In this article, we’ll look at some of the prettiest 28mm Normans miniatures on the market right now! Featuring two of our favorite miniature vendors and their respective 28mm Normans offerings: Footsore and V&V Miniatures.
We hope you enjoy this review as much as we enjoyed reviewing these minis!
With the recent release of Saga 2.0, dark age wargaming is more popular than ever. Miniature producers are all readily helping us feed our plastic and metal crack addictions.
We’ve recently seen full ranges of new minis released, including a lot of Vikings. One of those ranges that was represented by multiple producers was the 28mm Normans.
Footsore 28mm Normans
The Footsore Normans a brand-spanking new line of minis from the UK miniature producer. They’re sculpted by Paul Hicks. The models look decisively “Footsore”: the poses are always a bit different than what you’ve seen before. They’re a little slimmer in appearance than the Footsore models done by Bill Thornton, however. I prefer Bill’s work, but I have heard contrasting opinions.
In any case, it’s classic Footsore quality. The detail is a good sight better than some of the other ranges available these days. I’ve personally had my hands on Normans from Conquest Games and Saxon Miniatures (now Warlord Games) and I can say, without a doubt, that I prefer the Footsore minis.
Of course, personal preference is a large factor here, but I have to commend Footsore for giving their minis that touch of personality. The choices in dress and faces, it’s just something I haven’t seen before.
V&V Miniatures 28mm Normans
V&V Miniatures, hailing from the Ukraine, have also recently released Normans. We’ve covered their V&V Vikings and Saxons on this blog before, with a very singular verdict in each and every of our reviews: exceptional miniatures.
The new Normans don’t disappoint either. The detail is absolutely rocking. Creases in the clothing, fine detail (like patterns on the edge of a garment)… it really blows me away. How on earth is it possible to cram all of this fine detail into a miniature this small?
With the two manufacturers introduced, let’s get right to smackdown part of this review.
The biggest difference between the two lines of minis is the material used. The Footsore minis come in metal, while the V&V Normans are produced in resin.
I’m a fan of resin, because of the detail it enables miniatures to have. The obvious drawbacks are present in V&V’s 28mm Normans: some parts are fragile (because resin can be inflexbile and therefore break). Other parts, by contrasting, are actually rather bendy!
Just take a look at the photo here to left. I’ve tried immersing the spear in hot water, but it retains its shape. Meanwhile, trying to bend is straight is a risky affair, as well: bend it too far and it will snap.
The solution here is not use the packaged spears at all (though they are nicely detailed) but to opt for strong, wire spears instead. As I have done for all my V&V Normans.
This here is the biggest difference between the two miniatures ranges. Here’s the direct comparison shots:
As you can tell, the V&V models are a LOT bigger. And I do mean substantially. To the point where I would be uncomfortable combining the two ranges in a single unit. I will be using both in the same Norman army for Saga, but I’ll try and keep the models apart from each other.
In fact, this sizing issue goes for the entirety of the 28mm V&V ranges. I tried mixing in some of my Saxons with Gripping Beast dark age warriors – that looked sufficiently off for me to decide not to do it, in the end. You might argue humans vary in height and size, too, and that’s fair enough. If that’s you, you’ll be mixing in these models.
Finally, don’t get me wrong: I personally like the slightly bigger size of the V&V models. It allows for some amazing detail. But they don’t play all that well with other ranges, is all I’m saying.
I’m not knowledgeable enough to comment on the historical detail of the minis. But I will say this: the two ranges look very different from each other. Whether that’s artistic license or based on historical research, I can’t tell.
Take a look at the shields, for example. The V&V shields are curved, the Footsore ones are flat. Again, while I don’t know the process behind that design decision, I’m sure it’s significant somehow.
If anyone reading this can comment on the historical details, please do leave a comment below the article!
Price & Ranges
Another big differentiator.
The V&V 28 Normans range currently comprises a single pack of Knights, two different packs of foot soldiers and a pack of crossbowmen.
V&V cavalry packs go for €24 from the V&V webstore. This gets you four riders with their horses, including bases and spears.
Their infantry packs of 4 models go for €12. The crossbows pack contains 8 figures and the price is adjusted accordingly to €24.
On the Footsore side, there is a lot more variety.
The range offers several packs of Knights, including differences in weapons and raised or couched lances. Cavalry packs come in at 12 GBP, including horses, but excluding bases or spears.
Infantry is well represented as well, with unarmoured and armored foot soldiers available, as well as archers and crossbowmen. Infantry packs cost 7 GBP (except for the foot command at 9 GBP). Again excluding bases or spears (where needed).
Needless to say, if you’re looking to build a sizable force, Footsore is more economical option. It also gets you lots of unique sculpts, keeping things interesting.
At the end of the day, the price difference isn’t THAT large, when you calculate in the Footsore models also need spears/lances and bases added.
28mm Normans V&V vs Footsore: Conclusion
We really are spoiled with so many great minis on the market. You can easily pick up either of these 28mm Normans ranges and be a happy painter and gamer.
If I had to choose a favorite, I’d go with the V&V models. They are prettier, with exquisite detail thanks to the use of resin.
However, that’s on a one-to-one basis. If I had to buy an entire army (or Saga band) I would probably go with Footsore: more affordable, more sculpts, more options in troop types and still amazing looking minis that are a notch above competitors’ metal ranges.
In the end, I’m going to be really happy combining these two ranges into a single Norman army, despite the size difference. I’m sure once they’re on the table, no one will notice, let alone be bothered by it!
Do you own any of these models? We’d love to hear what you think of them. Leave a comment below or join our Facebook group to discuss!