, hard look online at all the Jungles of Despair minis and I have to be brutally honest, I wouldn't buy them if they'd cost half as much as they do.

Whoever does the painting, they haven't used the proper techniques to highlight details. I'm no expert by any means, but even I can see there's very little base coating, washing or drybushing done, not even on the premium huge ones. It's as if someone unskilled at painting miniatures just started to apply thick layers of paint to conceal the fact that they don't know what they're doing. And it shows as colors "bleed" to other areas of the miniature (e.g. armor having blotches of smudgy golden or brown from belts and such), sometimes even with paint having dripped on the miniature's base. This is painfully evident on smaller minis and/or those with more complex sculpts.

I love the sculpts and the previewed digital renders, but if you just splash paint from top to bottom, the end result is going to look like something from elementary school art lesson, not a professionally-painted end product your customers would pay for.

I'm sorry for ranting and this post being negative in tone, it's just that I'd *WANT* to pay for new prepainted miniatures, but only if they're up to standard. And in my opinion neither PF Battles or Icons of the Realms are just good enough anymore. :/

Shadow Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

What ive seen of these (pics and a youtube opening) look pretty good in the quality department. I wouldnt judge based on the online pics, ive been put off bu those in the past and when i get my case im pleasantly surprised. To my mind only Legends of Golarion and one other set (cant recall which) actually dissapointed me in hand.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

@Asgetrion I don't think they're painted by people; they're mass produced. The painting is done by machine-driven airbrush; there is no washing or dry brushing, and any highlighting is done by more spraying. And the more layers and colors you plan on, the longer each mini has to stay in the airbrush booth, which pushes up manufacturing time (and hence costs).

So the painting is just never going to be as nice as something done by a human. I paint minis, and I like to think I'm reasonably competent at it. But I spend about fifteen or twenty hours per figure. So I'm grateful to have some half-way decent prepainted ones to supplement my own work, because there's not enough time in the world to paint all the minis I need.

Dark Archive

Now just hurry up and give Owlcat the Chris Avellone module so I can use these to run the Kingmaker campaign the way it should be run.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I just finished unboxing my set. While there are a couple that have the usual moronic facial expressions (or no discernible face), I don't think we're looking at a quality-drop here, overall.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Tinalles wrote:

@Asgetrion I don't think they're painted by people; they're mass produced. The painting is done by machine-driven airbrush; there is no washing or dry brushing, and any highlighting is done by more spraying. And the more layers and colors you plan on, the longer each mini has to stay in the airbrush booth, which pushes up manufacturing time (and hence costs).

So the painting is just never going to be as nice as something done by a human. I paint minis, and I like to think I'm reasonably competent at it. But I spend about fifteen or twenty hours per figure. So I'm grateful to have some half-way decent prepainted ones to supplement my own work, because there's not enough time in the world to paint all the minis I need.

These are generally all painted by hand in a mass assembly facility, likely in Shenzhen, China. Sometimes they will apply washes, but highlighting is extremely rare. Some of the basecoats might be airbrushed on, but is most certainly a human manipulated airbush, and not a machine-driven airbrush.

Because of the hand painting being done, there can be great inconsistency from mini to mini. This will also depend on who is painting that step of the mini. One person does not paint an entire mini. At one person's painting station, they will assigned 1 painting task (a step). Once they finish their step, it gets passed onto someone else to do the next step -- like an assembly line. These factories work in shifts, so the people painting any given step will be rotated throughout the day/night. (Some of these factories are open 24 hours).

Dark Archive

Kor - Orc Scrollkeeper wrote:
Tinalles wrote:

@Asgetrion I don't think they're painted by people; they're mass produced. The painting is done by machine-driven airbrush; there is no washing or dry brushing, and any highlighting is done by more spraying. And the more layers and colors you plan on, the longer each mini has to stay in the airbrush booth, which pushes up manufacturing time (and hence costs).

So the painting is just never going to be as nice as something done by a human. I paint minis, and I like to think I'm reasonably competent at it. But I spend about fifteen or twenty hours per figure. So I'm grateful to have some half-way decent prepainted ones to supplement my own work, because there's not enough time in the world to paint all the minis I need.

These are generally all painted by hand in a mass assembly facility, likely in Shenzhen, China. Sometimes they will apply washes, but highlighting is extremely rare. Some of the basecoats might be airbrushed on, but is most certainly a human manipulated airbush, and not a machine-driven airbrush.

Because of the hand painting being done, there can be great inconsistency from mini to mini. This will also depend on who is painting that step of the mini. One person does not paint an entire mini. At one person's painting station, they will assigned 1 painting task (a step). Once they finish their step, it gets passed onto someone else to do the next step -- like an assembly line. These factories work in shifts, so the people painting any given step will be rotated throughout the day/night. (Some of these factories are open 24 hours).

Hmmm, that is what I thought; if the painting process was fully automated and computer-driven, I think it's possible to program such a process for consistent and superb quality (including drybushing and washing techniques). It might take a few test runs on each mini, but these days that can probably also be done 100% digitally with the rendered sculpts? This kind of hardware costs a lot of money, naturally, and might take some time before it starts to pay off. I don't even now if it is profitable by commercial standards.

Having said all that, I'm kind of torn on this issue; as a customer I'd want "perfect" and consistent quality, and I'm willing to pay more for that. Yet I'd still rather invest my money in human labor, assuming such painters have decent working conditions and pay.

@Anguish, Tinalles & Cat-thulhu: after reading your comments I watched a few unboxing videos and indeed at least most of the minis look better "live" than images of them on various websites. It may be that online stores use stronger lighting for photographing, which makes thick layers of paint look more glossy than they actually do in natural light?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Certainly the lighting for the pictures makes a different in what you notice. Also, the extreme closeups may reveal flaws that aren’t really noticble when the miniatures are in normal use. That being said, there are some minis in this set that are in dire need of a wash or something to finish them off. The Wererat Archer is a glaring example of this, but by no keans is the only case.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

These have got to be the worst paint jobs I've ever got from Wizkids.... And I'm including Reign of Winter. I have every set ever published, and opening Kingmaker was like opening stale candy.
Who did you hire to paint these things, seriously? The Dwoemercat looks NOTHING like the book art. The Soul Gorger hardly looks like a Devourerer and the purple blob of paint in his stomach was so bad, it took me a whole day to figure out there's a face in the stomach. Heck,even one of my 5 Swamp Naga (we always get the most of the worst miniature) arrived WITHOUT A HEAD!

I get that sometimes missing parts happen, but it's happened in every case I've ever gotten. Missing quivers, an arm, but a head? Come on.

I have to repaint at least 15 faces, and every dwoemercat. I'm paying you to create work for me... *sigh*

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I finished opening my case earlier tonight. And the paint quality was definitely noticeably not up to par. I don't think there were more than five or ten acceptably-painted minis in the whole case. :(

I love the Pathfinder Battles line. But I really hope this isn't the quality we can expect going forward.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I fixed it. What an abomination.
https://i.imgur.com/Z5NehpPh.jpg

Dark Archive

Wow, okay, it seems Jungle of Despair is significantly better than Kingmaker, at least based on the unboxing videos I watched. Maybe a few figures in the set seemed okay, but quite a few would need to be repainted, just as you guys noted. Disappointing. :/


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I noticed the quality inconsistency has reached a new height in this set as well. The Large Spriggan may well be one of the best paint jobs I've ever seen on a mini while the dweomercat...I'm not even sure what it is I'm looking at. If this line is going to keep me as a subscriber or even a random purchaser, something has to be done.

Dark Archive

Feros wrote:
I noticed the quality inconsistency has reached a new height in this set as well. The Large Spriggan may well be one of the best paint jobs I've ever seen on a mini while the dweomercat...I'm not even sure what it is I'm looking at. If this line is going to keep me as a subscriber or even a random purchaser, something has to be done.

If it is indeed a lot of various people who paint these, it may be that quality varies from one copy to another of the same miniature, and in my opinion that is just unacceptable. C'mon Paizo and WizKids, if you can't keep up the quality, at least keep it consistent! It's truly frustrating if someone gets a decent copy of say, a dweomercat, and someone else gets a cr***y one. >:(


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Since my naga came without a head, I made my own Lunar Naga. =D
https://i.imgur.com/yCUBv7U.jpg

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