Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Review : Victrix 28mm british centre comp. Waterloo

Hi there,

Ok, it took some more time than planned as Christmas preparation took me some time yesterday, however, here it is.

Victrix is a brand new company based in the UK. Their first reference is a Waterloo Bristish infantry centre companies box. It contains 52 high quality hard plastic miniatures to assemble.

Packaging :

The box is big, full and heavy. On one side you find facing colours of all British regiments that fought at Waterloo, and behind the box a very nice drawing of a soldier, front and back that will be a very nice reference for painting.

As said, this box is really full. You have 8 plastic sprues of 2 different kind. One for the bodies, heads and backpack, the second one for arms, heads and weapons mostly.

Included as well is a 4 pages booklet containing a simple ruleset, building guide and flags for 4th king own and 35th rgt of foot (Sussex)

The sprues :

The first kind of sprue contains heads, arms and weapons, plus the body of the officer/standard bearer. You have four of them in a box. There are 14 different heads per sprue where only 12 of them will be used. Faces expression are really nice and dynamic, engraving is really beautifull, there is no flash and the mold line is quite inexistant.

The same notice applies to arms, weapons and obviously the officer body. A single xacto with a new blade and few minutes are enough to prepare the parts.

A single miniature is assembled with between 4 to 6 parts.There are the body, the head and the two arms. Most of them will also require a backpack, and few (2 on 13) will require a leg assembly.

A noticeable thing is that the officer body will be used for both the officer and the standard bearer. It means than on a set you can build 2 of each or 4 of one type, or any combination. Arms, flag poles, and officer sabers are given for 4 of each type. Also, you have two different arms and sword handling for officers, and a hand with a pistol is given so any arm can be converted for the officer to have a pistol rather than a sword.

The second kind of sprue contains the bodies, the flag pole, a drum in two parts, and the backpacks mainly. You have 4 of those sprues in the box.

As previously noticed, there is no flash and details are high.

On each sprue you will find 1 sergeant body, 1 drummer body and 10 troopers bodies within which you have 8 different positions.

The sergeant can be assembled with a spear or a rifle.

Backpacks are of 4 different kinds, 6 having items on the back (2 with shoes, 2 with "bottle", 2 with dishes).

Within those two sprues the number of assembly combinations is by default very important. With minimal customization, this set opens the door to quite unlimited combinations.

The booklet :

The little booklet contains the assembly guide for this set and also other sets that will be released soon. It gives only few informations and only for "default" suggested assembly, but despite this it is sufficient to build the miniatures without surprise. There are few mistakes on it (arms reference inversion for officer) but this is obvious to correct when you look at the parts. Also, Victrix is a brand new company and this is their first product, so this is far being dramatic. However, in addition of those little lacks the assembly guide is printed on the back of the flags page. That means that you will have to wait to have build all your troops before using the flags or copy the doc/flags in some way. In addition they give a simple rule to play.

Preparing and Assembling the troops :

Preparation is very easy. Parts are attached to the sprue in a clever way, so those points can be cleaned up easily without harming any details. The only exception is about backpacks, were some attention must be given as the attach point at the top is between the two top bucles.
As said, no flash, very discrete mold lines make this step fast and easy and. A simple X-acto with a new blade makes the thing in a few minutes.

Assembly is without any surprise as well. Thereafter are sample shots of one sprue assembly plus one officer and one standard bearer. No putty was used, this is just raw assembly and a priming layer of paint.

Last picture is size comparison vs. a Perry lead diorama at same scale. As you can see, those miniatures will perfectly mix with other 28mm miniatures.

On the picture it can seem a bit too big, but in fact isn't, the Napoleon miniature is at scale, and he was a bit small. Look at the hussard on the left to really make your mind about that point.

Conclusion :

Those miniatures are real gems, and are not expensive vs. lead miniatures. Victrix is a brand new company and this is their first release. Except few points on the documentation, I was impressed and hope they will meet the success they diserve as their future releases are very high on my wish list (i.e. French Cuirassiers).



Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Victrix 28mm : Waterloo english troops


Yesterday, I finally decided to go at my miniature shop in Paris. They have only very few 15mm napoleonics but in case of... So, I had a discussion with the boss, and he explained me that they were definately stopping 15mm napoleonics as they could not be delivered correctly. Their last order make it's path to their shop in 4 monthes, and half the order was missing. It's more they can support in front of their customers. Same reason why they will stop making AB miniatures. Also, there is lower interest about 15mm napoleonics, so in our business only world, this is perhaps part of the core reason.

Too bad, but not their fault...

Anyway, he show me some new stuff he had, and I immediately go totally nuts about it.

I am speaking about VICTRIX 28mm hard plastic miniatures. Those are real gems, so I bought the last box he had in store (they were all gone in five days...). It is far being the 15mm austrians I was searching for, but for about the same price of an AB batallion I have 56 28mm miniature of wonderfull quality and dynamicity, with very natural march/attack poses and quite unlimited postures due to the clever part assembly. Today I plan to post a review of those and obviously to start working on them. In the meantime, feel free to dream by having a look at their masters on their website.

Stay tuned...



Monday, December 22, 2008

Why this blog ?


My name is Bruno and I am a french modeler leaving in Paris, France.

Being a modeler for very long, I have interest "phasis" that are looping from ship or plane modeling to miniatures. I am currently at the beginning of yet another new wargaming miniature phasis. As I searched for 15mm austrian napoleonics review I found MacPhee's Miniature blog in front of which I dreamed during most of past evening. So, I decided to create my own.

Why ? Simply because it is very hard to find reviews of lead 15mm miniatures and manufacturer's sites such as Old Glory 15 do not provide picture. During the past 20 years I have built a lot of armies. I still have some of theim, and even if not playing any-more (not yet at least), I regret not to have kept them all. I plan to review the miniatures I have and share my new creations on this blog, and that will not only cover miniatures.

Coming back to the historical wargaming figure after a 5+ years break, I also have the sad feeling that this hobby is somewhat struggling in the way I knew it. Some new areas are better covered (especially WWII), but prices of miniatures are crazy, and it is very difficult to find them now (at least in France which I am from). I will also talk about that.