May 16, 2011

Alternative to Battlefront FOW miniatures

My last Maelstrom order included a flyer for a range of miniatures made by 'Forged in Battle' a new company specialising in 15mm WW2 miniatures. Always on the look out for a bargain I did some internet trawling to check out comparisons between their range and those of Battlefront, the principle FOW supplier.

Overall, the reviews are very favourable and consensus seems to be that this new supplier offers a solid alternative to the existing Battlefront range particularly when it comes to vehicles.

The FiB range does, as you would expect, differ from Battlefront in the size of each model. But they are close enough to make them very workable and the differences are not that noticeable. More importantly they are significantly cheaper than the Battlefront products.

For example a FiB German PzIV Platoon of 4 tanks can be ordered from Maelstrom for £16.20 or at the current exchange rate NZ$32. An equivalent boxed set from Battlefront in New Zealand would cost you NZ$85 for 5 tanks, or purchased as individual models NZ$68 plus postage for 4 tanks.

FiB PzIV Platoon box set

FiB PzIV in white resin - Battlefront PzIV in black & metal (All FiB vehicles come mounted on bases)

The infantry ranges are also pretty good and offer range of poses different to those of Battlefront but again at a slightly different size. Although if you made up a full Platoon no-one is going to notice the difference.

Deciding to trust the various reviews I read I opted to buy a boxed set of Halftracks and a Heavy Mortar Platoon.

For £7 you get a set of 4 Mortars plus a couple of cool looking trailers to add detail to the basing. I won't use the figures as I have a lot of spare FJ mortar crews at home (thanks Les) which I will base up for them. £7 or NZ$14 is damn cheap and its a lot more cost-effective to buy them like this than to try and get individual mortars through Battlefront.

I also purchased a Platoon set of 4xSdKfz 251/1 halftracks. for £15 or NZ$30 which again is cheaper than Battlefront pricing (although this is higher now as Maelstrom is no longer allowed to stock FOW miniatures). A Platoon set of 4xSdKfz 250's costs NZ$58 and the equivalent SdKfz 251's which have to be purchased individually would cost you NZ$68 plus postage.

Hopefully they should be arriving soon as I can add these guys to my Hells Highway list or use them as the beginnings of a PzGr company.

The overall FiB range is not as extensive as Battlefront, being a newish company, and is heavily weighted towards Germany at the moment but they appear to be adding new models all the time. British & Soviet players will find very little to offer as yet, but American players have a reasonable range of armoured vehicles. Given that the next FOW army I want to start is an Irish Guards Armoured Company from Hells Highway the FiB Sherman Platoons (from the American range) at the same competitive pricing will be where I start.


lap1964 said...

Hi John,
Just be awear with FIB,you don't get the bases,or HQ and OBs teams for the 120mm mortars.But hopefully you have enough FJ figures to cover these? Also you will find there is no way to use the SdKfz 251/1s with lists ot of HH,you need SdKfz 250/1 and 9.

John M said...

Yeah i did notice the absence of HQ & Obs but I have enough spare figures for those.

And BUGGER RE: SdKfz's your right - oh well I can always proxy them and use for them for something else. The models are pretty cool. Guess ill have to buy the 250/9's from Battlefront.

Allan and Carmen said...

Its also worth looking at The Plastic Soldier Company.

I have some of their excellent T-34's which come with additional T-34/85 turrets.

They have just released a great Panzer IV boxed set that allows you to make 3 different variants including the Panzer IVH.

They are working on Half-tracks and others as well.

Zvedza (Spelling) have also started to release 15mm scale Aircraft and vehicles that have reviewed nicely.

Since I am clumsy and have dropped the odd resin BF model I prefer the plastics which are just as good on the table. No miscast track pieces as well. Or two left tracks :)

Both companies are working on more models for future releases.

I started playing Flames of War in version 1 and love it. I was hoping for more when they started to release plastic tracks for the Sherman tanks and german halftracks.

I have been looking at the FIB models as well.

Hope this helps.

Happy Gaming,