Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Secret Weapon Miniatures: Osteological Goodness

Today I'm going to review a couple of conversion items from the huge catalog over at Secret Weapon Miniatures. These are the Sack o' Skulls and Human Skeletons packs. Below I'm using a Deathwatch Assault Marine for scale comparison.

The Human Skeletons pack comes with two complete skeletons. The skulls are loose and the rest of the parts are on the sprue. I've gotta say, the sculpting on these is great, the attention to detail is impressive to say the least. I took a 400 level Osteology class back in college, it nearly killed me, though a lot of it did come back looking at these bits.

There are visible sagittal sutures on the skulls where the bony plates are fused together, the vertebrae on the spinal columns are detailed, and even the scapula on the the shoulder blades are indented. These aren't just generic bones to stick on a base, these are detailed scale models of the human skeleton.

Each of the pieces individually offer a lot of conversion potential, especially the spinal column/pelvis combo, but like a miniature crime scene you can combine them all too. Here you can see all of the parts put together to form an anatomically correct skeleton.

If you're wondering where the hands and feet are, those are usually the first to get gnawed away or carried off by small, scavenging animals like rodents and foxes. You get enough parts to build two of these per pack.

Next up is the incredibly popular Sack o' Skulls pack. Skulls. You want them. You need them. This pack has all of that and more. I didn't count my pack but it looks like, according to their heading on the Secret Weapon site, that on average you get a whopping sixty-six skulls per pack. These skulls have the same detailing as the ones in the Human Skeletons pack, which yielded another surprise.

You're not getting a bag full of the same skull. Picking around through it I was able to easily identify four separate skull sculpts. I didn't look hard enough though because there are actually five different sculpts in all, there's a detailed photo here. In addition to two sculpts of a 'normal' skull, a third of the skulls has a huge, caved-in area on the side, another with a good-sized hole in the frontal section above the eyes, and the last is missing a large chunk from the maxilla. A lot of these reminded me of the skulls they pull out of archaeological sites where medieval battles took place.

All in all, there's a lot of good stuff to be found within just these two packs. The Human Skeletons pack has all kinds of potential, and not just in the base decorations department. I can see these bits decorating banner poles, heavy weapon barrels, and more. Of course they'd look great on bases too. The Sack o' Skulls is just too cool for words, and you get so many in a pack you can deck out a few squads-worth of figs and still have plenty left over for vehicles and more. So if you're looking for some bony bits to spice up your models, look no further.

I'm sure these won't be the last Secret Weapon Miniatures products you'll see me reviewing here, for instance I've been eyeballing their awesome Rapid Assault Vehicle since its debut, and I'm currently sitting on a pile of their Desert Wasteland bases for a Squats project. Until then, enjoy!



  1. I've considered their skull for awhile, but i've seen much cheaper resin skull on ebay, that were perfect (although all were the same).

  2. Thanks for the great review!

    I've seen a few different resin skull products from eBay and a popular online shop -- but, brand bias aside, I've never been impressed.

    3/5 had decent quality but they were all pretty comic sculpts.

    4/5 had the bottom jaw sculpted on - which annoys my personal need for realism.

    4/5 also had the "ANGRY EYES" sculpt which is too common on scale model skulls. They should be rounded, not angular.

    So when we did these the goal was for proper scale and absolute realism -- with some variety, of course. Because that's how we roll :)

  3. I've been looking at the skeleton for a while and thinking of picking one or two up, after that review I think I will have to go ahead.

  4. Thanks for the review. I've been buying from SW for over a year and have never been unhappy. I started with bases and moved to his washes. Good stuff.
    Haven't bought the skulls yet but they do keep calling my name every time I'm at my FLGS.

  5. Yet Another - any chance you'd be willing to email me a pic of SWM products on display inside your LGS?

    I always enjoy seeing product on the walls!

  6. misterjustin- I noticed yesterday that game kastle had your new displays for your washes and powders up and stocked. Looks good.

  7. Thanks! Game Kastle was one of the first retailers to stock the complete line of Secret Weapon products. I've been out there for a workshop too and hope to be back soon.

  8. I can tell you that I picked a bag of each a while ago and love them. While they might not find a way onto every model, when I need a "skull," these are the perfect fit.

    I secretly wish they were resin, but just having the extra ones lying around more than makes up for that.