Thursday, May 17, 2012

Gripping Beast Plastic Saxons....

I picked up a box of Gripping Beast Plastic Saxon Thegns. They are very much like the GBP Vikings, accept the bodies do have little crucifixes on them and slightly different poses. They also of course have different heads that have Saxon type helmets for the most part and more swords than what comes with the vikings. The shield bosses are also slightly different than the Vikings. Like the Viking box they come with two command sprues, each have dracos for banners. One of the things I have yet to figure out with the Vikings is what I will do for banners. It’s a very nice looking set, good quality for $0.72 a model. I just wish they made plastic Fyrd also.
As I look around at alot forums for historical miniatures, I see this immense dislike of plastics by historical army builders. I really do not understand. I don't notice that as much with Fantasy and Sci-fi miniatures.  They apparently hate plastic and multi-poses, and the ability that plastic gives one for variety. And complain that they have too much flash and the undercut and detail is not as good as metal, and they don’t paint as well, and they are expensive, and blah blah blah.
I’ve yet find that flash thing to be a problem. I have also worked with enough historical miniatures in metal to find that miscasts are very much prevalent and annoying, and the metal castings that I have worked with have tremendous amounts of flash on them requiring a great deal of effort and a variety of tools to remove that flash. This I have found to be the case even with what I consider the best of the manufacturers, Perry Miniatures. As to detail, some of the manufacturers struggle with that in plastic such as Wargames Factory and to a much lesser degree Conquest Games on the their Norman riders. It certainly has not been the case with the Warlord Games, Victrix, Gripping Beast, and Perry Miniatures plastics that I have worked with. I guess the way I sum these people’s displeasure is that they are for the most part people who are old fogeys, gamers who do like the hobby aspect, and people who generally like paint chipping off their metals and watching the occasional miniature shatter and or bend when dropped on the floor. My experience is that my paint work lasts and bonds much better to the plastic. In using plastic, I do not really worry about basing my models with expensive magnetic bases. When you tip over the plastic model on a hard and abrasive gaming table you generally don’t worry about bending or chipping of the paint than you would if that model was metal. I find that if the plastics have flash they are much easier to clean up than metal, a dull #11 xacto blade works just fine. I find that changing poses and converting to be much less work than when working with metal. Most of the plastic kits are generally easy to assemble and give you many choices on how to rank them up. The metals on the other hand are typically stale and boring with very few poses. If you mix the two then you can often get the best of both worlds.  For me the hobby is as important as the game.  Besides why complain about plastic, if you don't like them, don't buy them, because there are plenty of other manufacturers out there that make periods in all metal, support them and stop your bitching, leave my plastics alone.


  1. Think this article should have been entitled 'Advantages of plastic miniatures' instead!