27 March 2018

Norman infantry and knights review

I got some plastic Norman knights and infantry sets from Conquest Games for my Norman SAGA army. I scouted the internet for cheap, and easy to work with, alternatives to the Gripping Beast metal sculpts which are good too - but I had trouble painting those which ended with me sending an entire Viking army to a painter in Germany. With the new army book for version 2, I thought the Normans and Franks/Carolingians looked interesting enough to branch out a little.

This project is a bit of a "SAGA on a budget", it's also meant to give me a "continental" army to represent various medieval factions that could double for at least two or three different armies. Part of these guys will also be mixed to represent Anglo-Saxons, for which I purchased a box of Anglo-Saxon Thegns from Gripping Beast.

You can watch my review or keep on reading:


Starting with the knights, you get 15 riders and horses, along with a casualty. Most of the riders have chainmail, a couple are dressed in gambeson shirts, and the rest are in regular shirts. The heads come in several varieties  and you get both spears and swords for weapons (a club for the commander if you like). There are also pieces to make a commander, with a more decorated helmet, and you have pieces to make a war banner/banner man as well. A casualty is also in the set, to be used as a casualty marker or scatter terrain if you like to use it.
The horses are easy to build, made up of two halves for the body and a separate head to be glued on at the neck area. It would be great if the head was attached to one half of the body, and overlap a little to make the joint even less visible. But the joint is not a big problem when you have painted the miniature. The riders are equally easy to build, the body is one piece - you just need to attach arms and the head. Very little flash on the pieces make them easy to clean. The shields are cast together with the arm holding them, and you get both oval/kite and round shields.

I also like that they are not cluttered with details, like small pouches, daggers, chains, straps etc - I hate that on "rank and file" miniatures since it bogs down the painting. The box also contains a sheet of plastic rectangular and square cavalry bases - really intended for basing these as a larger unit where you remove casualties one by one. For SAGA however, there are too few ready to go bases in the box. You can cut the larger bases in half, but I would recommend getting some cheap Renedra plastic bases to save you the trouble.


The only thing I miss in the box is decals/transfers for the shields. I painted my by hand after having experienced a complete failure attempting to use Flags of War transfers purchased separately (you can read on my facebook group about that failure). However, considering the low price of £20 for 15 miniatures the value for money is really good. There are enough models in the box to make a full unit of warriors, one unit of hearth guards, a hero and a war banner! 

Conquest Games were kind enough to send be a box of Norman knights for review, but I got a few extra since they looked so good.
Moving on to the Norman infantry, a box that contains no less than 44 plastic miniatures! They are made in the same style as the cavalry. Easy to clean and to build, and like the cavalry - not cluttered with unnecessary details. They too build and paint up easily. The infantry box contains enough chainmail models to make 8 armored hearth guards, and there are command sprues that allow you to make heroes on foot and war banners as well. The majority of the models are dressed in regular shirts, a few are dressed in gambeson.

Weapon options see a roughly an equal amount of spears and swords, and there are a couple of two handed Dane axes as well which means you could make a small hearth guard unit armed with those.

Like with the cavalry, it would be great to have transfers for the shields, but at this price range you can't complain too much. Just make sure you buy additional bases unless you want to cut up the existing bases in the box into smaller pieces.

All in all, highly recommended. I also have a box of medieval archers from the same manufacturer, that box contains 28 archers which is enough to make at least 2 levy units of 12 models each. I have not built any of those yet, so a review will most likely be posted separately at a later time.
The sculpts look good though.

Below are some size comparisons with an assortment of Gripping Beast metal miniatures


You can get the Conquest Games plastics from various online retailer, or directly from the manufacturer by following the link below:

http://conquest-games.co.uk/





4 comments:

  1. Got some these myself a while ago and rate them also 😊

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  2. Great looking Normans here!

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  3. Thanks guys!
    It's been a while since I painted plastics, most of my recent stuff has been metal. It was a nice change.

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  4. I have several of these guys and agree that for the price, it's a good option to bulk out a force. However I think they are more fiddly and more challenging to assemble than the GB plastic series.

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