Heavy Gear Kickstarter A Huge Disappointment
This is just my personal opinion. I am not saying that the Heavy Gear Kickstarter has been universally derided as a disappointment. I am disappointed and this is why. First, a little back story.
Many years ago I was playing the first incarnation of the Heavy Gear Blitz rules. I was enjoying myself, had fully painted an army and taken it to a tournament. There were some casting flaws and issues with the models that bothered me, but I persisted. Heavy Gear Arena was announced and I was very excited. When I received my copy all the models were terribly cast and the rules were so full of typos and errors as to be nearly unplayable. I decided then that spending money and times on models that I was unhappy with was not something I needed to be doing and I sadly said goodbye to Dream Pod 9, the makers of Heavy Gear and some of my favorite RPGs from my youth.
Fast forward several years later and Dream Pod 9 announces they are relaunching with a Kickstarter. I really want to like Heavy Gear. DP9 is a Canadian company and I want to support local wargames so I backed it.
The kickstarter took two years to fulfill and the results of which arrived, for me, last night. In anticipation I had started a Heavy Gear Project section of this website where I planned to track my progress, starting with the South. Dutifully I began assembling a Southern Jager for painting.
So much compromise for the steel mold.
Detail simplified to the point of becoming incomprehensible.
Detail is too shallow, will disappear during painting.
Thicker parts have shrunk in the middle, leaving big sinkholes to fill in akward parts.
Some parts look melted.
Now I’m thinking to myself: I don’t want to paint this. I won’t ever want to buy more to finish these forces. What am I going to do with all of these models?
Honestly, I don’t know, and I’m going to take a week or more to calm down and try to think clearly. In the meantime, back to Batman I guess.
Ouch… I feel your pain, that looks… not good at all. I’ve been banned from the Pod forums due to being too “unsupportive” of the KS, have you posted that there?
I did post it. Doesn’t seem to have gotten me banned yet.
Ah, good. Maybe they’re toning it down now that it’s released (and that Gen Con came and went and they sold it there, which was the comment that banned me ^^)
I don’t agree with banning but I did see people complaining that it was sold at gencon and as a backer it didn’t bother me.
Sadly, issues about the quality of the sculpts pretty much popped up as soon as DP9 started previewing them on the updates (with the main discussion on their forums). It may sound odd but the detail was even shallower and the proportions even more off prior to folks complaining (iirc it was around jan/feb/march of this year). Personally, I prefer the metals to the plastics in terms of posing and detail level by a wide margin for all the factions other than caprice who I think turned out pretty well. As for the miscast, I’d contact DP9 directly about it (just make sure you peek at all your sprues so you can get them all replaced in one go) as they are quite good about replacing that kind of stuff quickly in my experience.
Every single Jager is cast exactly the same. I don’t doubt that they are all like this.
Looks like a sharp knife and some liquid greenstuff should make good.
OTOH, those are defects in either the manufacturing process or in the (spanking brand new) steel moulds. Or, in other words, stuff that should not need to be fixed.
Do you mean for the arm? I haven’t worked with liquid greenstuff but due to the depth and position I think it would have to be regular greenstuff. This way it can be smoothed before it cures. The vents on the back would be difficult to re-carve with a knife, plus the casing around the vents is also distorted as is the rest of the back. It would take work rebuilding with putty and then carving down to fix. I don’t mind filling gaps between pieces but having to resculpt detail on every piece is too much, especially since the detail on the miniatures would not result in a final piece worthy of the effort.
Disappointing. I was thinking that this might be a way to finally get into HeavyGear, or to at least buy a few figures for use in other games.
For the uninitiated, could you show a metal piece against the plastic, so we can compare detail?
It’ll be a while before I can actually create a side-by-side that is useful. All the stuff in my gallery is different generations of metal.
I will say that there is a threshold at which a painter may not find the issues I noticed to be a dealbreaker. It depends on what level of painting you plan to use. Some people’s army painting level may not care about the miscasts or low detail – and I’m not sure if I would really say low detail, more like a few areas where they didn’t put detail but there’s detail elsewhere.
By the way, thanks everyone from the comments. I appreciate all of them.
Thanks for pointing these out, Tyler.
I’m not disappointed. But I’m sure you know how I am about gaming Heavy Gear.
In any case, the folks at Dream Pod 9 can be notified, and, with any QC, they can modify the sprues appropriately for future consumers and fans. Thanks for the notice.
I’m afraid that’s wishful thinking. The only way they can modify the sprues is by completely re-making them; they’re machined out of blocks of steel. And frankly these things don’t need modifying, they need completely rebuilding from the ground up.
FWIW I’m also pretty disappointed with these figures – even more so because none of the major issues I have with them were unavoidable. The detail and posing is years behind the last plastic figures I bought about twenty years ago, and the proportions are way off; one gets the impression that the people who did the CAD models didn’t understand Heavy Gear /or/ plastics production.
Sad to say, the [lack of] quality of these figures is probably the final nail that kills my interest in HG for good.
I completely agree with you in that the Kickstarter plastics are bad from design to execution, and this makes me not want to play the game. Interestingly I’ve decided I’m painting the contents of the Kickstarter in spite of the problems, and I mean spite. Hate-painting may be accurate. And because I’m painting them I probably will play with them if I get the chance. I’m really just putting my foot down on buying something and abandoning it.
The models aren’t awful once you get paint on them not stellar by any means but passable. I just painted a Southern force:
Once painted they do work for the mini game they are made for. Other than that they are unpleasant to paint and will hurt the potential success of the game.