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Unboxing & Review - 15mm Ancients for MEG by Plastic Soldier Company

It seems like a lifetime ago when these were first announced. 15mm wargaming miniatures have been crying out for plastic figures for so long! 28mm have a ton of options from Warlord Games, Perry Miniatures and more.


15mm of course has the Battlefront WW2 figures also from PSC but nothing in Ancients or Napoleonics. Two of the most popular periods.


I leapt on these. In the pre-production photographs, they looked great. Then the current covid crisis struck, and every think went to pot.


PSC were due to launch them officially at Salute 2020 in April but that of course got shelved. I think then they struggled with workers and other stock issues in lockdown to try to get all the pre-orders out. I can understand that. These are weird times.


Well I got mine and the Compendium and decided to record an unboxing with some observations for you all.


So here we go. I hope you enjoy. The transcript is below the video warts and all for anyone who wants to check it out. I know I have been known to mumble like a fool sometimes.


Video of Unboxing & Review of 15mm Plastic Soldier Company Miniatures

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Video Transcript

Hi gang. It's a Sunday evening. So we've got our usual video. We're not live because I wanted to go through a bit more thoroughly. We're going to share a bit of it an unboxing, which is a bit of an unusual thing for me to do.


But as you saw, I was quite excited to get these through. Tonight, we're going to be talking about the new Plastic Soldier, 15mm ancients. So if you do 28mm figures, you've been spoiled. Yeah, I did 28mm as well. Plastic's been around for ages it’s good quality, various manufacturers, various periods from ancients to Second World War modern. But 15 mm just haven't had anything really.


So it was really interesting to see what Plastic Soldier Company could do in conjunction with Mortem Et Gloriam with ancients figures. So tonight, we're going to be having a look at three. So we have the Gothic Infantry,  Sassanid Persian Army and Imperial Roman, but late Imperial Roman. Each of those boxes, they retail, I got them as part of a deal, a pre-order deal, but they retail for £35. So what's that? $42? $40? So we're going to talk about the cost later, and how good value they are for money or not. But let's dive into the individual boxes and see what you get. 


(1:22)

So we're going to start with the late Imperial Roman army. In this box, I will show you here, you get your two mounted consuls, two mounted generals, eight cataphract cavalry, twelve armoured cavalry, eight horse archer cavalry, twenty-four armoured infantry, twenty-four unarmoured infantry and sixteen archers. So let's open them up and have a look. So here we go, here are the late Imperial Romans, great little cover design. So see you got a full description of the amount of figures that I went through, and it’ll make 20 to 30 bases, which is your DBX bases. 


So let's open it up and see what we've got, shall we? Now, unfortunately, these, it’s a downside, I would say with classic soldier company, they just come shoved in a box. So it's a bit of a pain. So let's just get a few out and let's start with some of the horse arches, you get eight of these and let's focus in and you can see the detail is beautiful on these. There's, as far as I can see, there's not a lot of mould lines. So these are, I suspect, are fully extruded. You can see some in the usual places. Can I get into focus there? Yeah. On the horse. So they're going to need some preparation. But if we go through and we'll have a look at some of the other figures here, I suspect this is one of the generals. It could be one of the cataphract cavalry, but we'll have a look through.


Yeah. So we've, we've got two there, three. These are the cataphract cavalry I suspect. And they’re very nice. They could've been a little bit better, a little bit more dynamic maybe on the cavalry, but you know, for the scale we're looking at those are fine. And again, very simply done and they look fairly accurate to what I've seen in metal figures, in my own figures and just learning that really, the late Imperial Roman stuff. So if you spot anything that’s not historically accurate, let me know. But to me, they look great because you've got, this is unarmoured infantry. The only thing perhaps on some of these is painting the shields, I don’t know if Little Big Man Studios are going to be bringing out some. And you also get there's a little bit, because of the way they are cast, it almost looks like, well, a bit side-on, certainly this form poses. I think that could be, that pose could have been improved too. These ones are a little bit better. Otherwise, I really can't wait to get painting these. 


(4:17)

So, Sassanid Persian Army and all these armies can find each other as such. Yeah. So it’s quite good. Two mounted generals, 22 Asvaran cavalry, that's really heavily armoured cavalry. Cataphracts if you like. 8 horse archer cavalry, 16 unarmoured infantry, 8 slingers, 8 archers, and 2 elephants. Yeah. And again, all in this ultra cast plastic. Okay. Let’s have a  look at the Sassanid Persians. Again, it's a Pacto starter army, but again, you can use it for any army. Again, in this ultra cast. You see, as I told you before, what it contains in this. Let’s have a look. Now, this one comes in a much better pack. It's all together. Now I understand why they did it. Because they were behind, because of the, obviously coronavirus. They should have come out probably about three weeks, two, three weeks ago.  It would be nice if they actually, eventually moved into the different unit types in different bags and that you can purchase individually unit types which you cannot at the moment. Now, this is the elephants. The elephants come in two there as you would expect, two by two. Now I’m hoping, yeah, there you go. And there’s the other bit of the elephant. This is so, I would assume you get the infantry in a good position inside the howdah first and glue that on afterwards. I'm loving the detail again. We don't seem to, the tusks are cast separate as well by the look of it. Yeah. You could lose these. I think that's bad. See, I have to put the tusks in later. But they look fabulous to me. And I know someone who would like elephants. A friend of mine's a bit elephant mad. Again, we've got the archers infantry. Which I imagine is pretty much, there's a little bit of detritus and mould lines around these. Which is going to, you can see that straight away, especially around this figure here. So these aren’t cast quite as well, going to require quite a little bit, cleaning up. It’ll be interesting to see if we can scrape these, whether we have to get a file on them. We've got, what looks like unarmoured infantry here. This is one of them. And again, looking good, great detail. And then you get the cavalry. These are, it looks like heavy cavalry unit, which is your Asvaran cavalry, if I pronounced that right. Now, these come with a separate lance. I'm a bit dubious, which is sort of soft plastic. This reminds me of the old Air Fix. I'm assuming you can actually glue it together with polystyrene cement. I hope we can cause that’s a lot easier. But these are all gonna have to be cut off very carefully. And it's quite a thick, large area join here. It's not like a pinpoint. So I’m a bit wary. These, at the movement, we shall see. And again, you've got horse archers. Okay, and you’ve got heavy horse archers there by looking at these. So these are probably, yeah, these are the generals by the look of it. I would say. And so these come with separate tops. Yeah. So there's two mounted generals there. I think they're going to look great painted. But don't like that [the lances] I have to say. But I can see why they've had to cast them separate. And I don't like the fact the elephants are just lumped in and all the bits and the tusks could be lost easily. but that really is a packaging issue for Plastic Soldier Company that they need to sort out. So let's put these away and have a look at the goths.


(8:42)

And finally, we come onto the Goths. Four mounted generals, six armoured calvary, 22 unarmoured cavalry, 52 warrior infantry and 12 Archer infantry. Let’s have a look. These are the Goths. We're a bit ahead of ourselves because I did start recording this and realised I hadn't pressed record. So let's go through the Goths and let’s go through, you know, you got your infantry here. Straight up 52 figures, all warriors all in the same group. So you’re going to have a mix here. And can we zoom in a bit on these? Yes. So you've got spears, you've got armoured. So there’s one, one, two, three, four poses there. Five poses with that. Now obviously there's a lot of flash to clear off from between their legs there, so not happy about that. But, hey, Forged In Battle has their issues as well. And another one there. So you do have a lot of poses in the Gothic Infantry. I like that, I like mixing it up, especially with this type of tribal infantry. I don't want uniformity. Yeah. So I like that. The archers are one pose. Yeah, it's an ancients thing really. We seem to, when we bought 15mm ancients before we tend to buy it all the same pose to do all the same thing, which works for some armies, it doesn't work for others. And again we got different ones here, like different helmets. And we've got the cavalry. Again, I would have liked a little bit more dynamic. This is an issue. This is going to break. I will put money on the fact that this will break. That is a much better design.  So we've got a couple of designs of calvary really there. Different poses. And we've got six of these armoured cavalry, 22 of these unarmored. They're much better, they’re front-on cavalry. Rather than the side ones that we've seen, which I like a lot better. So you can see, on mass, they probably will look pretty good. But to me, there needs to be more dynamic. Those horses need to be a bit more dynamic. Yeah. It would make it look a lot better. So, the other thing as well, this is how they come. Again (I want to zoom out) in the box, maybe packed like this. I'm not sure if this is how they’re going to come eventually. They've been packed like this, shoved in, the box isn't taped, none of the boxes are taped and sealed. The only good thing is, compared to the other boxes, the four generals are bagged separately. So I’ve got lots of Ziploc bags. I might well bag these up so I don't get confused myself. Well, that's your Goths, they're looking pretty good! 


(12:13)

Okay. So what do I think overall to these miniatures? In terms of quality, I think they’re fab, in terms of the quality of sculpting. I think they could have done some things better. Some of the Calvary, particularly, and some of the infantry, are a bit side-on too much. It’s a bit like Gripping Beast, wrist breaker spearman that I always have an issue with. More variation would have been better. The Goths have it in their infantry. Because they have 52 infantry they do have a bit of variation. There's a little bit of variation in the Legionaries, not much. I wouldn't want so much in them. Yeah. But I do on the cavalry. And I think the other issue with the calvary is the lack of dynamism in the horses. So in terms of the quality in that respect seven to eight. I mean I'm really impressed by the detail, but I'm less impressed by some of the poses. The quality of the figures, how they arrived, I think leaves a little bit to be desired. The Romans and the Goths were just chucked in the packet. With the figures as they are because it's a roomy packet, they're going to rattle around and could get damaged. You can see immediately on some of the Goth cavalry, the tips because of the sculpt, the very tips of the spears are vulnerable. The plastic goes white when you stress it, and you can already see that a little bit. And I think with time, if you're not careful,this could be a problem. They might be alright once they have been painted and mounted on bases. In terms of painting, we shall see. I'm going to paint some up so you can have a look. And we’ll see if you can use an undercoat or if you can't use an undercoat. So in terms of the quality of service packaging, if you like, that's going to be a seven. Split up the troop types into bags in the box, seal the box. Otherwise, you can open a box and it just goes everywhere. Like you did it with the mounted generals. Why can't you do it with everything else? Now, it could be, that's an issue because of the rush to get them out. Because there was no salute. We've had COVID and everything's a little bit late. I didn't mind that they were late. I appreciate what's going on. So that's my take overall. They are bloody good quality, they’re bloody good though. I'm seriously impressed. 

Okay. How easy are these going to be to use? I think pretty easy actually. They're no different to any other plastic figure. Because they’re 15mm, you’re going to have to be a little bit careful on some of the small things like spears and even some of the swords when you’re cleaning them up. I’m not sure about those Sassanid Persian lances for their cavalry. They seem to be attached a bit too much. What I want is a little dinky attachment, a sort of pinhead size really where I’m actually able to slice that off really easily with a pair of like, cutters. Because cutting stuff off with a knife is really hairy because you haven’t got the control of cutters and it'll snip through the lance. We're going to see what happens with those in figure prep. I'll do a video on the prep. You saw with the Imperial Romans, the sizing is about right. They fit in with Forged In Battle figures, they fit in with the old Minifig style figures. There are one or two makes as you know, in ancients that are a little bit bigger than 15mm, you're going to have issues with. But overall I think they're great. I think they'll fit in fine once they’re painted up with any army. In fact, you'll be able to mix the figures up, I suspect. Although you will see that, the plastic ones will have a lot more details so they may stick out like that, I don't know. The only thing with ease of use, I just think they should have done beforehand, is spoken to Little Big Man shields. Because there are no shield designs. You'll have to estimate from their sizing of the shields and speak to Little Big Man as to what's going to be best or dropping on something like the Mortem Et Glorium forum. I noticed there's a couple of posts on shield transfers there, or get a very steady hand depending on what the shield designs are going to be. So that's a fault I think that should have been done because this is a big launch for them together with Mortem Et Glorium. It's a massive move in the 15mm market. So I think that's something that you need to sort out PSC (Plastic Soldier Company). 

So where are we for costs? I think that's really important at the moment. Because 15mm figures are obviously cheaper than 28mm. Because you can fit in a lot, more easily and that is why people buy them. Well, let's have a look at the facts and figures. And I may refer to my cheat sheet if I can't remember. The Romans 114 figures in total, mainly infantry obviously even at this stage, you could work that out at around 31p per figure. That's rounding up slightly. Obviously within that, don't include your cavalry as cavalry is usually double an infantry figure. So I guess that's pretty bloody good, actually. 31p a figure. Perfect value. Persians are going to change, they’re more of a cavalry army. And you've got the two elephants in there. They came out, they've got 64 figures in total. So you get less in an army, but they still only come in with 54p per figure. And that's with the generals, with your two elephants. The Goths, on the other hand, there's 96 figures. And so the mixture of calvary and infantry came in at 37p a figure. So 37p, 54p, 31p. It’s about 40p, 45p per figure and that's just amazing value. As long as they stand up to the rigours of wargaming, I think that's unbeatable. Obviously it's a limited range at the moment. 

If you want to compare, I've done a quick comparison. I've gone on to Forged In Battle and the War And Empire 15mm range, and I had looked at the Sassanid Persians. Because that's going to be probably the most expensive army because of cavalry, because of elephants. If we go to that. I will refer to my cheat list. Their army pack, which should be better value for, in terms of their prices anyway, comes in at 12 cataphracts, two elephants, 24 Clibanarii, 12 horse archers, 24 foot and 24 skirmishes. So that's 98 figures, I believe. So it's very comparable to what we've got here. But that comes in at £88 for that. So you’re looking at 90 pence per figure, which is more the norm per 15mm for a foot figure, sort of. So you’re talking a 66% increase to go with the Sassanids in metal. I think this is really where you are going to really make a lot of savings is on cavalry armies. So for me, that's a no brainer, as long as they paint up fine. 

So how would I sum up these figures? Great sculpting, but could be improved, in your poses. Bit shocking packing, really. You need to sort it out, Plastic Soldier Company. And obviously it’s going to get broken or lost in the post. Or when you open it, they're going to go everywhere, they’re so light. Brilliant value for money, a great way of packing an army and buying an army. Overall, I think these are gonna make a massive impact on the market. They're only available in those three forces at the moment. And what I would like to see is TUGs as they’re called (or SUGs as they’re called in Mortem Et Glorium) as separate packets. So you can buy six cavalry to go on. So you can build up how you’re wanting your pace to the Magnus and the Maximus armies in Mortem Et Glorium or for fighting massive battles with DBM, DBA, DBX, whatever you use. Because although there's three of them, three of these make up a, the top Maximus army in MEG and that’s a big investment. And sometimes you like to build your forces a little bit more as you go along to meet club needs or your needs. So I'd like to see sprues of individual units, which I suspect they might do. I'd like to see more poses and pack them properly, please, with labels. Because if you’re starting out and you unpack that lot, a lot of people wouldn't even know which ones they are and if they're all mixed up. It's a real pain in the arse to be fair. But overall I'll give these 8 out of 10. They’re well worth investing in I think. 

I hope you enjoyed this unboxing, it may have been a little bit all over the place. I've tried to sort it out in the edit a little bit. But that's just my personal view. Obviously, if you do buy figures, then if you want to support us and more videos from the channel, then pop along to warpaintfigures.com. We’ve got a full range of basing terrain and grass tufts as well as normal game figures and Games Workshop and classic and rare figures Collector’s Club. But otherwise cheers guys and I will see you soon.


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