Do we really need another manufacturer of 28mm Vikings? Well… If they look like this, WE SURE DO!
V&V Miniatures is a new Ukrainian manufacturer entering the scene with a bunch of 40mm and 28mm resin-cast models. Amongst those are their 28mm Vikings and Berserkers.
And my word, they are pretty…
Full disclosure: I found V&V Miniatures on Facebook, before they had a website up. I offered to write them a review if they’d knock something off the price of the minis, which they graciously did.
As ever, though, I don’t intend to hold back my opinions (and they know that – hehe).
Enough with the pleasantries: on to the goodies!
What do you get?
V&V Miniatures offers two kits (so far) in regards to 28mm Vikings: a pack with 8 “regular warriors” and a pack of 4 Berserkers. I don’t know if they play SAGA, but these are certainly convenient numbers in regards to that game: 4 Berserkers is, after all, the maximum number you can take in a Viking army, so no leftover models. And the set of 8 warriors gets you exactly that: a point of warriors.
That being said, the warrior pack contains two models armed with bows. Now for me that isn’t a deal breaker: if you’ve seen the Vikings series on the History Channel, you’ll have noticed every shield wall battle has a couple of dudes in the back shooting their bows when they get the chance. I certainly wouldn’t mind it if my opponent included a few bows in his warrior units.
Materials and physical detail
The models are cast in resin. Personally, I love resin and that’s partly due to my background in Warhammer: resin was the stuff that ForgeWorld used. And all the ForgeWorld stuff was, in my opinion, supremely awesome (if not insanely overpriced and, as such, ever out of my reach until I discovered eBay).
The best part about resin is DETAIL and boy, do these babies have it in abundance.
I’ve tried to take some real good close up shots so you can appreciate all the tiny-winy awesomeness that these models feature:
I’ve seen Gripping Beast, Footsore, Drabant and Saxon Miniatures (all metals – the plastics are obviously a step down) up close and let me tell you right now: none of their models come close to V&V’s models in terms of detail.
The wood grain in the shields, the texture of the leather armour… heck, there’s actually precast details in the clothing (you know, decorations and stuff).
All is well?
Of course, there’s also a few things to complain about (I’m Dutch, after all).
First of all, many people don’t like resin for its fragility. I can’t argue with that: I’ve had a few foots break off when I cut the models off of their sprues. The swords are a little bendy, as are the spears (I haven’t used those supplied, but instead went with wire spears). It’s nothing you won’t see in regular plastics, IMHO, but if it’s a pet peeve you won’t do well with these models.
Then there’s the poses.
One could either designate the design here as “smart” or “lazy” in equal terms. You see, there’s eight models in the box, but actually only four poses. I will admit I didn’t even notice this, until I was putting the models together.
Every pose is in there twice, but comes with a different arm/weapon/head setup for each individual model (easy conversion options, btw). The result is that at first glance you won’t notice a couple of the models are really similar.
Again, it’s nothing you won’t see in a standard plastic kit, but I’m used to individually different metal models! And I don’t buy doubles, either, I really don’t like painting the same model twice.
The above doesn’t apply to the Berserkers, by the way. They are four individual models and excellent sculpts at that.
Note that the actual posing of the models, in terms of design, is excellent. The poses look natural to me, much more so than many other wargaming figures I see out there. Absolutely no qualms there.
So, how much do these puppies cost?
Well, as mentioned I got a discount, but the boxes retail at €16 for the Warriors and €12 for the Berserkers, meaning they come in at respectively €2 and €3 a model.
Whether that’s expensive I will leave up to you: for me, it’s all relative.
Are they more expensive than most historical wargaming individual figures? Yes.
Are they prettier and more detailed models than most historical wargaming figures? Oh yes.
You know what rocks, though? You can buy these figures in euros. With the euro on the decline and the pound on the rise (it’s October 2015 at the time of writing) that’s a nice change of pace. With Gripping Beast and Footsore 4-model packs at £6 (currently just over €8 according to www.xe.com), V&V is priced pretty much the same in comparison.
28mm Vikings: final verdict
In summary, we’ve got a bunch of insanely detailed and pretty 28mm Vikings that come in a price comparable to many metal figures out there. I would say the level of detail and sculpting makes them superior to these metal miniatures.
When compared to plastics, these models are off the scales pretty, but of course also a lot more expensive.
In the end, it comes down to what you value. Me? I’m a slow painter and I have a little more to spend these days. I prefer building my forces slow and steady with minis I really, really like. Therefore, I’m really happy with these models.
If you’re a on budget and need to crank out a SAGA band at a discount, though, you might be better off buying a box of Wargames Factory or Gripping Beast Vikings!
Where can I get them?
Head on over the V&V site to grab your packs: