The Purchase: In the summer of 2002 I painted a few miniatures in exchange for a few packs of Battle Honours figures. One of the packs I received was BBR5 - Infantry in Campaign Dress Assaulting. The price tag indicated a list price of $12.50 for 50 miniatures - a modest $0.25 per figure. It should be noted, therefore, that these figures survived three rounds of shipping - from manufacturer to retailer, retailer to my customer Larry, then from Larry to me.
First Impressions: The figures arrived in fine shape, though one or two bayonets had been broken off, and a couple others were barely intact. Were these figures destined for the gaming table, I would remove them. Despite this, I was initially pleased with the figures. The variety of uniform/equipment variation and multiple poses were quite welcome. There were three different packs in use - one standard issue British pack, one standard French pack and one loose bag. One pose even features a bedroll and no pack at all! The overall detail was good, and the castings had little if any flash to remove. The one disappointment was the lack of pose variations in the command figures.
The Thigh Bone’s Connected to the Hip Bone: One of the greatest drawbacks to many miniatures in the 15 mm scale is the lack of accurate anatomy in many soldiers. Primarily, the legs are too short and thick in relation to the rest of the body, leading to what one site calls “gnome-itis.” But these are well proportioned soldiers with one exception - many of the figures are too “narrow.” For example, the advancing member of a flank company in Illustration A has very narrow shoulders and a generally narrow torso. There are a number of other poses contained in the bag that suffer from the same narrowness. Otherwise the figures’ proportions are very good and the poses are realistic.
Beware of Scrambled Eggs: These figures have the distinct look of Anthony Barton’s work (he now sculpts for his own line AB). The detail is clear, and seam lines are well managed - they do not mar the overall figures. In short, whatever their weaknesses, you can at least identify what each detail is supposed to be.
God Is In. The Details: The variety in the equipment is particularly nice. There are non-standard packs and water bottles in a variety of combinations, reflecting what troops would probably have really looked like after months of hard campaigning. Otherwise, the uniforms and equipment are well rendered.
The Verdict: They look a little narrow at times, but overall these are very nice figures. They have a reasonable amount of detail, are easy to paint, and are a good bargain at the price. They are especially welcome as they fill a gap that so few offer. Most miniatures are in parade ground uniforms - every piece of equipment is in place, present and accounted for. But campaigning soldiers rarely look this way for long. If you want to add a little grittiness to your Peninsular army, this mightbe a good place to start.
Click on a thumbnail to see an image full size.
Review posted July 7, 2003