Cost: 29.74€ (Approximately $33.58 USD)
Release Date: 09/11/2015
Get it Here: Knight Models
Everyone has their favorite Batman adversary. Usually it’s the Joker, but there’s also the Riddler, Hush, Killer Croc, Two-Face, Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Mr. Freeze, the Ventroloquist, Professor Pyg, Calendar Man, Gentleman Ghost, the Court of Owls and so on. As a long time Bat-fan close to pushing forty, Hugo Strange has always been one of my favorites. He is the oldest of Batman’s foes still active – first appearing in Detective Comics #36. He is the first villain to discover Batman’s secret identity and more important, he has never shared that secret with anyone else in Batman’s Rogue Gallery. Indeed, he even died protecting it. Batman and Hugo Strange have always had a very different relationship than his other villains too. If you’ve ever read the character defining run on Batman by Steve Engleheart and Marshall Rogers you know that Hugo Strange is also the first person to don Batman’s cape and cowl while Bruce Wayne was incapacitated – decades before Dick Grayson, Commissioner Gordon or Jeal-Paul Valley took up the mantle of the Bat. Heck, Hugo was even able to do what Bruce couldn’t, and that was take down Rupert Thorne. Also later renditions, be it the Young Justice cartoon or the Arkham video games have portrayed Hugo as more cerebral than physical, Hugo was able to go toe to toe with Batman and was even able to fool Bruce’s closest friends when he took on the role of Batman for a time. Make no mistake, Hugo Strange is perhaps the most bad ass of Batman’s villains because he has soundly beaten Bruce Wayne physically and mentally…and he didn’t need Venom to do it. It’s why I’m glad Hugo Strange is now currently on the side of the angels, working with Kirk Langstrom and Bruce Wayne to ensure the safety of the students in each issue of Gotham Academy and how he finally, after many years, has received his own figure for the Batman Miniature Game. Sure it’s the Arkham City watered down version of the character rather than how he is portrayed in the comics, but I’ll take what I can get.
Hugo Strange’s price tag might throw you for a loop, but you have to realize that 29.74€ nets you Hugo and three Arkham Asylum inmates. So you’re getting four figures for roughly the price of two. As always, the four character blister packs are a great way to get into the Batman Miniature Game and net you a small force to learn the game with. Unlike most Blisters which contain a Leader for your Warband, Hugo Strange is a Free Agent, meaning he can be used with multiple builds, but can’t lead one himself. I’m disappointed Hugo isn’t a leader but what can you do? Let’s take a look at this figure in all aspects and see if Strange is worth picking up, even if you’re not a diehard fan of the character like I am.
Here is how Hugo and his inmates come. in a standard Batman Miniature Game blister. Lots of parts and bases all rattling around. It arrived a bit dented, but all the parts were there and nothing was miscast. Pretty great all things considering, especially when you consider the extremely fast shipping time from Spain. Great job Knight Models!
This is the pack of the blister with a shot of all four miniatures professionally painted. I am nowhere close to this good, so don’t expect this level of quality from the painted version you’ll see from me in this review. I’m merely decent/mediocre at this side of gaming.
Here are all of Hugo Strange’s pieces. You’ll need super glue of some sort to put him together. This is a very small number of pieces for a Knight Models miniature. Usually they are four to five pieces (or more), so Hugo was abreeze to put together. You just glue the head onto the body and glue the body on to the base. BAM! You’re done. This was a joy to put together compared to some other pieces (I’m looking at you Gotham Butcher!)
This is Hugo Strange’s card for use in the game. Stats-wise he’s a far cry from where he should be. He’s a near equal to Batman physically even though animated version (and video games) tend to make him more brains than brawn. This IS the Arkham City version rather than the comic book version, so I can’t be too upset. Still. His movement, attack should both be higher, and you could certainly make a case for his Endurance, Willpower and Defense as well. Overall stat-wise, Hugo is really underpowered. I’m also disappointed with the bands he can be used with. This is as bad as how Lobo can’t be used with any girl characters or with good aligned bands even though he’s been a member of the Justice League AND L.E.G.I.O.N. With Strange, his affiliations are really messed up. We’ve got Riddler, which works. He can be fielded with League of Shadows which both does and doesn’t make sense considering what happens in Arkham City and then Black Mask and Organized Crime for some strange reason, even though Strange would never work with either. Remember, his time as Batman had Strange taking down the leader of all Organized Crime in Gotham City. There’s no way he’d work with Black Mask either. Instead, he really should have affiliation with Law forces (He’s been allied with the GCPD several times) and perhaps even with Batman for multiple reasons – not just his current affiliation in the comics.
Hugo’s special traits are quite nice. Thanks to Psychologist, he should make a bee-line for any Riddles on the board and Persuasive gives him board control in some fun ways. I personally think he needs Adaptable and Scientific too. Discourage would also make a lot of sense considering Strange’s expertise at mind games. Mastermind and Grand Strategist would also be traits that should be on a Hugo Strange card, but alas, they’re not here. I do think this is probably the most erroneous stat card Knight Models has done yet as it doesn’t actually capture the character very well. He also has Hatred: Jonathan Crane which is very odd considering they teamed up in the comics for a run. I honestly feel the card should be scrapped or redone with a lot of errata because this feels like a generic Psychologist (or like KM confused the character with Jeremiah Arkham) and not Hugo Strange. So thumb’s up for the ease of putting the miniature together but a thumb’s down for the card and his in-game stats. At least he’ll be really good are corralling your inmates and giving anyone on your team bonuses -as long as they have a mental disorder. Now let’s move on to the painting.
Here is Strange all glued together. The sculpt is very accurate for the Arkham City video game. He looks a bit pudgy, but that could just be from the loose fitting robe. I also generally really prefer the comic versions of a character to Rocksteady’s. I’m not a big fan of some of their costume redesigns (Like skinhead Tim Drake or the Arkham Knight Riddler. Ick.) It’s not a very dynamic pose, but it doesn’t need to be. It’s a very detailed miniature, even moreso than Knight Models’ figures usually are and although he doesn’t look ready for battle, you can clearly tell who the figure is supposed to be. Now let’s paint!
Here is Strange in white primer and his head nicely finished. I always do the head first because I am terrible with eyes. Thankfully Hugo doesn’t have them but it’s still a habit to work my way down. For the head I a started with a basecoat of Citadel’s Flayed One Flesh as I wanted him to be paler than normal. Then I used Reaper’s Fair Shadow and Flesh Wash to give the crabinum some texture and to bring out the face’s features. The lips are done with a mix of Flesh Wash and Old West Rose (also by Reaper).The eyebrows are Abaddon Black (Citadel). The beard also started off with a basecoat of Abaddon Black but I then dry brushed it with Longbeard Grey to create a “salt-and-pepper” look. Finally the glasses are Leadbelcher, highlighted with Runefang Steel and then the lenses are Ice Blue (again, all Citadel).I’m very happy with how the face turned out. I know some people talk brush size at this point, but the entire figure was done with a 20/0 Premiere Amythest Spotter brush. I have such crappy hands, I use very small brushes. Otherwise the end result would be a massive blob. Stupid ulnar nerves.
So here we go with some more detail. The gloves and shoes have been done in Abaddon Black at this point while the pants are Eshin Grey. I chose this grey because it gives a slight nod to the fact Hugo Strange just might have a Batman costume on under that robe of his. Speaking of the robe, this was a weird one. KM did theirs in a dingy grey-white but I thought that was too dirty for Strange. He’s immaculate and would never wear something that filthy. So I really wanted to make the robe blindingly white. It’s one of the reasons I used white primer instead of Black (Which I usually do for BMG pieces). The primer was basecoated in a few layers of White Scar with Lahmian Medium to thin it out. This was to make the coat a lot brighter and whiter, but not to obscure any details on the figure.
Now for the little things. You can see in this picture I’ve added color to a lot of details. What isn’t so apparent is the changes to the robe. Besides the layers of White Scar, I used a dry brushing of Praxeti White for Shadow and Ceramic White for highlights. So the robe has a lot more definition than in the previous picture, although it’s much more obvious in person. White on White on White on White is hard for a camera to discern. Sure they are four different white paints but the effect is a very white robe, perhaps one that has been bleached or starched in some spots more than others due to inmates bleeding on him. This multitude of white was meant to showcase Strange’s obsessive behavior but I’m not sure if it translates well into JPEG or PNG Goodness.
The button and Arkham A are done in Abaddon Black. I nearly did the A in Mephiston Red to really make it stand out, but I decided to keep Strange in just Black, White and Grey for metaphorical reasons. Pretentious art, yay! Anyway, the clipboard is Zandri Dust and Leadbelcher and his key fob is leadbelcher for the clip with the actual badge being done in Praxeti White and then given a coat of ‘Ardcoat to make it shiny. So I guess, there are five different whites on this guy if you count that version? Sheesh. At this point I think he’s looking quite nice.
Now it is time for the base. I’m not a fan of the textured bases that come with Knight Models’ figures, but they are easy enough to paint. A basecoat of black followed by a drybrushing of Dawnstone. Volia – instant rubble. I thought about switching out the base with one that has a Malifaux Asylum insert, but for the purposes of the review, I didn’t want to mix and match minis. We’re nearly done at this point. It’s time for touch ups and then we are done.
Here you are – the completed Hugo Strange! Although I’m far from being a quality painter, I’m quite happy with how this turned. This character was a lot of fun to paint and he really stands out from the other Batman Miniature game pieces I have due to the mostly shiny white attire. So overall, I think Hugo Strange was a great sculpt, very easy to put together and lots of fun to paint. The sculpt itself is a great one for beginners to try their hand at, as you don’t need a lot of colors and you don’t have to worry about any weird angles or nooks and crannies to get at. Sure there are professional painters (like the ones I met at NOVA Open) that could do a FAR better job than me with their eyes closed, but I would definitely suggest this model as one for people new to painting as it’s very easy to work with. The only negatives I have to say about the piece are the in-game stats and again, it’s only because the card doesn’t feel like Hugo Strange and more like a generic evil psychiatrist or Jeremiah Arkham. Still, the positives really outweigh the negatives with this one and even if he’s not the Hugo Strange I wanted style-wise or mechanically, he’s still going to be a fun piece to use in BMG games. That’s what matters most.