So, my long awaited Bag of Cthulhu from Fantasy Flight Games finally arrived from Amazon. If you remember, I was a bit upset by the products much delayed release, but now that I actually have it in my hands I'm pretty happy.
First, the good. It's Cthulhu. Lots and lots of Cthulhu. A veritable army of Cthulhu. You don't really appreciate just how freakin' many Cthulhu figures this includes until you see them all lined up outside of the package.
You get 24 of the 20mm high figures and six of the larger 50mm ones. Two of the larger ones are missing from this picture because I used them for...experimental purposes. More about that later.
The detail level of the sculpt is quite nice, particularly for what is essentially a game piece. There's some minor flash and mold lines, but those could be cleaned up with a small file and a bit of sandpaper if you were so inclined. The plastic is a terrible, muddy greenish-grey with just a single black wash to bring out the details:
Now, the bad. Everything that Scott said in a comment on my earlier post is dead on:
"I've gotten mine from eBay ($11.99 + $3 s/h) and the detail is marvelous--the pictures do not lie. Finishing is a bit...erratic...as some have quite prominent mold lines and sprue marks and some look pristine with no indication that it isn't an original piece. I've come up with a few crafty ideas, but one thing to note is that they are formed of rather soft plastic, so they would not make a good keychain without some sort of reinforcement. Perhaps being embedded in a polyester resin..."
If you're planning on using these figures for anything other than static display this plastic is a nightmare. It's soft, easily worn, and almost impossible to get paint to stick to. I scrubbed down one of the 50mm figures with hot soapy water and a toothbrush trying to get any traces of sealant or mold release off. Despite that, acrylic paint just wouldn't adhere to it. The slightest pressure would cause even a thin layer of pigment to flake right off. When I switched to enamel paints the results were a lot better, but there was still some flaking along the raised areas. Here's one of the repainted figures:
The finish is Kelly Green enamel with a light drybrushing of white and a final dip coat of golden oak oil stain. It took a couple of days to dry, but once it did the finish was like glass.
That said, as a collection of game pieces the "Bag of Cthulhu" is a great deal. You get a ton of useful figures for a bargain basement price. I'm disappointed that the plastic FFG used short circuits my plans to recycle them in other projects, but, realistically, that's not a valid criticism. It's like giving a romance novel a bad review because it's not the gritty police procedural you were in the mood for. There's still a lot you can do with them outside their intended use, but these are, first and foremost, game counters. At that, they're exceptional.