Quality Of The DZ Plastics

The internet being the internet, it was inevitable that there would be a conspiracy involved somewhere. This one’s quite fun. Apparently, Mantic weren’t simply busy running a Kickstarter for Mars Attacks and hadn’t had time to post some pictures, oh no. In fact they were intentionally hiding their (supposedly) terrible Deadzone models out of shame and dismay, hoping that nobody would rumble them before the Mars Attacks Kickstarter ended, whereupon they would all run off into the sunset with their ill-gotten gains, cackling with glee.¹

And then there was reality.

Having read this I nudged Mantic this morning that they really needed to get some pictures up, and here they are (I swiped them off Dakka). The first one is a bag of figures tipped onto the table. No trimming or other prep work. This is how they come.



The next one shows some cleaned up and put together. The ones on the left have been primed too.



So, as you can see, quite the contrary to these models being an insane relative that needs hiding in an attic, the Deadzone miniatures are looking pretty smart. Personally I’m not seeing anything wrong with them at all.

I will snaffle a few when I’m in the office next week and take some more pics of my own. Until then, if any Secret Tibetan Masters send you an email from the Illuminati telling you that Mantic are hiding out on the Grassy Knoll, please just press delete…



1: I paraphrase, of course.


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33 Responses to Quality Of The DZ Plastics

  1. Bidge says:

    Yeah I heard the same crap myself. Mantic have never disappointed me yet and each iteration of design/mini that they produce is just getting better. These look great and I am choking at the bit to get my hands on them.

  2. James 'Maz' Marsden says:

    looking awesome!

  3. crimsonsun says:

    That is absurd really because as far as I am concerned Mantic have been incredibly open with what was going on with there plastic’s (namely they have not found a method that meets there quality demands but are hopeful that they have a solution and are awaiting results) and that as such the models that were to be in plastic are going to come with the second shipment.

    Also the Mantic Blog is running Deadzone week – seems a highly odd way of hiding there models!?! I literally cannot wait for my parcel to turn up at the start of December just need to find somewhere to set up the four battle mats and 10 battlezone’s before while I get to building every faction (well in fact I have at least one of every model in the range.. seems I spent big on this one!)

    Thanks for the pictures though Jake, the more the merrier!


  4. Sami Mahmoud says:

    If by “paraphrase” you mean “strawman” then yeah, that’s pretty accurate.

  5. lord_blackfang says:

    I am honored that I apparently got a whole blog entry dedicated to me (and maybe a few like-minded posters on Dakka). Considering that the Men-at-arms WERE concealed from the customers until it was too late, I feel my concerns were valid and the blog’s tone is a little too patronizing.

    Having said that, these pictures (about freakin’ time!) have obviously put my mind at ease and I can go full in on Mars Attacks with no worries.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Happy you’re happy LB, though I hadn’t actually read your posts on Dakka. I just got the link to that thread when James posted up the pics. You can still feel honoured if you like though 😉

      I don’t really know anything about the men at arms release process cos that’s KOW and I don’t follow it very closely. Nor do I have any of those models (don’t really need more fantasy humans). The only ones I looked at in the office were pre-production and weren’t very good, but then pre-production ones often aren’t. That’s all part of the process. If they weren’t up to snuff when they were released and you felt that was hidden then that’s not good and it’s understandable that you would want to avoid being stung twice. Absolutely. Like I said, glad the pics put your mind at ease on that front.

  6. Gareth says:

    The claim that they were concealing bad minis is perhaps overly paranoid. But, let’s be honest , there are some issues with that type of plastic. Dreadball miniatures are horrible to clean and don’t have the best track record for mold lines. Also, that plastic is used widely by Privateer Press and is just as widely hated.

    I’m not saying that it makes bad minis, but there is a reason why everyone prefers hard plastic.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      There is indeed, and I’m right there with you. I’d personally prefer hard plastic every time. I’d say hard plastic, old style metal, this stuff, pewter – in that order. Not a fan of pewter because it’s harder than some of my tools. Not sure where I’d put traditional resin as I’ve not really worked with it enough. Having said that, my view of this stuff is based on fairly cursory use so I may revise it later.

      Some of the DB models had nasty mould lines, some of them didn’t. They’ve got a lot better as they’ve gone on and the last wave of releases is much improved. I’d be tempted to say that the reviews I’ve read and comments I’ve seen online were also generally positive, but Sami would probably decide that was a strawman too (see above). Have a Google and see what you think.

      The DZ stuff has progressed even further (according to what the Mantic production guys tell me – they’re certainly a lot happier with it). This is a combination of things, but essentially boils down to them learning how to get the best out of the process and learning what can and cannot be done. Another dreadful paraphrase/strawman (delete as applicable).

      Privateer, Sedition Wars and many other products use similar sorts of material (though the exact compound can vary depending on things like how bendy you want the final result to be) and at least some of it comes from the same factory.

      • I’d actually love to see some more regular official word from Mantic not only acknowledging the issues with ‘restic’ (cleaning and mold lines) but more importantly updates on how’re they were addressing this.

        I mean, it’s not like it’s a secret, and by keeping quiet about it, it just looks a bit dodgy -like they’re in denial or something…

        I know a big part of Mantics USP is affordability, but there’s only so far you can lower quality before it becomes crap, and I know that Ronnie makes a big thing about being ‘affordable’ rather than ‘Cheap’ for that very reason.

        Honestly, it’s a big thing because the chief reason I hear from people on why they don’t get into Mantic games (Such as Dreadball, which I do an awful lot of promoting for) is mainly the finish of the minis.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          I’ll mention this to Ronnie next time I see him. You’re right that it would be worth addressing. The last thing Ronnie wants to be producing is crap.

          Personally, I’ve done almost zero modelling with this material so I need to sit down with a pile and see what it’s like for myself. I’ll have to make sure I’ve got final production pieces though. Most of what’s lying around my desk at the moment is a mix of 3D prints, resins and pre-production nonsense so the same rules won’t apply.

          For practical production reasons of lead times and expense quite a few companies (Mantic, Privateer, FFG among others) are using or looking into using this “restic”, so it’s worth getting to grips with how to deal with it. Whilst I might prefer hard plastic myself, it’s clear that it isn’t going to go away any time soon.

        • Good man. Be gentle though – there’s an awful lot that Mantic is doing right, especially versus other popular British miniatures manufacturers that we shall not name for fear of legal retribution 😉

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Got myself a few bags so I can look at this tomorrow.

  7. redfox4242 says:

    The Secret Tibetan Masters, the Illuminati and the Grassy Knoll all sound like great material for a Mars Attacks expansion. Mantic already has some conspiracy going on with the Nova Vira secret society. Nova Vira is a little bit like the Illuminati, yes? Personally, I never doubted that the Deadzone minis were going to be excellent. That’s why I broke my budget backing the kickstarter. I am thrilled by the pictures on the Mantic blog and I am eagerly anticipating the delivery of my kickstarter package. Deadzone is going to be one of the coolest games on this planet.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I have other games based on these subjects, and there are already several out there. having said that I’m sure we could shoehorn them into MA if we tried. Not sure how Topps would feel about that though. We’d have to ask.

      The Novas Vira are more of a resistance movement pledged to protect Earth from the Martian scourge than a secret organisation bent on world domination. At least, that’s what their press release tells me. Maybe I need to dig deeper 😉

      And I’m excited about DZ too.

  8. Kyle Hotchkiss says:

    Just got a hold of the digital rule book, very good stuff. The first thing I looked up was strategist (then jump packs, couldn’t be happier with that.) Great stuff, I think the new command dynamic should make for a very interesting game, marauders just became particularly nasty (when using beta stats.) Speaking of which, is there going to be a place where I can find my units stat line? I mean other than on the cards? I was a little disappointed when I didn’t find them in the back of the book. Disappointment gone, I’m going to get back to reading! Great work!

  9. Rob Farley says:

    My own problems with Mantic right now are less to do with the quality of the miniatures (which apart from a handful of the first Dreadball figs I’ve never had an issue with, and they were fixable) and more to do with the shockingly bad customer service I’m getting from them right now. I’ve been left disappointed with both the Kings of War and Dreadball kickstarters. I’ve regrettably had to cancel my support for Mars Attacks as a result (I just can’t justify more headaches like this) even though I was really excited about the game itself.

    I’m not knocking the games themselves, I absolutely love Dreadball and I’m really looking forward to Deadzone. I just hope I actually receive what I’m meant to this time.

    • Ben says:

      What have your issues been, Rob?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Sorry to hear that Rob. Well, happy to hear you like the games (cos that’s my bit), but “shockingly bad” CS is not what you should be getting from anyone. Like Ben says, what have your issues been? Do you think they are specific to you or something more general?

      • chaoschild says:

        Basically, I have yet to see anything from Season 3 of Dreadball. This is over 2 weeks since Mantic reported everything had supposedly been shipped and I’m only just over an hour from Nottingham, so there’s no way it should have taken this long. I can only conclude that it’s either lost in transit or it was never actually shipped. I’ve contacted Mantic at least three times now and not had any kind of reply (plus another couple of attempts today through other avenues that I’m not expecting a reply to yet). From the comments on Kickstarter, I’m not the only person in this kind of situation. If the post office have lost it that’s one thing, but I can’t even get confirmation that it’s been shipped.

        On top of this, I’m still missing some models from the Kings of War Kickstarter and have another that was mispacked (2 right arms) that still needs to be corrected. I’ve just lost faith in Mantic right now.

        I don’t want to clutter things here any more since none of this is your fault or your problem, but I’m getting kind of desperate.

        I actually have a ticket for the Dreadball tourney at the open day and I really wanted to play Teratons, but that’s looking pretty unlikely right now.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Hmmm… Not good. While you’re right that it’s not really my area, I will see what I can find out about what’s going on tomorrow (when everyone’s awake to ask).

          Of all the things not to arrive I’m surprised at the Teratons. Teleportation is normally so reliable.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Hey Rob. I’ve spoken to the customer service folk at Mantic, but by the time I got in they’d already emailed you. Hopefully everything has been sorted now.

        • chaoschild says:

          Thanks for the effort Jake, It’s appreciated. I’m still not sure which of my communication efforts actually got through first but it seems like things are finally going to get sorted out.

  10. Matt says:

    Hey this may be a “duh” question but what’s with the….what appears to be…smaller bases within the larger ones. This isn’t a complaint just an honest question. If someone else already asked this an got a reply let me know. Stoked to see this awesome progress. Any news on when wav 2 will roll out with the extended universe models? Dig the blog!

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Mantic models come with a small integral base, much like GW models come with a tab. It serves a similar function to help material flow through the mould when it is made and provide a key for gluing to the gaming base.

      Not sure on release dates for following waves.

  11. MM says:

    As someone else already said before I guess that the cospiracy theories that you described are just caused by some people upset with the quality of Mantic’s recent releases from the KOW kickstarter. The quality of the men at arms were a huge problem for some people in my gaming group and the are not interested in the MA kickstarter because they are afraid that there will be similar issues. Maybe the MA KS would have ended with more money if Mantic waited a little bit (maybe after the shipment of DZ stuff?)
    Anyay I think that DZ will very iportant for Mantic, if the minis will meet the customer expectations lots of folks will trust again mantic’s future projects

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