So, I've managed to get my Masters of the Path crew (Yan Lo) and Izamu together. It was a bit of a bitch frankly, but good fun in it's way.
I'm not sure where to start here, I have a number of issues with these figures but don't want this to sound like a slagging off, as I'm very keen on the resultant figures and there's much to like here.
Lets look at the Sprue's.
As you can see from the picture, some of the components are tiny. I mean tiny. I've never seen anything like Yan Lo's beard or Chiaki's bow. Quite why Yan Lo's beard was an extra component and not part of his face I don't know - well, I have a theory, more of which later.
There were no instructions, which surprised me given the number of components, but each item has a code printed on the sprue so you can see which bits go with which model. It's up to you if you do them in numerical order, I didn't, but they tend to start with the heads and work down, it's not a bad way to do it, I suggest getting the heads torso's and legs together, gluing that to the base and then adding arms and bits on. That will give a stable platform for standing your figures up whilst the tricky bits dry in place.
Izamu is packaged the same way, though his base was not bagged up. Good wedge of foam, sprue and base in a nice strong box.
|Chiaki, without base|
It has to be said that most of the pieces fit together very well. The only pieces I had any real trouble with were the Ashigura that has his legs in two pieces and Izamu's helmet which I botched, I couldn't get it to sit properly and I cut a piece of his collar off in the mistaken believe it would help.. mistake, I will need to do some greenstuff work before painting here.
I didn't add Chiaki's base as I didn't like the way it fitted. It's very snug but some bits didn't match too well. Also as I intend to do bases that look marshy I can work her into the theme better without it. It has meant I've had to soften the line on the back of her dress where it suddenly goes vertical in order to fit in her base.
|The Soul Porter a lovely little figure|
|Yan LO - look at the lines on his robes.|
Which leads me on to those tiny pieces. Maybe I'm a cynic but I can't help but feel that some of these pieces have been separated out to fill the sprue rather than make life easy for you, to give a lightly better impression of value for money. Personally I'd rather fewer pieces and a couple of quid cheaper, but perhaps that's just me.
Quality - generally I'd give good marks here. Very nice sculpts with excellent detail, there's just one area I'd question and that's how well the plastic is being injection molded, check out Yan Lo's robes. They're full of lines that appear to be from the plastic injection process, I don't think they should be there, or am I being unfair? Is this texture? I don't think so. I think I'm going to need to cover these lines, they are physical lines you can feel not just see, with liquid green stuff.
|Izamu - nice model, but pricey.|
Mold lines - mostly easy to get rid if but there are some infuriating ones. Right down the centre of the faces of two of the Ashigaru for instance and some of the ones down the detailed armour are going to be tricky to get rid of without damaging the detail on the armour.
Be careful, very careful, removing some of these components from the Sprue. They are fragile and thin, GW spears are thicker than the scale suggests, these are to scale and therefore incredibly thin, you've been warned.
I usually work with liquid poly when it comes to plastics. This time I used a plastic glu from a bottle with a long thin dispensing needle. this was very useful, I highly recommend one for this kit, but don't apply too much or it can spill and melt detail.
|Glue dispenser - vital for this kit.|