Friday, January 9, 2015

Wargames Factory AWI kits

People don't tend to believe me when I talk about the quality of the newest line of Wargames Factor plastic kits: the American War for Independence (AWI). I can understand why. I bought a box of Shock Troops years ago, and while the price was amazing for what you get there is certainly no doubt that the quality does not match something like the GW Cadian kits. I also own boxes of both Vikings and Samurai by WGF. Both of these lines have their own issues as well. Some of the Viking weapons are small, the samurai in general are a bit dinky, and both of them need the weapons to be glued into their hands. While this certainly gives a lot of flexibility it can be a total pain and often doesn't look quite right. So believe me when I say that while happy with WGF, I am no fanboy. Now with that preface I must declare that the AWI range are some of the nicest plastic models I have ever seen!

There are a number of reasons I believe this to be the case:
1. The detail is sharp, crisp, and plentiful. We're talking raised buttons, smooth cloth waves and folds, and plenty of differentiation between peices. There are some exceptions (around the cartridge boxes and boyonet scabbards), but in general the raised details are obvious and therefore easy for even a beginning painter like myself to pick out.

2. Head options galore! Each kit comes with a ton of heads. The British have options for tricorns, left side cocked, jockey caps, and grenadiers. The Continentals get tricorns, jockey caps, "Tarleton" helmets (for making Washington's Life Guard), and uncocked felt. It looks like the Militia box (which I don't yet own) also has several options including knit stocking caps. by mixing and matching these options you can create a HUGE number of combinations between all of the kits.

3. Variety of poses. Now this can be seen as both a pro and a con depending on your gaming system. For a game like Black Powder, it probably looks better to have most of your figures at the same point in their drill (militia excepted of course!). You wouldn't be able to pull that off with just one of these kits. For a game like Muskets and Tomahawks though, the variety of poses works perfectly for the skirmish scale and flavor of the game.

All of these bulds were created with just the Continentals kit!

4. Color instruction sheets. Each kit comes with a color coded sheet that shows you which pieces are used for every pose. For instance the drummer might be all of the "M" bits on the sprue, and the picture would show them all as, let's say green. That makes it simple to find them on the sprue and to make sure I'm not missing anything. Oh yeah, and the bits are labeled on the sprue as well. ;)

I obviously think these kits are amazing, but I also feel that they're perfect for someone who is interesting in playing Muskets and Tomahawks. The continental kit alone can make over 300 points of an American force. Throw in a militia box for not only militia but also riflemen and you have a diverse and LARGE force that is quick to assemble (for plastics) and quick to paint.

Here's a few more WIP Brits just so you can get an idea of the variety from each box. Remember there's only a single box of British troops out, but you can build so many units!

 Also, here's a quick pic of my North Star metal Rangers. I'm still getting a handle on the photography end of things, so bear with me.


  1. As a longtime member of the plastic injection molding industry, I approve of this review.

    As a longtime member of the miniatures wargame hobby, I love the variety you get from these types of kits. But man, I hate gluing stuff. Still, these seem like a great deal!

  2. Just got all 4 kits that Wargames Factory makes for AWI and have started to put together the Colonial Militia - excellent models and great instructions. My first foray into this genre and am very glad I chose these models. I am putting together a few forces for my friends and I to play Muskets and Tomahawks - I believe I will get quite a few pts of at least British and Colonials, with 24 models of Indians as well to be added on either side. I now need to look for some good French models as well. Any ideas?