Sunday, August 26, 2012
Forces of Valor - Toy Soldiers
Forces of Valor came into the Toy Soldier scene approximately 10 years ago, shortly after 21st Century Toys began production of armored vehicles. They also go by the name Unimax. Forces of Valor has produced high-end die cast vehicles for the most part, but it has also released a few figure sets. Its vehicles sometimes also contain figures as part of the crew or to enrich the scene around it. Their figure sets also contain a good number of accessories, such as sandbags, furniture, boxes, etc. The figures come factory painted and they are also unique in the sense that the base is detachable. I don't like that in particular because you have to put them together again when you deploy them and I have not found a good glue to keep them together. Considering FOV's output in terms of vehicles it would have been nice if they had produced a few more figure sets. They certainly seem to have the sculpting and manufacturing capability.
Forces of Valor German Infantry - Part I
These are the first series of FOV German Infantry. The paint job on the figures is very realistic,. For instance, the helmet have thin lines of metallic paint simulating scratches. The poses depict a decent level of action. The scuplting is on the blukier side, particularly when it comes to details like hands and facial expressions. As mentioned earlier, the bases are detachable and they constantly come off.
Forces of Valor German Infantry - Part II
This is the most recent set of FOV German Infantry. They still have the same detachable base system, but the sculpting of hands and faces has improved. This set comes with a nice MG mounted on a tripod. The plastic for the MG however is really felxible and you will need to spend some time straightening it with hot water. Hopefully it stays that way, as mine hasn't.
Forces of Valor German Infantry - Part III
These were actually released before the previous set, but as you can see, they are not meant for battle, but rather for some specific diorama scenes. They came with one or two GIs guarding them. The sculpting of these guys is actually better than that of their other figures. You can tell that they were made by the same people that sculpt the guys who come with the FOV vehicles.
Forces of Valor US 82nd Airborne Division - Part I
Forces of Valor released these over the past few years in two or three different series, each with 4 or 5 guys, with some poses being repeated across sets. Similar to their other figures, their hands and facial features are a bit thick. The poses are good and dynamic.
Forces of Valor US 82nd Airborne Division - Part II
If I remember correctly, the guy on the right was the guard who came in the set with the three German prisoners. That would explain why his uniform and sculpting look a bit different. The guy in the middle is my favorite pose.
Forces of Valor US Infantry
A decent set by Forces of Valor. Their other US figures had been paratroops, so it is good that they came out with an Army division. The machine gun needs some hot water to straighten it, and the bazooka is a bit on the small side. Other than that, the bodies are much better proportioned.
Forces of Valor British 7th Armored Division - El-Alamein 1942
This is a set that I originally passed on buying. I did not like the bulkiness of the upper bodies. Of course, later on I felt that I should plug the hole in the collection, but by that time, they were no longer being produced and were much harder to find and pricier to get. Anyhow, I am happy I finally got a hold of them. I am still not a big fan of the sculpting and I still don't like the detachable bases, but it felt good to be able to check them off the list.
Forces of Valor British 7th Division - Part II
Here are a few more poses. They came in a different set, Two of them appear to be repeats of guys in the previous set. One of them, the man firing while kneeling, might be slightly different - note the knee is slightly off the ground - or it could also be that the one on top os missing the base and they are actually the same pose. Either way, there's really only two new poses. The wounded man and the man calling his men forward. Sculpted in the same bulky style, so not much new to say about them.
Forces of Valor German Winter Troops
These guys actually came as 'accessories' for the tanks. They were not released as a figure set. Because they were meant to ride/fight from a tank, I had to customize a couple of them. for isntance, the man on the right, would be sitting on a tank, but I made him sit on a box handing out panzerpfausts. The man on the left was supposed to be standing on the tank firing a machinegun, so I made him stand on a box, and fire a panzerschreck. Overall, a nice set of figures, with a nice degree of action in them. I will have to paint a few more Germans with winter outfits to complement them. I will also add bases to the other two to make them more stable.
Click here to see some US Forces of Valor Vehicles
Click here to see some German Forces of Valor Vehicles
Click here to see some German Forces of Valor Artillery
Click here to see some GIs and Germans with FOV Vehicles in action