This article originally appeared in Pyramid #7
REAPER MINIATURESVerminites and Mouslings
Produced by Reaper Miniatures
Sculpted by Terry Williams
Single Figures: $.90 for lead, $1.35 for pewter
Mounted Figures: $4.00 for lead, $6.00 for pewter
In many ways, Reaper Miniatures is a throwback to the good old days of miniatures. No fancy four-color backing cards, foam packing and blister packs; Reaper's minis come in a small plastic bag with a red title card stapled over the top. But while the packaging may not be the best, the savings mean lower prices at the hobby shop.
And unlike most of the larger manufacturers, Reaper has not abandoned the traditional lead alloys. Their entire line is available in both lead and pewter, with the pewter figures costing 50% more than the lead. Add it all up, and you've got a line of figures that you can buy at your game store for under a buck (and that's including tax)!
Of course, the price wouldn't be much of an attraction if the figures weren't any good, but that is not a problem. Reaper has a full line of fantasy miniatures, including all the basics -- dragons, giants, elementals, undead, orcs, goblins, dwarves and elves, as well as the full gamut of humans: warriors, thieves, clerics, wizards, archers, peasants, knights and more. And while they're all very nice, they're not very much different from miniatures I've seen before (I mean, how many different ways can you sculpt a guy in armor with a sword?).
So let me spend the rest of this review on the figures in the Reaper line that really caught my eye -- figures I hadn't seen anywhere before. The Mouslings are exactly what they sound like -- little roly-poly mice, reared up on their hind legs and wielding various weapons. I especially liked the wizard, caught in mid-cast and holding a simple staff adorned with a coin hung by a leather thong (hey, they're mice -- it's probably the best they could scrounge . . . ).
The Mouslings have a natural enemy in the Verminites, vicious-looking ratmen dressed in rags with crude armor, shields and weapons. A few of them have armor and helmets, too, but it all has that worn-out, scavenged look that places these nasties at the bottom of the dungeon pecking order.
Right now, the Verminites outnumber the Mouslings, 14 figures to 6, but I expect that will even out as time goes by. The figures are true 25mm scale (the Mouslings are even a bit shorter than that), so they may seem a little small compared to a lot of the other figures in your collection, especially considering the trend of the last few years to cast "25mm" figures that are 30mm or even 35mm tall. The detail is good, the castings we received were clean with only a few incidents of flash, and as the pictures can attest, they paint up nicely, too.
And I can't end this review without taking special notice of the four mounted figures in the line. The two-piece figures (one Mousling and three Verminites) all have the same type of mount, a huge kangaroo-rat type creature that measures 40mm high and 70mm nose to tail. Each mount has some subtle differences (different types of helmets and armor and saddles), though their poses are practically identical. The riders fit on their mounts cleanly and the overall look is very impressive. These are my favorite figures in the batch.
Reaper's distribution is not quite universal yet, so if you can't find them in your local game store (though you should always check your local retailers first), you can send $2.00 to Reaper for a catalog at Reaper Miniatures, 1660 S. Stemmons, Suite 220, LB 11, Lewisville, TX 75067.
-- Scott Haring
Article publication date: June 1, 1994
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