It is friday yet again, and this time I have a brand new bag’o’bits to crack open for you guys. Some ten days ago I ordered a couple of artillery pieces from Victoria Miniatures to use as either Imperial field artillery in 40k, or a rapier mortar battery for the 30k Imperial cults and militia. I’ve been eyeing Victoria Lamb’s and Jack Schneider’s sculpts for quite some time, never finding any reason to order anything, but with my latest jump dive into the Horus Heresy I finally found one – or three!
I ordered three “Heavy Artillery” guns and a pack of mortar shells to round up the sum and get the free shipping offer. Victoria Miniatures is an Australian based company, so purchasing items for a total value of 50 dollars is almost always worth it if you only want a single pack or two – as they cost about 17USD a piece – but don’t feel like “wasting” 10 dollars on shipping fees. Compared to a lot of other retailers, three guns and an accessory pack for just over 50 dollars is a bargain hard to beat, especially considering that the British pound is so strong these days. Also, Victoria Miniatures makes some lovely Guard-compatible kits, ranging from kilt- and chem-rebreather fitted troopers, to alternative special sci-fi weaponry. I was very tempted to add their “Spanish Inquisition” trio, inspired by the Monty Python sketch, to use as warrior priests or psykers but felt that they could wait for the time being…
The quality of the cast actually turned out to be way better than I had first expected. Before committing to buy, I had looked up a couple of other reviews and knew that the casts were crisp, but I had never expected this level of detail for such a (relatively) low price! Compared to a lot of other miniature retailers the resin is perfect in terms of softness/hardness, and the bits are easily removed from the sprues without risking to snap. Nothing was bent or warped, which seems to be a problem even for the larger companies out there. Some mould lines were clearly visible after the casting process but these were easily removed by simply scraping the surface using a sharp hobby knife. Mould lines are to be expected when buying resin, what makes a good cast stand out from a bad one though is the positioning of the actual line, and all of the lines on this kit were in such places where they were accessible and easily removed.
The actual models took about 25-30 minutes to put together (not including washing the pieces beforehand) and the bits were quite easy to work with. An annoying part of the assembly process was that the package did not include any instructions at all, which meant that I had to look back and forth on the instructions and pictures of the complete gun provided on their website.
I’m very happy with how they turned out and can’t wait to paint them up over the course of the weekend. I’ve also prepared some crew members for the gun battery but you’ll have to wait until I’ve painted the guns before I post pictures of the entire battery (including the gun crew). The Great War-esque look of theese field guns means that they’ll fit perfectly in both the 41st and 31st millenium setting for human factions – whether loyalist or traitor.
Thanks to Mike from the Santa Cruz gaming community I’ve also learned that these pieces actually seem to have been inspired by real world war I trench mortars. Just take a look at the pictures below and see for yourself – the valves, levers and cogs are almost in the exact same places – not to mention the similarity of the actual gun barrel itself. Wonderlicious!
In the next article, I’ll not only show you the finished artilery battery but also talk you through a tactica on how to get the most bang for your buck when fielding Imperial heavy mortars and quad guns.
Have a great weekend!