We’re back at it again, with reinforcements for my Howling Banshees! This model is a third-party “not-Jain-Zar” sculpt released by Wargame Exclusive, and offers an alternative to the Oldhammer metal model and the more recent 2019 plastic version. It keeps some of the dynamic pose and swept-back hair of the new release, and adds to it with…erm…personality, and more. More on that below. The model itself was great to work with – there were some fitting issues on the glaive but nothing that a little green stuff couldn’t fix, and there was minimal work before painting to get this model started. The basing is also really neat, though I added a Blood Ravens helmet so that this will fit with my other Banshees and because I have played a lot of Dawn of War recently.
Close to a year ago I picked up the new Games Workshop plastic Jain Zar, which is a fantastic sculpt in its own right, but had a couple concerns with the model. It was a little too ‘bendy’ for my liking, first off, and I always worried when I put it on a tabletop that I was going to snap one of the tabards or other pieces off. Second, I found that the plastic Jain Zar – as gorgeous a sculpt as it is – suffered from the same size-creep that’s afflicted a lot of recent Games Workshop stuff. I bring this up because this model, for me, solves both of those problems – the model feels much more stable on its base, which is saying something since this is resin, but also fits in much better scale-wise with the rest of my army. As much as I like GW’s Jain Zar (and as much as I would love to see Craftworlds get more love in releases), she ends up being a little too close to Wraithlord-sized for her to feel like a good fit on the tabletop.
This time around I tried to really take my time with Jain Zar – sorry, “not-Jain-Zar” – and rely less on drybrushing and more on slow, deliberate layers, and I have to say that I’m thrilled with the results, especially as far as the hair and armor go. The only real gripes I have with this model at all are self-inflicted – I definitely need to invest in a new and better-quality gloss varnish, and while I have almost mastered applying nail polish flakes to power weapons, I tripped over the finishing line on the varnishing stage, at least close to the tips. Wargame Exclusive also offers some pretty phenomenal-looking Warp Spider proxies, and…at least until GW cracks down on all things third-party, I would be thrilled to see W.E. take on some other Aspect Warrior archetypes, especially in light of…well, you know.
Oh, and to rewind just a little on this build and review – the price, especially via Wargame Exclusive’s Etsy shop, is phenomenal. The model herself was only $26 CDN before shipping, so not only was this a good model for my army and my tabletop – she was a great model for my wallet. Maybe not a model that will be universally acclaimed especially given the pin-up, risqué nature of the sculpt, but definitely a strong contender as far as Jain Zar proxy/kitbash candidates go. I love the design, the sculpt, the scale, and the stability of this model. Looking forward to trying her out on my in-progress table with the rest of her retinue.
“I will teach you to channel your rage into a tempest of blows that none can withstand, and your scream shall leave the quiet of death in your wake. You will be Jain Zar.” – Asurmen to Jain Zar, Jain Zar: The Storm of Silence by Gav Thorpe, p. 39.