Critical Role is the online show that actually is responsible for bringing back Dungeons and Dragons to the mainstream. You might think it’s Stranger Things, but it turns out people actually playing the game online and having fun doing so is a far better sales pitch than 30 seconds on a 80’s inspired Netflix show.
Wizkids sent a bunch of their unpainted (but pre-primed) Critical Role miniatures to Starburst Towers a little while ago and we have to honest, they’ve been a delight to paint and then use in various TTRPG games. There’s something about bringing the creatures and characters from the show to live by painting them that does the soul some good.
First off, let’s talk about the Ashari Waverider and Octopus; It’s an octopus with a little spear holding warrior friend, and some translucent plastic added to make the ‘waves’. The Ashari looks quite busy (they’re grimacing) an the Octopus looks pretty happy. The model assembles well (they’re single pose, unlike the Frameworks pieces) and paints well. Some Army Painter speedpaint or Citadel Contrast does the job fine.
The Asharhi Firetamer and Inferno Serpent is a similar deal. Worried looking (and quite buff) elf dude wielding a sword, alongside a huge snake that happens to be on fire. Expect to use all your orange paints. They’ve enough detail to paint well, quickly but in a satisfying way.
Next up are Skeletal Centaurs, which are terrifying as they sound. Why have skeletal warriors on horse back when you can have a two in one deal. You get two of these horrors in the set and again, they’re skeletons, so a little bit of bone/ivory paint, some drybrusing and you’re good to go. You may want to use an ink on the translucent fireball though.
The massive unpainted Ettin model is the very definition of a two-faced monster. Wielding a barrel and arguing with itself, this is again a well thought out, well produced model that requires minimum prep work. It’s the sort of piece you can easily take your time with.
The Cinderslag Elemental is a similarly large piece. Bit less relaxing to paint as it’s made of entirely translucent plastic. The idea is that you can get that lava effect with a little planning careful layering first; use the more see through, lighter paints first in key spots then add the ‘rock’ effects. It’s a piece that really makes you want to got that extra mile, very satisfying.
The Kymal Militia Brawler and Axeman set are fun dwarves and excitingly posed, as are their fellows in the Turst Militia.
The Kull’Tevir Javlineer and Assassin set are basically well dressed lizardmen with cool weapons. They have skulking poses and they’ve really thought about were the brush goes here. The Clasp Cutthtroat and Enforcer gives us a satyr and halfling to paint, both of whom look they’ve had rough life and want to share their experience. Again, really easy to paint. The remnant faitful and chosen models come with a lot of translucent sections for the spell effects and they’re pretty thin. The prime is very good on these, but you’ll need a good light source and a steady hand.
The amusingly named Ravager Stabby-Stabber and Slaughter Lord set are a goblin and a half-orc, both mid-stab. These are simply done, with delightful faces, great to just paint up, fabulous for the table.
Over all, an excellent wave of unpainted models and well worth the investment.