Conquest Core Set Miniature Review: The Spires

In my last post I was raving about Conquest. But, in this post I will take a step back and discuss the overall process, challenges, and successes of Para Bellum’s Spires from the Starter Box Set.

Ranks of fodder to chew through

For those of you who are not familiar, it contains:

  • 1x Pheromancer
  • 3x Brute Drones
  • 1x Abomination
  • 24x Force-Grown Drones

This force comes in around 575 points or so if I remember correctly, and is a nice starter army that will let you build on it.

For each of these models, the detail is amazing. For the Force-Grown Drones for example, you can make out each individual linen that they’re wrapped in, you can see each piece of bone armor, and the shape of how it fits on the soldier. However, there flipside of this is that painting the finished miniatures can become quite tedious.

All of the models come in many pieces. However, they are easy to assemble. There are no tricky pieces that you’ll find in Games Workshop models. Typically, the minis come in legs, body, arms, heads, and weapons. All the connection parts line up just fine, and the plastic is quite easy to work with. Using a liquid cement or super glue will make these miniatures hard as a rock.
When assembling the Abomination, I was faced with a challenge. The overall form seemed pretty static, and it’s overall size made it difficult to allow the cement to set. I had to come up with various ways to perch parts up so that everything would stay connected.

My absolute favorite models out of the bunch to work on are the Brutes. I’m not sure why I was so drawn to these guys, but, they seemed the most customizable. There are several different options for weapons, arms, and decoration. It allows for a nice variance if you were to have multiple units of these.

The Pheromancer was just fine. There was nothing terribly great or bad. It was a pretty standard leader model. Slightly more complicated than the troops to assemble, but, overall, really fun to paint.

The Good

  • Easy to assemble. Great contact points, most of the models will easily set and become tough as nails if you use the appropriate liquid cement.
  • Great individual detail: keeps your attention while painting, and with some of the master painters out there- paint jobs can highlight the great detail.
  • Plastic is amazing to work with and feels durable. It’s tough and easily cleaned and sanded.

The Bad

  • Limited customization. Only select models seem to have the ability to be customized and made unique in a pile of similar models.
  • The high detail can make it difficult to paint. While the detail keeps your attention, there is A LOT of it in regards to the linens and bone armor. If you want to focus on those, you can easily get overwhelmed.
  • It is VERY easy to lose some of the detail if you do multiple priming layers (such as zenithal priming)

Overall, it’s a great way to get started in Conquest, and even in the hobby. I know I’m looking forward to the Hundred Kingdom half as they were just as fun/easy to assemble.

Conquest: The Miniatures that got me re-interested in painting

So, it’s been a minute to say the least. The past few months I’ve been in a massive slump. Like many, I suffer from some pretty hefty seasonal depression as well as focusing issues. Those combined, plus an overall apathy from lack of free time kind of resulted in a lot of things getting pushed to the side.

My partner told me that I need to start taking Vitamin D, which, she’s probably not wrong. BUT, I also think a healthy dose of something interesting helped.

Several months ago, someone was selling a nice sized lot of Conquest minis on Facebook for a steal. I picked them up. Assembled a few, painted a few, then, left it on my shelf in a box. Awhile back I was cleaning and saw that box and thought to myself, “Well, I should probably move these. I’m never gonna get to them.” The box had the Conquest starter plus a few additional kits, so I thought I could flip it for a quick profit. However, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

Every time I went to take pictures, I looked at the quality, the sculpts, and the artwork and said, “Damn, these are nice”. Then put them back in the box.

It took a few months of this back and forth for me to bring them all back out of the box and start working on them. Specifically, the Spires (I’m currently working on the Hundred Kingdoms, but that’s for another day).
I couldn’t get over how cool they looked and the overall ‘sci-fi fantasy’ vibe they had. After learning the lore behind them, and how they’re pretty much an alien elvish race that creates their own soldiers from the bio-mass of a planet… I was hooked. It was just such a refreshing take on them.

I started really churning threw them after that. I started with the Abomination first, and came up with the scheme I’ve got, and then the rest fell into place. I will say, the drones were a bit of big mouthful since there were so many, and since I already knew they were there to die, I didn’t really want to spend too much time on them.

But, the Avatara, oh, the Avatara are beautiful. The sculpts are unique and uncanny valley, slightly creepy, and just, wonderful. These were the models that completely fired me up about painting and minis again. With their odd proportions and hidden details, I couldn’t stop painting them.

So ultimately, I just want to say thank you Para Bellum. Even though I have yet to play a game of Conquest, I know if it’s anything like the miniatures, it will be a delight to do. I only wish I could find a group near me that does.