Hi, Here's another useful review, this time we take a look at the newest release of Conquest Games, their plastic multipart Norman Infantry boxed set! This box has been long awaited for by the wargame community as they are a perfect fit for their already existing mounted Norman Knight plastic boxed set. Together with these mounted knights you can easily build a Saga warband out of two boxes as these kits include enough bits to make command units and heroes with a bit of imagination. As the miniatures are actually produced to be used as Norman Infantry they can be used for the early medieval times and the early crusades probably up to the fourth as most of the levies still wore outdated armour and weaponry as not everybody could afford the latest invention and fashion! I love the uses of these box as they could also be used for fantasy wargaming representing the fierce warriors of Rohan or another fantasy folk. Enough up to the pictures and actual sprues!
The Norman Infantry comes in a nice cartonboard box decorated with the excellent artwork by the same artist who also made the new artwork for their mounted Norman Knight boxed set. As always the package is well done with an eye for detail and design. The backside of the box shows a part of the assembled box painted by the talented chaps at Artmaster Studios.
The boxed set contains 12 hard plastic sprues of which you can assemble 44 gorgeous Norman soldiers with a variety of melee weaponry ranging from swords to large axes. The boxed set contains eight infantry sprues which contain enough parts to assemble five miniatures. The miniature bodies come in three variants, one in chainmail, three unarmoured and one wearing a rather nice fabric armour suit called a Gambeson. These also sprues hold enough weapons such as swords, spears and axes to equip your warriors as well as five kite and two round shields
What I really like with this particular boxed set is that the miniatures come with seperate lower arms with attached weapons and shields, while the bodies come with the attached upper arms. This system similar to that of the Warlord Games plastic Zulu kits allows a great variety of poses while still looking good. These sprues just have enough heads for each warriors so be carefull when cutting out these are otherwise you will have a headless warrior!
There are two command sprues in the boxed set. each of these sprues contains enough bits and pieces to assemble a two miniatures command element which can be either a captain, banner or hornblower. A really nice though is the splendid casualty miniatures which can be assembled with a variety of arms and weapons. Just take a look at the character of the fallen soldier also ideal as a base decoration!
To add some more weapons, there's also a single weapon sprue in the boxed set which contains a nice assortiment of shields and weapons. This single sprue could be used when you want more soldiers equipped with the same weaponry although arming all your soldiers with the same weapons isn't possible as there aren't sufficient identical weapons. I found that the lack of missile weapons isn't that bad as Conquest Games also sell blisters of metal bowmen and other nice skirmisher units.
The boxed set also contains a nice base sprues which contains enough bases to field your army on foot. As you can see these bases come in a green color but do not have the same texture surface as the Perry Miniatures one. No big problem I guess as most of us, texture of bases with a mixture of woodfiller, sand and wood glue. In the picture you can see Renedra, the tooler of these plastic sprues.
As said previously the assembly of these miniatures is really easy. The pieces are made out of quality hard plastic and is easy to cut without having the risk to damage the pieces. As these models are well designed by the effective separate upper and lower arm system, the assembly of the miniatures can be done fast without having to fiddle to much around with the arms and so avoiding excess glue and strange looking poses. I have managed to assembled a fully armoured knight and a spearmen in Gambeson, they look quite good and convincing! Gather your war host now!
As we love to see some scale comparison with other manufacturers I have added this picture. I don't own much medieval miniatures as you might notice but I have tried to add the most usefull miniatures from my unpainted lead and plastic mountain. On the right you can see Gamling, a miniature from the Rohan Games Workshop range flanked by the Norman miniature of Conquest Games. The miniature next to this figure is a plastic Rohan warrior also made by Games Workshop as part of their Lord of the Rings range. The miniature on the left side is a metal Perry Miniatures priest as Perry Miniatures has an extensive mediaval range filled with useful bits and pieces such as artillery and characters. As you can see these miniature are large 28mm but probably a bit of this size difference can be explained by the rather thick attached bases.
To conclude, if you're interested in this period and the Norman warriors and you're looking for a way to play with these miniatures relativly cheap? Then you must buy this boxed set as these miniatures are so splendid and generic they can be used from the early medieval times to the fourth crusade not mentionning the fantasy role they can play! For a price of £20 you can buy 44 great looking and useful miniatures! They are even cheaper when buying them in bulk as there are discounts when buying three boxes or five boxes enough to field a mighty army!