Thursday, 17 June 2010

Victrix artillery - first impressions.

I now have a box each of Victrix British artillery and Old Guard Grenadiers. I have to say that upon opening the artillery box I was not immediately impressed with the guns on the sprues. The first thing that struck me was how thin the wheels seemed, the rims looked to be somewhat too thin for scale to me. The poses of the crews also looked a bit wooden at first sight I felt. I'm still waiting for some metal artillery to arrive from Perry who are awaiting new stock but I have a feeling that there will be a considerable difference. I initially thought I might put the artillery box aside but then decided that I may as well at least put the set together and see how they looked when assembled. I also did a bit of research on the British carriages of the period and surprisingly on the diagrams I found the wheels do indeed look thinner than I'd imagined. So I went ahead and gave them an initial paint job, the result of which is I think they look OK! They need highlighting as there is no wood texture on the carriage at all, but the pics show my results so far. (The barrels also need more work). It will be interesting to compare with the Perry metal guns once they arrive. I still think the wheels look a little 'thin' but I think they will now be usable at least. I have a test crew undercoated ready for painting, 4 crew per piece. I think in future though I'll stick with metal artillery.

The Old Guard Grenadiers box is good, maybe more mould lines than Perry plastics but they should clean up OK. Heads and faces are excellent and I look forward to painting 2 battalions of these. campaign dress is correct for Waterloo I think given the appalling weather overnight and the descriptions of the bedraggled look of even the finest units on the day.

Any comments on the Victrix artillery welcome, do those wheels look a little thin to you?

(The 95th Rifles in the top pic have just been re-based onto skirmisher bases to match the French.)


JAM said...

Hi Lee,

Interesting to see the photo, the Victrix indeed look frail. The good news for you is that the Perry's are frail as well in comparison to Front Rank, Calpe or Redoubt, I will try to put up a comparison on my blog.


Rafael Pardo said...

The model looks very similar to the ones depicted in the Osprey New Vanguard 060 (British Napoleonic Artillery). Maybe the problem is that the other model guns are too solid....

Lee said...

Hi Rafa,

I don't have a copy of that book here but I do have a copy of New vanguard 38, (American Civil war Artillery), and I looked at the 12b carriage illustrations in there as drawn from overhead and the wheels do indeed look far less chunky than we are used to seeing depicted on metal models. Interesting, maybe you (and Victrix)are right?

I would be interested to see a comparison of those gun models. Its mainly the width of the metal 'tyre' that I was concerned with and on the victrix guns it's just 1mm wide. How does that compare with your metal guns?

I do recall a genuine Napoleonic 9lb gun on original carriage, I'm sure it was at Woolwich Barracks close to where I used to live in London. The Royal Artillery had been training gunners since the mid Eighteenth century at Woolwich and there are many old pieces on display and in the Rotunda Museum there, dedicated to artillery. it would be interesting to see it again.

Thanks for your comments.


Rafael Pardo said...


Lee said...

Hi Rafa,

Wow, that's a great link! Looking at those plans of the 9pounder I still think the width of the metal 'tyre' is slightly under scale but much less than I originally thought. If I get some time later I will try to resize that plan and stand the model gun on it for comparison. Thank you for posting that.

I hope I don't seem too 'geeky' about this but Victrix obviously put a lot of research into their figures and this just kind of jumped out at me.

I'm just basing up the first gun and crew so I'll see how things look.


Stryker said...

Hi Lee - You can never be too geeky in this hobby! My suspicion is that the Victrix kit is probably accurate and we are just used to seeing overly thick guns and gun carriages cast in metal. If you want to see some really over blown artllery wheels you should see some of the Hinton Hunt stuff - I doubt if a real horse could pull some of them!


Lee said...

Hi Ian,

It could well be the case that Victrix are actually closer to true scale than the metal guns we are used to. I am sufficiently 'geeky' to want a definitive answer now!

Btw, I think I may well have to take my 'lucky' England shorts outside and burn them after last nights dismal performance :-)

All the best,


Docsmith said...

Hi Lee - I suspect as others have commented that the wheels are accurate, just that we are used to far more chunkier versions in metal! I've seen a real one and I remember thinking at the time how skinny and flimsy the wheels looked! I like your results with the Foot arty crew so I guess the good news is at least somebody is doing an artillery set in plastic, which makes them cheaper to collect. Be interested to see if they bring out caissons and or horse artillery versions as well. Interestingly, it CAN be done - have a look at the Zvezda Russian artillery set in 1:72 scale - they are absolutely magnificent. How hard could it be to scale up to 28mm you wonder?


Lee said...

Hi Doc,

Thanks for the comments. I'm a big fan of plastic figures and I'd love to be able to make this an 'all plastic' project but I guess that depends on Victrix/Perry and future plans. it would be good to see at least one box of plastic British cavalry, heavy dragoons would be perfect with maybe alternative heads for the Scots Greys etc. Some of those 1/72 Zvezda figures are beautiful I agree, I'll have to take a look at the Russian Artillery set.