While at my local gaming store the other night the owner asked if I was serious about the French fleet idea I had been spouting awhile ago. Of course I replied that I’m always super serious and of course I will be building a French fleet who whoop his Prussians with. With a smile on his face he pulled out one of the Gen-con only Magenta Class Battleships for the Republique of France fleet. Thus did I plop down 27.99 for the ship and happily brought her back to her new home in my basement…
I quickly opened her up last night and laid out the components with a GW Inquisitior for scale:
Looking at the picture you can see that you get enough parts to build two full ships, both the flying and the floating versions, yes you read that right; the French Fleet can fly! Now normally you would expect that things like the gun turrets would be moveable between ships, but they provide a total of 4 turrets so you can equip both ships and not have to move parts around. So you basically get 2 ships for the price of one.
The starboard side of the flying version, you can see the detail of the model and the size of it, a fairly decent sized mini.
Port side, again you get an appreciation for the size and the detail they have gotten into these minis.
Close up shot of the port side so you can see all the port holes along the entire ship and the command structure. Quite allot of detail packed into these minis! You can see all the rivets they put along the armor plates.
And both ship assembled.
I have already primered them and started on the wood decking. These guys paint up pretty fast and I am guessing that a normal sized fleet wouldn’t take long to do at all once you got going. Once I get some paint on them ill get some additional pictures up.
Now for the good and the bad of the kits.
The good, these kits were clearly cast by people who know how to make casts to minimize the flash on the mini. The resin is of superior quality to fine cast and there were no air bubbles ruining any of the detail, all I had to do was trim some flash and they were ready to go, no repairs to the mini were necessary. The price is excellent for everything you get; the kit was a pretty good bargain. Now the other ‘battleship’ kits were all similarly priced but didn’t have the additional model because only the French can fly. But they did the right thing by not forcing you to buy the two ‘modes’ of the ship separately, which I suppose they could have done.
The bad, these kits were designed to keep clean up to a minimum and maximize the detail, however that comes at a cost. Look at the port and starboard gun batteries (the three guns on the side of the ship), because of how the casts were made it forced them to model the gun barrels to the deck of the ship. Look at the pictures closely and you will see what I mean. Part of this is because of the small scale of the ships and part is because of where they cast the mold halves. It’s just hard to cast under hangs that small, It’s a very minor thing, but worth pointing out.
Overall I am in love with the mini and I’ll get the paint on shortly, but it will be awhile before I can say anything about the game play.