Well, if you are a regular reader, you know the drill. But if you’re new here, a word of explanation may be in order. Below you will find side-by-side photos of AWI Cavalry figures in 15 mm. I have samples from every manufacturer I know of, including the now-defunct Polly Oliver line. Below each photo are a few capsule comments about each figure.
All of the figures you see here were painted by Aaron Tobul of Four Color Miniatures.
To get a full review of the figure, click on the manufacturer’s name.
- Essex Miniatures: You have to hand it to Essex. Their ability to deliver figures of such consistent style, size, and casting quality is impressive. Crisp and clean with good contrast and moderate detail, if you like them they rarely disappoint.
- Freikorps: I have not seen a lot of figures from Freikorps, but what I have seen is generally sound. I think the horses could use improvement, but the riders are generally well done. Mix particularly well with Essex I think.
- Irregular: In my mind, Irregular is definitely a “try before you buy” company. They have some very nice figures, and some very bad ones. In this case the rider is average, and the horse a bit rough. The detail on the head, for example, is pretty hard to make out.
- Jeff Valent (“Washington’s Wars”): Jeff Valent has picked up the old “Washington’s Wars” line of AWI figures. They are generally very nice figures (see my earlier review here), but at this price an absolute steal. The range is not exhaustive, and the mix of poses may be an issue, but the sculpting and casting are very good. One more obvious issue - these are some really underfed horses!
- Lancashire Games: Lancashire Games is another “try before you buy” company in my book. The sculpting quality varies quite a bit, even within one range. I find this figure to be a little below average. The pose of the horse is very stiff and the musculature is all wrong. The rider has the enormous arms I often associate with the company’s figures.
- Minifigs: Like Essex, Minifigs latest are amazingly consistent in size, style and quality. I love their horses (though this one’s head is too small).
- Musket Miniatures: Musket probably has the single most comprehensive AWI line currently available,and Jim McCarron the general manager is really great to deal with. The figures seem to range from a little below average to a little above. My biggest issue is with the anatomy of their horses - they just haven’t managed to get them right yet.
- Old Glory: The king of the “hit-or-miss” companies. I’ve seen fabulous work like their Napoleonic Spanish Infantry, and stuff that’s just plain awful. This range seems to be among their stronger lines. The rider is good, though his legs are not in line with his spine, but nothing you’d really notice on the table. And the horses are generally all right, if not wonderful.
- Polly Oliver: Now defunct, I was lucky enough to get a big bag of samples from Mike at Stronghold Miniatures (applause). The horses are not all that good - the necks are far too long, and like the Washington’s Wars horses, they’re anorexics, every one of ‘em. But the riders are quite nice - very well proportioned, and finely detailed.