Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Gorgon Studios 28mm Polish 10th Mechanised Review

Disclaimer: I'm going with Osprey Publishing Men at Arms 117 - The Polish Army 1939-1945 that refer to this unit as the 10th Mechanised Brigade.  They are also known as 10th Mechanized Brigade and 10th Motorised Brigade.  I am going to keep it simple and just call them the "10th Mech"

All miniatures in this article are painted by me.

The 10th Mechanised Brigade

These guys were Poland's only fully mechanised unit at the outbreak of war, it was known as the Black Brigade from the black leather coats worn by some mechanised personnel.  It was also unique in retaining the old German 1916 helmet. - Osprey Publishing Men at Arms 117 - The Polish Army 1939-1945 pg 8.

Review of Gorgon Studio's Miniatures

Currently there are only 2 options available to represent the 10th Mech in 28mm.  Warlord Games have a squad of "10th Motorised".  These consist of 1 NCO in the black leather jacket and 9 troops in greatcoats.  Yes the 10th did mix greatcoats and leather jackets, some argue it was only the NCOs and officers that wore the the black leather jackets, some argue it was only their motorcycle troops that wore the black leather jackets, it could go on and on however lets agree that there was a good mix of greatcoats and leather jackets.

The other option is Gorgon Studio's who do a brilliant range of the 10th Mech all in leather jackets.  Gorgon's Miniatures are called "Polish 10th Mechanized" - just to add to the confusion.  Gorgon Studios only have 5 options available.  2 x Rifleman options (8 varying sculpts), 1 x Officers and NCOs (4 varying sculpts),  1 x BAR Team (4 varying sculpts),  and 1 x Support Weapons (4 varying sculpts).

28mm Polish 10th mechanised mechanized motorised motorized minatures
A Squad of Gorgon Studios 10th Mech in 28mm 
Gorgon Studios is based in the USA and I am based in Australia.  To save on horrendous postage costs from the USA my good friends Zane and Chris ordered some Gebirgsjager and Greek Partisans respectfully.  We got the postage down to about $9AUD each.

All the miniatures are cast in metal.  At first I was super impressed with the sculpts however I noticed a couple of things.  Firstly I didn't realise the range is sculpted by two different artists.  Steve Saleh sculpts the majority of the 10th Mech and Mike Owen sculpts 4 of the rifleman.  I have no idea why this is the case but somehow the range works although when you look at the finer details you notice the differences, some good some bad.

Mike Owen Sculpts

28mm Polish Miniatures
4 of the 8 rifleman from Gorgon. Mike Owen has sculpted the 4 above
I am a huge fan of Mike Owen.  He is Artizan Designs sculptor and has produced some brilliant miniatures.  He has also been commissioned to sculpt much of Gorgon Studio's range.  In true Mike Owen fashion his sculpts are awesome and a dream to paint.  The details are crisp and very obvious.  I always struggle a little with eyes that he sculpts and with my Polish I painted them "The Raccoon" way.  The helmets contrast the most with the other sculpts in the 10th Mech Range which are done by Steve Saleh.

Artizan Designs Gorgon Studios Comparison
Does this look familiar?  Artizan Panzer Lehr and Gorgon Pole sculpted by Mike Owen

Steve Saleh Sculpts

Steve Saleh as I believe currently works for Warlord Games.  He is a great sculptor.  His Polish are rather nice however are quite different to Mike Owen's.  I am partially biased to Owen's sculpts as they are consistent however Saleh brings his own touch to the range.  His sculpts remind me of some of Black Tree Designs miniatures.

28mm Polish 10th Mech Miniatures
Some of the Steve Saleh's Sculpts
28mm Polish 10th miniature
My favorite Steve Saleh miniature in the range.  A joy to paint.

Did Saleh once sculpt for Black Tree Designs?  BTD DAK German and Gorgon Pole

My biggest criticism would be the lack of detail in the rifle's by Steve Saleh.  Now I am no miniature sculptor but everything else he has done in the range looks great, the rifles are just flat and lacking detail.  My NCO had a horribly miscast rifle,  I ended filing it out and replacing it with a plastic Warlord US M1 Garand Rifle.

Gorgon Studios Polish miscast
Gorgon Polish NCO and Officer.  The rifles lack detail and my NCO's was doomed!

Gorgon Studios Polish NCO
No surprises here it snapped off when I tried bending it back

Gorgon Studios Polish Conversion
Replaced with a Warlord Plastic US M1 Garand.  The perfect crime.
28mm Polish NCO Gorgon Studios
Gorgon Polish NCO with replaced Rifle.
The helmets Saleh sculpts are probably more realistically proportioned to what Owen has done however when mixed together they still look great.  I was quite impressed with the BAR Team Saleh sculpted.

10th Mech BAR Team
10th Mech BAR Team

28mm Polish 10th Mech BAR Team Squad Loader
10th Mech BAR Team, a different angle.  Note the flat looking rifle.

Comparison With Other Ranges

The Gorgon Studio's 10th Mech are very well scaled for 28mm and mix well with other ranges.

28mm Miniature Comparison Artizan Gorgon BTD Warlord
Left to right. Artizan Metal, Gorgon Saleh , BTD Metal, Warlord Plastic, Warlord Metal, Gorgon Owen
In Summary

Overall Gorgon Studio's Polish 10th Mech range are excellent.  I have no doubt they will mix well with Warlord's 10th Mech Range.  The Gorgon Studio's miniatures required little cleanup in comparison to what I have experienced with some of Warlord's metals.  The price is reasonable and if like me, you don't live in the USA, try and get a friend on board to save on postage.  The miniatures were a joy to paint and very simple to do.  With a black undercoat, half the work is done!

Although I haven't included the full range in this review, I do own it and future posts will have these great miniatures painted!

Gorgon look like they are expanding their WW2 Range with recent additions of Greek Partisans and German Fallshirmjager.  Lets hope they continue to do so and people support them.