Who makes the best plastic 1/72 orcs? A few years ago that would have been a strange question, but the state of 1/72 fantasy minis has slowly blossomed so that there are now choices to be had. The basic choices for 1/72 fantasy, as readers of this blog probably know, are Caesar Miniatures and Red Box/Alliance. A lot of people are put off by the cartoony look of the Caesar orcs and prefer the LotR-inspired models by Alliance. But I didn't mind the "greenskin" look and prefer Caesar's modeling to the flat sculpts we seem to get from Alliance. Their 3rd set of orcs, though, seemed to have a lot of interesting sculpts worth checking out. I haven't seen a review of these yet with height comparisons, so I thought I'd feature them here.
The set comes with 9 (presumably) male and one (obviously) female sculpt. The males are shown above. Unlike the other more uniform Alliance orcs (see 1/72 Multiverse for a review), these guys have a lot of variety, from almost unarmored to the heavily armored fellow near the middle. While still fairly flat, the poses are also fairly lively.
The one downside is the height. These aren't quite as short as Sven as they appear (due to shorter bases), but they still are not quite human-sized. This shouldn't be surprising, really: Alliance is clearly inspired by Lord of the Rings, which describes orcs as a little more runty than we often see in modern fantasy. But I like my orcs to be a little more imposing. I'm guessing the new half-orc sets Alliance is releasing would fit my tastes a little better, as they're clearly based on the more menacing Uruk-Hai.
The female orc from this set is on the right; I featured this sculpt in my post on female character minis. It's a little taller than the other figures in this set. It's also not obviously orcish, meaning it could be used for an orc or human character, depending on how you paint it.
All in all, it's a fine set with a lot of variety, and if you don't mind the their size, they're worth picking up.
Update (11/12/2014): Benno's forum member "zirrian" asked for a comparison between Alliance orcs and LotR figures from Games Workshop, and I realized I could oblige. Here it is:
|Caesar orc, Alliance orc, GW "Mines of Moria" goblin, Sven|