Friday, 5 April 2013
Another Review: Plastic Vikings
Well, it seems I've got a bug for this reviewing lark.
Next package for the secret project arrived yesterday – 28mm plastic Vikings. These models were from Wargames Factory and their series called Hammer of the Gods. I bought the armoured Huscarls (from Ebay) as a starting point and was very interested to see how it compared to the Roman kit I've been building.
For those of us who play at the more expensive end of the hobby, the idea of paying less than £1 per model seems alien. With this particular plastic box set the models cost less than 50p each – absolute bargain in my eyes… and even cheaper than the Roman Veterans from Warlord Games!
You open the box and are greeted by a stack (literally) of sprues. There are multiples of two different sprues, each set making up 4 complete vikings. There are 4 different body sculpts but then you have 12 different heads, 20 different arms and an immense selection of weapons to choose to complete the figure. To say that there will be bits left over is an understatement. Once complete you have a whopping 32 models to game with.
This has by far the largest selection of options I've ever seen in a plastic kit. Weapons-wise you have several shields (all the same sculpt), swords, spears, bows, axes, two-handed weapons – the options are mind-boggling.
The models go together easily enough. The strangest thing I found was that the weapons are not attached to hands at all, so you literally have to glue every/all weapons into hands. On the one hand (pun – sorry) this is great – you can use almost any hand with any weapon. Unfortunately the flip side is that the hands never look like their quite holding the weapon properly – a bit Action Man before he had gripping hands – swords look like they might be dropped at any moment. The only other thing to niggle is the necks can be quite long on some of the heads and some of the poses look hunched, but I'm really picking now.
The quality of the plastic is good, sticks well and there's almost no mould lines. The poses themselves are alright, a little wooden perhaps but that could just be my choice of arms, heads and weapons together. There is scope for some converting due to the sheer volume of extra bits and I wouldn't be afraid of hacking some of these guys up to get just the right model.
There is no stand out leader in the box set, unlike the centurion and standard bearer in the Roman plastics, but it wouldn't take much imagination or greenstuff to promote one of the vikings to commander status. I have to say I really like this kit.
There is a big issue I've noticed, but it's not with this kit. Scale. It's not something I've ever come across before with the games I've played because all the modes came from the same manufacturer. The photo above shows the difference between these 28mm Vikings and the Warlord Games 28mm Roman Veterans that I reviewed earlier – not much in it but the Centurion is definitely looking on the diminutive side (though the angle of my shot hides the true difference). Thanks to Myincubliss for pointing it out after my last review – I totally see what you mean!
A jaw dropping 32 models for 15 quid!
Plastic Quality: 9/10
Great quality and, whilst some of the weapons seem delicate, nothing's bendy at all.
Sculpt Quality: 7/10
Not as sharp in places as they might be, but not at all shabby.
Lots of options, just not sure about the weapons in hands.
Extra Bitz: 9/10
Never seen a kit with so many extras and options. The only thing missing was extras to use on bases, pouches, trophies, alt shields, etc.
A cracking set and lots of models for your money. I would have given this kit a higher score but the whole hand-holding-weapon thing annoys me so it misses out on a 9 or 10. If this is the way historical plastics are going then the future is looking rosy… and my bank balance too!
I wonder what I'll be reviewing next…?!
I have to say that I am quickly going off this kit. The 'weapon in hand' issue is becoming a pain – it looks really poor and weapons keep falling out. Shame really because it's a pretty good set of sprues.
Posted by Mike Reynolds