Tuesday, 16 February 2021

Victrix 12mm World War II




Above, a Victrix 1/144 (12mm) Sherman (all images clickable).


Over the past 6 months, Victrix have started to crank out their new line of 12mm (1/144) WWII hard plastic miniatures. Initial releases were the Sherman, Cromwell, Panther, StuG III and Panzer IV.


German and British infantry now join the line-up, with the Hanomag 251 and Tiger I next out of the blocks.


This post looks at initial experiences with the kit and includes a couple of painted examples.


Please use the ‘read more’  tab for the rest of this post.




10mm has been a ‘thing’ for WWII for a long time, with Pendraken Miniatures probably being the most prolific producer. So what does Victrix bring to the party?


Curiosity got the better of me and I bought some of the vehicle packs from the Wargame Store (UK - a fast and friendly service, see link in the Resource Section) to try them out. These got my interest, so I fancied a look at the infantry.


I found SGS Model Store on e-bay, who sell single sprues of the infantry, a good way to dip the toe in the water (UK based, also with a fast and friendly service, see link in the Resource Section).


Looking at the vehicles first. These are hard plastic kits, with relatively few parts (i.e fast build). They need gluing together. They are well machined and detailed. Scale wise, they match up quite nicely with the latest updates that Pendraken are doing to their 10mm metal armour range, though are bigger than the original Pendraken vehicle models.





Above - The Victrix Sherman 75 has turned out rather nice. This has a Russian Green (Vallejo) paint job, a wash and then a sponging of Russian Green mixed with a trace of Field Gray to ‘wear’ the vehicle and calm down the decals. So they quite simple and fast to do. The tracks have had Vallejo mud applied with a bit of static grass mixed in, plus a bit of artists modelling acrylic. I can’t decide whether to base these or not.


They come in bags of six and include decals (thank you Victrix), though I am not sure as this series continues whether I would always want six of everything. I tend to game at the lower densities, so for years I have survived with putting on games that use say just two tigers or three of the main vehicle types such as Shermans or Panzer IV’s, but I know plenty of gamers use 10mm / 12mm scale to game at the battalion level (no doubt the soon to be released ‘O Group’ rules by Dave Brown will drive more of this) and Flames of War gamers, who organise their forces by the platoon, will be delighted.


One problem that I did encounter was with the StuG III. While cutting the separate guns out of the sprue, I broke one of them and weakened another, because they are quite fine.


It turned out not to be a such a problem with this model because each sprue also has the 105mm gun as an alternative, so I just used them instead, but it does occur to me that going forwards, Victrix might consider putting an extra gun barrel on the sprue to cover against clumsy fingers like mine! On the other tanks, where the gun is moulded as part of the turret, I have not had a breakage.





Above - comparing the Victrix Sherman (right), with the new upgraded Pendraken model (left). For the shot, I rested the Victrix tank on a spare base to match the other and overall these are a very close fit to each other in terms of dimension and would be fine on the same table.


Each infantry sprue has one half of the sprue providing the support weapons and the other half the various poses for the infantry sections. I think if you buy the official packs, you get 4 such sprues.


These are nice, slender, well proportioned figures that have realistic poses and are undercut in a way that allows highlights to be easily put in, lifting the figure to make an average paint job look good. I found that a base colour, followed by a wash and then just dabs of highlight to catch raised areas, gave a good effect.





Above - A rifle section using 4 infantry from the Victrix sprue on a 40mm x 20mm base. The animation looks good to my eyes.


My single German sprue from SGS Model Store, contained a small mortar, a large mortar a tripod mounted MG42, a prone bipod MG42, a carried MG42 (all with crew), 2 panzerfaust figures, a panzerschreck figure, a radio operator and a collection of 30 or so infantry, officers, NCO’s in various poses, including 4 prone.


I am basing four infantry to a base (including a mix of the panzerfausts, panzerschreck, LMG’s) to represent a section, while basing the weapon sections independently, so my little sprue gave me, (for £7.95), 9 infantry sections and 3 weapon teams (HMG and 2 mortars) and a recon / artillery spotter (radio). I was pleased enough to follow this up with an order for the British sprue, followed by another order that ultimately gave me three sprues for each side.





Above - I base my heavy weapons team on a smaller base (20mm x 20mm). The weapon here is clearly defined and the firing soldier has a realistic pose, with his left leg placed around the rear left leg of the machine gun.





Above - This is the Victrix infantry (left) next to my existing Pendraken base (right). My existing bases have 5 - 6 figures on them and I think I prefer that density in representing a section, so my next Victix base will have another figure added to see whether the slightly bigger figure will look alright at 5 to a base. The Pendraken are slightly smaller in height (at 10mm) and chunkier. Both have heir own charm, but I don't think I would mix them by choice.





Above - This is the Victrix Sherman (right) next to my existing Pendraken Sherman (left). Note, this is one of the updated vehicles in Pendrakens range, which are slightly bigger than the older models and it is a good match scale wise, with the Victrix model. My Pendraken vehicles are based, so I have slipped a base under the Victrix model so that the comparison here is fair.


Anyway, there we are.  


Resource Section.


the Wargame Store (UK). LINK

https://www.wargamestore.com


SGS Model Store on e-bay. LINK

https://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/sgsmodelstore?ul_noapp=true


My sister webspace COMMANDERS has a collection of shorter AAR’s and game pictures. Link.

https://commanders.simdif.com


38 comments:

  1. A very useful post Norm:). From what I can see, there is little difference between both manufacturers in terms of size of the vehicles. On Facebook I think the Victrix stuff is noticeably bigger than the older Pendraken tanks, on the posts I've seen so far.

    As I have more than enough for both sides already, I doubt I will be going down this route anytime soon. The only reason would be to convert either vehicles or figures given the ease you can do this in plastic.

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  2. Thanks Steve, The big 28mm plastics company have each seen a smaller scale period that they think worth investing in - it will be interesting to see what Warlord Games make of their acquisition of Skytrex. The new 'O Group' rules are bound to generate a new interest in the smaller scale.

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  3. Good looking models, Norm, and your build is really pleasing. Nice!

    Warlord bought Skytrex? What do you suppose will become of Old Glory's Command Decision range?

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    1. Thanks Jonathan, now there’s a thought. I wonder whether Skytrex only have full control over their own 1/200 scale. Here is the link to the news bulletin, which doesn’t really reveal anything.

      LINK
      https://www.tabletopgamingnews.com/Warlord-Games-Acquires-Skytrex-Military-Models

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  4. Thanks for posting these, Norm. 10mm is such a tempting scale for me for many reasons among those being terrain, storage, and a nice eye-pleasing compromise between 6mm and 15mm.

    I'm trying to resist getting into 10mm WW2 but you're not making it easy! :)

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    1. A perfect world would be 10mm / 12mm tanks and 15mm infantry, but since that can’t happen, the grass will always look greener on the other side of the fence!

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  5. Bloody hell, Warlord seem to be everywhere these days. Now they’ve gobbled up Skytrex too... Not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing.

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  6. JB, Warlord Games have huge global reach, including being able to get onto high street wargame stores, so one has to hope it is a win.

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  7. Agree, models looking very, very good!

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  8. Thanks Michal, I think Victrix have done a very good job with their opening offerings in the scale.

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  9. Great post there Norm, if I were ever to go down the route of wanting to to do bigger level WWII games you have certainly sold me on these.
    Very tempted.

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    1. Thanks Phil, I can see these being popular for both big battle fans and those with 3 x 3 or 3 x 2 gaming spaces, plus the modeller can still have some fun.

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  10. Beautiful models, mud adds a lot to the realism...

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    1. Thanks Phil, I never know when to stop with mud :-)

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  11. Once again Norm I'm miles behind all thats happening in the hobby world so this news is a surprise to me. 12mm is an interesting scale and both the tanks and figures look great, I'm guessing they are also competitively priced against the Pendraken metals? Personally they are a bit too small for use with my favourite Bolt Action rules where I am giving serious consideration to a return in 20mm/1/72nd, but I can see they will work well with rules that utilise higher formations than squad/platoon. The little Sherman is a beauty :)

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  12. Lee, they are costing around £22 for 6 including decals. Pendraken are around £3 to £3.50 each. I think where the financial decision could fall would be on anyone wanting limited numbers, such as just a couple of armoured cars or a couple of anti-tank guns etc and of course at this moment in time, the Pendraken catalogue is significantly more developed and I imagine they will always be a go to source for the more marginal vehicle types. Then there is the question of heft and you have both metal and plastic fans to please.

    I am liking the 1/72 (as per my last post). I have bought a couple of AB German sections and they might please you if you re-looked at the scale.

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    1. Interesting price comparisons Norm, not a lot in it really but as you say not every gamer is going to want 6 Shermans, although maybe the smaller scale works for large scale armour battles. I started WW2 wargaming with 'micro armour' as a member of SELWG around 1973 - ish so understand the attraction of the smaller scales.

      I'm very keen to do BA again, but not in 28mm. The AB 20's are wonderful but even just putting together two platoons will cost a small fortune! Not to say I wont cave in though!

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    2. My own journey began with Microtank Warfare rules by Keith Robinson and published by Leicester Micromodels. looking back, the models were not very detailed, unlike the penetration graph in the rules, which had uber detail! :-)

      Happy Days!

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  13. They are very nice Norm but I do wonder "why"? We already have a plethora of scales, yet Warlord have created a new one...it feels to me like they are trying to create a demand then slowly take over the 10 - 15mm market. They do seem to be getting into everything and I am not sure it's that good for the long term health of other manufacturers...

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    1. Hi Keith, accepting the big costs of tooling for hard plastic and the sheer scope of trying to cover WWII, Victrix must be confident that this is a part of the market that they will do well with. I seem to recall when Victrix were setting their plans out for this range, that they were keen to see the 12mm scale as something that would allow a standard or typical games table scale down to do the WWII subject justice on the tabletop, so some of their drive may come from personal desire to cover this topic at this scale.

      The hobby probably has been due for some re-balancing away from the heavy 28mm focus that our media / wargame mags / wargame shows have and perhaps it is only the large, powerful plastics companies that have the ‘presence’ and muscle to do that. certainly the scales chosen by them will not be viewed as already saturated and so there should be scope for them to ‘move into’ them and recover costs.

      It is possible that current 10 - 15mm manufactures grow as well, as a renewed wider interest starts, Kallistra for example are getting a lot of internet coverage (and new sales) for their 12mm ACW because of the soon to be released Warlord Games ‘Epic’ 13.5mm system.

      Did the 28mm manufacturers suffer when the plastics giants became involved (2008), or did the 28mm sector grow and prosper? most likely there were winners and losers, so only time will tell!

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    2. Only time will tell as you say Norm - and my paranoia is misplaced in any case as I mis identified the manufacturer as Warlord, whereas its obviously Victrix - who are not yet part of the Warlord Empire...or are they??

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    3. The big plastic companies seem to have settled on lines that don’t compete with each other too much. I am guessing they are all doing well enough to remain independent and I have picked that up from the delays they each have in getting in the production queue at Renedra, there does’t seem to be much slack in the production capability.

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  14. How do those compare to PSC’s 15mm range, which is pretty good value?

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    1. For the same price, PSC includes 140-ish figures against Victrix’ 184 figures, although PSC also offers some discounted bundles.

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    2. The Victrix box has both infantry and support weapons in the same box, for PSC, those are separated into two boxes. For vehicles in 15mm, they are basically doing platoon packs, while Victrix are doing fixed 6 packs. Terrain is going to be a tad cheaper for the smaller scale, but then you might buy more of it, to make bigger villages etc. So I think prices are close enough that gamers will be making their choice simply on preference of scale in the long term, while in the short term, perhaps upon availability of model types might be a consideration.

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  15. A useful post, Norm, thanks for sharing. I game small scale actions using CoC rules, so like others I don't think I'll need six of every tank, even with the CoC support options fully used. Even so, I might give them a try.

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  16. thanks AJ, I imagine that a trade will grow on e-bay of gamers selling off unwanted sprues, as singles (with a portion of the decals one hopes!). To counter this, Victrix may become inclined go to the ‘singles’ or ‘reinforcements’ type packs that PSC already do so well.

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  17. Very nice overview of the miniatures. You seem to be in a sampling phase: little bit of this and that. And I do mean little as in the small scale. šŸ˜€

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  18. Thanks Stew, yes, very much 'pottering' around. I am just getting a new boardgame 'Kursk' to the table :-)

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  19. That's a lovely little Sherman! The comparisons are interesting too,not my area of interest, I've only ended up in ww2 due to peer(nephew?) pressure, I can't see me doing it in more than one scale, it must be good that we have a number of plastic manufacturers doing a number of different scales, I think warlords reach is good for the hobby on balance, but then I think GW has been good as well, I know not necessarily a popular view!
    Best Iain

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  20. Agree Iain, GW are on the high street and they have got young people enthusiastically buying, painting and playing and at least a lot of other parents therefore have an approximate idea of what ‘my wargaming’ is ...... either that or they say ‘Oh do you mean Risk’ :-)

    Our hobby is so niche, one has to ge grateful for every store and every magazine that can maintain a presence on the high street and in full view of the general public.

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  21. I think these are outstanding models for their scale Norm. Agree that while the tanks mix well (great paint job there!), the Victrix and Pendraken infantry are a bit mismatched. However I doubt anyone would tell the difference once they are on table. My 6mm Heroics and Baccus are very different when closely examined side by side but once deployed on table en masse it doesn’t really show.

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  22. Thanks Mike, agree and I wonder sometimes whether we are in a day and age when we might be too precious about such things, simply because we can, whereas a goodly number of years ago, when there was less choice and less money for the average person, ‘aesthetic’ and ‘perfect’ were less of a thing.

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  23. Another WWII scale for me to collect? I will say no now, knowing somehow I will end up with a pack! ;)

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  24. They do have a collectable charm, will you be able to stop at one pack? ;-)

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  25. They are all very nicely painted Norm, nice one!

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