Friday, 29 March 2013

Review: 28mm Plastic Roman Veterans


A bit of a departure here for me. I'm going to review some models!

The kit being inspected is the Roman Veterans box, a set of 20 plastic 28mm Romans by Warlord Games, to accompany their Hail Caesar ruleset.

Now, before we get started – I don't do 28mm and I don't do historical. At least up until now. I play Warhammer 40k, Fantasy, Warmachine, Malifaux… you can see where I'm coming from. Most of the miniatures I own are 30 or 32mm 'heroic' scale models so in comparison these guys are like hobbits.

So why am I looking at this stuff, never mind buying it and painting it?

I've noticed a lot more plastic kits appearing on the market these days and from distance they look pretty good. I was intrigued to see how they compared to what I know, plastic Space Marines (© Games Workshop).

I placed my order on the Warlord Games website last Thursday mid-morning; I got an email to say it was being shipped on Tuesday evening this week and it arrived the next day. Not the quickest of deliveries, but not bad at all.


I only wanted to dip my toe in so went for the 20x Veterans box rather than something with more models in it. It has options for a Centurion and a Standard Bearer and Musician with the rest all Legionaries. I was disappointed to see that it only comes with 3 different body sculpts for the troops which, when building 17 of them, makes them look rather repetitive. In addition there are only a handful of alternative head sculpts so again repetition occurs quickly.

Being veterans these guys are battered and bruised and so is their gear. Lots of damage on shields and bandages on heads. I liked this and it's perfect for the application I have in mind for them.

The plastic itself seems good quality. As you can see I stuck my test models onto weighted 25mm bases, and standard plastic glue gave no problems with that or attaching limbs or shields (not like Privateer Press 'plastic' models). It all went together very easily and I could have added more with leg armour and other extras available on the sprue.


The detail on the sculpts is good. I especially like the Centurion and can't wait to get some paint on him. I would have liked to see shield motifs sculpted onto the models but I guess if you're doing multiple units and need different images a plain shield is best. The models came with a set of waterslide transfers which look good – won't be using them myself as I'd rather paint them on by hand, but if you had 20 to do the transfers might be a less laborious option.

I realise I've been spoilt with the quality and volume of extra 'bitz' on my 40k plastics all these years.  These models have limited poses and there's a lot of repetition but that's not to say I'm not impressed. I've a lot of faith in the quality of Warlord Games' gear – they have the pedigree to back it up – and these models do not disappoint. The quality of the product, sculpt and price per model is great and I will be dipping my toe in again at some point.

Price: 9/10
An absolute bargain, 20 models for 16 quid, fantastic!

Plastic Quality: 9/10
No problems at all, variable levels of flash and mould lines but good overall.

Sculpt Quality: 8/10
I have limited experience of this scale but they look great to me!

Poses: 7/10
Limited to sticking arms and heads on and limited alternative sculpts, but alright.

Extra Bitz: 5/10
A few bits here and there but I guess they're more of a 'nice to have'.

Overall: 8/10
Considering these are the first 28mm, non sci-fi/fantasy/steampunk plastic miniatures I've ever bought I'm really rather impressed. I am coming from a totally different perspective that most gamers who will be buying this product, my expectations were very high so the scores may seem a little harsh. I was looking for some Roman Legionaries – they certainly seem historically accurate (based upon my recent studying) and I doubt that I could find anything better out there at the moment. Very happy.

I'll do a post or two as I paint them and that will be the real test!


UPDATE…

With the realisation that the scale of these guys is on the small side I have to amend the overall score to reflect the disappointment I felt.

Overall: 7/10




18 comments:

  1. Great review and can't wait to see your paintjob!!! So can we see you stepping away from the Dark Side and into the Light of Historical gaming??? Perhaps even a Space marine invasion of Ancient Rome???

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    1. Let's not be too hasty, Ray. Just dipping my toe in.

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  2. Indeed, like the review, and can't wait to see the paint job as well. Should be interesting to say the least how they turn out. Always wanted to dip my toe into this genre, but lack of time, and group interest says otherwise!

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    1. Yes, I'm looking forward to doing a bit more. Historical rules that I've seen thus far have not appealed very much, but I'm still looking!

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  3. When I saw this title come up on my blog roll I thought "Whoa, what's the Templar doing?" Very interesting departure for you here and I hope you enjoy painting them up.

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    1. It's all a bit scary Anne to be sure. We'll see how things progress and whether I bottle it and scurry back to sci-fi!

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  4. Interesting to read a review from your point of view. (Non Historical space marine GW background). I think the biggest difference you will find with historical stuff is that you will not need to sell a lung to buy a single figure and that box sets will contain more figures for the price you are used to paying. I look forward to seeing how these turn out. One thing I will say for GW is that some 40k players are excellent painters.

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    1. The price has definitely been a bonus thus far – 20 quid for 30-40 models, amazing!!

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  5. Not a historical either so its interesting to here your point of view. i have to wonder if the poses where similar though to rank them up perhaps in those tortoise formations or whatever it was called.

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    1. I must admit the whole ranking thing never occurred to me, haha!

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  6. Hail Caesar is a great game, and the starter set (Conquest of Gaul) is an absolute bargain, especially from a discount retailer like Triplehelix Games.
    http://www.warlordgames.com/22994/new-hail-caesar-conquest-of-gaul-starter-set/

    http://www.triplehelixwargames.co.uk/product_details.php?subId=125&pId=12282&mid=119

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    1. Thanks for the link. Loving the cheap entry cost of this genre!

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  7. Interesting review. The lack of posing isn't so much of a problem with historicals as they would tend to be drilled troops, fighting in close formation rather than skirmishing where a greater variety of poses would be more desirable.

    If i was going to do Romans in 28mm, I'd probably go for plastics and would almost certainly mix figures from the veterans box into units made up from figures of the other boxes in the range.

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    1. I have to admit, only playing skirmish games (lets be honest, 40k is effectively a big skirmish game) the whole ranking thing passed me by. As I said, I've been rather spoilt by the poseability of the plastic kits I currently use. Now I understand the reason behind the lack of poses the models appeal even more.

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  8. And so the madness begins! You do realise you are on the precipice of a very slippery slope; just look what happened to me! ;)

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    1. A very slippery slope indeed but I'm feeling in full control… for the minute.

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  9. Eee, I had a box of those to make Auton conversions - I found they were fine for that, but they were dinky compared to every other Roman miniature (including the auxiliaries that Warlord produce, that I could do with some shields from for a different project), which would limit their usefulness if I was going for straight historicals...

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    1. Now then, difference in scale is something I hadn't considered at all as it's never been an issue for me in the past (I've never mixed and matched from different manufacturers) so thanks for flagging that one. With this being my first kit I wouldn't spot that so I'll be interested to compare scale with my next kit.

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