Sometimes half is enough

"If you build it, they will come."  Or in this case will it be "If you make them, they will sell."  I've heard this opinion from a few people about the idea of hard plastic 28mm halfling miniatures.  Well
it looks like Wargames Atlantic is about to put that to the test.  Just in time for Christmas their second hard plastic fantasy miniature set is now available - Halfling Militia.


Before this, if you wanted halflings they were in metal - either from Games Workshops Middle Earth licensed games or from resin from Westfalia miniatures.  Unfortunately metal is expensive, and most people do not enjoy working with them.  Plus they are harder to convert than hard plastic.  So Wargames Atlantic saw the market and jumped in.

Base price is $34.95 per box of 40 - and if you get them in bulk (my son and I split an order of 10) you can get them as low as $26.50 per box.  That is only $0.66 per model - and getting any decent models for less than a dollar each is challenging.

Each box contains 8 sprues that each make 5 models


The sprue has 5 different bodies, 15 heads, 2 bows, three 'shooting' (2 with arrows, one without) arms, 2 pikes, 2 halberds (one of each in a resting position over the shoulder, the other uses 2 hands to hold it), 2 left arms (for the forward facing pike and halberd), 2 slings, two empty left arms, one empty right arm, one arm holding a knife, one buckler, 2 quivers of arrows and right arm holding a horn and a frying pan (as well as a standard top).  It does appear that all the heads are unique, though some of the ones with helmets are nearly identical.  Still, this gives a tremendous variety of models possible on this one sprue.

In addition, the joint for the arms are flat, so you are free to position the arms as you like (within reason), though the two handed weapons do dictate the position of the arms a bit.

With 40 models in a box, this is ideal for making units.  However if you are looking to make units of similarly armed models, then a bit of planning is required.  A sprue can make at most 2 of any type of armed model (i.e archers, slings, halberds or pikes) and only one with a hand weapon/shield (ok 2 of you want to arm one with a frying pan).

I assembled a sprue of the models to get a feel for them.


Haflings are traditionally not great at close combat, being better at shooting due to their small stature.  So of course they have bows


These are my two favorite heads - the 'bandit' and the 'robin hood' (as I want to call them).  They seem to fit the archers very well, the 'bandit' nicely going with the body that has a hood.  However take some care with the arms holding the arrows, as the arrows are VERY thin and easily broken (robin hood already broke his if you look carefully).


If they have to fight in combat, they prefer try to keep their enemies at a distance then with either halberds or pikes.  both have a long reach, and the pikes especially are over twice the height of the models.


The is only one shield and hand weapon per sprue. The shield (a buckler actually) and easily be added to one of the pole-arm hands, though if you want a model with just it and a hand weapon, the only way I could see to do that was to use one of the left arms without a hand (to hold the pole-arm).  The other left arms both stand straight out from the body (which makes sense if you think of them counter-balancing with a sling, but no so much for holding a shield).

The models went together easily.  You will need a very sharp hobby knife to clean up the bows, arrows and pole arms where the sprue attaches - at this point I was doing a quick job and you can obviously see where they still need cleaned up.  The mold lines are not bad, and all tend to be on the sides (not through the face like I've seen on some models).

Position the 2 handed pole-arms is always trickier, though it is easier with hard plastics than with metal or resin (as the hard plastic cement has much greater working time than superglue, as well as being a bit inherently 'sticky' on the parts).

I wanted to see how the models compared with some others, so I grabbed some various Mantic models (because I'm going to use these for a League of Rhordia demo army (at least until Mantic releases a Halfling army list).

Pike v Undead Balefire skeleton crew
Halfling v Halflling Vampire
Halberd v orc moreax
Archer v Northern Alliance clansman
Archer v Druid
Lastly, halfling v Thuul (which are half halfling and half octopus)
So far my planned League of Rhordia 1000 pt list looks like

Halfling Brave Horde
Halfling Archer Horde
Halfling Knight Regiment
Pole-Arms Block Regiment w/Indomitable Will
Honor Guard Horde w/Indomitable Will
Volley Gun
Wizard w/Heal(3)
Army Standard Bearer

I plan on using halflings for ALL the models, the some actually have the "human" keyword instead.

As the models are small, I figure that anything but full model count units will just look too empty.    My count has 120 models (2 infantry hordes of 40, 1 infantry regiment of 20, 1 cavalry regiment of 10, 1 large cavalry horde of 6, 2 volley gun crew and 2 heroes).  However to get all the 'correct' options, I actually will need 4 boxes.

The trickiest one is the braves - 4 boxes is 32 sprues - so 32 hand weapons and 32 bucklers.  Eight models will thus need to have frying pans (or maybe some other small swords left over from other model kits), and eight will not have shields (or some other shields again left over).  The rest should be easy (I could make 64 archers but only need 40).  I also need to get cavalry and large cavalry mounts for them - not sure what I would use for those yet (Westfalia has some resin cav models (riding either pigs or goats) that I might use.

Overall a nice box set - just make sure you are prepared for second breakfast for all these hungry little guys! I'm not sure that I like the weaponry distribution, but that is more a personal choice (I'd be happier if they had not gotten rid of all the halfling choices in Uncharted Empires that fit them, but that wasn't my call).  I'll have to see how they paint up after the holidays (and I get through all the changes to my existing demo armies :-) ).

Because it is all fun and games . . .

Comments

  1. They look pretty good! I agree the weapon options are a bit limiting, slings are neat but would've preferred x-bows. Also kinda feel like they should've went for either 4 pikes or 4 pole-arms, this in-between makes building units difficult. I hope they come out with a plastic halfling cavalry of some sort (goats/ponies)

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