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Side-By-Side Reviews:
15mm Amer. Civil War Cavalry

What’s All This Then?

This is the latest set of my now infamous side-by-side comparisons of 15 mm miniatures. These are mounted officers from the American Civil War (ACW) in 15 mm (about 1/100 scale). I pick one figure from each manufacturer of a given type (in this case, officers) then paint them up in identical color schemes. Put ‘em side by side and see what shakes out.

Since I have numerous samples, I also paint up the extras and provide photos of those as well. If they are much different I provide additional comments as well.

The first tough nut to crack was finding a way to put these mounted figures side by side. I admit it may not be a big deal as mounted officers are probably never all that close to each other. But it provides another point of reference for comparing the overall size and compatibility between different manufacturers. Plus, I wanted to paint some more mounted figures - I really need to work on my horses. So for now it will just be three or four per shot (custom shots available - e-mail me with requests if, for example, you’d like to see the Peter Pig in a shot next to the AB).

Who Died and Made You Colonel?

It would certainly be helpful for you to understand what I look for in a miniature. Like most others, I’m pretty particular when I shell out my greenbacks for a bagful of unpainted lead. To that end, please refer to the page I wrote on my Napoleonic pages about how I judge a mini. But briefly,  I am a stickler for anatomical proportion; dislike grossly oversized details (such as cuffs or straps); prefer lines with variations to each pose; and am pretty immune to price (at the rate I paint, it is not all that material especially compared to my book budget).

One critical fact to note: I am not a gamer (yet), so my figures live in acrylic display cases, not on grass mat! I don’t even coat them in a clear flat final over spray.

The Line Up. Number 3 step forward please:

Here are the side by side group shots, with some summary comments. Unless called out on the specific pages, I had no issues with manufacturing quality with any of the figures. Any flash was minimal and easily removed; mold lines are minor if present at all; figures arrived in fine shape.
Click on the manufacturers name to see a detailed review of each figure.

  • SBS ACW 15 Cav SBS A
    AB: Little 15 mm sculptures. Always a pleasure to paint and look at. Some of the best horses you’ll see.
  • DONNINGTON: Simple, even a bit crude.
  • ESSEX: Same old, same old. Clean, crisp, well detailed, but gnomish. Excellent horses.
  • HERITAGE: Not in production, but a better than average figure.
  • HISTORIFIGS: The old Jack Scruby line. Not state-of-the-art but the nostalgia value is high.
  • IRREGULAR: Truly irregular, and not in a good way. Hard to make sense of, and the horse is a bit of a mess.
  • LANCASHIRE: The horse is a bit of a giraffe-looking creature, but otherwise a nice figure.
  • MINIFIGS: Great horses and the usual quality on the rider. These poses tend to be less over-the-top than the infantry, so I like the figures much better.
  • MUSKET: Another distressing horse and decent rider - has a bit of the “Jack Scruby” feel.
  • PETER PIG: Small by today’s standards but well detailed and nicely proportioned.
  • PIONEER: Beefy horses but a really cool pose. Nice detail - manages to be high-contrast without being cartoonish.
  • WARRIOR: This line is simple in a good way - nothing fancy, just reasonable detail, solid sculpts and crisp detail.

The colors pretty much followed the infantry and officers, just in slightly different combinations. Email me if you really want the nitty-gritty details.

Where’s Waldo?

Can you pick out each manufacturer’s figure in these group shots?

SBS ACW 15 Cav Group1
SBS ACW 15 Cav Group2


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