Well yesterday the man delivered by spanking new iPad, so I got to play with that for a while before my boss told me to start getting productive with it.
Then today the postman turns up with 3 packages no less, two from Caliver and one from Perry. That's 4 boxes of WG Landwehr, a box each of Perry Dragoons, Hussars and British Infantry and last but not least 12 Perry metal Brunswick Hussars.
There was a note to say that the WG-PRU-WGN21 metal Prussian command would follow ASAP, so that leaves my 40 odd Perry Somatens somewhere in the air I guess.
The Perry metals were fairly well bashed, the horses were at least, and not in transit either, it's taking a fair bit of deft pressure to get the horses straightened out, careful not to end up breaking the legs in the process. Otherwise, an excellent set which I am looking forward to painting, especially after seeing this video, if only it were that easy.
There is a four page flyer included in the box, covering the background of the Landwehr and brief details on facing collars. This sheet also contains 11 flags, and is printed on thickish paper, well thicker than the Perry sheet's.
The metal's are very nicely sculpted and cast, as good as anything the Perry's might turn out on an average working day. I like them.
The plastic's are so 'Perryesque', if that's even a proper word, even down to the little circular base, to be honest if someone told you they were from Perry you wouldn't really argue with them. However this set aims squarely at the gamer rather than the modeler, each figure is a single part, not the multipart's we have seen so far, and as such they are simply perfect for the average gamer, a little bit of cleaning up to do where they were cut from the sprue and then these will be ready to undercoat.
That not to say there isn't some downside to producing single part figure's, apart from the obvious lack of variety imposed by not be able to pose a single part figure there is also an impact on the casting. Front and back the detail is excellent no complaint's, side-on however, as with any and all plastic's, then detail is lost, these figures hide that, to some extent, as these areas are under the arms, covering the side of the pack and part of the torso. Also, as an example, the bedroll on top of the backpack should curve down in an arc to the neck but that would cause an 'undercut' which you can't have in a plastic figure so it cuts straight from the top of the pack to the neck, making it look a bit 'blocky', this problem could be side stepped if, like the other sets we have seen so far, you had produced the backpack as a separate piece. The other issue which has been noted before is the 'boxing glove' hands. It is true they are a tad oversized and combined with some loss of detail they do look a bit 'boxing glove' like. I will say it is nowhere near as bad as it looked in the original pics, though its hard to understand why it wasn't fixed, but it's not really a big deal. All this said put them together in a unit and you will not notice any of these issue's at all and that is the point with this set.
I do wonder though whether the 'gamers' who clamored for the single piece figure may change their mind's somewhat when they see the end product.
One thing to note here, the set does not come with the Renedra bases as all Perry figures do, so you will need to provide your own. For me this is not an issue as I use my own bases anyway, so the Perry's bases have been superfluous.
In terms of their objective to produce a set of Landwehr for the gamer to get on the table in short order I would give this set 10 out of 10. They may lack in the variety of poses we have come to expect of plastic's but that was intentional and will be welcomed by some. I would liked to have seen more variety at least with separate heads but to be honest the forthcoming releases from WG should take care of the need for some variety in battalion unit's. FYI as Paul mentioned yesterday about the forthcoming releases, 'Some of the metal Prussian models will be released before Christmas - if not everything you've seen so far (and some you haven't!).'
I don't believe these are a challenge to Calpe, the difference in size/bulk alone in my opinion precludes using them to replace Calpe, however I would and will gradually phase out my Foundry Prussians as WG and Perry fill out their ranges. If 'Perry' sized Napoleonic's has a place on your gaming shelf then I would say this set is a must have.