Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

HaT's off to the Little fellows?

As I mentioned about a month ago I had bought a couple of boxes of plastics just to try them out in preparation to starting a army to face off against Barry's slowly expanding armies. Having not even decided an army it was always a bit of a punt. More important was the experience of painting the figures as the last time I painted plastics was around the age of 16 and really and in Enamels, so not really comparable. My first mistake was really just buying them, the price on the box was £4.99 whilst Harfields sell the same boxes for a little over £3 but it was only a couple of boxes so no harm done. Sure when I know exactly what I want it will be through these guys that I go.
So I have started work on the one Roman Auxiliaries pack number 8065 so what are my first observations?
Detail Quality. The detail is not as crisp as metal but it's there. Some area's such as the bottom of the chainmail vests is thin but other like the necktie is really crisp. Overall not bad at all, better than some metal castings not as good as most.
The flash is mostly reserved for the mould lines and it took me awhile to get used to how easy it is to cut away and get the touch right so all I would take away is the flash. As in some metals some of the figures have flash running through the faces, this is a real pain but what can you do.
Pose. Nice mix of standing and action. If you use the whole box you will have some great mixed posed troops in the process of engaging the enemy but also a unit or two that look like they don't want any part of the battle. The figures are cheap enough just to bin the less warlike poses I guess but are too wooden to make good casualties, though I might try a little heat experiment to double them up etc.
Problems. My box of these were missing two sprue, I did not count at the time but I should have had 45 figures but received 35, so down by 10. It seems this is a bit of a problem as Barry recently bought a box of HaT that had a Prussian Naps sprue in the box instead of the correct one. Given this was just test painting it was no big deal but a concern given the small test pool all having issues. Next problem was all down to a lack of prior knowledge. The figures come with separate spears and shields that need gluing in place. First I bought Plastic weld which had no effect on the parts what so ever. Next was normal plastic cement that held a little before pinging off. In the end I bought a glue gun and after about 20 minutes of trial had enough control to not make a total mess of it. Really not ideal so I really need to work something out for later. I plan to try harder plastic figures which should stick better and are easier to paint.
Overall the painting of them whilst not as pleasurable than metal was fine. I could have got them done quicker if I had got the gluing down in one go but I can paint them fairly fast so getting an army together should not be an issue aside from picking it, and getting it into the schedule as all other painting is off whilst I get the WWII stuff sorted (well maybe get my camp done for FoG).
Overall I was pleased with the result. I really like the mix of poses and as I have not stuck to rigid lines they have the look of about to make contact. Whilst I copied the box art for these two units (I did not research at all for this!!) the shields are missing two little half moons next to the boss, this is because I did not trust myself not to make a mess of them and I really liked the results I had achieved on the shields as it was. Shown are two units based for Impetus.
Not 100% happy with HaT, the shields did not fit the plugs on the figures hands but I did like the idea of having two so you could vary the pose. Also the difficulty of gluing was a pain but looking at the price and range HaT are still a good buy. But even so I will try my hand at a few other ranges and see what I come up with. Right now I plan to just get what I have worked through some and then go after my 20mm army. In the meantime I will happily continue to play with Barry's figures.


  1. I was able to enlarge the top picture and it came out so good, that it could be a blog banner.

    Well done.

  2. Why thanks' I don't think anyones said that to me before LOL

    My wife takes the pictures, she seems to have a flair for it so a lot of the credit has to go to Cath.

  3. I've been visiting lots of 20mm plastic blogs recently, and may give them a go myself one day. I really am a strictly metal man, but the price of some of these figures is so cheap, you'd be silly not to give them a go. Not sure if I'd be to keen on all the glueing bits and bobs on, that does look a pain. But I think you've made a fine job of the figures and I'm sure on box No 12 you'll be a dab ol' hand at it!!

  4. Not all figures need the glue job. Plastic Soldier Review is an excellent place to go to find out just about anything you need to know really


  5. And did you notice that I left out the word cute? I almost said it today on someone else's blog and then I caught myself.


  6. Your restraint is appreciated LOL


  7. Cracking job Ian.
    HaT are ok, but not the best roman plastics available, as you have noticed, a bit wooden in the pose dept and the detail does lack a lot to be desired. Still, in thier defence they are one of the older sets from HaT and they have improved thier sculpting since. Zvezda. Now there´s some pretty looking romans, sadly the range isn´t that great and for the sculpting they are comparable to metal, but still way cheaper and of course caeser but again, the range is limited.
    The really, really good thing about them, is, due to thier cheapness, you can afford to bung out the ones that don´t fit the look youré after and after a decent speed paintjob, en masse they look the business.

  8. Paul, thanks for your views, as are the plastic guy (grin) your points hold a lot of weight. Yes the price to quantity is very attractive and will allow for a fairly good army at a proportion of the price of lead. Still it's mostly the desire to face off against Barry after contributing something that is driving me at the moment.