Despatch: Plastic Minotaurs

Acknowledging that I am probably a hard-sell--I love the existing Citadel pewter Minotaur models, they were the core of my previous edition Beastmen army for Warhammer Fantasy Battle, and I had a small hand in creating the Minotaur HQ option for same (what became the Doombull) so I have a certain entirely-unearned-but-real-nonetheless emotional sense of ownership toward them--my initial reaction to the all-plastic, multipose Minotaurs released along with the all-new Beastmen Army Book was *not* enthusiastic.

Having assembled my first unit of three, however, my opinion has modified, to the positive.

The negatives remain: I do not like how oversized they've become compared to the existing metals, I do not like some of the strange anatomical decisions made by the sculptors (chiefly the weird non-hooved hybrid feet and the 'bubble-muscle' look), I do not like how fur/pelt detail has become stylized rather than realistic (an aesthetic choice across the new Beastmen line which looks cartoonish and fake and doesn't work at all, for me), and I do not think the heads resemble either the existing Citadel Minotaur look or real bovine creatures. It has been suggested there is a World of Warcraft influence....

Those points made, I observed in building the actual models that much of these (admittedly subjective) aesthetic issues could be pretty-easily modified by a painting approach which geared the Minotaurs either toward the existing GW look, or just toward a more subdued, realistic approach generally; it appears the Eavy Metal versions seen in advance of their release in White Dwarf uniformly opted to accentuate the design choices made in the sculpts (an admittedly understandable marketing decision). This is particularly true of the heads, which are more recognizably Minotaurish in bare plastic.

And as has been the case with GW's multipart plastic figure kits for some time now, the technical execution is impeccable (sharply-cast details in high-quality plastic with little flash and outstanding fit) and the parts value is high (after assembling my three Minotaurs I had two heads, three sets of horns, four sets of arms, almost a dozen weapons and myriad optional extra detail bits left over). Particularly impressive is the ability to model full command, or three hand-weapon-and-shield, two-hand-weapon or double-handed great weapon armed Minotaurs in each box.

Will they replace my mighty pewter beasts, if I ever return to fielding Beastmen? No. But might they augment those worthies? That they might...