Lately, as an Imperial Guard collector (enough of that Astra Militarum nonsense thankyou!) I've been more and more attracted to Victoria Miniatures' alternative guard offering and less attracted to what GW have been turning out. Aside from the aforementioned Scions pack that provided so many spare parts for my INQ28 projects, I haven't actually bought an entire GW kit for about a year.
Instead my money has been spent on Victoria Miniatures and Forgeworld. I thought I'd take this post to explain why and show off a few a couple of minis that I purchased from Vic a month or two ago.
Part of my problem with the GW IG range is that Cadians are inherently vanilla. With the fluff and background that GW have access to you would really think that their flagship IG product range would have a little more ... well ... interest. With Victoria Minis you get the complete opposite. Granted Vic has always offered complete squads, but part of the attraction for me is that she also offers a large range of mix and match bits allowing for any number of combinations. (The fact that they work well with the few GW special weapons that I quite like is also a plus).
My larger gripe with GW however has to be the CAD design that comes along with mass produced plastic minis. I'll allow for the fact that they have gotten better over the years, but for me, there is still something a little sterile, a little .... plastic ... about a CAD designed mini. Now I know that mass producing plastic sprues does not lend itself well to hand sculpting each and every single individual model. But while some of GW's ranges are amazing (Dark Eldar for instance) the poor old IG range seems to have been left behind in Cadian, smooth armour, lack of fine detail hell. A few extra details would make all the difference. Studs on the shoulder pads for instance, rolled sleeves, a few nice looking respirator heads. The biggest thing, however, is that GW seem almost wilful in ignoring the demands of their IG customer base. The fans have been crying out for plastic Steel Legion for years.
If GW released a few guard alternatives, I for one would be tempted to return to the GW fold. At least until Vic's next release :)