Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Wargames Factory: Plastic WSS Artillery Boxed Set Reviewed!

Hi, Today I will review the War of Spanish Succession Artillery set of Wargames Factory. This set is their third set in their WSS range and is a nice addition to the already available infantry and cavalry boxed sets. First of all what the hell, is the War of Spanish Succession besides a very long name for a war! "The War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714) was fought among several European powers, including a divided Spain, over the feared possible unification of the Kingdoms of Spain and France under one Bourbon monarch." 

The content of the box has the intention to the artillery in the age of Marlborough which was in process of evolving from an arm of primarily psychological impact to highly professional, well organized and extremely effective member of combined arms tactics. In the War of the Spanish Succession, artillery was heavy and cumbersome, but often necessary to a generals plans. Now that is clear, let's take a look at the actual boxed set filled with some nice artillery pieces!

The box

As always the miniatures came in a sturdy cartonboard box excellently packaged to withstand the rough handling of belgian postmen. This boxed set is as their older boxed sets decorated with some mediocre renders especially the fact that the crewmember handling the canonball is looking in a total opposite way compared with the gun and the other crewmen. Never the less I like this artwork more than their previous attempts and in fact it looks quite suitable for the plastic set as it depicts the content good with the sole exception of the mounted officers which are not shown on the front of the box. Anyway let's take a look at this first artillery set of Wargames Factory!

The plastic boxed sets contains two sprues each containing enough parts to assemble an early 18th century field piece on wheeled carriage, 4 crewmen and 1 mounted senior officer, plastic bases, cannonballs, powder barrels and a a water bucket. As you may have noticed the sprues are packed with enough bits and pieces to assemble a nice battery of two field guns with 8 crewmembers and two mounted officers!

The sprues are made of hard plastic and are packed to the maximum with useful bits. The detail on the field piece and the accessoires is very good but the detail on the crewmembers and especially the horse of the mounted officer are a bit soft. Never the less I was amazed by the possibilities you have when assembling your crewmembers as lots of useful itmes are included such as several loading devices (sorry can't recall their names in english) and even the mounted officer has several option such as waving with his tricorne or a deadly saber! 

I forgot to mention that the boxed set contains four barrels for only two field pieces so you can decided if you want the long and heavy 12 pounder cannon or the light six pounder ones! I have supplied a picture with the different barrels.

The assembly 

The assembly of these  miniatures was actually quite straight forward despite the many variations as the parts are easy to be cut of their sprues. The only minors issues of this boxed set are some difficulties to remove the sprues from the arms as they seem to be in a hard place to remove them. We also have the same problem as with their other releases as these miniatures also lack of plastic pins on the miniatures feet to attach the base.

As said the miniatures are easy to assemble and don't need a manual as all the parts are easy to be recognised and placed with some common sense. When I opened the box I decided to first assmble the gun and the wheel carriage as that seemed the most tricky job of the assembly. But in fact it was dead simple as the gun consist out of 10 pieces including the carriage.

The crewmembers were next in line and required some dry testing before assembly to prevent misfits or strange poses. As said the number of variations was large, so I opted for a nice pointing commander carrying the ignition staff while I decided to arm the two other crewmembers with other loading devices. The fourth crewmember came with integral arms carrying a cannonball so you only needed to glue the head on and he was done! Easy isn't it? The sprues come with six heads and only five miniatures so you swap some heads to create unique crewmembers or officers! 

That brings us to the last pieces of the boxed set the mounted officer and some accessoires such as the powder barrel and the water bucket. The construction of the mount was easy as the horse consist out of two body parts, a head and the tail. The officer was constructed out of six pieces: two seperate legs, the body, the head and the two arms. The barrels and buckets were a nice touch and were easily assembled as they fitted perfectly and only consisted out of two pieces.

The conclusion

This first artillery box of Wargames Factory was a delight to assemble and will serve well on the tabletop as their detail is good and the poses are varied. This boxed set is also ideal to start or expand WSS artillery or artillery for similar periods. As stated the boxed set contains only minor issues with some difficulties to remove the arms from the sprues and the lack of a way to securely attach the bases but nothing that can't be solved by either patience or ingeniuty. 

This boxed set containing two artillery pieces, 8 crewmembers, 2 mounted officers and a bucktload of other bits such as cannonballs and powder barrels currently retails at $19.95 from Wargames Factory. Thanks for your interest and if you have more question, please don't hesitate to ask. An das always stay tuned as Wargames News and Terrain has more reviews coming up soon! These plastic boxed set are also available at Wayland Games for European customers.

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