Another week, another review. This time it is going to be Perry plastic Russians. I know these have been for sale since Salute or in other words a couple of month now, but mine only arrived last week and I have not seen any in-depth reviews of them since, so I wanted to give them a go after all.
Contents of the box:
With the box set you get a total of 40 minis.
There are 36 plastic soldiers spread out over six sprues, each containing six different minis. Also included is a four-mini command sprue. They all come with separate heads and backpacks. Each sprue comes with enough (four in case of the command sprue, six for the infantry) heads to equip all men with either 1809 Kiwer, 1812 Kiwer or fatigue cap. The infantry sprues also come with two grenadier Kiwers each of the 1809 and 1812 pattern. The backpacks are all cast with the swords and ammo pouch hanging down from them. The ammo pouches all come plain, without any plaques and such, so one is free to us them for both grenadiers and musketeers.
Also included in the box are the usual bases and a two-sided A5 sheet with historic uniform information (sword knot, shoulderboard and pompom colours) and flags. The sheet contains five flags. The white Colonel´s flag and Regimental flags for the Simbirsk Regiment, Regiments of Marines (1st to 4th Regiments), the Vilna Regiment and the Tarnopol Regiment. Since the sheet is printed on heavy and glossy paper one would need to photocopy the flags for use. The flags are quiet nice, only the shadows are a bit strong for my taste. The quality is good enough that one does not need to use aftermarket flags.
Price (as in June 2012):
This box set retails for 18 GB£, which equals 0,45 GB£ per mini and also includes bases. (BTW this means that together with their British infantry this is the highest per mini price of their plastic sets.) By comparison the Warlord sets (a review of them can be found here by the way) cost 0,56 GB£ per mini or 0,62 GB£ in case of the Pavlov Grenadiers. So this puts them on the cheap end of plastic Russians on the market. And they are cheaper than metals as well. For example Front Rank are 1,15 GB£ per mini (or 1,08 GB£ if part of a Battalion pack) and Foundry are 1,50 GB£ per mini.
The detail is good and as crisp as usual with the Perry plastics, but not quiet up to the level of metal minis. The undercuts are minimal. There were no mould misalignments, but the rest of the quality is a bit of a mixed bag. Half the sprues were fine with only minimal mould lines, but the other half had quiet heavy flash and also sinkholes on top the Kiwers. This is the first I have seen that in their plastics and I hope I only got a bad batch and not a sign, that the quality control on their plastics is not going the same way as on their metals.
So now it comes to one of te most interesting part… how do they compare to other manufacturers?
I had both Foundry and Warlord minis here. The style of sculpting is vastly similar with all manufacturers. This does not come as much of a surprise, since the Foundry Russians are Perry designed and Warlord and Perry are cooperating on their Napoleonic ranges.
The Perry’s are about as tall as the Foundry minis and a little smaller than the Warlord´s. This is enhanced by the fact that the Perry´s (as well as Foundry) have thinner bases. The heft is comparable on the Perry, Foundry and Warlord metals. The Warlord plastics have a stronger heft and less detail though. One can see a real difference with the muskets. Both Warlord and Foundry are thicker then Perry. The Warlord muskets are the longest and the Foundry ones the shortest with Perry being in the middle. In the end one should be able to mix all manufacturers in one unit and even on one base (if you do not mind the muskets).
One thing that did strike me was the interchangeability between the Perrys and Warlord, or rather the lack of it. I would have expected this to be high since they are cooperating on their Napoleonic releases. While one would not need to be able to mix and match backpacks, I thought that mixing their heads would give people more variety. But this is not going to be that easy. With the Perry minis the uniform collar is sculpted as part of the body, with Warlord it is sculpted as part of the head. So if you want to fit a Warlord head onto a Perry body you need to carve off one of the collars. If you want to do it the other way round you need to sculpt a collar.
The Perry offering what one can ask for. They are the cheapest plastic Russians around, the detail and animation are good and the castings are generally crisp. If the flash and sinkholes on half my sprues are not a trend, this is all one can ask for and they are definitely recommended.