Sunday, July 1, 2012

Wargames Factory: Samurai Cavalry Reviewed

Hi, It's time for another exciting review! This time I will review the newest boxed kit of Wargames Factory: the 16th century Samurai Cavalry. When I initially saw the first pictures of the rendered miniatures I wasn't impressed at all as the detail on these very detailled Samurai warriors seemed not defined and so difficult to paint. But as said this was my opinion before I received this box.

The box

First of all I will tell some more about the box. I was really empressed by the artwork of the boxed set it isn't still the look of the Perry Miniatures or Warlord Games boxed sets but this artwork is a massive improvement compared with the artwork of the skeleton box. The box also contains some basic assembly tips for the beginning wargamer which is always good if we want to attract younger wargamers to the hobby as every 1/72 plastic kit includes manuals but I have never seen one in a boxed kit for 28mm plastic wargame miniatures (excluding Victrix which has some instructions on which parts fit where but would be a nightmare for novice wargamers). The boxed kit was shipped in a sturdy cartonboard box which was partially filled with a air filled plastic bag to prevent any damage. So thats' a big plus as we don't want broken miniatures!

The sprues

The boxed set includes enough parts to make twelve mounted Samurai with a variety of weapons including bows, spears and swords. The parts for the Samurai warriors are found on two identical sprues while the parts for the horses are also found on two identical sprues. The fifth sprue in the boxed set are the plastic bases which are always useful.

First of all I will tell something more about the Samurai warrior sprue. As said the boxed set includes enough parts for twelve of these 16th century fierce warriors. Each of the warrior sprues contains legs, bodies, heads, armour and weapons which can be easily assembled. I really liked the variety of weapons which can be found on the sprues so you can equip your warriors with bows, spears and swords. The amount of weapons available on the sprue allows you to build up to twelve warriors equipped with spears (10 Yari, 2 Naginata) and up to six bowmen which can be assembled in a cool shooting pose. As you can see on the sprue there are also enough shoulder pieces, swords in holder and Sashimono (flags) for every warrior.

You also have enough horo's or protective cloaks for all of the warriors (see horse sprue). More information about this way of body armour can be found on this blog. It must be said that the details on these miniatures is just great and very well-detailled compared with their older sets so they now can almost match the details as on the plastic Perry and Warlord Games plastic miniatures.

The boxed kit also includes enough parts to make twelve horses. The detail of horse bodies are just great and can be compared with the detail of the Perry Miniatures horses! The detail on the horse heads is however less detailled as the detail is not well-defined and can be compared with the heads from their older boxed kits such as the Roman and Celt horses. These horses are assembled by choosing two matching halves and glueing the seperate tail in between them. The horse head can be glued upon the assembled body afterwards as it fits perfectly.

As I really love the well detailled Samurai heads, I decided to add a detail shot of this part of the warrior sprue. Each of the warrior sprues contains six unique heads which can be further personalised with different Datamono (the decorative elements which can be found below the heads on the picture). As mentionned several times before the detail of these miniatures is great and cannot be compared with the older boxed sets such as the Romans, Celts and British Firing Line.

The assembly

The assembly of these miniatures was very easy as all the components fitted well and the hard plastic was really easy to cut. I decided to assemble the horse first as this really defines the pose of the rider and makes the miniature look more dynamic. I only managed to assemble one of the miniatures as other projects were first on the assembly line but I really enjoyed the build due to the massive variety of weapons and heads I could choose. Cutting loose the parts and cleaning them up only took some minutes while the assembly was done in less than five minutes. I was also impressed by the fact the riders legs fitted the horse exactly you even don't need to glue it down (but I did just to make sure).

Comparison picture

As with most of my more recent reviews I have included some useful size comparisons with other plastic horses of other well-known manufacturers. In the first picture you can see the mounted samurai warrior with on his left the Games Workshop Empire horse and on his right the Fireforge Games Mounted Sergeant. As you can see the Warhammer horse is way too big as it is heroic sized but the Fireforge Games horse also seems to large for the small Wargames Factory horse. This difference can be the allocated to the species of horses as I guess oriental horses were significantly smaller than the the massive steeds of the crusading armies in the medieval times.

In the second picture you can see the Samurai warrior with on his left the Games Workshop Lord of The Rings horse and on his right a Perry Miniatures Heavy Cavalry horse. As you can see the true scale Games Workshop horse seems to fit with the Wargames Factory one but the Perry Miniature Horse looks significantly larger. This size difference can be allocated due to the use of large horses for heavy cavalry in the napoleonic times and the increasing height of horses throughout history.


In my humble opinion this boxed kit is the best one Wargames Factory has ever released untill know! It is stunning to compare these miniatures with their older British Firing Line miniatures and think they are made by the same company. The detail of the miniatures is just great and the components fits completly.

The only minor issues I have with the kit is the lack of detail on the horse head and the lack of integral base as this increases the possibility of breaking of the legs and makes it more difficult to glued the horses to their plastic bases or any other bases. The price of this boxed set is $19.95 at the Wargames Factory webshop and is retailled at Wayland Games for £14.85. I think the price is really good compared with the quality and conversion possibilities. I hope you enjoyed this review as much as I did!

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Bizzio said...

Hi, thanks for the interesting review.
I agree with you in particular about size of japanese horses during Sengoku Jidai. To me the only defect looks the size of the bow and the quantity of them...


Wargame News and Terrain Blog said...

Hi, thanks for the confirmation wasn't sure on the horses.

Best regards

Anonymous said...

You are correct about the size of Japanese horses. There is a story involving a raiding party that had to climb a steep hill. Supposedly one of the members carried his horse because the hill was so steep. The horses were only 120 cm at the shoulder.

Wargame News and Terrain Blog said...

Just great imagine that fierce raiding force mounted on those small horses! Would be interesting to see them clash with the European medieval warhorses, heavily cladded in armour.

Thanks for this great story never heard of it before!

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