Saturday, 15 December 2012

Back to Bannockburn-ish

I have painted a few sample knights for what I call my "1314" project (see previous pics, though I have more done now) and, still suitably enthused, bought some of the recently-released Foot Sergeants from Fireforge Games at the Wargamer show earlier this month to see what I could do with them.

Three days of frenzied cutting, carving, converting and gluing later, I have two "bands" on the go, one of crossbowmen (mercenaries from Gascony for the English) and one of Scots spearmen. I am about half way through painting the former already, so will post some pics when I get them done. A picture of the latter is included in the offerings below.

But firstly, what do I think of the sprues?
Good points:
  1. Lots of options.
  2. Even more options when you consider how many different figures can be made from eight separate bodies, ten separate heads, eight spear arms, six hand weapon I said (twice!!!), lots of options.
  3. Easy to cut from the sprues without damaging them.
  4. Easy to carve and convert, the latter being something I enjoy doing when in the mood.
  5. Good fitting parts.
  6. Minimal mould lines vs some other plastic kit figures.
  7. 48 in a box for about £25.
  8. Enough to make three standard units to "Hail Caesar" (if I use these rules....)
  9. Bases included.
  10. Nice overall sculpts.
  11. Enough detail to allow for washes and similar techniques to help bring the figures to life.
Bad points:
  1. Awkward so-and-so's like me who want Scots have to provide our own weapons and cut out hands to fit them. Those supplied are only about a scale 6 feet long.
  2. Some of the basic body poses are possibly unsuitable for all potential weapon options.
  3. I have to build the figures, which I cannot always be bothered doing.
  4. No definitive command options included.
Overall, the bad points are minor vs the good, so an 8.5 plus for the set as a whole. Very good IMO. And three days of modelling that was thoroughly enjoyable.

The basic sprue, with everything on one frame - another plus point!

Five of the ten head options

Weapon and shield options

The eight body options

Sample Scots spearman.

Closer view of the above figure, showing how much carving (and necessary repair work to finish) I had to do to insert a proper length spear

Another Scot, complete with free hair on camera lens.....

More hand carving and a buckler from the bits box, complete with arrow, went to create this back-ranker for my first schiltron.

Another back-ranker, a bigger arrow (flights to be fitted) and one of the shields supplied.

I have filled out the ranks of the first schiltron with some old figures I bought secondhand ages ago. I think they are Essex. The buckler is another from my spares box.

The complete 24 figure schiltron, complete with a couple of (Essex?) commanders and standard bearers who will get their flags when I have painted the basic figures.
I have so far used 28 of the 48 figures in the box. A unit of English infantry is next on the cards to use up at least 16 of the remaining 20 figures. After that, I will keep the few spare figures for vignettes and the like. Once they are done, that gives me around 4 completed units. If I want to do that desired Bannockburn-inspired game on the 2014 show "circuit", I had better get a move on!!! I had also better get the chequebook out............


1 comment:

  1. I've just been doing the same kinda thing with some Gripping Beast plastic Vikings. I hate plastic figures and never want them again!