Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Perry Vs Victrix vs Metals

This week we have finished two sets of French Infantry. One is a Victrix Early French regiment consisting of a half box of the figures. The other is the Perry French Infantry Regiment consisting of 42 figures including some multi part skirmishers a nice drummer figure,officer and eagle bearer.
The pics are below. The Perry's are not based since the customer in this case likes to base his own. Whilst painting these the above question kept cropping up.

You probably already now the difference. The perry figures are much more uniform in their stances looking like an advancing regiment with a skirmish screen. They are also a lot easier to base on a regimental stand since the ranks behind are not in danger of bayoneting the rank in front. They come as complete moulded figures, for the most part anyway so once cut from the sprue they are ready for undercoating. The backpacks are separate which means that you can get into those nooks and crannies before sticking them on. And with the selection of greatcoats they also look like they are on campaign. The victrix figures on  the other hand if you have ever seen them are like an airfix kit. It take us ages as painters to put them together adding a day to the production of a regiment but therein also lies their advantage. We paint the bodies before any heads arms, rifles or backpacks go on. Then touch up the areas where they are attached during the highlight process. The fact that the heads aren't attached make it so easy to create individual figures (we sneak the odd perry spare head onto victrix bodies) as well as using bandaged heads from other units and eras to produce a little talking point within  a regiment. The figures are also in some great bayonet poses. Some ask what is the point of the kneeling soldiers. Having painted hundreds, perhaps thousands of these figures now I have come to a simple conclusion. If you want a solid infantry regiment block for a large scale game go perry. If you want to play a small scale skirmish game with individual figures (hands up you sharp fans) then go Victrix, you'll get more what I call useable figures from a set. Which leads me onto metals. We frequently paint metals for people. In all eras and as you will probably know quality of casting and cost varies considerably. We have received figures that are covered in flash, missing parts of limbs and with unidentifiable lumps that may be a water bottle or a bread sack. If you have been on the brush too far web site you will have noticed the price difference between a painted metal and a painted plastic unit. It can be quite significant particularly if you are trying to build a large force. So why is it that some gamers I have met turn their noses up at plastics. I can put up a picture of a painted metal nap figure up against a painted plastic nap figure and dare you to take the Pepsi challenge and in my acw units i regularly mix plastic and metal regiments very successfully. Well I might have an answer. My son is nine. Recently whilst I was painting the french above he walked over as he usually does staring wistfully at the figures in the vain hope hope that i might suddenly say 'Hey kid these are for you' and after a moment he said 'Dad those look like my toy soldiers'. And there it is. That awful demon that lurks in the back of every gamers mind and that rears its ugly head whenever said gamer hears his wife tell her mother that Jon is playing with his friends and their toy soldiers. And that is the answer to the question plastics versus metals, for on every pack of metal miniatures are written the words "NOT A TOY"

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