Update 08 September 2002
My first unit of cavalry has arrived, along with a selection of some horses. Rather than write a new review, I'm just making some general comments and posting scans of the figures.
Cantering and walking horses
The horses aren't the best and I'd be tempted to use Art Miniaturen horses, if they weren't so hard to get.
And They’re Racing!
03 August 2002
Those that know me will know I've been looking for suitable figures, in 20 mm or smaller scale, to do the SYW period. I want to use the rules found in Charles Grant's The Wargame. And it hasn't been easy, either. My preferred scale was to be 20 mm, with 15 mm being the fallback position. But the 15 mm figures I bought weren't what I wanted (see my review of the Old Glory Hanoverians). That left me with a choice of Minifigs or finding a 20 mm range I could live with. Minifigs are fine figures, but 15 mm. I kept going back to Jim Woollett's reviews on the Bataillenfeur Prussians. In the end I decided to get a battalion, just to see how they would look. And, overall, I'm glad I did.
I bought the figures from Chris von Fahnestock of Outland Games. Chris owns the range and is currently sculpting some new figures (such as cavalry standard bearers) as well as correcting some inaccurate detail in the figures. An e-mail to Chris will get you a complete list of the figures available, for both the Napoleonic and SYW periods.
Some of the Napoleonic figures- from left Austrian Grenadier, Russian Artilleryman,
Russian Grenadier and French Artilleryman
The figures are cast in a hard, lead-free pewter. They measure an average 19 mm from sole to eye and there was minimal flash on the figures I received. There was also minimal breakage, so the metal is strong but retains flexibility. Detail is well defined in some places but minimal in others, such as lapels. The figures are very cleanly cast and the level of detail reminds me strongly of Minifigs. There are no pose variations in the figures (which suits the regimented look of SYW armies).
Hanoverian SYW drummer, grenadier, fahnentrager and officer
Why the title? The SYW figures are described as in a "March Attack" pose. In fact most of them are posed at a flat out run. This isn't the scurrying pose I detest so much, it's obviously a running pose. The Napoleonics are much more restrained in animation, however, and look better for it. This a matter of taste, but the poses are over-animated from my perspective. The troops of the "Lace Wars" period rarely marched at a fast pace, usually adopting a cadence that was very similar to today's "Slow March". Such restraint was necessary, to preserve the alignment and good order that the tactics of the day demanded from highly-drilled troops, fighting and maneuvering in line. A more restrained pose, such as that of the drummer, would suit me more. There is also a pose described as advancing and I'll be looking at them for the bulk of my army, if they resemble the Austrian grenadier in the top scan.
Standing horse, Hanoverian SYW musketeer and Napoleon
So much for the negatives. On the plus side the figures are well proportioned (though the grenadier seems to have a big head) and their anatomy is good. The faces are better than most, and will reward those who take some time on them to bring out the character. Weapons are in scale (though the musket carried by the Austrian grenadier looks small) and the bayonets aren't huge. The horse doesn't excite me, having some obvious proportion problems. But it's better than some I've seen and will do the job.
Megalomania! A Hanoverian SYW infantry battalion for Grant's rules- 53 figures
(though one's still to come- because I can't count)
OK, these figures aren't up to the standard of AB's WWII range. And the rather exaggerated poses may prove to be a turn-off for some people. But, after spending the week looking at them and checking uniform details, I've come to like them. So much so that I've already sent off another order to Chris at Outland (for a Hanoverian dragoon regiment). These figures have a bit of character about them. And they're in my preferred scale. That's good enough for me.
Rating: 6.5 to 7.75 out of 10.
You can buy these figures either individually or in packs (with a slight discount for buying the latter). The prices are:
Individual Man: $0.50
Light Gun: $2.50
Medium Gun $3.00
Heavy Gun $3.50
Pack: Six like foot figures or three like Cavalry figures: $2.50
Foot Command comprises: 2 Officer, 2 Drummer, 2 Ensigns (if appropriate)
Cav Command comprises: one Officer, one musician, one trooper (until Chris can sculpt up an Ensign)