Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Noble 15mms

Website. A few of you mentioned these - I think they are the old Hallmark 15mm League of Augsburg figures which are reviewed here.
For the 1660s and 70s I really rate the Donnington Wars of Louis XIV range in 15mm - there's not many of them but they're spot on. I've got some but I can't really photograph them properly but I recommend them - not so keen on their Late 17th range though. If anyone can photograph 15s I'd be happy to send them to you.

3 comments:

Bill McHenry said...

Ralphus;

You are correct Sir, the Noble figures are the Hallmark range. I have now obtained samples of Hallmark, Donnington, Venexia, Essex, my Irregular's are on the way, and I am still trying to get my hands on Lancashire Games. Following a poll on TMP, these are the only "complete" ranges that I'm aware of. There are some figures in Minifigs "From Pike To Shot" range that will work, but most of them are of a later period.

http://theminiaturespage.com/boards/msg.mv?id=164698

I will save my comparisons and detailed review until I have them all and can provide pictures, at which time I will send it to you. My initial impression is that the Hallmark figures are very good but too small by today's standards (being what we would call "true 15's"). However, the "muskets" being carried are horrible! The review link you provided shows this well. Venexia suffer from this same problem, otherwise lovely figures ruined, IMHO, by carrying a large piece of structural lumber with a pipe fitted to it. I realize that scale dictates some compromise, but Essex and Irregular don't seem to have this same problem, and the Donnington's are a mix, some good and some bad.

So far, Essex would have it nailed except that their sculptor can't seem to figure out human proportions and has a fetish for impossible gymnastic poses by standing figures (the dreaded "I'm doing the splits now mate" pose). In general, the lower legs on all figures are too short for the rest of the body, the cavalry being the worst in this regard. There are some excellent figures in this range though, to be fair.

I'm really keeping my fingers crossed for the Irregular's. Based on the pictures on the site, there are some "clunky" figures, but overall this may be the best 15mm range by Ian Kay. And there are up to 5 subtle variations of each figure, much like Mark Copplestone's 28's.

It looks like, initial impression only, I will probably have complete battalions by maker, and possibly a few with maker's mixed. Donnington does a lovely musketeer standing firing, mixed with the Essex kneeling firing, mixed with the Irregular standing loading, mixed with command from Essex and Donnington, and pikes from all three makers.

As someone who bought their first 15's from Peter Laing all those many years ago, and many Mike's Models and Editions Brokaw and Asgard and all others since, here's my biggest frustration: Why isn't the standard of 15/18mm sculpting evolving like the larger scales and even the 10mm are now? Are we, as small scale gamers, too forgiving? Certainly there have been some amazing smaller sculpts done; Tony Barton's excellent Napoleonic figures, GHQ's amazing 10mm product, Mark Copplestone's beautiful 10mm Fantasy (which are better than many 15mm ranges), and some of Museum's and Essex. Testudo's apparently defunct 30YW range were quite good, but they were too large. Some of my samples match my old Les Higgins 20's!

I am in correspondence with Dave at Museum and will be with Mark Copplestone (after he finishes this range!) to lobby for a similar range in larger 15's. I would love to see more gamers start demanding quality product instead of just quantity. Just my tuppence worth of thought this morning...

Bill

Allan Lumley said...

If u want samples for review just phone on 0161 624 7303 or drop an e mail on lancgames@hotmail.co.uk for now look at Nathans painted figures on his block www.frolicsinfrankenberg.wordpress.com

Allan Lumley said...

If u want samples for review just ring Lancashire Games on 0161 624 7303 or drop an e mail at lancgames@hotmail.co.uk in the meantime check nathans blog out at www.frolicsinfrankenberg.wordpress.com