Finally I got my hands on the Victory at Sea ship miniatures from Mongoose Publishing. Ever since War at Sea was discontinued by WoTC I've been searching for nice miniatures in the 1/1800 scale to expand my collection.
Mongoose had announced their new line pretty short after WaS was discontinued. It took some time though
before they ended up on my desk since Mongoose did not make their release deadlines (still don't, the Denmark Strait set was set for Juli) and it seems to be pretty hard to get my hands on the ships in a FLGS in the Netherlands.
Nevertheless, I finally recieved my box with the Battle of the river Plate set and it's time for a little review!
Unfortunately, that review had to wait... As some of you already know, the VaS miniatures come with a base cast on. I'm not against bases (since I base every ship I paint or build), but the bases of the ships I received in my first set were warped and tilted in such a degree that I had to start my review not with the ships, but with the Mongoose customer service. I decided that I was not going to settle for this kind of quality, even when it only concerned the bases.
(after a lot of sanding and adding some plasticcard underneath the bases of my first ships I even got those to an acceptable level, so I ended up with 7 ships in the end)
|The replacement ships had much better bases and were made out of a grey resin|
I really dont care for packaging to be honest. So for me the most important thing is if it gets me my stuff in one piece. Which it did. The box looks a bit bland with just a photo of the ships on the front. Mongoose could do with a little bit of artwork...
The ships themselves are amazing! I have to admit that coming from WaS with its notoriously bad sculpts
Yep, I just need to put this in. Being a great fan of basing my ships myself I can see the advantages of producing the ships with cast-on bases. It provides a bit of mass to the little ships, gives a uniform appearance and its handy for gaming purposes. The thing is, I am still not overwhelmed by the quality of the bases. Eventhough the new batch of ships had much better bases than the first, there was still a slight tilt in some of them and sometimes a slight difference in thickness between the different bases. This might not be a bother to most people, it still is to me. If I make plasticcard bases or order my bases from Reacher (my supplier at the AAminis Forum) I am 100% sure they will all be the same thickness. With a little bit of polishing though, sanding the corners of the bases a bit so they become rounded, adding some water effects and a nametag, I find them acceptable. But it still is the difference between 8/10 and 9/10 for me for the minis.
There is one other thing I should mention. Since the set included Ajax and Achilles, both Leander class cruisers, it would be logical to include two identical Leander Class sculpts. I noticed though, that both are unique sculpts. There are little differences between both ships that give a nice touch of individuality. I even ended up with 3 unique sculpts because one of the replacement ships I recieved was another unique sculpt. Awesome!
In the end I am very exited about the Mongoose ships. They are very detailed and I will certainly keep an eye on their product line. To bad they lag behind their production schedule, but for me its worth the wait...
Some comparison shots with the original WAS minis: