Tabletop Review: Stonehaven Miniatures: Dwarven Adventurers

Stonehaven Miniatures: Dwarven Adventurers
Publisher: Stonehaven Miniatures
Release Date: 11/21/2012
Cost: Varies
Get Them Here: StoneHaven Miniatures

Back in July of this year, along with 1,724 other backers, I supported a Kickstarter campaign put out by Stonehaven Miniatures. It was for a line of Dwarven adventures. Although it originally started off as just a base set of five, it ended up becoming twenty different dwarves and a giant troll. That’s not all. The Kickstarter also produced three kids, a tombstone, scenic bases and a lot of odds and ends ranging from extra weapons to a canary. Although Stonehaven doesn’t seem to be taking any more orders for this line (There’s no way to directly order on their website), I received mine set of figures and I have to say I’m blown away by the quality. This little start up has not only given me the best dwarven figures I think I’ve ever seen, but the variety is tremendous. I honestly have to say these guys are better than anything I’ve seen put out by Reaper, Games Workshop, Manic Games or any other company that actively produces dwarves for tabletop gaming.

I picked up the whole set, complete with background card and the two add-on figures (female blacksmith and the troll that is insanely huge compared to the dwarves. for seventy dollars. Considering that all the dwarves are pewter and the Troll is resin, this is an amazing deal, especially with how much say, Warhammer minis are for plastic pieces. The level of detail on the figures is amazing and I’m really excited to paint these. Sure I don’t actually have a use for twenty different dwarves, but the character concept art displayed in the Kickstarter campaign was so great, I knew I had to take part, especially since Dwarves are my favorite fantasy race. My only problem is that Stonehaven doesn’t have pictures of most of the final products online (just the greens). This means you’ll have to deal with picture of those and the concept art. I tried taking some pics with my own cell phone, but they just didn’t do the figures justice.

1. Troll. I wanted to start with the troll as he’s honestly my favorite. Standing 66mm tall, this is by far the best looking troll miniature I’ve ever seen. It eschews the Dungeons and Dragons green scaly version we’ve all come to know and almost looks more like an ogre or giant. The troll’s face is comical yet wicked, and I love that he has a tail for some reason. It wields a spiked mace in its right hand nthat is roughly two dwarves tall. Intense. He’s just a lovely figure and incredibly unique looking. He’s a must have,. But unfortunately, I believe he’s a Kickstarter exclusive.

2. Boodknuckle Grymm – the Berserker. This is a wonderful sculpt. Both axes have a lot of detail to them, including one with a chunk missing from it. The little skull on his belt is easily discernible and his big bushy eyebrows are great. It’s not a 100% exact from the concept art, but it’s still a high quality figure.

3. Alec Stormwind – the Bard. I love the idea of a Dwarf Bard, and this figure captures the idea perfectly aside from the heavy armour he’s wearing. The short hair and combed beard really make Alec stand out and I love that he’s strumming his lute. The back of the figures has a bow and quiver,a lon with a short sword. He’s definitely one of my favorites.

4. Narissa Blackwater – the Necromancer. When the stretch goal of a Dwarven Necromancer was announced, I was pretty excited as that’s what I played in Neverwinter Nights. Ah the memories of Kheldon Blackblade. Unfortunately, this ended up being my least favorite of the figure. It’s not that the Necromancer is a girl (Although I am bothered that all the spellslingers save the cleric are female. Guys can cast magic too!). It’s that she just doesn’t resemble a Necromancer at all. She’s in full plate and wields a great sword – that’s not very indicative of the black arts. If you saw the figure, you’d just think she was a fighter. Only her scenic base with a skeletal hand coming out from it gives the notion of what she is. This figure also has the least amount of detail to it. It’s the only one I’m unhappy with.

5. Abelard Flintrock – the Mechanist. This figure right here reminds me of my character from Arcanum. It’s meant to be steampunk-y, but really, the only indication of that is the monocle and the fact his left arm is mechanical. The figure looks great and it has a tremendous amount of detail to it. You could easily play Abelard as a rogue, fighter or something else with the armoured arm on the left and the crossbow on the right. Abelard has the most detail out of all the figures due to the doodads all over him.

6. Taggar Oathkeeper – the Cleric. Ah the Dwarf Cleric; perhaps one of the biggest standbys of Dungeons & Dragons. Taggar fills his role nicely and manages to not look stereotypical. He has a very short cropped beard and he’s bald atop his head, making for a figure that looks more like a giant gnome than a dwarf. He also carries a staff/cudgel, which is unusual for a cleric of any kind and so Taggar CAN fill your role for a male magic-user in this set. He looks great and he’s one of the few in the set that can fill nearly any role design-wise. He’s a utility looking mini.

7. Dredge Blackwater – the Highwayman. Dredge is one of the coolest figures in the set. He looks amazing – like a very fearsome rogue and he although he comes standard with a cutlass and a pistol, he also comes with two other hands. One looks like a more modern firearm instead of the standard flintlock and the other is a dagger. So you have a lot of ways to customize Dredge. That’s very cool. He almost looks like the old pulp character, “The Shadow.” The level of detail, right down to the spectacles, is amazing.

8. Elia Morningsong – the Druid. This is another of my favorites, and not just because this figures comes with an extra little fox ally figure which is adorable. The concept of a dwarf druid is an oxymoron or contradiction if ever there was one, and I love those. The out6fit looks great, even if the fat is a bit fatter in the pewter figure and so she looks more like a Halfling. There’s a nice amount of detail to the figure too, although her wooden scimitar is very thin and it’s just a matter of time before it snaps off no matter how careful you are. Painting Elia with all those little leaves is going to be tough too.

9. Stalag Hammersong – the Fallen King. This is the largest of the dwarves and a real masterpiece. The figure just oozes style and melancholy at the same time. It’s a very imposing warrior with its fur cape, beautifully decorated shield (With a boar!) and a mighty sword. Although he wears a crown, I can see most people going for Stalag as their fighter figure.

10. Harrow Boarfell – the Huntsman. Okay this just an amazing character. I know dwarven rangers aren’t that common, but this figure alone will make you want to play one. He’s in a Spider-Man style pose and the large boarskin he wears is completely detachable. Holy crap, that’s cool and an amazing idea by Stonehaven. If any figure highlights both the quality and originality of this line, it’s this one.

11. Aldon Otahkeeper – the Paladin. Bearing an oversized mace, Aldon can also be an easy cleric figure. This figure is a very stereotypical one in full plate and with all the tropes you expect from a dwarf. If I asked you to close your eyes and describe a dwarf, you’d end up with this figure. It’s well done and although it’s not as outside the box as most of the figures, this will be a popular one for fantasy gaming, regardless of system.

12. Corna Stonecoven – the Witch. This is my second least favorite figure after the Necromancer and it’s mainly because it didn’t transfer all that well into pewter. The pose on the figure makes it look like she only has one arm and once you realize she actually has two, you have to assume his shoulder is double-jointed. Either that or she’s recently dislocated it. I do like the meat cleaver as her weapon though.

13. Goram the Dead – Undead Dwarf. Holy crap do I love this one. Wielding two warhammers, one in each hand, Goram the dead is the creepiest figure in the set and one of the coolest ideas for a dwarf figure ever. He’s a bid pudgyl by far the most rotund figure in the set, which is funny when you remember he’s a skeleton, but that makes him no less impressive. My only problem with him is how to work him into a campaign of some sort.

14. Brewmaster Grymm – the Brewmaster. This started out as a joke, but it’s truly an awesome figure. Grymm has a big mug o’ Charlie Hops most famous creation and he’s even got a keg tucked under his right arm. He carries what looks like a paddle on his back and a dour expression upon his wife. It appears he’s a mean drunk. I love this guy.

15. Kirin Lightfoot – the Rogue. Although her name sounds more hobbit-y, Kirin is a pretty neat figure. Considering she’s dual armed and wearing a cloak, she’d be easy to convert into a Ranger. There’s a lot of detail to Kirin, second only to the Machinist and she’s the best looking of all the female figures save the Blacksmith.

16. Elinda Hammerforge – the Blacksmith. This was an add-on figure only and she’s the best of the women. Elinda comes with an anvil accessory, which is a nice touch and she’s both the most feminine and yet most imposing figure of the women. That’s truly impressive character design and sculpting to pull that off. The fact she’s just casually hoisting a warhammer over her should one-handed is damn imprsssive. Just an awesome figure all around, from her clamps to her post.

17. Orm Surefist – the Monk. Orm has one of the best poses in the game, and is one of the few with an outstretched limb. He means business and every detail of the figure is well done. The look on his face, the slightly almond eyes, the straw hat and his flip flops make Orm a truly Occidental dwarf. He’s even got a Dwarf style Fu Man Chu going on, albeit it down to his belly.

18. The Unconscious Dwarf. This was a thank you gift to Kickstarter backers and it’s quite hilarious. Is it dead, passed out in a drunken stupor, critically wounded? You get to decide. It’s flat on one side and doesn’t require a base because it’s meant to be lying down on the field. It’s more for a joke or to mark a dramatic moment in a game session than for regular use.

19. Kell Hammersong – the Fighter. Although a female dwarf, the pewter figure itself is pretty androgynous save for the breasts. It’s odd because the character design lacks breasts of any kind, but they are well defined on the figure. I guess to ensure people realized it was a girl? Kell’s plate armour is nicely designed and I really liked that she has a morning star instead of a sword, axe or warhammer. It really makes he stand out. She could easily be a human, hobbit or halfling though. Maybe even a gnome. She’s a little plain compared to a lot of the figures, but it’s nice to have her, especially as all the other females are magic users, the blacksmith or the rogue. She’s your only female fighter option.

20. Kryn the Red – the Mage. Kryn basically looks like a female dwarven Raistlin. The figure even has a staff that looks a lot like the Staff of Wizardry and it’s in the same post the old Dungeons & Dragons Minis figure had back in the day. I’m sure it’s a complete coincidence but at first I was like, “Wow.” When I saw the completed figure. Not a lot of detail to her, but she’s good for the rare dwarf mage that you might need. She might see more use in Shadowrun though.

21. North Garrox – the Miner. Our last figure is a stereotypical NPC Dwarf. He’s just a miner, not a warrior. The figure looks fantastic. His goggles are clearly visible, his little helmet is incredibly well sculpted and detailed and like nearly everything else in the line, he looks wonderful. A dwarf miner seems so obvious, yet I don’t think I’ve seen too many figures with that type of sculpt. He’s certainly one of my favorites.

Remember there are also little bits that come with the set. One set includes two dwarf children (one of each sex), a baby and a tombstone. The other includes five sprues of weapons and a badger. All little extras that just sweeten the deal.

All in all, Stonehaven’s first line of miniatures is so well done (and a great deal for the price), that it’s hard to believe this is their first release. I know minis companies that have been putting out figures for decades and are nowhere near this level of quality and/or originality. If you’re a fantasy gamer that uses minis for tabletop RPGs or war games, you definitely one to pick up a few of these figures for yourself, if not the whole set outright. This is an amazing line sure to impress even the most dour or skeptical gamer.

To learn more about Stonehaven Miniatures and their Dwarven Adventurers line, you can either visit their website, or check out their Facebook page.



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