I had the extreme pleasure of unpacking a package from Fireforge Miniatures the other day, their first release to the miniatures world. The package was their new Teutonic Knights in 28 mm scale. Much like the Gripping Beast Plastics and Conquest Games plastics that I have reviewed previously, the sprues from Fireforge come out of the molding from Renedra. Renedra’s quality is extremely high.
In this kit are 12 multi-piece mounted knights, I simply love the fact that they are multi-piece and allow me to mix and match and change things as I see fit. They come with an assortment of 12 heads mostly Teutonic styled helms, 5 different hand weapon arms, 4 different lances, 6 different shields, 4 different torso poses for the riders, 4 separate capes/cloaks per sprue.
They also include a command sprue with many options on it in the kit. Excellent piece in itself, having flags, a musician's horn, and a cross.
A good look at the sprues and box contents can be found at the WAB Corner, where Dean broke open a box of them, if interested follow this link:
The horse sprue, has two different horse poses that can be mixed and matched, and three different heads, so fairly nice variety. When assembling the horses, the two halves join up nicely, and don’t have a real big seam in the rump. I had small issue with that in the Conquest Games miniatures horses, that was easily correctable. On these though the rump is good, the saddles can be a bit of issue, but like the Conquest Games miniatures, easily curable. By the way the Conquest Games horse just comes with a blanket and strap, because the actual saddle is molded on the rider. This saddle is on the horse the rider is added, much like GW’s Bretonian Knights.
I assembled 5-different models to get the hang of them and to let them fester in my mind to figure out the look I want for a future army. I must say, I have been doing this a long time and I’m seriously impressed by these models. They are not only the best I have ever seen for a first release from an upstart company , they might just have become my favorite kit of all time. There was very little flash to remove, like with so many of the plastics coming through Renedra. Games Workshop could really take a lesson from this. Very crisp detail on the sprues, excellent undercut. Great looking mail armor, kudos to their sculptor, just when I thought I was getting really good at sculpting mail armor, this kit comes along and changes my thoughts. They do have the rectangular plate shoulder pauldrons as a separate option for those that wish to use it. Everything fits very well and is easy to manipulate at the joins. I’m not much into the Teutonic’s, so I have removed the head dresses from the helms on mine. This should not be a problem in the near future as they are getting ready to release their 2012 follow-up kits of mounted sergeants and Templar knights at or around the end of April is what I heard. Fully assembled, I absolutely love the looks of them. I have been waiting for a very nice looking plastic knight kit for this era, and they have really fit that bill.
Unfortunately for Conquest Games, I do not see myself buying and converting any more of their miniatures. As good as they are, they have not been able to follow up their first release. Quality level is high on them, but not as high as what Fireforge’s first release is, and that is unfortunate as I did and still do have hopes that Conquest will find the capital to release some more plastics. Period wise Fireforge is in what I see as an untapped niche, with older metal miniatures from Gripping Beast, that are kind of chunky looking, and less popular miniatures from Curtsey as their main competition, a much easier road to follow than what Conquest Games has took in competing with numerous manufacturers in a saturated Norman era.
Now the size comparisons.
Pictured below from left to right, a Conquest Games Norman, Fireforge Teutonic, Perry Norman/Crusader, HYW mounted Sergeant, Fireforge Teutonic, Warlord Games Roman Auxiliary
Below, Conquest vs. FireForge
Next Pictured from left to right, Warlord Games Barbarian, Perry HYW Spearman, Fireforge Mounted Knight, Perry Norman Spearman, FireForge Mounted Knight, Warlord Games EIR, Warlord Games Giant Auxiliary, Gripping Beast Viking with a GW Flaggellant head.
And not to forget my Fantasy audience out there that are looking at this kit for use with Bretonian armies, a Fireforge knight on the left and a Games Workshop Bretonian Knight on the right. For you WAB guys that’s the difference in historical 28mm and heroic 28 mm scale.
Bottom line, a great looking kit, well worth my pennies, I’m extremely impressed and I am very much looking forward to more from Fireforge in the near future. Now I need to figure out which WAB army I want to build using these. Capetian France, Later Crusades, Early Medieval English, Holy Roman Empire????