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Review: Agema Velites and Fireforge Steppe Infantry plastics in 28mm

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After Christmas I ordered a couple of boxes of plastics which I thought might be handy for Saga conversions. Here is a look at what came. A box of Agema Velites (yes, they are Ancients not Dark Age, but they have potential) and the new Fireforge Steppe Warriors infantry.

The Velites come 16 to a box for just over 10GBP. On inspection they look quite slender, especially the weapons, next to the other Renedra plastics I own. When you compare them, you can see they hold up well in scale, I guess it’s just the weapons that look even more fragile than my Wargame Factory Saxon plastics(!)

FF&GB plastic conversions (18)

There are two figures on each sprue with a choice of three heads, a cloak, a shortsword arm, a javelin, a spear arm to fit the javelin and two shields. There’s not much in the way of extras to speak of, but a converter should find some options. Have to say overall, a little disappointed. The cloak sticks away from the model rather than down the back and needed a little cleaning up after clipping it from the sprue (it is fixed in three places). The javelin and the two moulded to one of the shields seem very weak and were easily caught when i tried to clean the rim of the shield after clipping it away from its mount. The models do not come with bases, a surprise really. I expected some 20mm square ones at least.

The models just seem more flimsy that the other Renedra offerings (from Gripping Beast and Fireforge). They seemed okay once on their 20mm square bases, but I see broken javelins in the future. Check out the image of the shield on the sprue – you can see a bent javelin just after inspecting the sprue!

The pack of 24 Steppe Infantry from Fireforge is another Renedra production. You get 6 sprues each with 4 models and accessories. One of the sprues is slightly different and has command options, i.e. a standard on it. Most items are the same as the others.

FF&GB plastic conversions (2)

I was quite impressed with this set. Not only can you make a range of models with the 24 models (24 legs and 24 torsos) you also get on each of the 5 main sprues: 9 heads (5 bare-headed), some top knots/ponytails, 8 shields (4 buckler size, 4 tower size), 8 bows (4 in hand), 8 quivers and a variety of hand weapons and some helmets to fit over the bare heads  This gives a lot of options and also plenty of spares for other models and conversions!

I really liked these models which fitted together well and were well proportioned. The only quibbles I have are:

One or two of the heads look somewhere between very stern and a little alienesque (Star Trek Insurrection bad guys?) . One of the arms seems a little large around the sleeve and hand than its counterpart (the pictures may show this up).Finally, the pose of the model I put together makes it look stooped forward a little – it seems short next to the model of the Velite from Agema. A bit more effort may be required to get a straighter pose may be needed (for me at least!)

Other than that, they were fine. They even come with bases. Six 20mm square grey plastics and four 60x40mm ones. Enough for 30 models and the larger ones can be cut with a craft knife if needed!

The Steppe Warriors infantry models are one of the best sets I have seen for Dark Ages, being very flexible. I will be converting some other models with the leftovers! I look forward to more from Fireforge!

I will leave you of a close up one each of the constructed models…. one of each….

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4 Comments

  1. Mousaka says:

    Both sets look interesting, though I see what you mean about the agenda box, possible not enough bits for say converting to a Viking Bezerker with cloak etc. Do you plan to use the steppe box for anything apart from the obvious steppe nomadic SAGA faction?

    • Thanks for the comments, Mousaka. The Agema box is limited. If you go without the wolf-cloaks and use a head from the box then you have a figure with a helmeted head, large dagger (shortsword!) and sandals. I will probably use them as a unit of 12 levy for Scots or Irish with the javelins (I may use wire javelins for strength). They need some “green stuff” cloaks added for that to bulk them out. I guess the sandals can be hidden in static grass etc. Fair to say, they are not what I hoped they would be! Another project for me to do now. If time is not an issue maybe you could use these. Being honest I think a box of metal levy from the Beast would be better for another 8 pounds. No converting to do there and nowhere near as flimsy as these dudes.

      • Mousaka says:

        Always good to see what others are thinking! Am thinking I may go with metal models for my berserkers, as simpler, and have other Viking units in plastic, as I enjoy the building of them

      • Unless you are really into conversions, I think metal BErserkers may be the way to go as their are plenty of great models out there. Plastics are great for mass troops such as spearmen, levy etc.

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