Victrix News Update

Sorry it has been so long since we updated the website. Victrix only being me (Steve Hales) and Julian it is hard to find the time to do some of the Website admin jobs amongst all our other work which keeps us very busy. We have slapped each other on the wrists for being so neglectful and I drew the short straw to do this long update!

It certainly has not been quiet for us as we have been spending most of the past year in research and development of new methods for producing plastic sets with our tooling company. This will enable us to gain more momentum with regular releases. So this has involved researching digital sculpting and tooling.

One of the problems with some digital sculpts is that they can look a little lifeless and stiff. There are exceptions to this rule, namely being Games Workshop and Zvezda who do some wonderful sets.

Quite often the computer sculptors involved are very good sculptors but generally don’t understand that what looks good on screen, does not translate well to a finished plastic model, resulting in soft ill-defined detail. So part of the learning curve we have been going through has been working with our sculptors to help them understand the connection between their work and the finished product. We have been experimenting with totally digital sculpting, and scanning of traditionally made masters, and combinations of the two.

We are happy with the progress we have made and will be releasing our first partially computer generated set as soon as possible after Salute. This will be the Hanoverians set. The main bulk of the set is the British centre company set VX0001 but with added head pads containing Hanoverian heads in Stovepipe shako, Belgic shako (with plume on the front for Hanoverian Line Battalions) and soft caps. This is a small set for us to test the technology and sharpness of detail. Initially this set was advertised to be released at Salute but we wanted to sharpen the detail and had to resolve undercut issues which caused longer than expected delays. Our sculptor has done a lovely job adding character to the faces. We will be showing some images of the heads soon.

The British Light Battalions set is also delayed along with the Hanoverians. They will follow later in the year after the Hanoverians, as we really felt we wanted to add in the British Riflemen sculpts we showed off a year or so ago. The Rifles were put on hold due to not being able to see a way of selling enough boxes to make them viable economically. However, adding them to the light Battalions set solves that problem to a degree, and adding heads for 95thand 60thRifles plus KGL light Battalion heads gives them a lot more versatility.

The recent advert for Wargames illustrated stated a lot of products we hoped to have out for Salute, however most won’t be out in time we are sorry to say. The problem sometimes with print advertising is ads must be submitted a long time in advance of publication. So sometimes we really don’t know if a product will be ready in time - but can’t leave it out of the advert in case it is. A time machine would be very handy in these circumstances!

New products out for Salute will be the new unobtrusive movement trays. We have an infantry and cavalry set. We should be receiving test shots for those in about a week’s time. A lot of movement trays we looked at on the market seemed to stand out too high from the table. We kept our trays as thin as we could go before causing problems coming out of the mould, with thin edges so there were no large spaces between trays alongside each other. The infantry tray is 120mm by 40mm internal dimensions and the cavalry tray is 100mm by 50mm internal dimensions with a little jiggle room to account for basing material overspill. We also added a very slight lip to the underside of the tray to enable easy pick up from the table - which can be difficult with thin trays and large Wargamer fingers!

The new 54mm figures are delayed and won’t be out for Salute. If the situation changes we will keep you up to date.

New releases will be in resin and comprise 2 packs of French standard bearers, a British Light Battalion officer and sergeant with pike. They will follow as soon as possible after Salute and will then be followed by 54mm British and French artillery.

The gun we have been making for the resin 54mm French artillery is a computer generated model, as was our British gun from our 28mm plastic set. This is then going on to become a master for the 28mm French artillery we plan to release this year. Initial plans for these would be pre-Bardin regulation set with 8 and 12 pounders and a howitzer of Gribeauval design. (And yes, we know the French were using the XI system as well at this time alongside captured Prussian and Austrian pieces but we can’t make everything or please everybody.) We would then make a later French artillery set in Bardin uniforms with XI system 6 and 12 pounders with howitzers.

Other sets schedules for release this year will be our Punic Wars Romans we showed at Salute last year plus a set of unarmoured Greek Hoplites and a set of Greek javelin men / Peltasts. We are looking at adding archers and slingers to these two Greek sets. These will really help round out our armoured Hoplite sets we released last year.

So to conclude we are making huge strides with the development of new products using the latest digital technology. This will allow us to fabricate new tools much faster than the traditional methods we have adopted in the past. We know it has been a bit slow from Victrix so far this year, but everything seems to be slotting into place to have a much more vibrant latter half to 2013.
Julian Blakeney-Edwards
Julian Blakeney-Edwards

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