Well I've been eyeballing the plastic Minotaur of the Maze since I first saw him at a game shop. I must admit my first reaction to Reaper's Legendary Encounters was highly negative and I still don't care for a lot of the first round releases. I really don't care for the Orcs and Skeletons that were chosen for the first batch. They aren't bad minis in pewter at all but I don't think they translate well and I think reaper has some better sculpts for those particular creatures. Seems to me the somewhat bolder and chunkier sculpts with more robust details look better in this format. The second batch minis do look like better choices all around and i am looking forward to picking some of them up. The big monsters however are great all around. Their paint jobs look ok. Much better than a lot of other pre paints and they look like they could be easily over painted or spruced up. Also they paint didn't look as thick in person as it did in some of the photographs.
About the Minotaur specifically. I'm pretty pleased with him. He's definitely a great sculpt. Much better than other pre-paints that I have seen. His pose and attitude and the heft of his weapons lend very well to the material he was cast in. The paint job is not bad either. Somewhat above average and a good foundation for over painting which is what I plan to do with mine. I'm just going to clean him up and add some highlights and shadows using his existing paint job as my base cote. I'm also going to base him on a round metal washer which will add some weight to him so he won't tip over easily. Of course I'll finish up his base a bit more. The paint is thin enough I could even prime him lightly and start with an entirely new paint scheme but I think I'll try that on the ogre chief instead because I don't like his yellowish skin anyway.
There are a couple big advantages to this model over the metal version. He's much cheaper. $5.99 for the plastic version or $13.99 for the metal version. That $8.00 I saved can be used to buy a couple regular humanoid minis. The other advantage is that he's already put together so no difficult pinning work on a large mini and because he's plastic he probably won't break apart in a fall from the table. Big minis are hard to assemble and it can take quite a while to pin several heavy joints. That's going to save me time and get this guy on the table faster.
The one disadvantage to this guy is that he's already assembled. Yup that was also an advantage. Basically it's a problem but not a major one. Of course because these guys are mass produced they are not going to come assembled with carefully puttied joints and all the mold lines removed. There are gaps in the assembly you can clearly see in these photos.
There are also mold lines including a kinda bad one on his face. If I'm going to the trouble to spend additional time painting on this guy that's something I'm going to have to fix. Then I'm going to have to match colors although since I'm only using the existing paint job for the base cote it doesn't have to be perfect. It would be nice however to know what Reaper colors were used to paint each mini so people could color match perfectly is they wanted to.
All and all I'm pretty happy with my purchase. I saved a chunk of money and a bit of time and i think these figures could easily be touched up and enhanced by a skilled painter quicker than painting up a figure from scratch. So I save time and money and I don't have to cringe when a big model falls off the table. I think I'm a convert. I'll be looking forward to future releases especially the larger monsters!