A while ago, in my incessant search for swamp/bog/fen related miniatures, I came across this blog post by Mr Saturday, where he talks about a new company called Oakbound Miniatures that sells Fimir-like models.
It got me intrigued as the models described in his post looked very distinct on one hand and yet somehow resembled something very familiar in my nostalgic memory. So I went and visited their website for more information.
Created and sculpted by the talented Geoff Sims, these fenfolk indeed strongly resonate both with the infamous Fimir and Dark Crystal's Skeksis and to a certain extent the UrRu in their appearance. The creatures in question are called Myeri and their race is described here.
Their unique design got my attention and soon after I found myself ordering the fenfolk pack (which includes eight Myeri, three birds (marsh crows) and two large creatures, Kelpie and Woldlouse - the latter blatantly resembles Dark Crystal's Garthim) plus a swords' pack, just in case they would be needed. A few days later the order arrived and I got to check out these models in the flesh.
The miniatures are made in metal and come with wooden hexagonal bases. They are nicely sculpted and carry much more detail than I had thought - even though they are not as finely detailed as the likes of Forge World's Fimir models, they have a lot of elements to paint, especially in characters carrying armour and ornaments. Plus, they are all unique-looking and vary in sizes, which is always a plus for me in terms of collectable miniatures.
There were some fine mold lines that were easy to clean. The heads, tails and arms in some of the models come separate and require assembly.
The assembly itself was not as tricky as I initially thought. Even though the models come with pins to match the holes between the pieces, I found it easier to chop the pins and use super glue to stick the components together. I then used green stuff around the joints to secure the models.
Currently there is only one pack of weapons available, but Geoff told me that more accessories will be made available in the near future. This meant that I had to find weapons elsewhere. I didn't have to look too far though; my bitz box had enough accessories to provide these miniatures with the necessary props. I didn't want them to be heavily armed, as I will be using them as a semi-peaceful race in the swamps, so I went for GW rudimentary weapons from various plastic kits (mainly Ogres and Savage Orcs). I think this worked quite effectively.
Myeri warriors with GW weapons
I added some green stuff to the Draoi, (the wizard and potentially leader of the Myeari folk), and gave her (him?) a long beard for extra character.
As for basing, some characters had to stand on a few layers of cork so that their weapons would not go beyond the bottom of the base. I find cork to be an excellent solution for simulating rocky formations, so I went ahead and cut some bits from a cork flooring sheet I had in my workstation.
I'm still deciding which colour scheme to use for the skin. I'm tempted to go for yellow or light brown, but I will have to make a few tests before painting the whole lot.
Here are the remaining models ready to be undercoated:
The shamans and the bagpiper
Kelpie and Woldlouse
So, the verdict: if you're looking for an affordable and characterful (dare I say, unique-looking) warband either to be used as Fimir proxies, swamp creatures or simply as Myeri, then these fenfolk by Oakbound Miniatures represent an excellent option.
The other plus side, as far as my personal taste goes, is that all the models are exclusively hand-sculpted. In a time when wargaming companies tend to go down the 3D printing route, it is very refreshing to witness companies like Oakbound making models by hand, with its inevitable little human imperfections. The exact imperfections that give wargaming models the personality and character that this hobby should be all about.
P.S. Oakbound Miniatures is currently having a kickstarter campaign for more of their Celtic folk to join the Myeri. Definitely worth checking out!