The figures used in this review were purchased from The Tin Soldier in Sydney
25 May 02
I've been looking for some decent SYW figures for a while, so that I can get back into playing Grant's Rules for 18th Century Wargames, the rules that got me started in the hobby. I'd have liked to be able to get 20 mm figures, but the available ranges I've seen are quite restricted. As I want to do a Hanoverian force and another (either Swedes or Hessians), I had to look at using 10 mm, 15 mm or 25/28 mm, or doing lots of conversions (not an option). 25/28 mm are too costly and large for what I want to do and 10 mm two small for my limited painting skills, so that left me with 15 mm (However, I've found Outland Game's Bataillenfeur 20 mm range will provide me with the figures I need. Goodbye, 15 mm SYW... Dal).
Even here some ranges are restricted. Essex produce the major nations, but not all the figures I'll need. Minifigs do a nice, but limited, range as well. Freikorps 15 mm also do a very comprehensive range, but the figures of theirs that I've seen (a few years ago) didn't really impress me. However Gary Amos' painted generals have made me think these are worth revisiting, and I'll be getting some to have another look. So for my first foray I went to Old Glory 15's, who have a comprehensive range of SYW figures.
What you get.
The pack I bought from Tin Soldier (for AUD49.50, P&P included) was SYH1- Hanoverian Inf w/CMD & Grenadiers. It was an impressively full bag, containing a total of 108 castings. In the bag I found the following:
49 infantry in tricorne (4 poses)....10 drummers in tricorne (2 poses)....6 officers in tricorne with sword (2 poses)....8 SNCO in tricorne with 1/2 pikes (2 poses)....14 standard bearers in tricorne (2 poses)....16 grenadiers in mitre cap (3 poses)....2 grenadier drummers in mitre cap (1 pose)....2 grenadier officers in mitre cap with sword (1 pose) and 1 mounted colonel with horse.
For what I want that gives me one full battalion (eight companies of six figures with four officers and a mounted colonel- total 53 figures) with a lot of officers and some infantry left over (two companies each of grenadiers and line, in fact). Here's the first big disadvantage of buying OG's packs- lots of wastage.... But at AUD0.48 per figure, or thereabouts, they are very reasonably priced.
I knew pretty much what to expect from the figures, as Martin Blow, of Mr Tin's Painting Workshop, and Gary Amos had sent me some scans of these last year. So the "scurrying" pose that I detest so much was no surprise. (Why can't OG's sculptor do a figure that is marching, or even walking, not scurrying?) The figures themselves are cast in pewter and, although the bag says the figures contain lead, they seemed to be made of the same metal as other "lead-free pewter" figures I've seen. The metal is quite hard but bends fairly easily, though the absence of the horse's tail hinted at some fragility.
The poses are varied slightly, which I prefer for this period. Anyone dancing around, or putting their tricorne on their musket and waving it about, would soon find themselves on the wrong end of an NCO's cane. Accuracy was also a problem, the lack of pompoms on the tricorne being a major and obvious oversight.
Unfortunately, as can be seen from the scans, the figures had a couple of moulding problems. There was a little bit of flash, though not as much as on earlier OG figures I've seen. However on some the moulds had obviously slipped, and there are a few figures that will go straight in the bin as I would nearly have to re-carve them to make them useable. Generally moulding was reasonable, but there will be a lot of cleaning up to do.
Detail is heavy, with thick lapels and turnbacks. It's also a little indistinct in places and I found it hard with some figures to tell what was figure and what was flash. The scans will illustrate this more clearly. The front of the mitres, and the muskets, are two areas where the detail is so-so.
Lastly, there's the horse. The tail was in the bag, but the colonel of this regiment will end up riding an AB nag. As the scan shows, the horse was badly moulded, with a split base, and has strangely shaped hindquarters and back. Old Neddy's destined for the bin, I think.
I think these figures are taskworthy, but not inspiring. Maybe, with a reasonable paint job, they'll do for now. But I'll be looking at Essex and Freikorps as alternatives. Thanks to the Lace Wars group on Yahoo, I'll be able to mix and match nationalities to get the figures I need, if I have to.
Rating 5 to 6 out of 10.