Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Comparing 15mm Infantry kits

PRICE FIGHT - Katie Price with her cage fighting Ex
In the process of building up my army I've purchased kits from the following suppliers:
Here's a quick breakdown of their models and my opinions on their customer service, detail and design, mold and quality, and value.

The Plastic Soldier Company

Purchased: Russian Infantry, T-34 tanks.

They specialise in 15mm core tank and infantry for Germans, American (Brit) and Russians.  Their tank box sets are growing all the time, and they cover the Panzer III, IV and V (Panther) currently.  Their prices are concurrent to Zvezd, but their packs do offer multiple builds, the T-34 set includes both the 76mm and 85mm turrets.  The Panther box set includes 3 variants.

Their infantry sets are some of the best value in the game.  A Standard Russian summer infantry set will do three Platoons (2 Rifle machine gun and 1 SMG) plus a few scouts and company command teams.  The infantry models are clean and closer to normal proportions than many of the pewter versions.

Customer Service: Quick and Efficient *****
Detail and Design: Very good for plastic, good quality ****
Mold and Quality: Very clean marginal mold lines on both tanks and infantry, only cutting points need cleaning, much better then GW *****
Value: The combination of variant turrets tips them over Zvezda and the horde of infantry make these a first choice buy *****

Overall 19/20 - the core army first choice.


Purchased: German Half-tracks, Katyushas, Opel Blitz Trucks, T-34 tank, Zis-3 trucks.

Russian company specialising in vehicles only.  Zvezda sell their vehicles individually, making this company invaluable for 'stocking up' the units.  They also sell unusual units like Katyusha, trucks and half tracks at very reasonable prices.  A solid purchase.

Customer Service: Only purchased through third party, but I'm told more tardy ***
Detail and Design: Equal to The PSC ****

Mold and Quality: Very clean marginal mold lines but some designs aren't designed robustly, in scale truck undercarriages are weak and fiddly to build ****
Value: Excellent per unit value, but more 'box sets' would offer better value, very flexible *****

Overall 16/20 - filling up the edges.

Peter Pig

Purchased: Heavy Mortar Platoon (6) and HMGs (12).

Don't get put of by the amateurish website, PP offers some of the best, cheapest and highest quality miniatures on the market.  In fact if I could offer some advice to the company it would be to speand some money on the website and get a good one.  The variety of models is great, as is the prices.  Shop carefully as cerain units are cheaper elsewhere (flame thrower troops are cheaper from FoW itself for example), but the quality of the molds and the quality of the pewter is excellent.  The best quality pewter distributor.

Customer Service: Superb *****
Detail and Design: Excellent *****

Mold and Quality: Molding is excellent, a little cleaning required but marginal *****
Value: Shop carefully and you can pick up a bargain, but can't compete with plastic ****

Overall 19/20 - best 'unusual' unit supplier.

Old Glory Miniatures

Purchased: 57mm Zis-2 guns (6) and gun crews.

OGM have some great models in their listings, they also have a better website then PP.  However, I found their feedback and delivery tardy and half the order was missing.  Fail on the customer service.  In addition the quality on the guns is way down on PP.  They are very flimsy and required a fair amount of dosing in super glue to hold.  Not the best value either as guns don't include crews, which is a faff.

Customer Service: Tardy and uncommunicative **
Detail and Design: Average quality ***

Mold and Quality: Not as clean as PP, pewter is very soft. ***
Value: What looks like a good buy at first quickly adds up, cheaper than FoW, but you lose the quality ***

Overall: 11/20 - A Backup choice for stuff unavailable elsewhere.

Flames of War

Purchased: 3 Shermans and 2 STuGs, a mortar platoon and flamethrowers.

The tanks are excellent quality, and after this experience I was thoroughly surprised by the lack of care and attention in the pewter infantry.  These molds required the most cleaning of all.  The molds themselves are excellent, but it took me over 40 minutes to clean back a mortar platoon for glueing.

Customer Service: Quick and Efficient *****
Detail and Design: Good detail, but design can be 'fiddly' ****

Mold and Quality: Resin great, but infantry quality very poor.  Lots of mold lines and other chaff, a dissapointment considering its 'full price'.***
Value: Flames is generally very pricey, but for 'special' units such as SU122's, mortars or flamethrowers they offer good value for money, shop carefully ***

Overall 15/20 - Some good value, but surprisingly variable quality.


If the Plastic Company continue to expand their lines and Peter Pig could stop their website underselling their quality, they'd have it wrapped up.  In my experience, the other suppliers are really second choice for units that aren't available in the core units or if you have money to burn on 'true' units.

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