Archive for the ‘Hard plastic’ Category

I discovered the upcoming Victrix Macedonian Pikemen a few months ago and was horrified when I saw that they have modelled them with sleeves/couplers on the pikes.

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An object was found in a Macedonian tomb and it was theorised that it served as a connector between pike halves. This is a very problematic/moronic theory and I cannot understand why Victrix would hang on to it. See for instance this discussion over at Roman Army Talk and the comment by JJartist at the bottom of a thread about competitor Warlord Games Macedonians at TMP. Some great arguments for pikes without these connectors and some arguments for the connectors. The discussions I have seen (as well as my own experiences in handling physical objects..) weight heavily in favour of pikes without sleeves. I mean, just the fact that no other pike wielding cultures have ever used pike sleeves should say something.

If they really believe in this theory they should at least respect that a lot of folks do not believe in it and make the pike sleeves optional parts. It would be waay easier to add a pike sleeve than to remove the existing one. They are immediately pushing folks towards their competitors if they go on with this design. And that is a shame since the counterweights on the Victrix pikes look way better than those on the Warlord pikes. I might even have to register a Facebook login for this blog so I can comment directly to Victrix.. Or if anyone else wants to comment about this please feel free to use the links I provided. Otherwise I’ll just keep my fingers crossed that the sleeves will be optional.


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Ok, this isn’t exactly recent news, but for anyone who hasn’t seen this yet it is really exciting. Victrix are going so deep into ancients that they have decided to do plastic cavalry, starting with Numidians. Not only is this fitting well with their expanding lines that cover the Punic Wars, but I definitely see uses for those of us that are into the earlier Greek period. It is lovely to see plastic horses without more modern harnesses (stirrups and such).

By swapping heads (and possibly left arm/shield) I should be able to get a cheap and good enough source of Greek cavalry. From what I can see so far, the horses look a lot better than what some other manufacturers has managed to produce.

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This is a niche that I have really wanted to see filled — plastic medieval Russians. If you check out my previous blogs about Fireforge Games you’ll know that I can be a bit critical about their style, while still strongly supporting their overall effort of churning out plastics for some really important forces.

My favourite set so far is their dismounted Templar knights. If they manage to get their Russians up to snuff they just might take that first place. The reason is off course that medieval Russians from this period (around 1200-1300) have such interesting and varied styles of armour and gear. Just have a look at the shields (five per sprue) and helmets (11 different per sprue). I also like that Fireforge are containing the sizes of the swords and the bows. There will be five sprues in the box for a total of 25 soldiers.

From the pictures of the sculpts that Fireforge has released I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they will be able to get the scale/lamellar armours to look good, as in overlapping correctly and with the right detailing. Since these pictures are work in progress its hard to say how they’ll end up looking. I’m carefully optimistic.

Some guys are wearing scale/lamellar and some are wearing mail. I’m sure that Fireforge are doing the right thing by not over representing scale/lamellar, but whether historically correct or not I wouldn’t mind exchanging one of the mail bodies for another scale/lamellar variety (there are five different bodies in total). Given off course that they manage to finish the scale/lamellar properly.

Ok, I’ve got more to say but will hold my tongue until we know what these actually looks like when finished and in plastic. This might actually be the first time I support a kickstarter/preorder. What speaks against me joining is that I can’t find an option to preorder without paying for their ruleset, which I’m not looking to buy.

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Some quick snapshots of the latest additions to the Italian condottiere collection. Llama painted these to a tabletop standard. The latest batch, the Easterners and some of the other guys, like the musicians, will need some touch-ups (like defining the faces more) but are to my mind essentially good to go. I based them just recently and have finally figured out the ground colour for my bases. In the background of the first figure you can see some civilians. The Easterners can represent Ottoman mercenaries, Byzantines, or a pimped out Italian mercenary group in fancy dress-up.

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One of the factions that are completely untouched by the plastic virus is the Scythians (of any variety). Here I take Fireforge Games Mongolians and use them as Scythian light/medium horse archers. I scraped away the stirrups as a way to shave off 1500 years. The rest of the horses harness/tack/saddle/whatever does not look Scythian but its close enough for me.

I took the separate quivers and bow cases and combined them into so called gorytos. Used some Victrix hoplite heads that I will probably never use for their intended purposes since they fall outside of my time period. The smurf-style hats are not really correct for Scythians at this time either but they resemble the Scythian/Persian/Thracian felt caps (diadem) enough to give the right feel. One helmet I scraped off the rim over the eyes to give it an older look.

Also modded a hoplite shield to give it the look of a big crescent shaped shield (pelta). Not really correct either but a nice look. Not really visible in this pic though. Will follow this up when I have more troops assembled.


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To get a sense of how to get the units together for my 15th century company(-ies) I put all assembled models on the table. First up is an overview of all painted and unpainted figures.

And below is a shot of the artillery piece with heavy Italian infantry just above it. Dismounted men-at-arms to the left and even further to the left are some Ottoman handgunners. The Ottomans are a kitbash experiment that I may or may not use in some capacity. Further back are crossbowmen and medium Italian infantrymen.

Close up of handgunners with dismounted men-at-arms behind.

Crossbowmen with medium Italian infantry in the back. Note the unpainted medium infantry to the right. I have used Fireforge Games arms to get the speararms and I bought Perry’s shields for them. The other medium infantrymen are modded using Perry parts, including cut up Perry pavises.


And a clearer view of the crossbowmen and a glimpse of the command post carrocccio in the back (with wheels that look a bit too spread out).

Another glimpse of the carroccio and some work in progress conversions of archers to scouts/rangers.


And the cavalry. In the front rank are mostly men-at-arms with heavy barding and in the last row are lighter men-at-arms/squires. In the middle men-at-arms with heavy armour but riding horses without heavy barding.


Lastly are the light horse, the stradioti. Mostly Firegorge Games converted plastics, but also three metal Perry stradioti.


IMG_0569.JPGBesides painting, what remains is to assemble more handgunners and crossbowmen, and Perry mounted and dismounted m-a-a. When I start assembling dismounted m-a-a I also need to figure out exactly which figures will be heavy Italian infantry and which will be dismounted m-a-a. I just need to remember that my first priority is to paint up these guys first. Since I went with a paint scheme that fits many Italian cities and factions I’m thinking about making two smaller companies that can be fielded as one bigger company.


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Some brief comments about one of the new Victrix plastics. First of all: Note that there are waaay fewer archers than unarmored hoplites. (I will count and edit the numbers in below.) I can’t recall reading this somewhere so was a bit surprised. Luckily I made that trade with Nobby so I have enough archers, just very little variation as there are only two bodies of archers and some more arm variations.

On to some details. I already own the Athenian hoplies plastics and can make some comparisons. If I recall correctly this recent set was made with a combination of physical sculpting and digital modelling. Below the new unarmored/archer sprue is to the right and older Athenian sprue to the left. The new set has better spears (dory) with longer end caps of the spears (sauroter) that look more realistic. I’m glad to see this improvement as this is something that has bothered me.

In the pictory below the unarmored hoplites are to the left and the Athenians to the right, sorry for switching sides. The heads and helmets in the new box are smaller than those in the old box. An improvement is that there are more old helmet options (Persian War period towards early Peloponnesian War) in the new box. The designs are a bit different but both have benefits and drawbacks.

Below is an unarmored hoplite to the right, a partially assembled Athenian hoplite in the middle and an archer to the left. The most annoying part about the new figures is that they have really short necks. I don’t mind the smaller heads but the problem is that the unarmored hoplites look slightly broader then the Athenian armoured hoplites so the difference in head sizes becomes clearer. Not a huge problem though. Not a fan of the clothing folds as they look too soft. Compare to Immortal/Warlord and you can see where Immortal/Warlord put some more effort into sharper more detailed folds (not pictured in this post though but Google is your friend).

edited to add: there are 48 unarmored hoplites in box of 56 so only 8 archers if I got my counting right.



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