Saturday, August 28, 2010

Plastic Prussians - The morning after

So it's Sunday I have woken up, taken a couple of Panadol and put my shades on, so where are we after yesterday's party for WG and Perry.

Perry and WG or Perry vs WG?
Same question, will it be cooperation or competition? If you have bought or read 'Black Powder' you know there is a connection there, they are at least 'mates' and as has been said Nottingham is a small place. You feel there must be some sort of an agreement in place, lets be honest if the Perry's were to release a box of Plastic Landwehr tomorrow WG wouldn't ever sell a single box of their own, so WG would have to be crazy to make the sort of investment that is required to produce a sprue right in the centre of Perry's turf without some sort of an agreement.

It is easy to see the benefit for WG, green light to make Napoleonic's without fear of competition, the 'buzz' of this announcement and the hint of the Perry 'mystique' will do wonders for WG's sales but what is in it for the Perry's? PR wise they don't need anyone else's 'buzz' to boost sales thank you very much. You can only imagine that maybe the Perry's felt they had enough fish to fry in producing a whole new Prussian range, who knows, maybe they will do "Metal Landwehr" which would keep people like me happy. If it is cooperation where will it go, exactly who will produce what, or more importantly what will WG produce and can they do it at Perry quality and Perry price because if they can't then what is the point of this?

Quality and Accuracy
It's really not fair to compare '3up greens' to plastic finished product but as that is all we have for the moment and giving as much allowance as possible for the problems in going from 'green' to plastic it does seem that the WG figures are not sculpted to the same high standards of the Perry's. It might be a bit harsh but they look closer to HAT than Perry quality, with lower detail definition and larger hands. Is this due to the single piece rather than three piece choice?

I think in particular focus will be put initially on the size of the hands which are almost HAT ring hand size, not that Perry are dainty little things but WG are more like boxing gloves.

So far it looks like we have seen three different WG poses, whether there are more or not is unknown at this stage but by comparison Calpe have 70+ Landwehr Infantry poses alone and Perry never do less than 6 variants even on a single metal code!! Three alone would be disappointing

The musket, two figures are shown with the barrel vertical and facing front in what I would describe as the 'classic' march attack pose with the arm across the chest, but one has the barrel facing the rear, the stock is in the palm of his hand with the musket facing fwd/aft, with barrel to the rear and the underside and sling facing forwards, he is definitely not holding the musket side on or barrel first like you will find with most of the Calpe figures, is this accurate?

The roll, one has has a roll over the shoulder and none on the backpack as you would expect, one has neither a roll over the shoulder nor a roll on the backpack and one has both a roll over the shoulder and one on the backpack. Can they all be right and common? I know Landwehr is a bit 'anything goes' and I might just buy the 'none' figure but the double roll?

Facial hair, one is clean shaven, one has a moustache and one has both a beard and a moustache. Again I would 'buy' the clean shaven and the mousatache but beard and moustache on a quick browse of plates I can't see one like that.

WG have been slightly notorious for being 'small' I assume since they are making the noise about Perry cooperation we can assume that there sculptor was told to match the Perry size and not come up with this own idea of what 28mm should be?

Perry + WG + Calpe or Perry + WG vs Calpe
This will probably be the most asked question over the next six months, compatible or not? Tough one to answer till you have them in your hands, and in any case its always so subjective, I am very very picky when it comes to matching up different brands, personally if I can't mix them in the same unit I don't like them on the same table but I know some profess to have no problem fielding Calpe, Front Rank and Foundry which would just leave me in tears. I don't have any Calpe, (my own Prussians are all Foundry), but I will have to buy some of each to see if they are a true match or not. At the moment I don't see this announcement affecting Calpe in the slightest either way but lets see, they still remain the benchmark for Prussian but aren't 'Perry style', six weeks isn't a long time to wait.

WG have to date been the most expensive of the hard plastic 28's and by quite a large margin, will this set be any different? Certainly this set is 'dumbed down' compared to anything else they have done to date will the pricing follow suit, if they don't it will make a hard comparison to Perry once their set is released.

Let's be clear I prefer metal, in fact I would be happy with only metal, YMMV, these, both the WG and Perry Prussians, being plastic doesn't excite me as such, what does excite me about them is having what we could call 'Perry style' Prussian's available in 28mm.

I have no doubt I will buy all these sets and you should to, I think that as 'wargame' figures (i.e viewed on the table from 4') the WG plastics look just fine to me, see the pics below it's hard to argue the WG figures look anything but perfect there, but we all tend to pick them up and study them in detail so whether they get a 'pass' grade or 'can do better' or 'must improve' remains to be seen and on that hinges whether its one box or dozens. The Perry is an easier one to grade, the sculpts are excellent, we have a good idea how they can translate to plastic, yes they won't be equal of their metal, but for bulking out an army they are more than good enough.


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