Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Perry Miniatures: Plastic British Zulu War Infantry Reviewed!

Today we will be taking a closer look at the newest plastic boxed set from Perry Miniatures, their long-awaited British Zulu War Infantry! Please read on for plenty of pictures and information on these fine new miniatures.

The British Zulu War Infantry miniatures are the latest set of plastic miniatures released by the well-known sculptors Alan and Michael Perry of Perry Miniatures and were released at Salute earlier this year. I have had these on my workbench for quite a while and thought it would be more than time to review these lovely miniatures here on Wargame News and Terrain. While these miniatures are sold as Zulu War Infantry these are also suitable for the Ninth Cape Frontier War and the First Anglo-Boer War and are also supplied with Home Service helmets for repelling enemies both earthly such as the French and Prussians and extraterrestrial such as those troublesome Martians!

Perry Miniatures: Plastic British Zulu War Infantry

Perry Miniatures: Plastic British Zulu War Infantry

The plastic British Zulu War Infantry miniatures are packed in the standard sized cartonboard box in which most of the Perry Miniatures plastic infantry boxed sets are packed with the front being decorated by the lovely and evocative artwork of the talented artist Peter Dennis. While the back offers some information and background on the miniatures along with several useful uniform illustrations. As per usual the miniatures are also supplied with a small booklet containing information about different units and their uniforms, the theatres of war and instructions on how to assemble the specialist miniatures. This booklet offers a great starting point to start, assemble  and paint historical accurate units and armies for the Zulu War, the Ninth Cape War and First Anglo-Boer War.

Perry Miniatures: Plastic British Zulu War Infantry

The British Zulu War Infantry Box Content

The boxed set contains enough parts to assemble 38 high quality plastic miniatures in the box including four casualties and two Heliographs. The miniatures are equipped with the standard issue uniform and weaponry of the depicted period. The bulk of the boxed set contains the regular heroic and stout British infantrymen dressed in his iconic yet outdated red uniform and armed with his lethal breech-loading single-shot lever-actuated rifle Martini-Henry rifle. These common infantrymen were the core of the Victorian era British army and fought more than their fair share in many of the colonial battles of the British Empire in South Africa.

The boxed set contains the following sprues

- 6 Infantry sprues each containing five soldiers
- 2 Command sprues each containing two officers, two casualties and one Heliograph
- 1 Renedra square bases sprue containing enough bases to field your miniatures

Below you can see the infantry sprue of which six are included in the boxed set. This sprue contains as mentionned above the bulk of the regular infantry with plenty of options for field helmets, the home service helmets and other heads (glengarry cap, wounded and bare heads). As you can see on the sprue all of the five body poses are unique and offer an excellent amount of difference stances and weapon poses allowing you to create a realistic firing line. As you can see on the sprue there are nine different options of handling the Martini-Henry ranging from loading and firing, to stand at the ready and repelling close combat attacks. You can even make a soldier waving his pith helmet as he is sheering after repelling a native attack or shouting for his life. It's this kind of options that really makes this set stand out and make it the best 28mm scaled plastic Zulu War Infantry set available on the market today. It will be very hard if not impossible to beat the quality and options of this set in the future.

The only remark I have is that all of the miniatures supplied are in a standing position with no options for a double firing line with a kneeling first rank. That said I actually don't mind this anymore as the miniatures look so fine and full of character that this only a very minor point of attention. Could be possible that a kneeling firing line will be supplied in metal miniature packs but haven't heard or seen any previews of that possibility yet. Note that this set is also sold as a 'standing' firing line set.

Perry Miniatures: Plastic British Zulu War Infantry Soldier Sprue

The second sprue is the specialist or command sprue which contains the parts of the Heliograph, officers and two casualties. As you can see on the sprue plenty of options to arm your officers and regular infantry allowing you to field buglers, standard bearers and enough parts to assemble a realistic Heliograph team with binoculars, note pads and Heliograph operator. There are two command sprues included in the boxed set.

One of the unique selling points is the addition of not one but two Heliographs and their crew. The inclusion of these specialist miniatures further increases the value of the plastic boxed set as you can assemble some of the regular infantry in the specialist role. Should you have to buy these Heliograph teams in metal, you're easily be spending more than £6.00 a team with other miniature companies so great value with these miniatures. The addition of these miniatures also opens a whole variety of wargame objectives and realism to your wargame as communication was often of great importance when facing overwhelming enemy armies in a vast and desolate country. 

As mentionned before the purpose of this sprue is to supply officers for your regular infantrymen in the form of two rather dashing looking gentlemen armed with a variety of weapons including swords, pistols and other equipment suitable for a proper officer such as binoculars. There are also options to turn regular infantrymen in standard bearers, buglers and so on. The sprue also contains two wounded or dead soldiers again offering even more useful content to the set as these can be used to make casualty markers, important objectives or to make vignettes for your  infantry and command bases. Next to the miniature sprues the boxed set also contains the Renedra square plastic bases sprues in the sandy color suitable for the arid plains and hills of South Africa.

Perry Miniatures: Plastic British Zulu War Infantry Command Sprue

Looking closer at the actual quality of the sculpting and casting I can only say that both are superb. Alan and Michael Perry are known for their excellent sculpting and historical accuracy and these miniatures are no exception with very crisp details and lots of realism and character in the faces, clothing and body poses. The tooling and casting is again done by Renedra and their experienced team and the quality is again great with minimal amounts of flash and mouldlines present on the miniatures.

The British Zulu War Infantry Assembly 

The assembly of these miniatures was great fun as there are plenty of options to assemble your miniatures in different poses and stands. The planning of the parts on the sprue really makes the assembly easy as all parts can easily be cut loose and the sprue vents aren't situated on the fragile parts such as bayonet points as can be the case with sets of other manufacturers and those can drive a man mad when bayonet after bayonet snaps and there aren't many options left! 

I decided to assemble my miniatures as regular infantry with field pith helmets as they would have been fielded in South Africa you could of course assemble them as new recruits and go the Hollywood way and let them wear their iconic Home Service helmets instead. Really like the way they turned out and will most likely be fielding some of the miniatures as 60th Rifles or perhaps use some to make cheap dismounted Imperial Mounted Infantry with the mounted component converted from Perry Miniatures American Civil War Cavalry. Not historical accurate but well enough for my daily tabletop ventures. Below I have added some pictures of the assembled miniatures but note that this is only a minor part of the miniatures which are included.

Perry Miniatures: Plastic British Zulu War Infantry

Perry Miniatures: Plastic British Zulu War Infantry Heliograph

The British Zulu War Infantry Scale Comparison

As I have quite some unpainted miniatures in my collection that could be used for the Zulu War, I have taken some scale comparison pictures that might be useful to see if these new miniatures fit your existing miniature collections. in the pictures below you can see pictures of Perry Miniatures, Warlord Games, Foundry Miniatures, Wargames Factory and Empress Miniatures. The miniatures scale up well with most of the plastic miniatures but are slighly taller and more slender than the Wargames Factory and Warlord Games miniatures. Note that the Empress Miniatures figure was supplied with the Warlord Games plastic Zulu War Infantry boxed set but I would guess that these are the same size as the actual Empress Miniatures miniature range.

Perry Miniatures: Plastic British Zulu War Infantry Scale Comparison

Perry Miniatures: Plastic British Zulu War Infantry Scale Comparison

Perry Miniatures: Plastic British Zulu War Infantry Scale Comparison

The British Zulu War Infantry Conclusion

As you might have noticed during the review I'm a big fan of these miniatures and will be most certainly grabbing plenty of these miniatures due to their great quality and excellent price. Further more miniatures are top-notch and will most likely never be exceed in quality, affordability and historical accuracy. The addition of extras such as the informative booklet, the Heliographs and casualties further increases the great value of this new boxed set and will allow you to add plenty of character to your wargames in the form of scenics, objectives and markers. The boxed set is now available for £20.00 directly from Perry Miniatures here 

Perry Miniatures: Plastic British Zulu War Infantry

Perry Miniatures: Plastic British Zulu War Infantry

Perry Miniatures have also announced that they will be releasing some plastic Zulu warrior opponents along with supporting metal miniatures such as cavalry and more for the British. As we speak the Rorke's Drift Heroes and 17th Lancers both mounted and dismounted are already available for purchase. You can see the Zulu warrior preview below. More pictures can be found here in our previous post

Perry Miniatures: Plastic British Zulu War Zulu Warriors

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Disclaimer - We received these miniatures from Perry Miniatures for reviewing purposes. Please note that this doesn't influence our review as we always strive to supply you with our own independent and honest opinion about the wargame products reviewed.

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