Ulfsark Games Machined Dice Review

Ulfsark Games is a Danish game accessory company that produces coins, dice, and more, eventually hoping for a new miniature game soon. You can find them on the web and on Facebook. Ulfsark Games’ Alex Atkinson sent along a sample of their metal dice, one of each die type, A D4, D6, D8, D10, D00, D12, and D20, for review. The dice arrived in a padded envelope in a single baggie. I’m not sure what their normal shipments are like when ordering from them, but they did come well protected. However, having one baggie meant that I wasn’t able to identify what each die was called without the included note. The dice belong to a line called Dragon Scales which has a variety of sub-types within it.

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The D4 comes from the Celtic line and is black.

The D6 is pipped and is brass is color. The die is described at only available in the D6 variety and is limited in number. The pips are indented with no coloring.

The D8 comes from the Celtic line of dice and is light green.

The D10 is part of Ulfsark’s Techno line and is gold.

The percentile, or D00 die, belongs to the Elven line and is red.

The D12 is part of the Gearpunk line and is light red.

Lastly, the D20, belonging to the Dwarven line, is dark blue.

The dice felt great in my hand and make a pleasing sound when rolling on a wooden table or desk.

Listen to the dice: D6, D10, D12 and D20, and lastly, all of the dice at once.

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Each model line has a unique theme and the images go well with the theme. For the Celtic line, the dice have chains linked together around the numbers. The Techno line looks like a form of binary surrounding the numbers, while the Elven and Dwarven are consistent with their themes as well, with scrollwork or symbols. The symbols don’t change on each die type, but the patterns do change. Some circle the numbers, while others are above and below the numbers. A good thing about the dice is that the numbers and designs are etched or milled into the sides and inked so that the designs will not rub off or flake away over time. Some abuse may occur if you store them in a bag, but the hardiness and make-up of the aluminum means wear and tear shouldn’t be an issue.

As a gamer, I find that the weight of the dice, as well as the sound they make, are incredible. This is the first time I’ve actually held metal machined dice and rolled them, and I find the weight to be extremely satisfying. One of the current downsides of the D12 and D20 I received, though, is the size of the dice. They are 16mm and when compared to other dice from other companies, they look small in comparison to the well-known 20mm sizes.  However, with the current Kickstarter, the plan is a bump in size from 16mm to 20mm to fit in with other well-known brands of dice.  I look forward to the 20mm size as they will look right at home with my all of my other dice.

 

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Above you can see how the size differences look compared to the new 20mm dice. The first photo is a stock photo from Ulfsark Games, while the second (below) is a photo on my dining room table. Again, the most recent Kickstarter is to update the dice size and replenish stock levels.

Here you can see the size of the 16mm VS the 20mm yellow dice.

Here you can see the size of the 16mm VS the 20mm yellow dice.

Ulfsark Games is on their third Kickstarter and you view the current and previous campaigns below.

Current campaign

 

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As it’s hard to tell exactly what the dice are like while rolling in blog post, so I uploaded a couple different videos showing how they roll.dice4

Dice Rolling on Youtube:

Dice Roll 2:

Dice Roll 1:

I want to sincerely thank Alex Atkinson, owner at Ulfsark, for the opportunity to do a review over the sample dice he sent along. I highly recommend these dice from Ulfsark Games, and if you get the chance, grab some from their current Kickstarter.

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Secret Weapon Sack O’ Corpses Review

Company: Secret Weapon Miniatures
Product: Sack O’ Corpses
Price: $19.99

Secret Weapon Miniatures sent along a free sample of their Sack O’ Corpses for me to look over and give my thoughts on.

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Packaging

The product arrived with the display cubes I reviewed earlier, which can be found HERE.  The Sack O’ Corpses come in a sealed back with the label stapled to the top.  See the image below.

Sack O' Corpses Product Bag

Sack O’ Corpses Product Bag

The display package is appropriate, but in some cases may not protect the product adequately.  Although there was no damage to my product, some of the actual bits of corpses had fallen off of the sprue.  Understandable as the pieces themselves are so much smaller than the piece of sprue they came on and can be easily forced off of the sprue with enough banging around.  As you can see in the image below, there were four parts that fell off of the sprue.  Not a big deal, but something to be aware of in case the sack splits open or something happens during shipping.

Pieces as they came out of the bag

Pieces as they came out of the bag

Contents

The sack contains 13 pieces that can be used for a variety of purposes.  The sack includes 4 torsos, 1 loose head, 2 hands, 2 feet, 2 legs, and 2 arms cast out of resin.

The pieces represent the human form in size and shape and you can easily tell where from the body they came from.  The image below shows them on a cutting mat with grid lines in inches and centimeter to help you approximate size of each part.

Parts on a Grid

Parts on a Grid

Details

Each part has very little to no visible flash, but may require some light sanding.  As these are corpses, they are significantly mauled and mangled, so even if they had mold lines, the parts wouldn’t necessarily need a steady hand to remove them; any mistakes could be attributed to the dismembered and mangled body parts themselves.

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The detail on each piece finely represents the damage you’d expect from dismembered, disemboweled, and cut up corpses.  There is enough detail showing broken bones, guts, etc, that modelers who strive for tabletop quality wont need to add any additional details.  Painting the pieces in a variety of ways can show the corpses in different stages of decomposition- lots of blood and no bruises to show a recent death, little blood but some blue, purple and black can show a body in a later stage of decomposition, or, add some yellow and green to show some serious decomposition in the body parts.

Practical Uses

The Sack O’ Corpses can be used for a variety of things, including adding details for bases in games like Hell Dorado, corpse tokens themselves in differing games and genres of games such as Sedition Wars, Warmachine, and others.  The parts would make excellent body counters or tokens for zombie games as well.  I plan to use them myself for different tokens in different games as well as use them to add some needed details to a couple of my painted models for Hell Dorado.  With a lot of people doing conversions and the like, these individual pieces may be exactly what you need.

SWM Painted Corpse Samples

Pricing and Final Thoughts

At a retail price of $19.99, I’m not sure the product is in everybody’s budget.  For a frugal gamer like myself, the price is a little steep.  Of course, the project you use them in as well as your own expendable income makes price a subjective discussion.

To summarize, the Sack O’ Corpses by Secret Weapon Miniatures are finely detailed with enough variety in parts that you can use them for a variety of purposes.  Resin parts mean they hold detail more than plastic or metal counterparts so modelers should be happy in that department.

The variety of parts, the number of parts, and the details means that this product can be used for a wide variety of used and projects.  In this regard, the Sack O’ Corpses is nice to have for many uses.

However, for me, the price just doesn’t seem to fit the piece, but I can see that the product is a niche product in a niche hobby, so I can’t see SWM mass producing them to help keep costs down for us gamers and hobby modelers.   If you break it down by price per piece it comes out to $1.54 per part.  Again, it’s subjective to discuss price and how the product is worth the money or not for each person.

Please let me know what you think of the product- whether you’ve used it before or how you might use the product in your hobby.  Also, what are your thoughts in general about subjective topic of pricing?

Secret Weapon Resin Display Cubes Review

Disclaimer- Product was sent as part of a review program for Secret Weapon Miniatures

Secret Weapon Miniatures recently released some new display plinths, or cubes as SWM calls them, to their range of products.  In lieu of those releases, they sent out some samples for review.  Keep in mind that I”m not a display painter, and so this is my first time handling any “professional” display plinth.

The display cubes they sent were from the “town square” line of products, and each shows bricks, cobblestone, or other typical fantasy or steampunk street.

Below you can see how each one is packaged – in a bag with a product identification placard stapled to hold the bag shut.

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Above, you can see six cubes, one 50mm, two 40mm, and three 30mm cubes.

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Town Square 3, 25mm

These items are not currently listed in the Secret Weapon store by specific names, however, doing a simple search for “display” or “display cube” on their site will yield what I’d call a good approximation of cost o .  The 50mm display cube in the shop says cost is $10, while the 40mm cube retails at $8, both in U.S. dollars.  A search on the internet found me a 25mm wooden cube for $12, and a 35x35mm for 5 British pounds.  It seems the prices can be all over the place, depending on size, height, and detail sculpted on.   The Secret Weapon shop only shows the plain cubes without design.  I imagine the price for these will rise three or four more dollars, respectively, for the detailing on them.

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Town Square 01 and 02 40mm Cube

To see how big the footprint of the bases were for actual models, I grabbed two models- a 25mm based Games Workshop Lord of the Rings Gandalf the White and a 30mm AE-WWII Robot Trooper by Blackball Games.

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GW Lord of the Rings 25mm on a 50mm Town Square Display Cube

As you can see, the 25mm base fits nicely on the 50mm cube, and would make a great display piece without the base attached to the figure.

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25mm base and 30mm based models next to 50mm display cube

Next, I placed both models next to the base for a height comparison.  Both models are considered 28mm, so the 50mm base is easily taller than the models themselves.

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GW Lord of the Rings 25mm based model on 40mm Display Cube

As the display size decreases, the available space to put the model does to.  At 40mm, there is still plenty of room to place your figure.

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25 and 30mm Model next to 40mm Display Cube

The 40mm cube is just taller than Gandalf, and right at the Robot Trooper’s head, so roughly 30mm.  The bases are square, so each plinth measures exactly as described- 40x40x40mm, 50x50x50mm, and 30mm.

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Detail Inlay on 40mm Display Cube Town Square 01

The detail on the cubes is nice, and the specific lines in the sewer lids are without error.  The cracks and spacing between the rocks and stones on the bases is deep, allowing some good inks or washes to flow into the.  Because of this, I would imagine painting them would be quite easy, allowing some great paintwork on them.

Comparison Shot

Comparison Shot with 25mm and 30mm models. Back Center, 50mm, back left and back right, 40mm, and front row 25mm cubes.

Above, I took a final picture to display the entire set, with Gandalf and Robot Trooper for size comparisons.

The cubes are pressure cast polyurethane resin as described by Secret Weapon, and should be washed before priming and painting them.

All in all, the good thing about these bases is that they come prepared and ready for you to paint up and put your miniature on them.  Since there are three different sizes, it shouldn’t be hard to find the right fit for your model, unless you’ve got something bigger than these can hold.  Personally, I like the design of the cubes, as I couldn’t duplicate them in near detail as Secret Weapon did.  If you used all of them, the Town Square series themes well together, and several models lined up in a display cabinet on these would look nice- as if they are marching down the same town street.  Maybe the rough side of town has cobble stone, while the richer, more glamorous side of town has cut stone for the streets.

The one thing that I dislike about the set is that your limited to what you see here.  They aren’t unique, and city streets have been before by other companies and by modelers in the past.  However, for someone like me who doesn’t paint for competition and would just like to use something to display my model on, they work great.

Since the designs aren’t very unique, but do hold well cast designs, and are to exact measurements, I’d give the items an overall thumbs up.  I would rate them more usable if there were more in the product line or if they came with additional add-on products to make the cube unique and different.

All in all, if you haven’t, check out Secret Weapon Miniatures for one of their many different products.  There is a lot out there for the painter and modeler.

Genius Factory Games Primary and Secondary Counter Review

Genius Factory Games sent along a sampling of their Primary and Secondary mission counters for review.

Primary Mission Counter Pack 1 from Genius Factory Games

Primary Mission Counter Pack 1 from Genius Factory Games

Secondary Mission Counters from Genius Factory Games

Secondary Mission Counters from Genius Factory

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The product arrived in a first class USPS envelope and each product was inside its own labelled self-closing baggie for easy identification.  The mission counters are 40mm across and match a 40mm beveled base as expected.  The counters themselves are very sturdy without any noticeable defects in production nor in the etching of the images.  Furthermore, they are sturdy enough that they wont break if you put your elbow on one accidentally while on the table, nor should they break should you drop on on a hard floor. You can compare them to the images below:

Size Comparison to 40mm base

Size Comparison to 40mm base

The Primary Mission Pack contains ten tokens to track differing point values of missions on the tabletop.  In the package, you will receive the following numbered tokens

  • 1x Four-point objective
  • 5x Three-point objectives
  • 2x Two-point objectives
  • 1x One-point objective
  • 1x “Priceless artifact”

I accidentally left the “Priceless artifact” out of the image seen here on:

Genius Factory Games Primary Mission Pack Counters

Genius Factory Games Primary Mission Pack Counters

They look nice next to 28-32 mm models like these American AE-WWII models from Darkson Designs/Blackball Games:

Next to models

Next to models

The next set of tokens are the secondary mission counters. They are made from the same dark/smoked acrylic as the primary mission counters but come with different designs to designate different locations on the battlefield:

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The secondary mission counters contain the following tokens:

  • 2x “Breakthrough” counters
  • 2x “Leader Slain” counters
  • 1x “First Kill” counter

I took several photographs from different angles to get a feel of them on the game board.  They are easily distinguished and readable from any spot on the board.

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As you can see from the photos, the tokens stand out very well on a game board and are easy to identify.  I took some pictures from different angles and locations just so you can see how easily you can identify objective locations on the game board.

A great feature of the designs and numbers on these tokens are that they designs are etched onto the acrylic- not painted or printed on.  This means that the images wont scrape off with repeated use as the image sits below the surface of the counter.  Great move and simple way to solve that problem.

Another feature I like of the secondary mission counters is the generic imagery on the tokens.  This allows you to lay the tokens down for just about any mission or objective.  Since they aren’t labeled, you can utilize them for a wide variety of spots on the game board.

A couple of problems I see with counters like this, as nice as they are.  The first is that they don’t quite fit the theme of the game board that they will be used on.  If you are looking for counters that blend into the scenery and look like they belong, then these counters wont work for you.  The next problem is that overhead lights will glare and reflect off of these counters so in some cases you’ll have to move or change your vantage point to see what the counter is.

Beyond those two simple issues, the counters can be used for a wide variety of purposes.  They work especially well for games that have missions and objectives that need to be captured. A game like AE-Bounty or AE-WWII that have primary, seondary and tertiary missions/objectives can utilize these counters quite well.

The Primary Mission Counter pack retails for $9.00 while the secondary mission pack retails for $5.00.  I find the prices for these tokens to be quite reasonable.

If you are looking for tokens for your gaming table, I highly recommend those done by Genius Factory Games, because in addition to these counters reviewed here, GFG makes some other options for your gaming table.

Cruise on over to their website and check them out.  Let them know that you heard about their products on Pen and Lead.

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GFG Logo