So I finally get around to another post. This time it is going to be Perry plastic Austrians. I have had these since Crisis earlier this month, but unfortunately Iwas so busy at work that I never got around to write this review. But I know that these should be very interesting to people. Especially in light of the question “can I mix and match with Victrix?”. So here is the review in hopes you like it!
Contents of the box:
With the box set you get a total of 48 minis.
There are 42 plastic soldiers spread out over seven sprues, each containing six different minis. Also included is a six-mini command sprue. They all come with separate heads and backpacks. Each sprue comes with enough heads to equip all men with either the early helmet, later shako or Landwehr Korsenhut (with the exception of the officer where you a bicorne instead of the Korsenhut). The backpacks are all cast with the swords and ammo pouch hanging down from them. All uniforms are the German variety.
Likes and dislikes here… The command sprue contains an officer, two NCOs, a standard-bearer, a drummer and a sapper. The later is really great, since this is one of the minis you usually do not see in a plastic set. The ratio of standard and NCOs came as a surprise to me though. If you are building one battalion from this box, then this is fine. If you are building more than one (either because your rules require less minis or you are depicting a unit that fought under-strength), you will have to get more command minis. But to be fair… this is a battalion box, so they never intended people to build two battalions with it and you can get separate plastic command sprues from the Perrys. What really confused me though is the lack of Grenadier heads! There would have been enough room on the sprue and they would not have any difference in uniform and equipment could have been solved with a hobby knife. So this is a chance missed in my opinion.
Perry Plastic Austrian Command sprue
Perry Plastic Austrian infantry sprue
Also included in the box are the usual bases and a two-sided A5 sheet with historic uniform information (facing colours and button colours for the German infantry regiments) and two flags, the regimental and Ordinar flags. Since the sheet is printed on heavy and glossy paper one would need to photocopy the flags for use as usual. 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.
Perry Plastic Austrian Info Leaflet
[front and back]
Perry Plastic Austrian Info Leaflet
Price (as in November 2012):
This box set retails for 18 GB£, which equals 0,38 GB£ per mini and also includes bases. By comparison the Victrix sets (a review of them can be found here by the way) cost 0,39 GB£ per mini (and include mounted officers) or in other words… virtually the same ;-). So both Perry and Victrix are the cheapest option for Austrians 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 are no mould misalignments, and the casting quality is back to superb again (not the strong mouldlines, sinkholes and flesh I got with their plastic Russians). Especially this made me really happy here!
So now it comes to one of te most interesting part… how do they compare to other manufacturers?
I had both Front Rank and Victrix Austrians here and also used a Foundry Russian to compare them to.
The style of sculpting is vastly similar with Victrix and Foundry. You can see a difference in style when compared to Front Rank though.
When you compare them to the Front Rank minis, you will also find, that the Front Rank minis are taller and have a much stronger heft. I honestly would not mix these inside a unit unless you want the looks of Arnold Schwarzenegger (Front Rank) in a Kindergarten (Perry).
The Perry’s are taller than Foundry minis (please bear in mind, that I only had Russians to compare them to). This is enhanced by the fact that the Perry´s have thicker bases. The heft is comparable, but the Perrys look leaner. The Perry muskets are longer and thinner as well. In the end one could mix them inside a unit, if you slip a piece of card under the Foundry minis, but they do look different enough that I would advice against it.
[Edit: Just to clarify, I used a foundry Russian for comparison purposes since I had none of their Austrians. Please also see the comments below for input on how the Foundry Austrians size up!]
The closest match are Victrix and Perry. The Perrys are a little taller, but well within the normal variation in a population. Since the legs on the Victrix minis are not spread as wide, their coats appear longer, but I would say that this will not stand out once painted. The muskets on the Perrys are a tiny bit longer and thicker, but otherwise the equipment is the same size. Bottom line… they are a perfect match.
Perry Plastic Austrian size comparison
[Left to right: Front Rank, Perry, Victrix, Foundry (from their Napoleonic Russian range)]
One thing that did strike me was the interchangeability between the Perrys and Victrix. The good thing is both companies sculpted the collars attached to the bodies, so you can swap the heads around. Since the Perrys have done the normal infantrymen with only separate heads and backpacks, one will only be able to swap a few arms on the minis found on the command sprue, but this should give you still more variety. Since the Victrix backpacks are cast with the cartridge boxes attached just like the Perrys you can swap those around as well. Again this is quiet a perfect match.
Again the Perry offer all one can ask for. They are the cheapest plastic Austrians around (together with Victrix), the detail and animation are good and the castings are generally crisp. If you want to build a big Austrian army on a budged, they are a perfect choice, especially since they mix well with the other budged offering out there. So my bottom line is… they are really recommended!