Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Victrix Updates - French, Austrians, Russians

Things have been very quite at Victrix for an awful long time, seems like we haven't heard from them since May and that was only to say they were off on holiday! I was really beginning to wonder about Victrix.

Anyway now they have some news, well actually quite a lot of news:

It's been a while since we announced any news at Victrix. It is not that we have not been busy! But there have been a few things going on in the background that have put us a bit behind schedule on our next releases. We are now able to move forward and will have set VX0011 'NAPOLEON'S OLD GUARD CHASSEURS' on release the end of September / early October.

The set will contain 60 figures like our Grenadiers set. It has new heads for the Chasseurs and a new command section. The drummer holding his sabre ready for some action and the officer with raised sword are two very characterful models. A new standard bearer clutching his flag pole in both hands is another great addition. And remember these can be freely intermixed with other French sets from Victrix for even more variety in your units.

Below is an image of the wondferful box art from 'Dan Horsechief', the Chasseurs in a firefight outside the church at Plancenoit

We will have more images of the plastic figures nearer release time..

They look great, though most of the work was done in the Grenadier set released earlier in the year I guess. I actually would like to see these in metal.

Interestingly on there Hoplite update page they have this to say:

We are not certain on the release date for these as yet as we are a bit behind on our releases and not sure if these will be be the next sets after the Chasseurs or it may be our Austrians!

Metal Early Napoleonic Russians

Just recieved the first images from Paul Hicks who is in the process of sculpting early Russians for our expanding metals range. These will be from 1805 to 1808.

We should be releasing the first packs late September. The initial releases will be line infantry, Grenadiers, Pavloski Grenadiers, imperial guard in March attack pose with command for all plus mounted colonels. After these Paul will be working on Russian Chasseurs.

Really looking forward to seeing these as Paul has done a lovely job so far on the officers which you can see below. Hopefully more images in the next couple of weeks.

This range will tie in nicely with our Austrian sets being worked on at present and also with our French in Bicornes set.

We will be looking at producing cavalry in plastic.

Really nice figures from Hicks, no argument there, and lots of interesting things coming up I can see. Metal? Hmm I hope this is something we are going to see a lot more off from Victrix, personally I wouldn't mind if they went totally metal (see more on this below) but plastic cavalry??? I can't see the sense in that, surely there is more volume in infantry than cavalry and volume is supposedly what you need in plastics and they would hopefully make it into production a lot faster if metal as well.

With these Russians being 1805/08 I assume the comment about these fitting in with the Austrians means we are getting early Austrians as well. I think it would have been better to have had Austrians and Russians that would do 1809/1812 rather than 1805/08. Whilst I will never turn my nose up at any good Napoleonics, I do wonder whether they might have missed an opportunity here.

Now according to their future releases page coming up should be:

VX00011 French Napoleonic Imperial Guard Chasseur a Pied
VX00012 British Royal Horse Artillery
VX00013 French Napoleonic Imperial Guard (Middle Guard)
VX00014 French Napoleonic Dragoons 1805-12
VX00015 French Napoleonic Dragoons 1812-15
VX00016 French Napoleonic Carabiniers 1805-1810

I love Austrians but guys we have been waiting on those early Carabinier and early Dragoons for a real long time already, maybe 18 months, does this mean they will be put back even further behind the Austrians and then Hoplites, and where are the horses for the limbers?? Without horses those limbers are just a waste of money, how long does it really take to produce them?

If all these sets were metal and not plastic you get the feeling they would probably have long been out the door.

I have to say I have really cooled on the 'plastic revolution'. When it comes to Napoleonics whilst multi pose is a nice idea assembling them is a pain and even if I was going to buy plastic I would go Perry as there are less pieces to assemble than Victrix. Then looking at the quality of the finished product whilst I can admire the original sculpts and marvel at how they have managed to capture a lot of that detail in the plastic product it still is a fact that the detail is lost completely when side on to the mould and is in very low relief elsewhere which is not necessarily ideal for a wargame figure meant to go on the table. I have nothing against people who like plastics, for whatever reason, I am not anti plastic, just for me I don't think they really match metal! IMHO if they switched to metal they would sell more, as well as bringing product to market much quicker than they currently seem able to do and financially this would require a lesser investment.

I start to wish Victrix would actually become a metal rather than plastic manufacturer, I like what they do, their sculpts are as good as anything the Perry do and in my opinion the end product would be better in metal than plastic. Actually I wonder why they don't consider doing both metal and plastic, the metal out first and sold as a complete figure and then the multi pose sprues later, the best of both worlds and more money for them from the same basic sculpt.

There was also some news on the 54mm front:

We had some very good news today from the company that does our tooling.

They are well underway on the 54mm French sets. These will be French Grenadiers 1804 to 1812 and French Voltigeurs 1804 to 1812. Each set will contain 16 figures with plenty of arm and head options.

No images to show at present but hope to have more to show in September. We would hope for a late September or early October release. We will keep you informed when we have more news.

Well at least I will now have something to match up against the British 54mm they released last year.

So lots of news, lots of really great sculpts, congrats guys, but you do get the feeling Victrix are anything but focused.


Christopher said...

Victrix does seem to be totally lacking in focus. The 54mm line was interesting, but they dropped it on us with no follow-through. The 28mm Napoleonic line is full of serious gaps and they aren't being filled quickly.

As far as the plastic revolution, I'm really mixed. I've talked to a lot of other gamers who've started building historical armies since the appearance of Perry and Victrix 28mm plastics. Many have stepped out of 40K, often with a stopover at Flames of War. It's heartening to see that the historical segment may have new life in it.

That said, I do have a fondness for metals and while I love the Victrix sculpts, they're in way too many pieces to be called convenient.

BlackMamba said...

As I have been saying repeatedly for months now, how can you release a limber without horses!

They don't even have the excuse that they are plastic, having already said the limber team would be metal.

Until they do appear I am not going to bother buying the plastic artillery set.

To my mind this a prime example of how things at Victrix are just not right.

As you mention the one sided 54mm set was another, though I actually did waste my money and buy that set last year, they still sit in the box untouched, awaiting opponents.

I do have some sympathy for Victrix in that having Perry trample all over your business plans can't make life easy.

But they still could have been a lot smarter, and if going all metal reduced the investment they needed to make and allowed them to sell product quicker I would be all for it.

However I fear their early Russians and Austrians are not going to be a roaring success, especially if they continue as they have been and walk away leaving big gaps in the range. that won't be filled for years if ever.

As you mention the problem is not the sculpts which are without exception lovely and are an equal of Perry, which is what makes this whole situation so sad, such a waste of beautiful sculpts.