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Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Plastic or Metal, discuss.

I think amongst the many game changers that have occurred in the wargaming firmament over the last 30 years was the re introduction of plastic figures. The return of high quality plastic figures in a hard plastic has allowed ALL wargamers to create large armies.
 Really there can be no excuse for any wargamer who wants to recreate and fight large scale historical battles. Plastic Soldier, Flames of War, Zveda, Victrix, Warlord, Agema, and of course the Perry Twins have given wargamers a rich offering.  I must admit being Old School, with a capital O.
  I was a bit dubious of plastic being reintroduced probably because I had spent a small fortune on buying and painting  a lot of metal figures. Frankly I still love? metal toy soldiers which is really strange if one examines why a man 'loves' an inanimate piece of metal. [ But we'll not go there]  
However I must admit that I am won over, simply because the standard of sculpting is of such a high quality, coupled to a decent price for a lot of figures. I usually mix up the plastic figures with my metal figures to 'pad' out my units. But thinking about it logically there is no need as the plastic is excellent in its own right.Hence my latest Union units.
The latest Perry offering for the ACW has convinced me that for large sized battles, 28mm plastic is the way to go. I know from a resale point of view, plastic doesn't command that high a price, even the best painters dont seem to get that much of a return. However for me where I am simply wanting to paint and build up the armies it is great. The only downside I have found is my actual clumsiness. I honestly think I have dispraxia, because I always manage to lose heads and arms with regularity, and I have also found that I have trouble with my left and right arms, ie. I have found I stick them on the wrong side of the bodies,so they look like some demented Kali.
But dont worry all you metal figure producers I haven't given up on the metal just yet and have just bought a couple of units of the TAG Tudor Gendarmes,oh and some Foundry ACW, plus not forgetting the Redoubt figures I finally received. Now there's a tale in its own right.
 I wonder how many wargamers have struggled to get figures directly from the Redoubt producers.Is an order placed on the 5th November and received finally on the 18th December normal? Perhaps I am just unlucky.
I decided to have a review of the ACW units that I have painted this year, I am quite pleased with my progress as this doesnt include my renaissance units that I also painted, and my Blucher 6mm. units that I rebased.






25 comments:

  1. I'm a metal head. At least for my period of choice the WSS since the only plastic figures were from Wargames Factory and were not my cup of tea at all. However, I've recently seen some very good examples of these figures painted and assembled that would suggest I'm wrong (my main problem with Wargames Factory was that I couldn't get what I wanted out of a single box and ended having to buy multiple boxes with figures left over). Having said that, if i was to embark on a new Napoleonic or Wars of the Roses project then it would be almost entirely in plastic. Here the choice, quality and pricing makes it a no brainer, even if you factor in the assembly time.

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    1. Alright Paul,
      Wargames Factory were not the best figures and they clearly struggled to sell in decent quantities, although before their takeover I thought their AWI were fairly decent. The Perries, WOR are a great range and fit really well with their metals. Sort of a win win really.

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  2. A very impressive table...! Plastic or metal... well "chacun a son gôut", we´ve all seen marvellouslyb sculpted and painted plastic minis and awful metal ones, (and vice-versa). It´s all about what you have in mind, your talent... and the contents of your wallet, I guess... Cheers!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your kind comments. Waragamers are very lucky hobbyists.

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  3. I am a Metal Head as well! Although I began the hobby using Airfix plastics 45 or so years ago, once I discovered metal figures, I have not touched a plastic figure. Recent advances in plastic sculpting has increased my curiosity but I really enjoy the heft of a stand of metal figurines. For me, picking up a stand of heavy metal miniatures and plopping it down onto the gaming table is a very satisfying, tactile experience.

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    1. I must admit that was part of my original thinking, but if I wanted heft for my plastics I could always provide them with metal bases but that may be more expensive.I just think that plastic soldiers offer a lot of wargamers on a budget a great option.

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  4. I have both in my collection of mid-18th century figures, but I must admit to favoring the metal figures over the plastic. I'll always keep the latter (they certainly took just as long to paint), but anything I add to the armies these days is (or will be) metal.

    Best Regards,

    Stokes

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    1. Stokes if I could get ready access to the RSM ranges without having to pay additional taxes I would buy only metal, cost is a consideration and obviously with the beautiful plastic sculpting they are a real option for certain units in my collections.

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  5. I have similar problems to you when assembling plastics but they do represent excellent value for money. That said there's something satisfying about moving a unit of nice heavy for gurus about the table.

    Hope you have a great Christmas and see you in the New Year for a game I hope.

    Ps, I like the way your ACW mini project has grown to something bigger!

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  6. Both. Okay, I am a collector of smaller scale figs but I happily mix both metal and Plastics. The Plastics do have one small Advantage (apart from Price) and that´s ease of conversion. No specialist glues or Drilling and pinning as with metals. One can quite happily and easily stick a left arm onto the right shoulder or visa versa ;-)
    Nice looking ACW´s BTW

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  7. The quality of many plastic figures now surpasses the metal. However, I will stay with metal. While the plastic have the potential to be painted to a superb level, unless they are then incased under glass I cannot see them lasting many war-games before bits begin to fall off. Two of my local gamers regularly report 'oh dear, I will have to glue that back on'. As Jonathan has said above, I like the weight of metal. But I won't rule out a possible diorama using plastic. I must also confess, while their price would certainly allow young folk to raise large armies, I'm not sure I have the resolve to 'make' and 'paint' such figures, it takes me all my morale to paint up my metal castings.
    Michael

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    1. Micheal,
      The majority of my collections are metal, and I am always on the lookout for older figure ranges to repaint and add to my units, but for the ACW they are definately an option.

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  8. Robbie, I had the same experience with Redoubt recently. I ordered some paint from them and it took 8 weeks to arrive and I had to email them twice to remind them. Funnily enough the money came out of my account within a couple of days of placing my order.... However I have purchased a lot of figures from them in the past and they have arrived within the stated timescale (they do say you must allow 28 days)so maybe they have had a problem. Lovely figures by the way....

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    1. Dave, now that Im back from the break I can reply.Yes Redoubt were very efficient in taking my funds, but by Christ their service reminded me of the early 1970's. Also some of the castings were seriously questionable due to excessive flash. I think Ive been spoiled.

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  9. Hi Robbie the wait you had seems about Par for the course.
    When my order took its time I was told they fill orders to US first!!. Have a good Christmas.
    We must sort this ACW Game out in New Year.

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    1. I suppose the Dollar is important at the moment. And yes an ACW game would be very nice.

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  10. HI Robbie,fantastic looking collection-i have tried plastics,but,like you,have a lot of bother sticking the things together,so stick(no joke intended!) to metal.
    cheers
    johnc.

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    1. John,
      I used to have the same trouble with Airfix tanks, especially when I had to put the rubber tracks on them. I was usually unconscious from the glue fumes before the tracks stayed together.

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  11. I'm starting out on Napoleonics in 28mm, so it's plastic for me, my Italian wars are mostly metal, it depends what the range is and Perry plastics are just superb.
    Best Iain

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    1. Iain,
      The Perry plastic WOR range is great, and very easy to assemble, but the ACW has me beat. If only Warlord would release the range of plastic Landsnects and Gendarmes that they bought from Pro Gloria.

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  12. Generally speaking I'm a metal head in 28mm and usually prefer to use it for both the heft and more natural look of the miniature as plastic tends to look more stiff. However, I do use some plastic to fill up the ranks on some projects and because the quality keeps getting better I will use more, but metal will likely always remain my preference.

    That said in 15mm the plastics are surpassing the metal in detail and unlike 28mm do look natural and not stiff and heft for some reason isn't all that important a factor in this scale for me.

    Christopher

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    1. Chris,
      Its a strange one that, I had noticed that the plastic 15mm were very good.

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  13. It´s all about what you have in mind, your talent... and the contents of your wallet, I guess... Cheers!


    ** goldenslot mobile**
    ** สล็อต ออนไลน์ ได้ เงิน จริง**

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My 6mm Napoleonic set up.

My 6mm Napoleonic set up.
Austria 1809.

Austrian Hussars

Austrian Hussars
Hinchliffe figures

Austrian Grenzer

Austrian Grenzer
Austrian Grenzer

Smoggycon 2013

Smoggycon 2013
Smoggycon 2013

Smoggycon 2012

Smoggycon 2012
Smoggycon 2012

Smoogycon 2009

Smoogycon 2009
My French getting another beating