Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Product Review - Malifaux Death Marshals!

Hello again!

So this week we're going to be diving into a brand new product I picked up about a month ago and built nearly on the spot; the Malifaux starter set for the Guild, known as the "Death Marshals". Now, this isn't going to be a formal review like those that I post for tutorials, but more a journey through my experience building the set, and my first impressions of the models themselves. I'll be painting them at a later date, so I'll write a separate article for that.

So lets take a look at what we get inside:

The set comes with 5 models; Lady Justice, the official head of the Death Marshals (And a behemoth in game, with 12 wounds!), a nameless "Judge", who is a great second unit to the set, nearly as tough as his mistress, and 3 unique "Death Marshals". So on first impressions, I rate this as a very "Hero-centric" set, playing up how amazing Lady Justice (Here-on Lady J.) is, since you get three nameless characters. This contrasts very differently from the Ortega band that my friend Mike bought, where each character is a unique and strong personality in his own right.

So inside the box, I was impressed that everything came in its own little bag, and the economy of packing was impressive compared to some of Games Workshop's 5 model sets that take up a box 3X its size. Each model had a fair bit of release agent on it, however, so I had to give them each a quick rinse before I dove in.

So, instead of starting with the grunts and working my way up to the hero (Like usual for me), I decided I wanted to build Lady J first.


Well there you have it; she's a beautiful model, and all one piece. All it took was some glue on the base, and she was done.

Next up came the Judge, a grand total of two pieces, but that chain on the improvised 'gunblade' was a pain in the butt to deal with. It was right about now that I started to realize just how pliable the metal used in Malifaux Miniatures really is. His blade was completely bent over to touch the hilt, fresh out of the package, but since it was so pliable I was able to bend it back easily.

Of all the Death Marshals, this guy is my favourite, visually; as you can see on the picture, those wisps of ethereal... whatever... will look amazing once painted. He's two pieces, but that arm didn't want to go on for love, nor money. Ergo, I had to grab some Green Stuff (Which my friend Pete declared 'cheating!' when he saw it), to cement the arm in place.

Death Marshal Number 2 has proved to be my biggest surprise hit in my games so far, leaping a fence one handed, and gunning down the Demonic Double of Viktoria with a single shot. He also marks the model with the most pieces, clocking in at 4 metal pieces, plus somewhat needing a bit of creative basing to look right. Ironically enough, his HAT was a separate piece, and also was the only one to go together without Green Stuffing. Love the pose!

Lastly, comes DM #3, perched on his coffin somewhat like a hawk; this piece went together nice and easily, again only needing green stuff to the arm to keep it stable. I was again struck by the quality of these models; the coffins themselves are incredibly chunky, and make the otherwise somewhat flimsy characters feel like they could take a bit of a knock.

Total Assembly time: 1 hour
Metal Flashing: Minimal
Conversion Required: Minimal
Overall Quality of Figures: Stunning

In finishing, this is a very good product; it was very different from working on GW models, which require extensive assembly for each person on the field, and require you to drop 2-3 hundred bucks to have a viable force. With one box of Malifaux, you can play a small game that lasts an hour.

For veteran modellers, however, if you don't like the look of the models and want to convert them, you don't have many options; Lady J. was a single chunky piece, and I don't think it would have been possible to convert her beyond adding some bling to her. Studio Mcvey has a few models on roughly the same scale that are worth checking out; I may be purchasing their Isabella for an alternative Lady Justice at some point; they both are wonderful models, but I'd like some variety from time to time.

All in all, however, I give this set a 4.5/5, with my only real complaint being that the arms on a lot of the models wouldn't fit with only super glue. Other than that though, for the price I paid (29.95 from Hoard o Bitz on Ebay, shipping included), this is an amazing set that's well worth the buy. I would suggest, if you buy it, to look into the Scales of Justice from Wyrd as your first expansion. It's Lady Justice's Totem, and it works very well with this force.

That's all for me... I'm out!


  1. Thanks for the review DK! I have to admit..I am never going to play this game..lol..much as I would enjoy it beyond a doubt. But the models look pretty darn cool!

  2. That's too bad, but I know the feel of the money crunch; had to save for a month to get THIS set, and I'm not buying any more for a looong time. Well, except... maybe the scales...