Friday, October 31, 2014

Review: Victoria Miniatures Heavy Weapons, PART THREE



Hi, SC Mike here with the third and final part of this extensive review on the new Heavy Weapons release from Victoria Miniatures. We already talked about the resin quality (Part 1), the flexibility of the designs (Part 2), so I was going to give my few cents on the cinematic look of the models and how much fun it is to work on the Heavy Mortar that Victoria released.

Here is the web image on Victoria Miniatures:
As you can see, the design of the mortar is very crisp, very robust and very old fashioned looking. Like a lot of designs from the studio, it bears a WW1 look. Check out this image, it seems clear that Jake Schneider, the sculptor of the weapons, took a liking to THIS gun, the 17 cm Mittlerer Minenwerfer, or German Medium Trench Mortar.  

Notice any resemblances? Of course! And why not? It's a beautiful design, with the curved side panels, the spoked wheels, the gear wheels and the countless rivets. It really looks like a machine invented by by Jules Verne. 
The resin model from Victoria Miniatures is beefed up a bit, with less tiny parts and enlarged big parts, like the wheels and the turning handles but it still has a really detailed feel. It looks 40K, but with a nod to the past.

The actual kit is crisp and clean, it's truly a joy to look at. There were some mold lines to clean up, but the resin is very easy to work with and the clean up went without a hitch.
The build was easy, but I did have to go online and look at the online tutorial, to make sure it all was put together correctly. Personally I think the model should come with a small paper guide on how to build it. Victoria has an image of the build on her site, so you can always print it out.

Using a 60 mm base, the motar fills up pretty much the whole surface. With no options to add crew to that same base in a diorama style way, I abandoned the idea of a gaming model and instead opted for a small diorama. I used an oval flyer base from Games Workshop and created a trench scene.
Here you can see the mold lines on the barrel of the mortar, but it was easy to clean up. There were also some moldlines on the wheel surfaces, those I sanded off. It's part of modeling and I don't consider it an error in casting.

For the cinmatic feel, I want to create a WW1 feel with 40k touches of a Traitor Guard Artillery unit. Here's the finished scene, with a Guard soldier and a slave:
You can see, the Mortar is a pretty big model. It would fill the 60mm base pretty much all the way, which doesn't leave much room for creating a small diorama on that same base. In the game the crew would be on their own bases of course.

Here's the back, with the mud in all it's glory:
Here's the slave. The body is from the Victoria Miniatures Penal squad, the head is from Maxmini.

You can see that the gun looks very realistic and has nice crisp edges.

In closing, I personally think the models that Victoria Miniatures creates, really rank at the top. There is no other independent company that is so focused on the Guard, and because there is so much commitment on one army, the quality of the sculpts gets better and better. So many different options for arms, small arms, heads, torsos, gender (yes, there are female guard models!) and now great weapons. I can't wait for VM to start getting into vehicles! In closing, the shot with all three models: you can see how versatile and visually interesting the sculpts are! Great stuff - go support her at Victoria Miniatures.

SC Mike


7 comments:

  1. Really nice work with all these articles Mike. Your mortar just takes the cake! Very nicely done!

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    1. thanks man. We take these reviews seriously and they are fun!

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  2. Hey Mike, glad you like the kit.

    I will say that with a bit of creative angling, you can fit on the crew, the mortar, and some other bits onto a 60mm base. To do this, generally, dismount the wheels and stack them to the side (I like to put them off to the left of the mortar). From there, you can get a crewman to the rear or rear left, and onto the right as well as have a bit of space left over for an ammo box or two. I don't know if I did an example render for Vic of that when we were talking about sizing, or if I just showed her with the skype screen split.

    If I did a render, and if I can find it, I'd be more than happy to provide it for anyone interested in doing it.

    You are right though, it's a bit tight for a highly dioramic bit.

    I love what you did with it and how you show that it can stand in for a piece of heavier artillery, like one of the FW artillery pieces.

    As for vehicles, as the meme says... "Watch this space."

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  3. thanks Jake. It was lovely for all of us to work on your pieces. Thanks again for sending them off and letting us play with them. If you have anything else you want done in the three way -blind-reviews (we didn't show eachother what we did, just decided on the angles of the reviews), let us know!

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    1. I just do the design work, Victoria handles the rest as she owns them after I do the work. That said, I'm sure she'll keep you guys in mind in the future!

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  4. Jake, you are doing a wonderful job! Motorcycles? How about a preview... :}

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    1. Just think, you missed the PAX Australia exclusive shots!

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