Archive for the ‘Victrix’ 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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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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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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It’s finally official — I’ve gotten my Ph.D! Since I want to try to keep up a resemblance of anonymity I won’t tell you the subject except that it has to do with contemporary warfare. With that little detail out of the way.. I have started updating my own wargaming rules and hope to playtest them within a couple of months. Also ordered a box of victrix archers and light hoplites and a box of fireforge games mongols that i will convert to scythians. In other news the figure swapping i did with nobby went well and we both got what we wanted.

I have primed my fireforge Swedes and have continued painting my perry mounted men at arms. Will show some progress pics soon.

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I am back in Sweden and have finally gotten access to my hobby stuff. My apartment at large is not in order so it will take a bit more time before I can return to my projects.

A lot has happened the past year. Victrix has released plastic Greek light troops. I want to order some and do a review. Fireforge Games have created steppe warriors on foot. Not overly impressed by the pictures I’ve seen (sausage finger hands). The cavalry looks much better. I did see a couple of pictures on their Facebook page where they had reposted figures that someone had painted really well. So part of the issue could perhaps be solved by amazing painters. Would need to get my hands on a box of the steppe infantry to form a firmer opinion.

And as usual the Perry brothers continue impressing. Not only are they moving forward with the light cavalry and dismounted knights, they have started working on early 15th century plastics! And since they have parted ways with Games Workshop things could become even better.

Sadly, last time I checked Warlord Games had not moved forward with plastic Persians. The ones that Immortal Miniatures started producing and sold to WG. It does appear that the guy at immortal miniatures had decided to sculpt the Persians in what some would call ceremonial outfits. And not the way that people generally perceive that they were dressed to battle. Right now I could actually go either way with this, I just want good looking plastic Persians. But I could see why WG would be reluctant to produce more atypical looking Persians. Another subject to dive deeper into in a future post.

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I have already done a few previews of the Victrix Hoplite endeavour. One contrasting Immortal/Warlord to Victrix in terms of historical accuracy. One note on a site comparing the size of Immortal/Warlord and Victrix. And a rant about how weirdly they have decided to package hoplites from different times and places.

Now I’ve had a box for a few weeks and have been able to put a few of them together and can wrap up my opinions in this rather quick and dirty review (the pictures are even more raw then the text as usual). I have loosely tried to stick to the review formula of the Plastic Soldier Review.

Quality of Sculpts and Poses 9/10

The sculpts are well done. Although I am normally attracted to less chunky styles these pass my esthetic barrier. I really like the sculpting of the faces, the solid breastplates, the arms and the excellent poses. The tube and yoke corselets look fine as well in terms of quality of the sculpting. There is at least on hand that looks a bit weird and one helmet that looks bad as it has no nose guard but otherwise a more Corinthian style. Not sure if its sculpted badly or badly researched. The “skirts” could have been sculpted even better to match more closely depictions on ceramics.

Quality of Molds 9/10 

The molds work fine and the figures are easy enough to clean up — probably a bit easier then the Immortal/Warlord hoplites. Unlike Immortal/Warlord the sprues are however very sparsely populated. A benefit is that its possible to really get a clipper in there when removing pieces from the sprues but there are other downparts.

The Number of Parts 7/10

The sprues could easily have included a few more heads to make this box more useful for those of us that want to pick a time frame that is more narrow than two hundred years. Its incredibly annoying to be stuck with two to three heads that I have no use for while having to improvise heads for the bodies without heads. And also to have to use the unarmoured heads for such a big proportion of the figures since the bare heads are a part of the eight available for the eight bodies per sprue. It really wouldn’t have taken much for them to just include a few more heads.

There are plenty enough of arms and weapons and other paraphernilia, at least for me that focus on equipping the figures with spears.

Historical Accuracy 6/10

Since this set covers a wide period of time that alone means that the historical accuracy can’t be top notch. I don’t care if the historical accuracy is top notch but I really don’t want glaring errors or issues that makes it hard to use the figures. Due to the already mentioned problem of too few head options I will have to modify heads from this or other boxes in order to use all the included bodies. I have already made a head with a pilos helmet from what I recall was a Fireforge Games sergeant head. The Corinthian helmets have better overall shapes than most offerings out there but the nose guards are pretty untypical — either too wide or non-existent (if that Chalcidic looking helmet is really intended to be a Corinthian..)

Given that the bodies are meant to cover a wide period of time they work fine. The belt-like waists do look a bit too unhistoric. Although I have mentioned a historic presedence for them they are sure not typical. The greaves look really good — better than a lot of reenactors’ greaves. There are some form of wrist bands on the arms. I don’t understand why they are there.

The weapons are not that historically accurate. I have no real problem with the swords when seen from a distance but the sauroter (the spearpoint at the back end) looks like crap. I just can’t see how they could have designed it that badly. I don’t really like that the midpoints of all spears have handles. Ok with handles on a few of them but why put it on all of them. That issue is not so huge though.

I perceive the shields to have more typical proportions than the Immortal/Warlord ones. They are well-shaped and the shield drapes look great.

Total score: 31/40

Edited to add: In total I can definitely recommend this box. There are some obvious problems but I will buy more of the Victrix hoplites. I’ll just wait until most of them have been released so I know which boxes give me most of what I want. If you are most interested in historical accuracy and slender sculpts then Immortal/Warlord might be best. But if you want a good blend of decent historical accuracy, great poses and good sculpts then Victrix is your thing.







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