a pursuit of fruitless endeavors and endless refinements

Dipping Into The Animated Series

Batman The Animated Series was a staple cartoon that I watched as a kid and when I first got into Knight Model’s Batman Miniature Game, I was excited to see that they had some Animated Series figures.  Unfortunately, they only had a handful of minis and with the game being heavily skirmish-based, you couldn’t make much of a team out of their offerings.  The minis were great but they needed more of it.

Never fear though, WizKids (of all companies) has you covered. This past summer, they released a full heroclix set dedicated to The Animated Series and include most every iconic Batman “Rogue” that the show offered.

Outside of the starter pictured above, the rest of the content is all blind purchase.  Normally that would be awful but the way they laid out the set, almost all the iconic characters you would want are in the common/uncommon area.  This means they are quite cheap on the singles market. I decided to take advantage of this and pick up a few.

Well ok. At an average price of a $1.00 a figure, I couldn’t resist.  Combine this with CoolStuffInc’s $0.99 total shipping when you buy singles and I picked up most everything.  You still run into the issue with not having many henchmen to accompany the iconic villains but there is more than enough to do some regular sized games.  Knight Models made stats for their Animated Series models but since there are so few of them and they make for severely limited build options, we’ll likely use whatever stat version of the character we’re playing regardless of whether it is the “animated” version or not.

First things first, we had to get rid of those chunky bases. After trying a few options, I finally went to the interwebs for help and found a great tutorial on a quick and dirty way of removing the bases. This was the first time I’d checked out The DM’s Craft channel and he has a lot of nice tips and tricks for pimping out your D&D campaign.

He recommends, and I can now attest to, the use of a large wire cutter.  This clipper will break or cut the little base from the large clix base and leave you with a more manageable piece to work with.

Be careful that you don’t pinch yourself on the inside of the clipper’s handle or get your fingers near the clipping point or you’ll have yourself a really bad day.  You can remove the bottom base with a flat-head screwdriver so that the top doesn’t spin on you as you clip the base off.  The general idea is to get a large portion of the little raised base under the clippers and slowly clip.  You won’t likely need to go all the way through as, ideally, the glue will weaken and then snap and most of the base will come up.  You can then pull the rest off or clip it deeper to get the rest of the base off.

Sometimes, the glue won’t break. In that case, go ahead and clip all the way through.  During these tougher cases, it will look like you are tearing up the base or destroying the figure but as long as the clippers aren’t cutting anything important like the legs, the bottom piece will reform.  It’s made of a pretty soft and malleable plastic so it will reform its shape after the piece is removed.  The figures themselves are pretty robust and I went through 16 of these figures pretty aggressively and didn’t break any.

That isn’t to say that the figures aren’t with their flaws anyway.  These are not well sculpted items like Knight Models- though to be fair, some of the poses from the KM line are pretty uninspiring, especially the female ones with almost all the same pose.

These are WizKids pre-paints and that is about the worst pre-paint company out there.  Luckily, these are A) super cheap on a “per figure” basis and B) painted to a standard that works well with the theme.  The Animated Series was known for its “Dark Deco” art style and in some ways, that lends itself to Wiz Kids’ flat solid color pre-painting style.

But even then, quality control was never really their “thing.” Here we have mullet Robin…

which is clearly not the intent.

On the other hand, you have some where the detail is pretty good.

And crisp.  The eyes work well on this Catwoman and there aren’t a lot of places where they obviously over/under painted.

The other issue to contend with is scale.  The figures are kind of all over the place.  Knight Models has this issue as well but it seems isolated to just a few models or is consistent between TV/Movie iterations of the characters vs comic incarnations.

There is nothing “boy” about Mullet Robin. He’s all Man now.  Jim Gordon must be the Tom Cruise of the Animated Series.

Overall, the sculpts are pretty great across the board and the painting isn’t so terrible that I wouldn’t want to play with the figure (or dedicate hours cleaning them up).  I’ll base these figures up and then try to get them to the table to see some action.  Maybe I can whip up some Dark Deco paper terrain to fit the animated style…


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  1. Russ Spears

    CSI’s singles are great way to get some pre-painted minis on the cheap. I’m not sure if it’s an every once-in-a-while thing or if they always have some hidden, but they’ve had grab-bags of 50 random minis for $5-$10 (and there’s always duplicates in there). If you ever want to kitbash or re-paint some WizKids figures, it’s a good & cheap way to test it out.

    CSI’s loyalty program also applies a slightly higher discount to singles than on everything else. The Heroclix vehicles also fit into that category, btw.

    I promise this isn’t a paid advertisement 🙂 I’ve just been buying from CSI (and Miniature Market) for way to long LOL.

    Basing those minis has always been the hard part for me. I’ve wanted to try clear bases but I’ve yet to follow through. As always, I look forward to seeing what you end up with.

    • Christian

      Yeah, I just noticed that their loyalty discount is higher on the singles side. That is pretty cool. I just went back to the well, so to speak, as I realized I somehow forgot to pick up animated series Joker. And, well, I couldn’t stop at just one…

      I’ll have to keep an eye out for those grab bag deals. With the crew wanting to do Frostgrave, there is always a need for random minis and the less I need on my “to paint” shelf, the better.

      Regarding basing, I think clear bases for the Animated Series figures will be hard as they all seem to have little, spindly feet. The DM’s Craft ‘s DM Scotty used a hot glue gun to quickly build up the base around the existing molded on base and that may be the way to go. Otherwise I’m going to start investing in a lot of green stuff.

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