Reaper Miniatures is running a Kickstarter campaign to bring a huge batch of new sculpts to their affordable 'Bones' product line. The campaign is already funded, but it is not too late to get in on the action. They have been steadily rolling out stretch goals to bring more and more sculpts into the fold.
I picked up an early Bones release back at Reaper Con, and, in view of the Kickstarter campaign, I though it might be a good time to crack open the blister and take a look at what it's all about.
This past Spring, Reaper Miniatures introduced their new line of Bones. Each one is a new casting of one of their existing Dark Heaven Legends line of fantasy miniatures. The Bones version is made of a new plastic material that Reaper advertises as ready to paint, right out of the blister.
Each 'Bone' is bright white, and has a somewhat rubbery texture. My sample has very faint mold lines running around the figure. It should not be hard to clean them up with a sharp hobby knife. I wouldn't recommend using a file on the soft plastic. The detail looks very good, especially for such an inexpensive miniature. This particular model runs $5.29 in glorious and hefty pewter, but comes in at less than half the price at just $2.49 for the Bones version.
I was surprised at how bendy my Gnoll Warrior's flail was. The thin plastic bends and flexes with a gentle touch, but, so far, shows no sign of breaking.
I painted the flail a dark base color to see if it would crack when I flexed it back and forth, but I haven't encountered any trouble. I don't know how well it will hold up to years of handling and game play, but it looks pretty good at the moment.
One knock against the bones is that, in spite of Reaper's claims about painting right out of the package, I found that the model still had many areas that resisted taking paint. Thinned paint tends to bead up rather than spread out and stick to the model. The problem was not severe, but it was noticeable. I tried giving it a quick scrub with soap and water and also hitting it with a thin coat of matte varnish to try to clean any grease from the surface and give it some texture to grip the paint. The results were not perfect, but I was able to start painting.
Bones is the third line of miniatures that Reaper offers. A few years ago the introduced their 'P65' line of lead miniatures. The P65 miniatures also provide reduced cost versions of existing sculpts. The discount is not as big as with the Bones, but you get crisper detail, slightly stiffer, but less resilient material and much, much heavier models to throw around.
On the whole, Bones provide a high quality product at a very low price point. I'm excited to see the industry experimenting with more and more new materials to keep our hobby affordable, while delivering the best product possible. If you're looking for an army of skeletons, or an affordable dragon to terrorize your friends, they Bones just be for you. On the other hand, I don't think Bones can replace high quality pewter models at this time. Pewter offers better malleability for modification, and greater familiarity to most experienced lead heads.
If you want to see more top-notch sculpts rendered in this brand new medium, get on over to Kickstarter and pitch in!