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Thread: The point of multi part plastics in ancient wargaming

  1. #1

    The point of multi part plastics in ancient wargaming

    With the exception of various 'barbarian' armies, I cannot see the point of multipart plastics for ancients. With models such as Imperial Romans and Hoplites, I cant see the need to have lots of options. Of course, models with different helmet and armour types and styles are always good, but while plastics may appeal to some to be easier to model, I dont see why companies dont use sprues more akin to the GW Lord of the rings sprues. Eg complete bodies with mabye one or two options for helmets or weapons choice.

    Am I alone (and lazy!) with regards to ancient modelling? Personally I'd rather have a more uniform regiment and dont see the need for the various options when modeling, or the bother of assembling the models, and I am just as happy with metal models with a few basic options.


    Eurytus

  2. #2
    Banned Verm1s's Avatar
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    Re: The point of multi part plastics in ancient wargaming

    Once I would've disagreed with you. But after assembling and ranking some, I mostly agree with you.

  3. #3

    Re: The point of multi part plastics in ancient wargaming

    For uniformed troops which had specific weapons and armour, I think somewhere between the two is best. You don't need to have seperate, legs, heads, bodies, arms and weapons since they will all be armed the same so having different parts is pointless. Going too far the other direction is equally as bad, having regiments of clones really ruins the look. I think the perfect balance is to have alternate heads, shields and one or both arms along with some extra bits to add detail. This lets you keep variation between models without having repeating models. I disagree on plastic vs metal however. Plastic is lighter, and much easier to model and paint. It is also less likely to chip. I do however prefer wire spears since plastic always bends.

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    Commander Gwedd's Avatar
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    Re: The point of multi part plastics in ancient wargaming

    I prefer the multi-part kits. Of course, I come from a background building detailed plastic kits, so I'm used to even finer detail and more and smaller parts than many of these ancients kits.

    Having said that, I like having a multitude of various poses within each unit. By that I mean a unit that is, say, all throwing pilum, but are each slightly different in arm position, head position, shield position, etc. It gives the units a sort of animated, flowing look that I really like.

    The Warlord, Immortal and other plastic lines really have no more parts than GW Space marines, and in fact, often have fewer.
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    Modinator Lord Dan's Avatar
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    Re: The point of multi part plastics in ancient wargaming

    It's not just for multiple weapon options, it's for variability within the unit and a cheaper pricetag. Both of these are wins.

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    Chapter Master Lars Porsenna's Avatar
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    Re: The point of multi part plastics in ancient wargaming

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Dan View Post
    It's not just for multiple weapon options, it's for variability within the unit and a cheaper pricetag. Both of these are wins.
    Agree. One of the things I really, really hate is painting the exact same figure over and over again. Beyond that, there is also the issue of versimilitude as well. In short, those "uniformed" armies we like (such as Romans) were probably less uniformed than we might think: ISTR archaelogical finds of things like files, chisels, and other metalworking tools Roman legionaries used to decorate their helmets.

    There is also the issue of pose: having the exact same pose throughout the unit is just as unnatural as an army of clones. Even subtle changes, FREX for a unit of hoplites, some with foot positioning differences (they probably marched in-step, but when the battle lines collided...), some holding their spear a bit higher/lower/different angle, etc. I think this makes a big difference...

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    Commander PsychosisPC's Avatar
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    Re: The point of multi part plastics in ancient wargaming

    One thing I can not stand is not having multipart miniatures. Its one of the first things that I look for when starting an army. I love the hobby aspect even more than playing games.

    I become incredibly bored painting the same miniatures over and over. So when I model them I like to come up with multiple looks.

    Some multipart kits are better than others, but most anymore are very good.

    Currently, I'm building the Gripping Beasts Plastic Hirdmen and loving them. Awesome kit.

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    Re: The point of multi part plastics in ancient wargaming

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Dan View Post
    It's not just for multiple weapon options, it's for variability within the unit and a cheaper pricetag. Both of these are wins.
    Hear, hear....well said, well said. I've had over 38 years of mostly/all metal minies for wargaming (in 25 now 28mm. In the USA, 25mm metal wargaming minies are just about 67(??) years old.

    Plastic is GREAT. Much easier to prepare with/on my old hands. Easier to trim the flash, no hard and long-lasting filing as with metal minies.
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    Commander redben's Avatar
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    Re: The point of multi part plastics in ancient wargaming

    Why do I need multi-part Bloodletters when all Bloodletters look exactly the same?

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    Re: The point of multi part plastics in ancient wargaming

    I don't think variety of models within a single unit are needed really...a few basic variations of pose in a uniform unit is fine: where the multi part kit excels though in its ability to be put together as a variety of different units, which is a point often missed: E.g: My WSS figs from WF are all pretty uniform but from one kit I can build ordinary line infantry in a variety of poses or with different heads they become grenadiers...or dragoons, or whatever...

    Ive noticed on the GW centric boards odd comments about how "all my figs must be unique!" , usually cropping up when GW figs are being compared to figs of another company. This is a laudable and achievable aim with relativley small gw armies, but when Ive got 500-1000 historical figures to paint the chances of them all being different even with multi part kits is rather remote, and not really something that bothers me anyway...

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    Commander PsychosisPC's Avatar
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    Re: The point of multi part plastics in ancient wargaming

    Quote Originally Posted by redben View Post
    Why do I need multi-part Bloodletters when all Bloodletters look exactly the same?
    I guaranty my bloodletters don't like yours, unless you had commissioned me to build the same for you. Matter of fact I didn't repeat a single pose in my all Khorne Demon army that has won me a number of awards. Multi-part kits gives you the options to do things others either won't do or in the case of many of the fantasy type armies the imagination to do.

    The nicest thing I see with good multi-part kits is the subtlety that changes can be made to get a certain theme or as Lars pointed out to avoid the dreaded "Army of Clones" look. Now maybe if your theme is to be more regimental, that might not be a good thing, but variety for me is the spice of life. Creating little vignettes within my armies is the storytelling aspect that I like to get in.

    but when Ive got 500-1000 historical figures to paint the chances of them all being different even with multi part kits is rather remote
    500-1000 piece armies isn't something that I'm interested in, but if you are truly interested in building such a thing there are many manufacturers out there without multi-part kits and single piece casts, buy from them, and keep them in business, shop around you'll find them. Just as I shop around and avoid most of those companies that don't make multi-part kits. If I was to build such a thing, a great multi-part kit is what I woud seek, just escape the boredom of painting so many possibly like pieces. Most all of my WAB armies will be under 200 pieces, and I have interest in more than one period. And as I said the hobby aspect is what I love the most. The playing of an ancients game is just a side benefit of my love of building and painting cool pieces.

  12. #12

    Re: The point of multi part plastics in ancient wargaming

    I am also against the army of clones idea.

    I'm rather surprised at the 'no metal' responses, with people advoiding metal altogether. Is the problem there just most metal models lack the options and poses, would you buy metal models that were multipart say. Or is it purely that plastics are easier?

    Eurytus

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    Commander Gwedd's Avatar
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    Re: The point of multi part plastics in ancient wargaming

    I still have hundreds of metal minis, but the majority of my minis are slowly becoming plastic as I can afford them. To my mind, the lower cost of plastics, plus the ease of working with them for conversions, etc makes them preferable to metal. I love Foundry's castings, and I would love to build an Arthurian army with them, and also an Egyptian chariot force, but I just couldn't afford to. Between the higher prices and the shipping costs they are right out of reach for me. Some companies, like Renegade I can afford, and they make some excellent early WWI figures, and some nice Celts too. All my WWI stuff is from them. Old Glory has some excellent ranges, and very fair prices. So does Sash & Saber, and the latter is what I'm using for my ACW units.

    But in the end, the plastic is still easier to work with, even with all the fiddly bits, and the lower costs allow me to build not just my own army, but another one so I can either play solo, or let a pard use it to try and get him hooked on a new period or rules set.
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    Re: The point of multi part plastics in ancient wargaming

    500-1000 piece armies isn't something that I'm interested in, but if you are truly interested in building such a thing there are many manufacturers out there without multi-part kits and single piece casts, buy from them, and keep them in business, shop around you'll find them.
    for my 15mm napoleonics army thats just what I did: the fact the infantry are only in 5 or 6 poses doesnt bother me at all...not when they're that size!

    With large 28mm armies though I'd rather have plastic these days (Im not actively trying to get them all the same pose..I dont care either way!) as even my rather smallish half plastic/half metal ECW army is heavy enough to require a team of elephants to drag it to the local club...


    I find it interesting that people prefer that their figures are varied so they don't lose interest painting them: I personally prefer them to be as uniform as possible so that I can get into a good rhythm and paint dozens at a time and churn out the huge number of "little men" required to feed my addiction...

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    Commander redben's Avatar
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    Re: The point of multi part plastics in ancient wargaming

    Quote Originally Posted by PsychosisPC View Post
    I guaranty my bloodletters don't like yours, unless you had commissioned me to build the same for you. Matter of fact I didn't repeat a single pose in my all Khorne Demon army that has won me a number of awards. Multi-part kits gives you the options to do things others either won't do or in the case of many of the fantasy type armies the imagination to do.

    My Bloodletters don't all look the same. Read the title of thread again and hopefully you'll see what I was getting at

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    Re: The point of multi part plastics in ancient wargaming

    I really don't worry about not having enough different poses in each/any unit of one of my armies. I just do not "zoom in" to eye ball at tabletop level. None of my regular, longtime, old fart opponents seem to worry about "cloned armies/minies". But that is just us.

    If I like the end results I can check out (wherever) before I decide "I want a box of whatever", it does not matter if the minies are multi part, one piece or 20 pieces for each minie.
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    Re: The point of multi part plastics in ancient wargaming

    Quote Originally Posted by Eurytus View Post
    I dont see why companies dont use sprues more akin to the GW Lord of the rings sprues. Eg complete bodies with mabye one or two options for helmets or weapons choice.
    HT has adopted this sort of approach with their 28 mm plastic range. The figures contain very few parts, but do not offer much in the way of poseability either. Check out their test sprue pictures to find out how many parts there are per kit:

    http://www.hat.com/current28.html

    At the moment their 28 mm range is however restricted to just Napoleonics and medieval Spain (El Cid) .
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    Re: The point of multi part plastics in ancient wargaming

    Quote Originally Posted by Eurytus View Post
    ... I dont see why companies dont use sprues more akin to the GW Lord of the rings sprues. Eg complete bodies with mabye one or two options for helmets or weapons choice.

    Eurytus
    I agree. This past summer I assembled a number of Warlord's ECW plastic minis immediately after some of GW's LoTR plastics and besides taking much longer they were a real pain.
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    What the Modsticker said.

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    Re: The point of multi part plastics in ancient wargaming

    The ECW ones are pretty frustrating - it has slowed progress on my TYW army just through not wanting to spend the time fiddling with the things. However, I think their Romans struck exactly the right balance: Torso and Legs and one arm moulded on so that you varied the unit via head, shield angle and the other arm position.

    It's a tricky one though, models like that are much harder to convert than the likes of the more multi-part (and their sculpts are improving!) WGF models. In a lot of cases (eg Dark Ages, Medieval Europe, making Numidians into just about anything) you can get a lot of mileage out of a multipart plastic fig. So perhaps it is worth the trouble.

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    Re: The point of multi part plastics in ancient wargaming

    Xelee

    I always save those left over/extra heads, arms, weapons or whatever. I leave a bit of sprue still attached. Then I plop the leftovers into sandwich bags. The bags go into clear plastic (shoebox size) containers with lids. Those can be stacked one a top the other on a shelf.

    Those shoe boxes can hold a lot of leftover bits. The bags keep the bits with a sprue piece (use as a handle when painting) attached easier to get out etc.
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