I’ve been aware of Fanath Arts for some time in the 3rd party Blood Bowl market. While I had looked before at picking up their High Elf team I never pulled the trigger on it. It was a decent design but it didn’t capture my full attention. Well times have changed! When Fanath offered a Chaos Chosen team on Indiegogo this past summer it grabbed my attention despite having just recently purchased a Chosen team months before. So what was it that made me spend money on a second team of the same variety?
Games Workshop made a decision back in the 90’s when they switched beastmen from metal to plastic. While I don’t begrudge the ease of plastic nor the cost of having units in plastic box sets over metal blisters, it unfortunately brought to the end the variety and randomness of the beastmen. Many years ago I read the Troll Slayers series by William King. Certainly not literary masterpieces but they were always good solid reads for entertainment. What I enjoyed about the books was it’s description of the beast of Chaos and some of the rather disturbing randomness they had. It harkened back to the old Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay and the rather disturbing mutated enemies you could encounter. Alas the new look of the beastmen is rather standardized with most of the variety remaining in just the horns. I’m not saying the models aren’t great, I actually think they are good to even include the new Chaos Chosen team, but they just don’t have that chaotic randomness off old.
To the rescue comes Fanath. The team is a total of 16 players with no duplicate poses which is always a great thing to me. The base set also offers mutation arms for both the beastmen and the warriors which is a nice plus. Up first I’ll talk about the Chosen Blockers.
Each of the ‘Blockers’ (still wanting to refer to them as Warriors) has slight details that show their allegiance to one of the chaos gods. Overall I find the details to be subtle enough to where they still have a unified style and cohesion if you don’t want to highlight their religious slants. You can check out full 360 renderings of the models below.
The mutation arms are a little unusual in that they only attach to certain Blockers as most of the mutation arms also include the shoulder pad. Included is a nice crab claw, a tentacle arm, and then two rather disturbing arms that you could use one for big hand/claw and the other claw/tentacle. One of the blockers takes two of the arms so your Khorne themed blocker is left without any. The additional heads are also nice as they help push the blockers more towards their respective gods. If you are one of the adventurous types who enjoys magnetizing arms then you can on three of the four arms although the one has an unusual connection point that might make that difficult (pictures above). Even though being an unusual type of connection the arm attaches fine and when painted should be good to go.
The Beastmen Runners on the team are the real selling point in my opinion. Instead of sticking with the tried and true goat-headed beastmen, Fanath added some much needed variety to the team. While there are a some classic goat looking chaps on the squad there is also everything from a bison to a warthog. Also included are four mutation arms with a similar looking crab claw as the blockers, two tentacles, and a rather nasty looking extra arm. The intent is for the mutation arms to go in replacement of the left arms on the models. Attempting some dry fitting on the models I was able to get the tentacle arms work on the right side of the models without anything looking off, but most of the models don’t have separate right arms.. You’ll notice a couple of the models aren’t really meant for mutations (the elk, beastman on all fours, and two traditional looking beastmen) but you still have plenty to work with. For the most part the models are only in the need of arms so assembly is a snap. None of those annoying waist cuts! Even some of the models that I wasn’t sure on have grown on me since I’ve had them in hand. The details on the models aren’t super detailed but they still offer plenty of fun painting opportunities. The warthog is probably my favorite of the group as his pose is great. I can picture him getting ready to run into the endzone of over an opponent, or possibly both!
The final monstrosity of the team is the Minotaur. This guy is a serious chunk of metal! Standing fully upright this guy would be massive, but his design not only keeps him from taking up multiple squares but also strikes the classic three point stance. If size is a concern about when he is prone then Fanath has offered something truly fantastic. Included with my order is a scaled down version of a prone and stunned model. Not only is this little guy a cutie but the practicality of the tokens is awesome. I like having tokens to swap out big guys when they are down but I’ve never had one that was an actual scaled down version of the model. The minotaur itself is just four pieces with the arms and head separate. I will say that some people will be disappointed that there isn’t a claw arm that came with the model. Personally I can live without one as after running a Chaos Chosen team for two season I know the struggle that comes with constantly having to convert mutations. Still, if you insist on having it done the forearm guards on the model make for excellent cut points if you want to do your own. Despite the weight of the model the design keeps the center of gravity low on the model and I haven’t have any issues with it tipping in the slightest.
3d render found here.
The extras that came with the team are nice. The team tokens and football came with the order and are a nice little addition easily useful for turn/score/reroll markers. The Chainsaw wielding looney (Star Player) was an addon to my pledge and I am glad I picked him up. The design of this model is great and I love the scars on his body that instantly make me think of those nasty kickbacks. To be honest if I paint any model on this team first it will probably be him. Since I haven’t gotten to work on these yet (still have the Undead to finish) and being out of the country here are some pictures of painted work from Fanath.
So on to the nitty-gritty.
Scale aficionados will find this team a perfect fit with the new scale of Blood Bowl 2016. While overall height with the horns makes them appear taller I think on the field and everyone on bases they are perfectly sized. The warriors certainly have the bulk over the human team to show that extra point of strength and thankfully have shirts and pants on.
Quality wise I am very impressed with the team. The metal molding was very smooth with hardly any noticeable mold lines. I did have a bit of venting on the minotaur horns which was minor and one of the additional Blocker heads had a very bad vent on the connection point. Both are easily fixed though and in the case of the blocker head I am not planning on using it so no concern at all.
So how does the team stack in the end?
Set comes with alternate heads and mutation arms
Mutations are limited to certain models
No minotaur mutations
If you are looking for a metal team with unique player designs then I would recommend the team. I am less inclined these days to worry about converting everything single mutation so I am not concerned about having mutation arms for all the players so that doesn’t bother me. I get more enjoyment out of a well sculpted team and this team certainly delivers there. Fanath currently has the team for sale here. If you are fan of the prone minotaur model they are currently offering a troll and ogre versions along with a two great Troll models to include one stuffing the ball down a goblins mouth. Certainly worth checking out when you are on the site.
Fanath also has a facebook page if you wish to keep up with their work. It can be found here. If you have any questions about the team please let me know. This wraps up my review, hope all is going well, take care as always!