Sunday, 21 June 2009

An Update to the 15mm Figure Review













By now some of you may be (or may not be) wondering whatever happened to the 15mm figure review? Well, let us say that, to some extent, “life” and the realities of the industry intruded upon it.

As you know if you followed the earlier posts, my intent was to deliberately NOT solicit samples, but to actually purchase 2 to 4 battalions from each and every maker offering a complete range (number based on available poses, not any favoritism as of yet), review them “raw” against each other in similar poses, then review the finished painted product for style, accuracy, ease of painting, and other factors. That meant that I had to actually be able to buy the figures. See the logic behind that?

Well, this is where the “wheels started falling off” as they say. First I had to explain to some why Minifigs was not included (they don’t actually offer an LoA range, only a few figures that will work buried in their TYW and WSS ranges). Then I forgot Jim Brokaw’s figures and had to add them (apologies to Pat Condray and Jim). Then, I had to drop the Matchlock range made by Caliver, which I’ve heard are wonderful, because after repeated e-mails with both Caliver’s owner, Dave Ryan, and their US distributor, Viking Forge, they declined to produce enough figures for samples, let alone an order (I understand there are numerous production problems at Caliver). Now it appears that I may also have to drop the Hallmark range (which many people consider the most detailed and accurate if you follow the talk on TMP). I have been waiting on some limbers since mid-February and my musketeers since mid-March, and was informed just this last weekend that due to “numerous production problems with Hallmark casting” their distributor, Last Square can’t obtain or cast the figures either. I have made one last ditch effort to entice them to participate, disclosing the review process, and am awaiting a reply indicating whether to drop them or not, but I think they are going to try and deliver. And, to top everything off, I haven’t been able to do any painting lately due to some storm damage here in North Texas (nothing disastrous, but several old growth tree limbs down, power problems and leaking roof) and some minor health problems. All is better now though, so we’ll try to get back on track.

But, lest you think that this has all been simply a collection of frustrations, take heart! As a result of my earlier posts and joining the French forum “Les forums du jeu d'Histoire”, here, I have been made aware of two additional “Sedgemoor” ranges in 15mm. But, once again, we have a “good news, bad news” situation. The first range is from Stronghold Miniatures produced by Mike Thompson in the UK, is a somewhat small range, but still complete for the Rebellion. However, Mike is currently not producing figures due to a move of facilities and doesn’t know when he will be able to resume production. A disappointment, as I had heard that they are close to “true 15mm” and would have been a match (or at least mix) with Hallmark, Editions Brokaw and some Essex. He has declined to participate at this time and I will try and do a separate review of his offerings when he is able to resume operations.

The good news? I was also made aware (on the French forum no less!) of a small range, also in the UK, that is a true “one man band” operation, M.Y. Miniatures owned and operated by Mick Yarrow. Mick also does a Sedgemoor range, a bit more complete than Stronghold’s. After exchanging several pleasant e-mails with Mick, figures were on the way and have only just arrived this weekend. My first impressions are very positive and I will be preparing some new sample boards with Mick’s figures included and posting shortly. I can tell you that they are an excellent mix with both Donnington and Irregular, and even with some of the larger Essex. And, Mick does “Royal (or Government) Foot” and “Rebel Foot”. The Royals are in newer, fitted coats and the Monmouth’s Rebel Foot are in looser, earlier uniforms with slightly higher cuffs. He also offers Rebel foot with open hands and offers scythes and farm implements to fill them. This would be a nice Sedgemoor range simply on those merits, but Mick took it a step further and did Covenanters for the 1679 Rebellion, and again offers both Rebel and Royalist versions of the Lowlanders. All said, this will be a fun range to add to our review. If you want a preview of Mick’s offerings, the pictures at the top of this post are from his site and you can find them on his site here.


Bill

2 comments:

Tim said...

Do you have a web link for the Jim Brokaw figures by any chance? My google-fu can't pick them out and I'd like to add them to the listing on my site at http://www.madaxeman.com/main/15mm_renaissance_suppliers_text.php

I'll also drop in a link back here to your review if that's OK?

Sir William the Aged said...

Tim,

That I know of, Pat Condray has never had a web presence for Editions Brokaw. You can go to TMP, look under Manufacturer's for Editions Brokaw, and it has Pat's mailing addresses. I'm not sure what his inventory is like right now, because Pat announced on TMP awhile back that he and Jim Brokaw had severed their business relations. But, I think he still has figures for sale. He also usually takes a table at the major East Coast Cons.

And of course you can add a link to our blog, Ralph and I would be pleased.

Bill