The figures arrived in their plastic "figure case" which Mantic use to pack all their figures in and which they say can then be used to store the built up figures in afterwards. Not sure just how useful this box actually is, yes the built up figures will fit in the box but without some more packing (you get 2 soft foam sheets) there must be a danger of the figures rattling about and chipping your paintwork.
In the Orc Ax Regiment box you get 5 of these
And 1 command sprue
As can be seen from the picture the main figure sprue each contains 3 torso and leg models, 4 separate right arms, 2 left arms 3 heads and an Ax. A total of 15 models can be built up, 3 of which could be used to represent command figures
Not sure why Mantic have decided to mould 1 of the torsos with a head, when the others can use the optional heads. If they had all been moulded with the option of using different heads that would have greatly increased the variety of poses you could make. As it is you now have 5 bodies which will all have the same head.
The 3 optional heads on the main sprue
The command sprue contains 1 more optional head
Looks like he is wearing a Top Hat!
2 of the 3 torsos have plugs for fitting on the optional right and left arms again increasing the options of varying the figure poses. Again why Mantic felt it necessary to have 1 of the torsos with it's left arm already fixed instead of making it an optional I don't know, but it would have led to even more variety if they had done.
The plug let's you vary the position of the relevant arm
A word of caution though. If you are going to play about with the arm position, I'd recommend you widen the receiving hole in the arm as it is a very tight fit and if you are twiddling the arm about while attached to the peg you may end up snapping the peg (as happened in my case!)
So built up a Mantic Orc can look like this -
Detail on the figure is pretty good. No flash on any of the figures and minimal mould lines. The body is equipped with a mix of leather, chain and bits of plate armour, quite a ramshackle mix as you would expect from an Orc. All of the arms come with a shoulder guard, in some cases quite a detailed guard with moulded Orcish/Chaos faces, very nicely done.
The shields are plain and spiky but I quite like their shape, different from the usual round or kite shape shields. And as befitting an "Ax Regiment" the figures are all armed with Axes.
The Command Sprue allows you to convert 1 of your figures into a Drummer and also presumably a Leader figure although the weapon arm on the Command sprue was not holding a particularly big and impressive Ax! There is also a Standard which is a Dwarf head impaled on a pole. It would have been nice though to have had a cross bar on this in order to have the option of hanging a banner from it.
So the big question - How do they compare with a GW Orc?
Well as can be seen the pictures , the GW Orc is much more bulky all round, the head in particular being very large compared with his Mantic brethren and perhaps not surprisingly the GW weapons being suitably over sized. But I like the pose of the Mantic Orc, the crouched position gives a menacing feel to the figure whereas the GW have almost become caricatures of themselves, almost comic like with some of the facial expressions and bulging muscle development. But I suspect it will be for most people a matter of taste with one major proviso - price.
The Orc Ax Regiment is priced on the Mantic site at £13.99 (online retailers, such as Wayland Games will sell them cheaper) for which you get 15 figs which works out at about £0.94 per figure. The current GW box set, which contains 10 models for £18.00 direct from GW (again online retailers will probably sell them cheaper) or £1.80 per model, so almost double the price. And the more models you buy from Mantic in one order, the cheaper they get. for example, the Mantic Orc Detachment which contains 30 models is priced on their web site at £24.99 or £0.83 per model.
In my mind there is no reason why you can't have both in your Orc Army. The different makes could represent different tribes, or the GW Orcs being bigger models could represent Big 'Uns, like I say it will be up to your taste but I definitely like them and it will be interesting to see how Mantic develop the range. Next up will be their Orc Great Ax warriors and also their "Gore Riders" which are Orcs mounted on massive boar like creatures.
Just to add another contender to the mix, My mate GordonY bought some of the new Orcs from Wargames Factory and he picked these up at Carronade at a price of £15 for 24 figs or £0.63 per figure. If you clink on Gordon's link you will see some pictures of some built up models that he has done. No size comparison with a GW Orc but I suspect they are a slighter build and taller than the Mantic ones. I'll see if I can pinch one off him for a comparison pic.
One other thing that Mantic have done. On the sprues they have included some tiny figures, possibly too small to even be considered as Snotlings, to use the GW terminology, although that is their most obvious use.
Now who is this cheeky wee fella?
Nice wee fun figures, certainly there is enough of them to do a Snotling Swarm or just decorate the base of your Orc Boys.
So I would definitely recommend you have a look if you are an Orc player and looking for a cheaper option to bulk out your Army with. Two Thumbs Up!!