Sunday, 29 March 2009

A Bit of a Teaser

No, its not one of those terrific Table Top Teasers by C.S. Grant or his late Father. As I have mentioned previously, as soon as my 1640 to 1660 French are done, I am beginning a new project to follow-on, 1660 to 1680 French. Why stop at 1680 you ask? With the reforms and reorganisation of the 1680's the pike all but disappeared and the bayonet became more and more prevalent. Slightly different look and tactics. I will probably end up doing the later variant as well eventually, and some of my troops will no doubt "double" in that army as well. But for now, its the earlier boys.

Now, I already had a pretty good idea of what figures I would use for this army in 15mm, and a poll I took on TMP pretty much confirmed my opinion. However, there are several choices out there in this scale and period. What would a new gamer, or one new to this period or scale, do?

Therefore I am embarking on a task that I've not done since I did some figure reviews for Society journals "back in the day", I'm evaluating all of them. I will start with the infantry of the period, much of which is labeled "League of Augsburg" and intended to be either somewhat later or "generic" in purpose. I have arranged to acquire sample figures (actually have all but two of the ranges already) from all six manufacturer's for this period. By the way, I did purchase all of these. Even though some of the maker's know that I'm doing a review, and I personally know a couple of them, I don't want to be thought of as a "sock puppet" for anyone. The chart below details how I will be reviewing and scoring the figures. The scores given will represent all of the available castings from the maker, not just selected ones. It would be too easy to select just the figures that I think are appropriate and give them all a 10! I will also write a post on each maker with photos, painted and unpainted, shot against a 4mm X 4mm blue grid to compare size and bulk. In the post I will go into more detail on specific peculiarities of each maker, pros and cons of their product, how well they mix with other's products (if they do), how various painting styles favor one maker over another, and how their figures "measure up" to competition if you will.



If you have any questions over my criteria for rating, or the scoring methodology, please comment. By the way, I will figure out how to make an Excel table into a scalable jpg file before I post the final version with scores! If anyone can share tips on this, I would be grateful (troglodytes need help!) In the meantime, I apologize for making you break out the magnifiers, if you save the image to your desktop and then open as a picture with either Paint or Microsoft Picture Manager (or similar), you can view it better.

I think I've covered all of what I consider to be the important points, but you may think of more. You'll notice that in the sections detailing Anatomy, Uniform and Equipment I've included a rating for "Does it look right?" below the basic rating for accuracy. This is because almost all ranges have the ability to still "look right" when viewed from a wargaming distance, even if they're not technically correct, but not always in all regards, hence the breakdown under three different headings. Essex are a great example of this, without giving too much away. People either love them or hate them generally, but the fact is, they're really pretty good. I will be the first to bemoan the dreaded Essex "spread leg" pose that they use so often, and the fact that all of their infantry would be 18.5mm figures from the coattail to the top of the head, but they all have these abominably short lower legs! However, when viewed from 3 feet back, especially once painted and based, they really look quite good and do look appropriate for the period. I'll have a few surprises in the text reviews for you that I won't spoil now, so stay tuned.

Bill

3 comments:

Ginzio & ILVJ said...

I checked lancashire games site, but what range are they producing for our period? is it the english civil war range? or the eastern renaisance range? Cheers
Giovanni

Sir William the Aged said...

Giovanni,

From Lancashire Games site, click on 15mm, then Marlburian, then the little link for Grand Alliance. Or follow the link here and then click Grand Alliance or simply scroll down to near the bottom:

http://www.test.gtns.co.uk/15mm_malburian.htm#Grand%20Alliance

You can see some of these painted here:

http://www.geocities.com/natholeon/9yw.html

Bill

Anonymous said...

"Why stop at 1680 you ask? With the reforms and reorganisation of the 1680's the pike all but disappeared"

This statement is pure rubbish. Shows a somewhat superficial knowledge of the period.