Welcome to this little review of the Artemis 2.0 Kickstarter, run by Kev White (of Hasslefree Minis fame) along with an unboxing of my pledge reward. A warning – there are photos of nude (and I don’t mean unpainted, though they are) miniatures down below.
Artemis is a popular miniature available in the Hasslefree Webstore, sculpted by Kev White. So popular, there are actually two of her – one in 28mm scale and a second in a slightly larger 40mm in a different pose. almost all of the Hasslefree range is in the 28-32mm scale range, so Kev wanted to try something new – a 75mm version of Artemis. To see if there was a demand for larger-scale Hasslefree style models, he went to Kickstarter.
I have some problems with companies using Kickstarter as a pre-order system, but this project is actually what I believe it was initially designed for. Someone having an idea and wanting to know if there were enough people around to support it happening. Kev ran the project through his own account rather than the Hasslefree account as he wanted to see if it was viable before involving the company.
The project ran through the whole month of June 2019, with 277 backers funding the project with just under £20,000, 4x the funding goal.
Thanks to the success of the project, there are now multiple variations of this new Artemis 2.0, with different levels of clothing and weapons.
The production was all on schedule (as best you can do with a Kickstarter) until Kev’s wife Sally had a fall on holiday, damaging her neck and back. Luckily she escaped paralysis but did suffer some nerve damage along with spinal fractures. Instead of packing Kickstarter pledges, she’s been forced to rest up and go slow with them. The first batch of orders got sent out this week, with my pledge reward included. All of here at the Chilling Network send Sally our best and hope that her recovery continues to go as planned.
As mentioned above, the project smashed past its £5k target, and that allowed Kev to get creative.
The first of the large scale Artemis models, and the original in the campaign, Artemis 2.0 is a very close copy of the 40mm Artemis.
Artemis 2.1 sees the addition of armour and a spear to replace the sword. The shield has also been altered, with the 2.0 design replaced by a smooth surface.
Amongst other things, Artemis is Goddess of the Hunt. The spear option was covered in 2.1 so she’s stripped off again and picked up her bow. This has led to the pose being altered slightly, particularly the arms. One of the interesting things about seeing sculptors like Kev adapt minis is seeing the different changes that are made. In this instance, it’s even easier as the test casts (grey resin) are being added to with different colour materials.
Artemis 2.3 sees the Artemis 2.2 with the addition of a traditional robe, often seen on statues of her.
A single Artemis model had a pledge level of £40 plus postage, while 4 would cost £145 – a £15 discount. £40 is fairly middle of the road on a 75mm miniature as far as my experience goes. I’ve bought cheaper, but I’ve also bought ones that are more expensive by a distance.
I ended up getting Artemis 2.1. I’ve got plenty of naked models in resin mountain (ruling out 2.0 and 2.2) and as I’ve never really been a historical minis person, I decided to go for the armoured version to look at working on a semi-traditional scheme for it.
Artemis arrived in 6 pieces, all resin, including her 40mm base. Her pose is fairly central within the base, so it should be stable, though I’m tempted to use the base as a topper for a 50mm one for a little more security.
There is a little bit of flash and a few casting tabs left over, but no obviously visible mold lines, which is great! A number of resin models that I’ve received recently have arrived clean and without any mold release, letting me skip the washing step but as you can probably see, I’ll be needing to give her a good bath before I go too far on with the prep work.
This particular Artemis is dressed in leather armour and a Corinthian helmet tilted on the top of her head. The helmet being tilted back lets you get a good look at her face, along with adding some extra height to the model once the top section of the helmet is attached.
The shield is a part of the model that I really like. I hadn’t noticed before writing this that there was a difference between the 2.0 and 2.1 shields. Where the 2.0 shield has a design already on it, the surface of the 2.1 shield is plain enough for you come up with your own design but has enough texture applied that you can just paint it up as weathered metal if you want to. The rope handhold is another detail that I really like.
The double-ended spear does not escape from the flaw that most lengthy, thin, resin items suffer from in being warped. However, the warping is minor and a quick dunk in some hot and cold water should get it sorted out. The spear is also the only piece to really be affected by mold lines, which run along the length of it on the inside.
The base, as mentioned above, is a compact 40mm. If this was a gaming figure, I’d grumble about her lugging a tactical scenery piece around with her as so many Knight Models characters tend to do at the moment. As a display piece, I like it. The broken column, fallen in the sand, is a nice setting. There is an indent for her right foot, while her left will sit on the front edge of the pillar. Anything that makes it easier for me to get the build correct is good in my book. The indent might look a bit off if the foot was sinking into a more solid surface but as it appears to be sand or dirt, I’d expect her body weight to cause her to sink a little.
In short, I’m happy! I’m happy with my choice of Artemis 2.1 over the others and I’m happy with the overall product I’ve received for the cost. The sculpt is nice, as you’d expect from Kev White at any scale, and the cast is crisp on the detail where it needs it.
I’m pleased that this the Artemis 2.0 Kickstarter is another that I can tick off as complete. From the Kev/Hasslefree perspective, I’d hope that funding 4x higher than the required goal will make future large scale efforts look viable, though now that there is precedent for success I’d hope that they found their way onto the Hasslefree store as a pre-order rather than Kickstarter.
Yes, there was a delay in receiving the final product, but to all the people whining and moaning – shit happens. Real-life stuff has to come before resin models – stuff like serious injuries. Kev and Sally have been in the hobby a long time and I’ve never had a problem with any orders or projects run by them – I wouldn’t have backed the project if I had any doubt in their ability to deliver the project.
With my grumbling over, I don’t know if/when they’ll appear in the Hasslefree Webstore but I’m very much looking forward to finding the right time and project to paint my Artemis up. I might even paint up the little one I have to go with her!
Want to look at more shiny things? We’ve got a whole section here on the site for reviews – take a look!