Product Review: 1914 German and Belgian Line Infantry by Van Dyck Models & Figurines

Thank you, Games Workshop!

I know that this is a very strange way to embark on another blog post of mine, but bear with me and I’ll explain why. Thank you, Games Workshop, because without your products to enter into the bring & buy section of our local convention, I would never have wandered among the traders in a protracted attempt not to be bored, and I would never have had the pleasure of running into the friendly guys from Van Dyck Models & Figurines. The who to the what now, you say? Read on, or if you don’t trust me, visit their website: http://vandyckmodelsandfigurines.be/index.php/about_van_dyck_modelsandfigurines

They have some lovely Romans for sale, but today I’ll be covering their Great War models. These are pewter 12mm scale models; a bit of a novel format as far as I’m aware. My reasons for purchasing them is that there is a WWI supplement for Bolt Action in the pipeline, and rather than going with 28mm models again I thought I’d mix things up. With sculpts like these, it’s hard to say no. So let’s take a look.

Lovely models by Van Dyck. Not to be confused with the Baroque painter of the same name.

Lovely models by Van Dyck. Not to be confused with the Baroque painter of the same name.

These line infantry are packaged per thirty models, with two sergeants and a variety of poses (I counted about seven or eight different ones). An extra sergeant sculpt wouldn’t go amiss, as currently both the Belgian and German NCOs are waving their troops forward – a nice pose, to be sure. The infantrymen themselves have a range of poses, running, advancing, servicing their rifles, etc. and these are fantastic. The proportions are superb, with none of the oversized heads and hands as can be found on similar small scale models.

 

Same sergeant, different uniform? This is the only gripe I have with these excellent models.

Same sergeant, different uniform? This is the only gripe I have with these excellent models.

As well as the models themselves being great, they’ve also thought about basing. The models have separate integral bases – part of the reason why I chose them for Bolt Action – which rather handily slot into the resin-bases-cum-magnetised-sheets system which are separately available. The tops of these bases are pretextured – I slapped on two coats of brown wash over a white undercoat and some static grass and called it a day.

 

The French, of course, rarely saw the backs of these uniforms ;)

The French, of course, rarely saw the backs of these uniforms πŸ˜‰

Both these units were painted over a white undercoat. For the Germans I applied a single wash of drakenhof nightshade with a bit of nuln oil and then blocked in the rest of the colours. You’ll appreciate the deep detail on these models, which really surprised me for the scale. Perfection, as far as I’m concerned.

 

And just when you think I've painted enough blue...

And just when you think I’ve painted enough blue…

Similarly, with these models I worked with washes, but I first applied a lothern blue basecoat to their greatcoats before washing the models with drakenhof nightshade entirely and then nuln oil on just the greatcoats. On both units, I painted the skin with cadian fleshtone, washed it with reikland fleshshade and then highlighted with kislev flesh. Highlights on this scale are madness, so I just hit the nose, cheeks and parts of the hands as best as I could. Also, though I’d really like to, I won’t be able to paint their moustaches. Straightjackets simply aren’t fashionable this spring!

Overall, I can but give the guys at Van Dyck the praise they deserve. Much like Baccus in 6mm, the scale of 12mm wargaming models should be synonymous with ‘Van Dyck’. I just hope their releases follow apace – at the time of the convention they were finishing up their Great War officers, with – and this will surprise you – separate pistols, holsters, binoculars and the like to personalise them… in 12mm.

I won’t be attaching a quotation as reviewing is something I rarely do. Nevertheless, I heartily recommend you give one of their efforts a try, as they’re democratically priced and a joy to paint. You’ll thank me later!

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