DreadBall - Mantic Plastics Review

Before I launch into the team reviews there are general points to be made about the models in the DreadBall set.

Firstly, the plastic Mantic uses does not play nice with (my bottle of Army Painter) plastic glue. While the glue does melt the plastic, it doesn't set quickly (as in within a few hours, I've not left it over night - if I do I'll amend this). The bond is strong enough to support the weight of arms etc, but you don't want to knock the pieces. I'll be using super glue just to speed things up.

Also on a general point about the plastic, the mould lines are strange things. Upon the first pass with a modelling knife the line is burred, so suddenly becomes much more visible. You're going to want to do a very good job with a sharp knife to clean them off, or leave well alone.

The bases of the models also need a paragraph or two.

Firstly the bases all have a big tab sticking out of them. This is a pain for two reasons. 1) It's a big lump of plastic to trim off. 2) cutting it wrong is going to put a big and obvious scar in the side of the base.

More importantly than the tab though, is that the bases are not all circular. The most obvious example I could find was the two balls.While not a massive issue, it is going to become more pronounced when using the clear bases from Mantic, and it is going to case problems for anyone hoping to use alternate bases as each is going to be slightly different.

The detail is very good for the most part, with fine lines captured very nicely. Some of the hands lack definition, and their are some ears on the Marauders that have suffered for being such tiny parts. (I'd be interested to know if anyone else has had similar issues).

For all the negative tone of the above, overall I'm happy with the models. You'll see the four teams, and the MVP's in posts to come, as well as specific points related to them.


  1. The whole sculpts thing is a bit odd. I can't help but compare to the bloodbowl market. Companies bring out single piece models with minimal flash. These are cottage guys bringing out a far superior product to a wargames company.

    A typical deal would be (from Impact!) for roughly £24 for 12-17 (depending on size of fig) all different normally one piece sculpts. Mantic is £14 for 8 - comparable prices but less variety, very fiddle to assemble in some cases and a nightmare to clean up. I've been told I need to put the models in water just after it has boiled, let them cool then they should be easier to cut flash off?

    Really I would have loved stuff equivalent to the BB stuff out there, or boardgame level (which for me is reaper bones like pvc plastics with one pose per position with different coloured teams). What I got didn't really hit either. And te factory doing the moulding needs a long painfull lesson on where to site mould lines...

    1. What's even stranger is that none of the issues with flash and mold line placement occur on Mantic's older regiment sets for Skeletons, Ghouls, and Wights (and I assume other models as well, but those are the ones I own).

      I've not tried the water trick, but I'll give it a go. Certainly anything to speed up the cleaning process would be welcome.

      The mold lines are really badly placed, which would be less of a problem if they weren't as visible and easy to clean off. As it is all three things together are a real pain. It's enough to make me wary of getting into Mantic's Deadzone Kickstarter.

    2. Different factory I guess (the originals were Renedra but they are more expensive than the Chinese and overworked). Well and 'proper' hard plastic not the restic stuff.

      The mould line placement does look like a factory having a go with no prior experience of this type of product. Really an experienced caster wouldn't have done that, though the sculpter also doesn't seem to have much understanding of the realities of getting something made as they can make the casters life a lot easier.

      I am in for the game, the mat and the plastics (which I've just learnt are sculpted by a friend of mine so reassured there). The models? Well I will try to sell if there is a market and use others. Bought a copy of fate of the forge star from dark sphere in London for £20 as they are not impressed by mantic and offloading all their stuff - that is the core of an orc and dwarf gang, guess I will have to use some of the specials if I don't see anything else going cheap.

    3. It's a shame that they've gone with a worse end product for the customer.

      The mold lines are tiresome, and there seems to be no attempt to fit the line to even the basic curves of the model. Mutter mutter. The cost savings don't outweight the time investment for the end user as things stand.

      I think likewise for Deadzone. Dark Sphere does some good deals doesn't it? Not been in for a while. I've got Project Pandora, and like the game, but you can feel the price in the plastic and the card. Space Hulk may have been expensive, but it did feel like you got more than your monies worth.


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