Saturday, September 19, 2009

Wargames Factory: Numidians - the most useful plastics ever?

The lengthy title is almost a review in itself. The latest set from this American company is my first foray into their products but it's the one I really took an interest in.

First of all I must commend them on their packaging, in an age of waste it is about as 'green' a product as this much plastic could hope to be, the sprues are small and packed into a simple plastic bag with a minimum of attractively presented card to promote them. The packaging recommends recycling programs and is even packed in a way to promote community projects. Excellent; and we've not even talked about the models yet.

You get seven each of two different sprues, one with four torsos and a variety of arms, and the other with weapons, shields, bow arms heads and so forth. This allows you to make a total of 28 figures, up to half of which can be bowmen. Any or all of the figures can be equipped as javelinmen, swordsmen or slingers; and there are parts to make a plentiful supply of leaders, musicians and standard bearers for those who need them.

The poses are good (photo's to follow in a subsequent post) and generally pretty active, they certainly make for lively skirmishers. The assembly is pretty solid, with well engineered joints for the arms. There are only two points I wasn't keen on, the sheathed sword supplied is rather chunky, and the round bases to the necks of the heads tend to leave an unconvincing crevice when glued. This is an easy fix if it really bothers you though.

I understand these are computer designed masters, if so the technology still can't quite match what a human sculptor can, but it isn't far off. The detail is softer in places than GW/Perry/Victrix/Warlord plastics, but for this subject nothing is lost by that, elsewhere thought has produced excellent touches, such as the horn tips to the bows and the short swords, which moulded edge on have resulted in the slimmest of plastic blade, and look lovely.

Painted samples from Wargames Factory's own website

However the very best thing about these models is how very generic they are. The image of assembled samples above will give you some idea of what they look like out the box. Off the top of my head the following possibilities present themselves:

  • Greek light infantry - no changes really
  • Greek unarmoured Hoplites - due to the style of the helmets included these would particularly suit Sparta and her allied cities; which is good for me, these first two ideas are where my models are going. All that is needed is some new longer spears
  • Carthaginian light and early citizen infantry
  • Judean rebels, for the uprisings against Selucia and Rome
  • Slave revolters
  • Roman Roarii or Penal legions, simply swap the shields
  • Roman or Italic Leves and Psiloi
  • Cretan Archers
  • Celtic slingers or javelinmen - perhaps add baggy leggings, but that'd be it really
  • Later Spanish and Iberian skirmishers
  • Medieval Peasant levies in the warmer climes of the Mediterranean
  • Dogs of War Duellists - yes even Fantasy games!
  • Empire Militia for warmer climes

You get the picture. What we have here is the most useful set of plastic figures yet produced. I've bought two sets and together they will provide three large new units for my spartan army, without adding to the weight of the box, or costing an arm and a leg.

I got my models, Via EBay from Veni Vedi Vici, one of the first stockist in the UK at a very respectable £12 per pack plus £2.40 P&P.

If you do Ancient gaming, in 28mm these will surely find a place in your armies. Well worth the effort and I applaud Wargames Factory for the vision to produce them.


  1. Thanks for this - what a great review!

    We posted a link on the main WF website to it as well!

    All the best,

    Tony Reidy
    Wargames Factory

  2. ok, how do they compare to warlord etc for size/scale

  3. Hi Dean

    I have been planning on geeting these for a while now so it was great to see review from someone who held actual sprues in their hands.

    I agree with you on the environmentally friendly packaging from Wargames Factory. So far I have only pikced up their Celt cavalry and chariots but can see myself getting more.

    The first use of these Numidians I was planning on was a unit of 10 skirmishers with javelins. Should go well with Warlord Games Numidian cavalry.

    I already have some of Warlord's Balaeric slingers but I reckon they mighy do well as eastern mediterranean skrimishers. If I ever get around to doing my 28mm Macedonians then I will need some Greek peltasts and Cretan archers.

    If not then I will just have to use the Numidian infantry to add more variety to my Celts. More slingers and javelins are always useful.



  4. I agree, these figures are great! I'm turning some of mine into Shemites for a Royal Armies of the Hyborian Age campaign. I've also made some into orcs as well.

  5. Size wise, I can only compare them to my Metal figures or Victrix/Perry plastics. Still, they are fitting in scale with my Blacktree and Old Glory Spartans, and to me look a good match for contemporary 28mm ranges.

  6. They scale up very well to Warlord and most other "middle sized" ranges of figures.

    I've got a pic next to Warlord, Crusader & Foundry here: