by: Andrzej Snigorski [ ]
Beastmen in Warhammer Fantasy setting are humanoid creatures with a variety of animal features, usually including cloven feet, horns, excessive body hair, and bestial faces. They are effect of Chaos influences on humans so the Beastmen race is also known as the Children of Chaos. Although many variation across their race are known the goat-like features like cloven hoofs and horns (more ram-like then goat’s) are most common. They stand and walk like humans; they also have human-like arms and hands. Their bodies are strong; their fur is usually knotted, tangled with dried blood, filth and dung; their heads are goat-like, but their mouths are reminding rather of predators than herbivore animals. Their teeth are sharp and rotted.
Visually, beastmen have much in common with the devils of the Middle Ages and the satyrs of Classical Antiquity and as such beastmen-like creature can be found also outside of Warhammer Fantasy world under miscellaneous names (i.e. Goatmen from Diablo series).
Berserkers were Norse warriors who, according to Old Norse literature, fought in almost uncontrollable fury. Most of historians believe that berserkers worked themselves into a rage before battle by autosuggestion, rituals or even self-harm, but some think that they might have consumed hallucinogenic drugs (although hallucinogens know at that time caused rather pacifistic visions and could not result with rage).
The word "berserker" today applies to anyone who fights with reckless abandon and disregard to even their own life. Berserkers (not necessarily described as Norse warriors) were often described by many fantasy and science-fiction writers like Saberhagen or Zelazny.
Freebooter Miniatures is a German company offering 30mm metal miniatures sculpted by Werner Klocke. One of figures in their range that includes many fantasy, horror and steampunk characters is Beastman Berserker.
This goat-like creature stands on the ground with one hoof on a stone. He holds an axe in each hand as he is preparing for fight. His head with heavy ram-like horns leans forward as he screams with his mouth wide open and his huge fangs are showing. Beastman’s beard is braided in two plaits. He has tangled fur on his head, shoulders, and forearms and below the waist but his chest and stomach is bare. Beastman wears only a small leather sack covering the “naughty bits”.
Several wounds are visible on his body and arms.
He is obviously angry and his face shows huge amounts of malice and bloodlust.
The kit comes in blister made of transparent plastic with Freebooter Miniature card showing the figure painted by Holger Schmidt, company data and name of the kit.
Parts inside the blister are protected by a zip-bag and dark grey foam. Protection seems to be efficient because no part came damaged (one was slightly bended but since it is white metal it was very easy to adjust).
Kit consists 7 parts:
- Beastman’s torso with legs
- righ arm with axe
- left arm with axe
- baseplate with part of terrain to place the figure on
- square base
Catalogue describes the figure as 30mm scale but the height of assembled figure is about 40mm.
Assembly and painting
There is no assembly instruction except for the picture of painted figure. The same picture may be used as painting instruction but since the character is fictional no “correct” painting scheme really exist. Painting suggested by Freebooter Miniatures is mostly in grey with darker fur but i.e. for Fire Clan of Goatmen in Diablo series the skin would be painted red and the fur would be black.
There is no possibility of switching the hands because of different joints (plugs and sockets are switched for left and right arm). Joint between head and neck is not very firm but in the same time it allows some adjustment.
Joint areas are almost fully invisible (torso-head-horns) or placed in areas that are borders of fur (forearms) so after assembly no additional cleaning should be required.
No fitting problems were found except for position of one leg that did not fit slots in the terrain base – due to white metal’s plasticity it was very easy to fix ) leg was probably delicately bended in transport).
Detailing and quality
Figure is cast in white metal. Casting is very good and all details are perfectly visible. No errors have been spotted, surfaces are flawless and very delicate seam line is visible on few points. Very thin flesh is present on the horns in areas where it is very easy to remove.
Delicate touch of sandpaper is all the figure needs after cutting the parts off from the blocks.
Fur looks very naturally and braids are sculpted with great care. Face of Beastman is very suggestive and emotions shown by sculptor clear and visible.
Axes’ hafts are real eye-catchers – wood texture is perfectly sculpted is a great base for painting.
Baseplate’s details are crisp and clean; few leaves are laying between the stones and after careful painting it should look very nice even without additional vegetation. My baseplate has a flesh on one side but since it square it will not cause any problem and will be very easy to remove.
Very nice miniature with details that makes you forget it is only 40mm tall. It may be very interesting not only for Warhammer fans but also for any fantasy figures painter. Very delicate errors that are easy to be corrected are nothing in compare with sculpting and casting quality. Pose which is steady but filled with energy allows usage of this figure either as stand-alone or on vignette with other figures.
Quality is very good and just minimal work is required to build this figure which will be real eye-catcher when painted.
Pictures of assembled and painted figure came from Freebooter Miniatures’ website