Available from Eureka Miniatures and AB Miniatures (Wargames South)
History: This range of miniatures was first sculpted by Tony Barton for the old Battle Honours (BH) company. It then, with the folding of BH, was sold to Polly Oliver (PO) and some more figures added to the range. It finally returned to Tony under the AB Miniatures (AB) label, but it seems no further increases are planned. For all its long history the range is still incomplete, lacking a number of figures. So in the pictures below you'll see the occasional Old Glory figure doing duty with the regiments.
Physical Quality: As originally produced by BH these figures were pewter castings. Those bought from Eureka today are high-quality white metal, which is a little softer than pewter. As with all the AB/BH figures they were generally cleanly cast and had good, crisp detail. There are few problems with these figures, which vary from 16 mm to 17 mm (sole to eye). The US standard bearer does tend to be a little weak where the hands grasp the pole, though, and as the picture below shows the pole does break off unless handled carefully.
Range: The range is fairly comprehensive, with the figures being described as suitable for either the CSA or USA, or suitable for both, in the lists. They come in marching, advancing and firing line poses for the infantry, with sabre, pistol, carbine or shotgun for the cavalry and in the usual loading poses for the artillery. The figures are described by what they wear- kepi, slouch hat or dress hat, sack coat, frock or short jacket. There are also zouaves in kepi or fez. Cavalry comes both as mounted and dismounted ranges, including horse holder figures and the appropriate horses. There are only four types of gun- CSA smoothbore 12lb, US Napoleon, 10lb Parrott and 3" Rifle. Anyone wanting more variety will need to look at Stone Mountain Miniatures' range of guns. There are also wagons and limbers on offer.
However there are some omissions. There's no dismounted buglers or standard bearers for the cavalry. The command figures are somewhat limited in scope and I don't know of any "personality" figures being offered. And as far as I know, none of the early war militia uniforms are covered.
Infantry: There's a lot of figures in this, the largest selection in the range. Troops in firing line poses will include various loading poses, firing and "watching front". There's figures charging, advancing and marching at the slope. And all manner of uniforms are covered- from simple shirt, hat, trousers and blanket roll to troops with frock coat, and dress hat.
Many of the figures recommended as more suitable for the Union make excellent confederates, as the pic above shows. The "Confederate" figures tend to be less uniform and more "ragged" looking. They'll serve equally well as western theatre Union troops. The zouaves come in advancing and firing line poses, there being two or three of each in turban or fez. There are also a number of drummers, officer and standard bearer figures to complete your units.
The sculpting and animation are well up to AB standards, with variations in heft and dress making for some nice looking units. Rating 8.5 out of 10.
Cavalry: These figures come cast with saddlery attached to the rider, allowing the use of different horse poses for the units. There's a standard bearer and bugler in kepi and a choice of officers in kepi or slouch hat. The majority of the cavalry comes bearing carbines or pistols, but there's also some "danged fools with sabres" in kepi.
The poses are generally relaxed, with carbines help on hip or beside the leg. There's no "firing carbine from the saddle" pose and the figures look as if they mean business.
There's a good range of dismounted cavalry, including a CSA and USA horse holder, for when the troops decided to do some real fighting. As mentioned before, there's no dismounted standard bearer or bugler. There's only one dismounted officer (in hat). So some other figures will be needed to fill in the gaps. OG's ranges work quite well at this.
Rating 8.5 out of 10.
Artillery and Wagons: As I said before, there's only four guns on offer. They come as the usual carriage, barrel and two wheels. There are also limbers and small caissons. There's eight different gunners, half wearing hat and half kepi, in the usual poses.
I get the impression that this part of the range is only half finished. Certainly a larger selection of common guns would make sense. Say some 6lb smoothbores, howitzers and 20lb Parrotts for starters.
There's also some wagons, made by Hallmark, on offer. Whether this is something only Eureka does, or is a standard part of the range, I don't know. Certainly they add to the army.
Although there's nothing wrong with the artillery, the uninspired poses of the gunners and the lack of guns types makes me mark these down. Rating 7.5 out of 10.
Command Figures: There's four and a half figures on offer. 1/2?? A mounted officer in hat seems to do double duty as a Confederate cavalry officer, as there's none listed in the catalogue. The figures themselves aren't bad but there's little variety and one figure in kepi had an open map case, meaning he should be used as an ADC (though he commands brigades in my forces, for variety). Once again, a half-arsed effort that could be improved by the addition of a couple of personality figures. Rating 7.0 out of 10.
Conclusion: I like the range and think it has some of the best 15 mm figures I've ever seen. But with the gaps in the range it's an uncompleted set, like so many AB ranges. You'll need Old Glory or Stone Mountain Miniatures figures and guns (I suggest SMM for the guns, not having seen their figures, and OG for the figures, having seen their guns) to complete your army. By mixing OG and AB figures you can easily have units where duplicated figures are rare.