Monday, September 8, 2014

Are PSC/BF LW British Compatible?

Hey All!

A little while ago, I received the Plastic Soldier Companies LW British Infantry boxed set and painted up a few figures to get a feel for them. The good news is that they do fit in well with BF LW British figures but how good are they? Direct comparison to BF is not really fair as PSC's are plastic and BF's are metal but here are my observations...

Battlefront (BF) on right, Plastic Soldier Company (PSC) on left.

Figures: Flash and mold lines are present on both companies figures. If you are like me, you will spend a lot of time removing and still miss some...(pant leg on prone figure below) though only the close-ups will reveal.  PSC face and hand detail is different than BF but is still excellent.  Though most PSC faces are all the same, there are a few yelling figures that are well modelled.  Size-wise, both companies are very similar. PSC tends to have uniform body size throughout the casts whereas BF have a few waist-less, or dwarf figures with long legs. Due to horrible body proportions, there are a few real stinkers in the BF camp but both companies suffer from no-neck-itis...

Poses: I thought at first that BF had many more poses than PCS but after counting, I came up with 9 x rifleman poses each with BF having 3 x Bren gunners vs PSC's x 2.  There are many more NCOs and Officers poses with BF.

Equipment: BF figures is more accurate in placement. The water bottle and respirator bag are reversed on the PSC figures and knapsack is a bit on the large side.  Side detail is missing but this is an issue with all plastic injection-molded figures (including BF). Helmets are slightly more realistic looking on PSC figures as BF's are too flat on the sides for the 'Turtle' Mk.III.  As to variation of the type of equipment carried, BF spices it up a bit with an occasional deployed bayonet or shovel tucked under the pack.  PSC riflemen are all carrying exactly the same, water-bottle, folded entrenching tool, knapsack and respirator.

Weapons: PSC's Bren gun ROCKS! The detail is perfect for this scale. BUT the SMLE rifles are a very simplified affair. You will have to paint in the details that are not present as they are on the BF rifles. PSC Stens are slightly better, edging out BF in both detail and scale. The same for the PIAT and 50mm mortar.

Uniforms: PSC's detail is 'softer' than BF's. There is not as much relief and folds tend to be rounder. This one aspect of PSC figures took me the most to get used to and it wasn't until I had fully finished a figure that I was able to feel comfortable with this look. To be honest, I didn't think they would look good at all and I had to force myself to finish but once done, I was happy with the results.

Conclusion: Both companies offerings have pros and cons. I have always felt that for durability, the metal figures are going to stand the test of time as even on the sprue, there were a few bent rifles with the dreaded 'white' stress lines showing on the PSC figures.  Metal figures do suffer from this as well and rifles and arms will break if bent one too many times but plastic is slightly more prone.  Plastic will take a fair bit of bashing before the paint chips start to show and do tend to survive better in freefall so if your opponent is klutzy or ill-tempered, this may be better for you.

If you have bags of money, buy them both and use them together. They will look fine, even on the same base.  If on a budget, buy the PSC as they are much cheaper and will get you gaming without stealing from your kids college fund!




Paul Waechter said...

Great review, thanks!

Dai said...

Concise, thanks very much!

Chevalier de la Terre said...

Great post Troy: I agree with all your thoughts. Despite having some drawbacks, the "new style" PSC infantry are a vast improvement on the old. The lack of Rifle detail was the most annoying part for me.


Cameron said...

Good review. It's nice to see some of the PSC models painted up. I'd be interested to see a comparison with Battlefront plastic infantry as well. After painting up the plastic Battlefront Paratroopers and Grenadiers I am still a bit undecided. The detail is crisper overall but does suffer in some places. I find the metal models a little easier to paint with the overall larger details and surfaces. I get really annoyed with the flashing and miscast areas on the metal figures though.

The painting style used on the PSC models looks like it has to be different. The folds are much less pronounced and I see that you have painted in highlights to add detail. Battlefront models might be easier for a beginner to paint then?

Troy Ritter said...

Hey Cameron,

Well for cost, ease of prep and simplification of clothing detail, PSC would be easier but probably not look as good when done.