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Offensive Miniatures French Artillery Casualties review

Some of you might remember my review of Offensive Miniatures French Artillery last year. Well a couple of weeks ago Dave from Offensive Miniatures asked me if I would be willing to do a review of their French Napoleonic Artillery Casualties pack (FNFR252). Obviously I was happy to oblige, especially since there is a general lack of artillery casualties on the market and I was keen to lay my hands on them.

French artillery battery (Offensive Miniatures)

French artillery battery
[Offensive Miniatures]

So what is in the pack. You get two small vignettes. One is a dead artilleryman laying facedown besides a wheel, the other one is a dead artilleryman lying sprawled over the half buried carriage of a 12pdr gun. The later features a displaced barrel and a broken wheel on the carriage. Both are cast mainly in resin. Why mainly? Well the axle on the carriage is definitely a brass rod and while cleaning them up the pieces up, the soldiers became very shiny where I scratched them with the hobby knife, so I suppose those are white metal. The barrel and broken wheel were white metal. Everything was already primed in a mid grey, which is nice, since cleaning up resin can be a pain in the behind at times. The official retail is 10 GB£, which I think is fair for what is essentially two minis, a gun and two diorama bases.

So my first impression? Well I was a bit skeptic to be honest. Having painted their original set of artillery last year, I quickly realised that the two dead soldiers were not dedicated new sculpts but slightly rearranged versions of the original artillery crew. With the uniformity of the grey primer, it was hard to tell, if they would look like proper casualties or too animated to be dead (sorry for such a grotesque wording) and I decided to leave my final decision to the moment they were finished. Otherwise I was quiet happy with what I got. The castings were very clean and flesh was minimal. Over all I think I spend less than five minutes cleaning these up and I am pedantic about these things. The nice thing about the carriage piece was that there were impressions on the base. So it was easy to know where the barrel and dead trooper were supposed to fit for the best look.

A little word of advise regarding the preparation and painting. The bottom of the pieces is very smooth and if you want to glue them to a base you should definitely roughen them up before you paint them. I found it best to paint the carriage piece un-assembled. Since the dead soldier, broken wheel and barrel come as separate pieces, there are lots of open spaces between them and the base carriage itself. These would be hard to reach with a brush when already assembled. Also I would advise to paint the soil first followed by the rest. The soil has a nice structure that lends itself to drybrushing and it is easiest to do this first.
Talking of structure… The carriage itself has the nice defined structure I have already seen on their artillery set and this worked well for drybrushing as well.

Offensive Miniatures French artillery casualty

Offensive Miniatures French artillery casualty

Offensive Miniatures French artillery casualty

Offensive Miniatures French artillery casualty

Offensive Miniatures French artillery casualty

Offensive Miniatures French artillery casualty

So final impressions. Well my first scepticism evaporated when painting and assembling them. Even though the dead crew are “just” variations of the living crew, it does not show. I was very impressed with the soldier hanging over the carriage in this respect. If you place his feet and knee in the locator impressions on the base, he really looks like he was made for this piece. As I said before, the casting quality and detail / structure are superb and made these a joy to paint.

Offensive Miniatures French artillery casualty

Offensive Miniatures French artillery casualty

Overall I can highly recommend this set. It is unique, since to my knowledge this is the only set with artillery casualties on the market. And not only casualties, but also broken pieces of equipment that add lots of character to the set. Actually character is what this set has in abundance and I think that it will be great on any tabletop either as battlefield debris, casualty markers or just decoration for a command base.

Offensive Miniatures French artillery casualty

Offensive Miniatures French artillery casualty

Offensive Miniatures French artillery casualty

Offensive Miniatures French artillery casualty

Offensive Miniatures French artillery casualty

Offensive Miniatures French artillery casualty

Offensive Miniatures French artillery casualty

Offensive Miniatures French artillery casualty

Offensive Miniatures French artillery casualty

Offensive Miniatures French artillery casualty

By the way, watch out for the next post, which will feature some Prussian officers. One of these pieces already found its way onto a command base as decoration! 😉

 

Perry plastic Austrians review

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 Command sprue

Perry Plastic Austrian infantry 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
[front and back]

Perry Plastic Austrian Info Leaflet (inside)

Perry Plastic Austrian Info Leaflet
[inside]

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.

Detail:

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!

Compatibility:

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

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.

Conclusion:

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!

 

Perry plastic Russian review

Perry plastic Russian box art

Perry plastic Russian box art

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.

Command sprue

Command sprue

Infantry sprue

Infantry sprue

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.

Leaflet [front side]

Leaflet
[front side]

Leaflet [back side]

Leaflet
[back side]

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.

Detail:

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.

Compatibility:

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).

Size comparison

Size comparison
[Left to right: Warlord (metal), Warlord (plastic), Perry and Foundry]
Click for a larger version

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.

Conclusion:

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.

 

Offensive Miniatures French Artillery Review

Offensive Miniatures French Napoleonic artillery pack

Offensive Miniatures French Napoleonic artillery
[Stock number: FNFR251,
Early French Line Artillery – 12lb Btty
(4 Guns/24 Crew)]
Click on the image for a larger version

The other week I found something pretty Offensive in my mail, but I was expecting that and was happy with it, since it was Offensive MiniaturesFrench Artillery. (I never said I had a good sense of humor! ;-)) Usually I know what you are going to say… “Will he do a review of every metal mini released as well?” No, I will not, but Offensive Miniatures is relatively small company and those who know them will most likely rather associate them with their WWII ranges, so I decided to give them a go.

Contents of the box:
Now I got a battery boxed set. It contains 24 men (six for each gun), four guns and some loose equipment (two spare wheels, two stacks of cannonballs and a total of six ammo chests). In my case, since I went for FNFR251, this meant three 12pdr. guns and one 6″ Howitzer.
The minis themselves wear the pre-1812 uniform with uncovered shakos. Each mini is in there twice, so there are 12 different poses in all. While one crew is loading / running the gun and the other firing, there are a few poses in each set, that are not distinctive of that phase, so one could shuffle them around a little, to create 4 different crew compositions. All the minis are nicely animated and anatomically correct.

The guns are from the Gribeauval system period. Since the newer an XI (Year 11) guns did not arrive in Spain these would be suitable for the Peninsular Campaign. I doubt that a complete transition had taken place by 1813, so in small numbers they should work until that time, too.

Price (as in June 2012):
If you buy these as a single gun with crew, the price is 12 GB£ for six minis, one gun and some spare equipment. If you buy them as part of a battery set the price for each gun with crew comes down to 11,25 GB£.

By comparison a Perry gun with six crew (FN 132) costs 10,50 GB£.

If you buy a Front Rank gun and add six crew to it the cost is 13,25 GB£. (They do have discounted packs as well, but those have a different composition.)

Wargames Foundry would ask for 17 GB£ for six minis and a gun. (They have discounted packs as well, but those have a different composition, too.)

So price wise they are at the lower end of the metals around, especially when bought as a pack, like the sample here.

Detail:
Now the detail on the minis is really good. Nice crisp and clear with no undercuts (as can be expected from metals). The animation is good and lively, as well as anatomically correct. I had no bubbles or mould misalignments with these minis and flash was minimal. In some cases (as could be expected with the lively animation) there are mould-lines running over the faces, but these were removed easily and without damage to the faces.
Generally much the same goes for the guns. Minimal flash and no misalignment either. I was very impressed with the insides of the wheels. Those were all cast perfect with no bubbles in the spokes and even less flash.

The 12pdr. barrels all had a minor dent at the same spot, which suggest damage to the mould, but this can easily be fixed with greenstuff or even white glue.The carriages feature a very nice woodgrain detail. On the 12 pounder carriages these is obscured around the handles, my guess being that this is glue from fitting together the parts on the master. This can be recut with a sharp knife, but it still is a shame. Do not take these “defects” as major shortcomings though. I have had more miscast spokes and carriage details on an average Perry piece.

Compatibility:
Size wise these minis should work well with the Napoleonic minis produced by the other mayor companies. Obviously the real test comes if you want to mix them in one unit or even on one base.

Size comparison

Size comparison
[Left to right: Offensive Miniatures, Foundry (Russian artillery), Perry Miniatures, Victrix (infantry)]

When compared to Foundry or Perry Miniatures, they are a little smaller, but their bases are a little thicker, which makes them end up the same hight. The heft is stronger on the Offensive Miniatures, which is mainly visible on the faces, but not enough that one would notice too much… IMHO they could even be mixed within a crew. The style of sculpting is vastly similar. Even to the level that when I saw some early Foundry French artillery on another blog the other day, I first though they were Offensive Miniatures. So one should be able to base them together without either standing out.

While they offer no French plastic artillery (yet) I also decided to compare them to the Victrix French, since their infantry is a good fit period wise. As you can see from the shot above, they are smaller than Victrix, with the bases about the same size. The heft is vastly similar and the same can be said for the sculpting style. The main differences comes from the different mediums (metal and plastic) and the fact that the faces on the Victrix minis are a bit more exaggerated. I would not base them together on one base (maybe if you cut off the base from the Victrix minis), but would not mind fielding an Offensive artillery battery besides Victrix infantry.

I would have loved to compare the guns to other manufacturers (size wise) but the only 12 pounders I have are from Perry and those are an XI models, so they can not be compared.

Conclusion:

All in all this is a very good offering. You get very detailed, historically correct and animated minis, for a price at the bottom end of Napoleonic French artillery. Plus some extra parts, which even if you do not use them on these bases will make great battlefield clutter on infantry or command bases. (By the way… there is also a very nice set of French artillery casualty markers that go with the artillery and if you want to add a little flavour to your bases you should take a look at those as well!)  The minor defects do not offset the quality and value of the rest of the set and I would recommend them to anyone who feels they do fit his collection period wise. I shall definitely get myself the 8 pounders in due time.

Dave at Offensive has also hinted, that they will add to their Napoleonics line in the future and am looking forward to seeing those as well!

Gribeauval system period French Artillery

Gribeauval system period French Artillery

 

Warlord Plastic Russians Review

Warlord plastic Russian box art

Warlord plastic Russian box art

Well it seems to be a case of another day, another review. This time it is going to be Warlords new plastic Russians. I bought all three of their recent box sets and since their contents are vastly similar, I am going to review them all in one go, like I did with the Victrix Austrians the other day.The box sets in question here are:

  • Russian Pavlovsk Grenadiers
  • Russian Line Infantry 1808 – 1815
  • Russian Line Infantry 1812 – 1815

Contents of the box:
With all the box sets you get a total of 32 minis. 28 of them are plastic and four are a metal command (officer, two standard bearers and drummer), all in marching poses. Just as with their plastic Prussians the metal command also contains sharpened brass rods as staffs for the flag and metal finial with tassels. The brass rods seem to be thinner though and all off them were already bend to some degree when I opened the boxes. Regardless of the box set they all come with separate heads, the drummers and officers with a separate right arm. There is some variation within the metal contents. All three boxes had different drummers and officers (although with both the drummer and officer two of the poses are quite similar). One of the standard bearers was the same in all boxes, one was the same in both the line infantry boxes. With the officers there is a clear difference of uniform, so I assume, that this is due to the different boxes. With the others there is no difference in uniform, so I assume that this is a chance variation.
The 28 plastic soldiers are spread out over seven sprues, each containing four different minis. They all come with separate heads and backpacks. Each infantry sprue comes with both four heads with grenadier and musketeer shakos. In case of the 1812- 1815 infantry all shakos are uncovered, in case of the 1809 – 1812 box two of the musketeer shakos are covered. The sprues for the Pavlovsk Grenadiers are identical to the 1809 – 1812 sprues. In return there are 64 metal heads in Mitre (half are the grenadier variety, half the fusilier variety). The backpacks are all cast with the swords and ammo pouch hanging down from them. The ammo pouches all have grenadier markings (the leaflets included in the boxes state which parts you have to cut away to turn them into fusilier ones).

Although only four different poses per box might seem few, I do not think that this is the case here. The poses are varied enough and with the separate heads, one should get enough variation out of the sets. So one really has to applaud the fact that they seem to have learned from the shortcomings of their Prussian Landwehr set.

Sprue front

Sprue front

sprue back

Sprue back

Pavlovsk Grenadiers metal heads

Pavlovsk Grenadiers metal heads

Also included in each box is a two-sided A5 sheet with a few photos of painted minis, basic historic information and flags. In case of the Pavlovsk Grenadiers these are their regimental and white colours. The 1809 – 1815 set contains eight flags, the 1812 – 1815 set ten (one of them is the white flag in both boxes). Since the sheet is printed on heavy and glossy paper one would need to photocopy the flags for use. The flags are OK. Unfortunately the contrast is even lower than with their Prussian set and the details on the flags designs are a bit undefined. All in all the sheet makes for a nice addition, but I would really advise the use of aftermarket flags.

Price (as in Nov. 2011):
As mentioned the Warlord sets contains 32 minis. The two infantry sets retail for 18 GB£, which means a price per mini of 0,56 GB£. The Pavlovsk Grenadiers retail for 20 GB£ due to the number of metal heads, which means a price per mini of 0,62 GB£
This puts them on the expensive end of plastics (although the 4 metal minis in there blur the equation somewhat). For example the Perry sell for between 0,45 GB£ (British Infantry) and 0,39 GB£ (Prussians) and those boxes include bases. Victrix sell for between 0,39 GB£ (Austrians) per mini and 0,36 GB£ (French Guard) .
But they are still cheaper than metals. For example Front Rank are 1,10 GB£ per mini (or 1,03 GB£ if part of a Battalion pack) and Foundry are 1,50 GB£ per mini.
So in the end they are more expensive than other plastics but still cheaper than metals.

Detail:
I am going to sub-divide this into the metal and the plastic minis.
The metal minis are very crisp and clear in detail. Unfortunately mould lines are strong on some of the minis. There are no casting imperfections to be found, but a lot of the minis contained vast amount of flesh (I removed some of this before taking the pictures to give a clear view of them). Most of the officers and drummers have nice energetic poses. I especially like the option to have the drummers carry their shakos / Mitres under their arm. The standard bearers still come with closed hands, like the one in their Prussian set. It still irritates me, that Warlord state they want to keep the number of parts minimal for those who lack the assembly skill and still force them to drill the hands of the standard bearers open.

They all are similar in size and heft, with one exception. The standard bearer I only got with the Pavlovsk Grenadiers seems much bulkier then the rest of the minis.

Pavlovsk Grenadiers metal command

Pavlovsk Grenadiers metal command

Line Infantry 1812-1815 metal command

Line Infantry 1812-1815 metal command

Line Infantry 1809-1815 metal command

Line Infantry 1809-1815 metal command

Now on to the plastics. There is some scale creep between them and the metal contents of the box. The bodies are bulkier, but not enough to really stand out on the table. The heads on the plastics are larger and I think it will be noticeable on the bare heads. The detail is good although not as crisp as with the metals (or indeed Perry or Victrix plastics). The crossbelts and especially the buttons make a softer transition into the coat. The hands still look large, although not as bad as on the Prussian set. The sides of the minis have good detail as well, but the definition deteriorates on some of them. This is still due to undercuts from the process of plastic castings. Again they have clearly learned from their Prussian set since they have now made the heads and backpacks separate, but it is still not as good as on Perry or Victrix minis.

Compatibility:
Size wise these minis should work well with the Napoleonic minis produced by the other mayor companies. Obviously the real test comes if you want to mix them in one unit or even on one base.
When compared to Foundry they are a little taller, which will be enhanced by the fact that their bases are thicker as well. The heft is stronger on plastic and similar on the metal minis. The heads on the Foundry minis are slightly smaller when compared to the plastics. The style of sculpting is vastly similar. So one should be able to base them together without either standing out if you slip a card under the Foundry minis.

Conclusion:

All in all one can see improvement in the Warlords plastic Napoleonics. The variety has grown better and so has the detail on the minis due to the fact that they made them multipart. On the other hand the general detail is still not as good as it is on both Perry and Victrix plastics and the same goes for the undercuts. Given the fact that they are still the most expensive plastics out there, one could hope for better.

Given the fact that Warlord and Perry have a strong cooperation on their Napoleonics sets, one can hope that these will mix nicely with the Perry Russians when they come out. But given the fact that the Perry´s will most likely be cheaper, have better detail and more variety in their boxes, Warlord will still be the junior partner in that relationship.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on November 10, 2011 in Miniatures, Nap.: Russians, Reviews, Warlord Games [WG]

 

Victrix Plastic Austrian Review

Well I am down with the flu and on sick leave. Not much I can do right now (except watching TV), so I thought I should use the time and write some posts for my blog. Now last year and earlier this year, I wrote a review of Warlords plastic Prussian Landwehr as well the Perry plastic Prussians for Martins Befreiungskriege blog. Both went down well with readers so I thought I would do the same with future releases from other manufacturers as well. Now I know the Victrix Austirans have been out a couple of weeks, but I wanted to pick mine up at Crisis last weekend. Since Victrix could not make it, they shipped my order (a whole 10 boxes plus some metal) out to me and it arrived yesterday. To cut a long story short… here is the review!

General notes:

Now I bought these three boxes:

  • Austrian Napoleonic Infantry (1806-1815)
  • Austrian Napoleonic Grenadiers (1798-1815)
  • Austrian Napoleonic Infantry (1808-1815)
Victrix Austrian boxes

Victrix Austrian boxes

Now they have one more set and that is the Austrian Napoleonic Infantry (1789-1805) since all three boxes I got are vastly similar (more on that later), I shall review them all in one go.

Contents of the box:

The box contains a total of 56 minis, two of them horse-mounted. There are two different types of sprues in there. The command sprue (included twice) and the infantry sprue (included eight times). They are all cast in a light creme coloured plastic, which is a nice touch, since I suspect most people will prime these white anyway and there is less chance of dark plastic shining through this way.

The command sprue contains two officers (one on horseback), one drummer and one standard-bearer. The horse-mounted officer has his left arm (holding the reigns) molded on, the standard-bearer both his arms (the hands are part of the separate flag pole). There are ample arm options for all of them. Now this sprue is universal for all four of their Austrian sets, since it includes heads for Landwehr, infantry in helmets and shako as well as grenadiers.One more word on the horse. I felt that it looked strange in some of the pre-view shots Victrix released a couple of month ago. So I removed one horse from the sprue and dry fitted it (it comes in two halves). And it looks fine in real life. My better half, who understands more about horses then I do, said that the pose is fine, too.

Victrix Austrian command sprue

Victrix Austrian command sprue

The infantry sprues each contain 6 men all in marching poses. Each pose is represented twice giving you three different poses in total (B1, B2 and B3). Each of them comes with separate heads and backpacks. Now the backpacks are actually irritating me quite a bit since there are twelve on each sprue, giving you twice as many as one needs. [Edit: Half of them have sabres attached, so they are for the grenadiers and for NCO’s] But these can always be used as battlefield debris or to convert a mini from another nation that “foraged” an Austrian backpack. B1 comes with separate arms, B2 has his left arm cast on cradling his musket (shoulder arms) and B3 comes with arms cast on (shoulder arms).

I know the Perrys have caused quite a stir about the Victrix set when they showed previews or their upcoming Austrians stating that a pose similar to B3 would be wrong since the right arm would be too close to the body under Austrian drill regulations. Personally I could not care less, since I really doubt that a soldier marching into combat and being fired at would have cared too much, how much sunlight would pass between his arm and body.

But back to these minis here. There are enough arm options for both B1 and B2 on the sprue, with all kinds of options (firing, loading, shoulder arms, attack, musket butt resting on the ground). B1 one is an excellent pose in a sense that it will look believable in any pose from firing to marching. While only three different infantry poses in a box is little, the variety of arms and separate heads will prevent a cookie cutter look.

Between all three types of boxes I have the infantry sprue was the same, with the exception of the heads, which were unique to each box. Since the heads are always in the same spot on the sprue, I assume the early infantry will share the same bodies, arms and gear as well.

Victrix Austrian Grenadiers infantry sprue

Victrix Austrian Grenadiers infantry sprue

Also included is a flyer with assembly instructions (which arms fit which mini best) and 6 flags. Since the sheet is printed on semi glossy paper and I would advise you to photocopy the flags for use. The flags are nice and have a good contrast. The detail is good so one does not really need aftermarket flags to go with these (no big surprise since one of the owners of Victrix also owns LBMS). Included are the Leib- and Ordinarflagge for the 1792, 1804 and 1806 patterns.

Historical information and information which regiment used which facing colour can be found on the back of the boxes.

Price (as in November 2011):

As mentioned each box contains 56 minis. They retail for 21,95 GB£, which means a price per minis of 0,39 GB£ (cost of the horses not taken into the calculation).

This puts them on the cheap end of plastics.

How does this compare to metals? If you only compare them to the manufacturers that offer Austrian (to my knowledge Foundry)… Alban, Foundry are 1,50 GB£ per mini, Elite are 0,97 GB£, Old Glory between 1,16-1,25 GB£.

So all in all, these are the cheapest solution out there. But how good are they?

Detail:

The minis are very crisp and clear in detail. Opposed to some other manufacturers out there the level of detail is almost equal to that of metal minis. Now this level of detail applies to the whole of the mini. You do not get the flat areas required to remove them from the mould (undercuts) that you see on some plastic minis, due to the fact that they are mildly multipart. Separate parts are so few, that even those who have no modelling skills at all, should not be too challenged.

Mould lines are minimal, and they always run over the easily accessible sides of the minis. The poses are fairly dynamic for marching poses.

Compatibility:

I can not compare them to the Foundry Austrians out there, since I have none. Comparing them to the Foundry Bavarians and Russians… they are slightly slimmer and taller, but not so much so that they should stand out when mixed in a Brigade. I would not mix them in one unit thought since the Foundry muskets are a good deal bigger.

Unfortunately I have none of the others (Alban, Elite, Old Glory) so I can not give you a comparison for either of these.

In general terms they should fit in well with the other 25mm miniatures for the Napoleonic period on the market.

Conclusion:

All in all this is a great set. The level of detail and quality is real good and they offer great value for money. Like all later Victrix boxes they require minimal assembly, which should calm those who had problems with the multitude of options in their earlier boxes (although I miss it).

So if you are not one of those people who hate plastics just for the sake of it, this should be a good set for you.

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2011 in Miniatures, Nap.: Austrian, Napoleonic, Reviews, Victrix

 

Perry plastic Prussians review

Just a short note… I wrote a review of the Perry plastic Prussian set for Martin Kellys “Befreiungskriege Blog”. He just posted it. So for those interested… it can be found here:

http://befreiungskriege.wordpress.com/2011/06/09/review-perry-plastic-prussians-by-burkhard-schulze/