Saturday, August 21, 2021

Wargames Atlantic: Plastic Classic Fantasy Lizardmen Reviewed!

Today we will take a closer look at the Wargames Atlantic Lizardmen! These 28mm hard-plastic multi-part creatures are the fourth set of their Classic Fantasy miniature range and cover more than the fantasy genre alone. In this boxed set you can also find sufficient parts to create space lizardmen armed with auto-rifles, lizardmen armed with primitive and human muskets making them most suitable for victorian science fiction gaming and also of course swords and spears allowing them to be used for classic fantasy games. About their Classic Fantasy range: As a company of mostly "Old School" wargamers, many of our first loves was Classic Fantasy. Elves, Dwarves, Halflings, Goblins, Trolls, Necromancers, Hobgoblins, Dragons are all part of our fondest hobby memories. This ever-growing range is our tribute to these iconic tropes.

The Lizardmen Miniatures

"Striking from their jungle lair ... The lizard tribes rarely venture forth from their steaming jungle kingdoms, but when they do they are a force to be reckoned with! Fighting with weapon, tooth, and claw they harass the folk of the free kingdoms and have even allied with the goblin war hosts to battle the forces of the High Queen."

The boxed set contains enough hard-plastic parts to create 24 28mm miniatures in three unique bulky body poses. These miniatures are supplied on 8 identical sprues each containing enough parts to create three lizardmen armed with muskets, spears or auto-rifles. The miniatures are supplied in a nicely illustrated box with artwork by artist Mark Stacey and pictures of the painted miniatures by Matthew Leahy which are a great painting reference. The miniatures were digitally sculpted by Thieu Duong and are tooled and manufactured in China. 

The reviewed boxed set contains eight identical hard-plastic sprues each containing three lizardmen models with parts for no less than three different wargaming genres being fantasy, science fiction and victorian science fiction. The production quality of the miniatures is once more good with only minimal thin mouldlines present on the models which can easily be cleaned with a sharp hobby knife. The bulky reptilian bodies are supplied with three separate unique tails allowing further customisation between the models allowing for more variation and character for each of the assembled miniatures. Next to the three different bodies no less than 14 heads are supplied including three cameleon like heads and three gasmasked heads while the other heads are more or less the standard reptilian heads suited for all genres. The number of heads looks a bit excessive in my opinion as other more useful parts could have been included such as more left arms or weapon poses which are a bit lacking making it harder to make full use of the supplied content for one specific setting or genre but that may be nitpicking on my part.

This boxed set contains lots of different weapons but all of these are already attached to arms to suit all the genres mentionned before. The fantasy weapons include some swords and spears allowing you to create some melee armed lizardmen for fantasy wargames or primitive tribes in other genres. Although three of these handweapons are included I would have prefered some more of these as these can easily be used for the other genres too and add some more variation for larger units and armies. The victorian science fiction genre seems to receive the most weapon options including some very nice heavy primitive muskets and human muskets supplied by traders or smugglers. On the sprue you find two human musket and two primitive musket options which are once again nice but could have been better if more options were made available as a shooting option seems to lack although this part is clearly shown on the box cover artwork. 

After all of these weapons we also find two science fiction auto-rifles which can turn these miniatures into models suited for science fiction or even post-apocalyptic miniature tabletop games and roleplaying adventures. Next to these parts the sprues also contain some loose equipment such as a primitive musical instrument, cloth bags, ammunition pouches and sword scabbards allowing more variation and customisation to this boxed set which is always interesting when assembling miniatures for skirmish games and roleplaying adventures which focus more on individual miniatures and characters.

So looking back at the included parts, I really like that these new miniatures can be assembled for several different genres and also have more or less sufficient parts for each of these genres included. Although there are sufficient parts included they are the bare minimum needed to assemble the miniatures as there aren't a lot of different options for each genre which is a shame as this boxed set could have been more useful if some more parts including weapon options would have been included. If you were to assemble a full box of science fiction miniatures you could not do this as only two auto-rifles are included on each sprue for three different bodies. Next to this the poses would be very repetitive as a very limited amount of assembly options are available. The same issue can also be mentionned for the fantasy and other genres although to some lesser extent. 

Think this box would have certainly benefitted from either a larger sprue size allowing for more individual components or a focus on less genres than the three now included. For example leaving the human muskets from the sprues and adding some more primitive muskets or handweapons would have increased the assembly options while still containing enough parts to please the victorian science fiction wargamers as more primitive muskets could have been included. That said even though more components would have been very useful, the current content is sufficient although not very great compared with their other model kits but maybe we have been very much spoiled previously. I have personally done quite some conversions with these miniatures so creating more options is certainly possible although for starting hobbyists it might have been easier to have some more readily available options on the sprue.

Assembling your Lizardmen

Assembling these plastic figures I haven't encountered much problems, the hard-plastic is once again sturdy and well-moulded. All the individual parts of these lizardmen models fitted well too and were easy to clean with a sharp hobby knife. In the pictures below you can find the reviewed miniatures assembled with most of the possible options including science fiction, fantasy and victorian science fiction. As you can see some interesting poses considering the rather small amount of components included per genre. In the pictures you can see primitive lizardmen armed with spears and swords, lizardmen armed with their native muskets and some lizardmen armed with human muskets assembled as marching european style trained infantry and skirmishing soldiers. Note that conversions are included in the pictures below such as modified weapons, arms and added shields see following section of this review for more details.

Conversion Possibilities

As mentionned this kit contains plenty of conversion possibilities which can easily be achieved with some minor work. The easiest option is to add some cool wicker and metal shields from the Wargames Atlantic Persian Infantry and Afghan Warriors. In the pictures below you can see some of the wicker crescent shaped shields which has been added to the melee armed warriors. Although you will need to buy some other kits or have a good stash of spare plastic parts available for this option. Another cool option to add some more weapon options is to convert the primitive muskets into long-barrelled jezzails and pistols. These can easily be created by cutting the standard musket in smaller pieces and merging several of these weapons into one long weapon or by shortening the musket into interesting pistols. I have added a picture showing these options below along with some warriors armed with these cool weapons.

Another straightforward option is to cut off the hands from certain arms and glueing these onto other arms to create more poses. You can see this option clearly with the warrior holding his musket into the air which was previously holding a sword but has been easily replaced with a musket wielding hand. This option can also be used to create new poses with other weapons such as pistols, spears and swords. Some other easy ideas are for example cutting the shoulder joints in new angles allowing you to position the arms in different poses such as further or closer to the body. For the creation of some more alien looking warriors you can also change the direction of the gasmasked heads offering you a rather strange but interesting alien look which might also be usable to create the savage birdmen of Venus.

The Scale Comparison

In the picture you can see these new miniatures alongside the popular Games Workshop Lizardmen or Seraphon miniatures and a stout Warlord Games British Soldier. As you can see the Saurus Warrior is larger and bulkier than the Wargames Atlantic Lizardmen, while the nimble Skinks are much smaller. Compared to a standard historical sized human miniature, the new Lizardmen is bulkier and more muscular but certainly in size with the human.

The Conclusion

This Wargames Atlantic Classic Fantasy Lizardmen model kit is once again a very decent set of hard-plastic and multi-part quality figures with plenty of possible uses covering fantasy, science fiction and other more niche genres such as victorian science fiction and even post-apocalyptic with ease. Although the scope of this model kit is great, it would have benefitted from a larger sprue size as the amount of assembly options per advertised genre is a bit sparse resulting in limited possible poses especially for larger units and full-sized armies. The kit contains only 24 miniatures which is a bit low considering the amount of miniatures included in most of their other sets and I would have prefered some more sprues.

That said the design of the lizardmen is very classic and can easily be used as alternatives for popular fantasy wargames Lizardmen. Although the weapon options for melee armed troops are limited you can easily supplement this model kit with components from other popular manufacturers to suit your needs. The quality of the miniatures is good with minimal mouldlines and very easy assembly, so great to quickly assemble your warband or army. If you're a victorian science fiction tabletop wargamer, this boxed set is your best and most likely cheapest option on the plastic wargame miniature market as these miniatures can easily be used to represent the classic lizardmen armed with melee weapons or both primitive and human muskets for epic battles on the surface of Venus against earthly colonial powers or warring lizardmen and birdmen. And that's not mentionning the many other possible uses of these very generic bulky and muscular lizardmen warriors, for example to represent "The Race" in the Worldwar book series of Harry Turtledove.

The quality and price of these miniatures is reasonable, with one boxed set containing 24 hard-plastic multi-part miniatures retailing for £25.00 with further discounts for larger amounts of boxed sets. You can buy these interesting miniatures now directly from Wargames Atlantic or from other distributors and retailers worldwide. Picture of the painted miniatures by Matthew Leahy below taken from Wargames Atlantic. Stay tuned even more Wargames Atlantic miniature reviews are inbound already!

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Disclaimer - We received these miniatures from Wargames Atlantic 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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Joe Procopio said...

Excellent tutorial and review. I really love this set, and you’ve given me some great ideas for making those rifles more exotic for a Barsoomesque game I’m planning. Thanks!

Wargame News and Terrain Blog said...

Thanks Joe, much appreciated sounds like you have great plans with these!