A couple of posts ago I wrote about Wartime Miniatures new Modern Russians. Things have been on hold waiting for them as they would dictate which of all the modern and ultra-modern miniatures on the market would become my principal focus.
They arrived Tuesday/Wednesday this week. Two weeks after Matt posted them. Here are my thoughts:
Overall I really like their style of sculpting and level of detail, with one or two exceptions, but I'll come to these. The figures are in proportion with very realistic poses which feel like men in action, rather than posed shop dollies. Their size matches well with RH Models (a big bonus). Faces? OK and many are hidden by masks. Weapons are a delight, being sturdy without being chunky. The metal is good quality as evidenced by every single weapon being bent at least 90-180 degrees when I got them, but they sraightened out OK.
MR01 Command Pack
Leader: I like the movement and energy in this figure.
Sparks: The radioman is bareheaded and very well executed but standing bolt upright as if he's commentating at the dog races.Nice touch is that he's got one ear covered with his hand which mirrors my experience.
Sniper: Excellent figure. Absolutely beautiful.
3 figures are really good. One, on the extreme right in the photo on the website, is a disaster. He's different size, sculpt style, smaller head and helmet that makes him look like a child head on adult shoulders and just completely wrong. He looks like a Modern Aussie figure roughly knocked up in 5 minutes to look Russian. I even emailed Matt to ask why he was wearing a Fritz helmet. Apparently it's supposed to be one of the K6 models or even ZSh1 helmet. Believe me it's as good as a Fritz. You can stretch your imagination to believe it's a 6B7, nah, doesn't work for me, it's a Fritz. This figure lets down a cracking range because of course you'll end up with one in every Fireteam pack. I really cannot believe the sculptor has any self respect, respect for his client or more importantly, respect for us as purchasers to have included this miniature in the range.
MR03 Fireteam 2
The kneeling figure is a bit rough and again looks like it had a Modern Australian miniature provenance, but still usable because he's hunched up. The standing miniature is out of place. Ruins the story of the pack. Crouching or braced reaching for a mag. - great - standing idly - no. This is a personal foible of mine. I don't want miniatures in a 'combat' pack who are opening a tin of Chicken Supreme, fumbling for their mobile which has just gone off or walking the dog. Produce a separate pack (like Under Fire Miniatures) and give me the choice! My initial impression was that he was sculpted with a K6 helmet but looking more closely it's probably a ZSH1.
The standing firing guy wearing bandana is lovely. Best figure in the pack. Pure Spetznaz or nasty bastard.
MR04 Support Weapons
There are 5 figures in this pack. 2 RPGs, 2 PKM and a RPK. The RPGs and firing machine gunners are all very nice figures. The weakest figure is probably the running machine gunner but at least he has a separate machine gun (great for conversions).
The range feels like a bunch of Ultramodern Russians from recent conflicts. The best will paint well and I will favour them over and above any of the other ranges I own. However the range remains tainted by that one figure in MR02.
I appreciate the mix of headdress as it means you don't have to buy extra packs to mix and match. On the majority of figures, the Modern Soviet helmets look right on the money, the weapons are bang on and poses are magnificent. A lot of 15mm Sci Fi sculptors could learn from the best of this range.
However, one mini is a disaster and a couple that come in as also rans. I've had an email correspondence over the past few day with Matt so this isn't behind his back. The attempts at 'Sphera' helmets are just that. Luckily RH Models and Under Fire Miniatures come to the rescue here. What I do like is that the 'basic' helmet is the M68 pattern, subtely different enough from the M60(40) and evident on figures such as the Platoon Leader and kneeling RPG gunner. Good touch.
I accept that my personal taste and expectations are not the same as everyone else's. Will I buy more? Where do my plans for 2 full platoons plus a squad of Spetznaz stand? Well, jury's out. They are coming in at around a £1 each for 20mm with shipping on top. Are they worth it? Some are in my opinion but I'm not prepared to pay £1 and shipping for the 'also rans' as well.