Which Figures? What is Available

My original Which Figures posts have grown exponentially, so much so that I decided to completely revise and expand my posts further.

For the full picture see:-

Which Figures? - the original post, where I ruminate about what I want from figures, and what led me to choose Peter Pig.

Which Figures? What is Available - the state of play with current 'ECW' 15mm figure ranges; a continually updating look at what figures are available, and what is included/missing from ranges. No commentary on figure size or ruler action (that's down to parts 2a and 3a).  This post

Which Figures? Part 2a: Size Matters: Foot - I show side by side comparisons of what is available in 15/18mm, with the obligatory ruler shots Coming Soon

Which Figures? Part 2b: True 15mm/Epic Compatibility: Foot - a more in depth look at smaller 15mm compatibility

Which Figures? Part 3a: Size Matters: Horses - I show side by side comparisons of what is available in 15/18mm (obligatory ruler content too) Coming Soon

Which Figures? Part 3b: True 15mm/Epic Compatibility: Horses- a more in depth look at smaller 15mm compatibility

A pile of Peter Pig figures awaiting paint

Notes:
I am indebted to Dex McHenry, Neville Brownlee and Dennis Bamber who kindly donated some figures for this comparison. I tip my hat gentlemen. All other figures have been purchased by myself.

The following figures have been primed, ink washed and varnished - the differences between finishes was exaggerating size difference, and was a little distracting. I was trying to level the playing field. Unfortunately my bottle of Vallejo black wash is a little inconsistent in finish, so my apologies as some figures are darker than others.

The samples - the only way I can keep track of what's what

There is also an element of crossover of ranges into 30YW ranges with some manufacturers, so have a look at their other ranges. 

I have probably been hardest on those figure ranges that are 'complete', but still continue to be updated. Legacy ranges are those older ranges still in production , but with no likelihood of new figures being added to the existing range. There are a few ranges included that have recently gone out of production, they are included here, in the hope that they might become available again. Some ranges are, unfortunately effectively out of production with little possibility of them resurfacing. They are included here so owners can work out which ranges can compliment them.

But first a not-so-gentle reminder, all pictures and content on this site are © and may not be used without permission. I know that the vast majority of people know that and respect that, but a number of individuals need it spelling out to them.

Alternative Armies have just released a new ECW range, tying into their Furioso rules (as well as an ECW Furioso expansion). 

The figures, unfortunately replicate a very dated Victorian view of how they thought the ECW should have looked - tight clothes, buff sleeveless jerkins, a preponderance of  scarves, leather gauntlets, big cross belts, big hats and even bigger feathers. 

The musketeers also wear these gauntlets, so I'm not quite sure how they'd fire their pieces. Musketeers have a tokenistic set of four powder chargers (rather than the ten or twelve that they carried in reality), and don't have a match with which to fire their piece.

Pikemen are all holding their pikes in the wrong hands, their stances bearing no relation to pike drill. 

Then of course foot figures all have full length swords; if they carried a sword, it would have been a shorter, stabbing weapon, useful in close combat, not a full length sword that was used for slashing. 

Each foot code has three variants wearing a hat, wide hat or 'pot helm': this 'pot helm' bears no resemblance to any historical artefact I've ever come across. There is no monmouth cap option, nor a montero option - probably the two most popular items of headwear worn by common soldiers.

Alternative Armies

Having seen the illustration that the foot figures are based upon, I believe that the 'pot helm' is meant to be a secret. Unfortunately, the picture that the designer has decided to base the entire range upon, is a very poor attempt to copy a very dated, and inaccurate illustration from the Osprey Men-At Arms New Model Army volume. The sculptor has exaggerated the secret (which was already inaccurately exaggerated in the original illustration, and then exaggerated even further in the copy) - hence the upturned-salad-bowl-on-the-head look. Not forgetting the concept of a secret is that they are meant to be worn underneath a hat (the clue is in the name!), so shouldn't actually be visible unless the wearer is flamboyantly waving their hat in the air.

Of all the items of military hardware that are synonymous with a particular conflict, the iconic three bar English lobster pot surely symbolises the English Civil War. So I am at a complete loss trying to understand how the mounted 'English' rider/pistoller figures feature such a bizarre take on this iconic helmet: completely omitting the three bar face guard and the segmented 'lobster tail' of the neck guard. In all fairness an older figure from the Renaissance range described as 'cavalry with lobster helm 17thC' does exist, but even at 15mm sizing is missing considerable detail from the helmet (ear pieces, and the noticeable crest where both halves of the helmet are joined together).

There's simply no excuse to create such historically inaccurate figures nowadays. I'm normally very supportive of new ranges, but I'm afraid that on this occasion I'll give these a very wide berth.

Interesting packs: wounded and dead
Main omissions: historical accuracy

I wanted to show at least one positive with the range, 'MR165 English dead, face down 17thC wide hat' is a nicely animated figure (which surely counts as one of the most oxymoronic sentences I have ever written). I wanted to illustrate this figure here, so added it to my sample order (total 3 figures). But they got my order wrong and sent the wrong figure! Really couldn't be bothered chasing this one up.

Blue Moon

A very extensive range of figures. A wide variety of armoured and unarmoured pikemen, with separate pikes. Musketeers come with and without rests, they also have a pack of musket rests so you can 'convert' the restless figures. Baggage train covered by other era wagons, with ECW drivers and drovers. Recently the range has been expanded and now extensively covers the Scots (highlanders and lowlanders). Range now has approximately 60 packs. Clothing and equipment is reasonably accurate.
Interesting packs: musket rests, engineers, siege mortar, civilians, and a large camp set. 
Main omissions: frame gun, limbers, Irish.

Chariot Miniatures (see note below)

Until recently cast and sold by Magister Militum: Chariot Miniatures were described as "our own range of 15mm", they also produced Hallmark's range of wagons. The following observations come from searching their site with the parameters 15mm and ECW. 

Limited range of true 15mm figures. Many of the figures listed as 'ECW' are late C17th/early C18th, and are probably more suited for the Monmouth Rebellion. Pike available open hand. There are currently no figures available to represent Civil War musketeers.
Interesting packs: coach, Scots frame gun and pack horse, generic baggage available.
Main omissions: musketeers, Irish.

Magister Militum are in the process of closing down, and stopped casting some time ago. They are selling off what inventory remains, whilst they search for a buyer for their business. No news on the fate of the Chariot range yet. 

The drover is a spare figure I had, he is a consistent size as the 'ECW' Scots figures I own, he is included for 'completeness'. If  the range becomes available again I will update their entry.


Donnington
Limited range of large 15mm/small 18mm figures. Good variety of pike, in armour/unarmoured (open hand). Musketeers do not have rests. 
Interesting packs: limbers, generic baggage and camp items available. Also some packs of loose generic weapons in their 'new era equipment' range. Clothing and equipment is reasonably accurate, albeit with far too many big feathers.
Main omissions: Scots, Irish, musketeers with rest, limited number of artillery piece designs (just the 1), dragoons.

Essex

Extensive ECW/30YW figures in slightly esoteric poses. Large variety of musketeers and pikemen. Cast pikes and flags. 
Interesting packs: large range of generic carts, coach, limbers with horses and oxen, galloper gun. 
Main omissions: Irish.

Eureka

Foot figures appear very broad in comparison to other similarly sized figures, not noticeable when used by themselves. Armoured and unarmoured pike available open handed; limited range of musketeers, no rests. Scots lowlanders, and personalities recently added to the range. Clothing and equipment is reasonably accurate.
Interesting packs: harquebusiers on foot, petard. 
Main omissions: dragoons, musketeers with rests, baggage, limbers, civilians, Irish, highlanders.

A Polish company manufacturing figures for the 30YW, specifically the Eastern European element. They have shared some pictures of their ECW masters, as they have an ECW rulebook in the pipeline. No details of release, they are believed to be on the 'back burner'. Larger 15mm figures, but not 18mm.
Interesting packs: figures throwing caltrops (from existing range, not forthcoming ECW range)

Freikorps 15/QRF

Perhaps best described as another legacy range of 15mm figures. Freikorps are sold through the QRF website, the new owner juggles the company between their day job, so expect a delay between ordering and delivery (my order took nearly 5 weeks). Size varies considerably, the bulk of the range can be described as true 15mm, others (mounted) come in at 20mm. I get the impression that the larger figures may be later additions to the range. Extensive variations of pike (open hand) and musket. Two ranges 'ECW' and '30YW/ECW'. Clothing is quite dated in appearance.
Interesting packs: frame gun, limbers, camp followers, some highlanders and English officers have separate weapons. 
Main omissions: baggage, Irish. 

Gladiator

An older range of 42 packs formerly sold by Black Hat Miniatures, now sold by Fighting 15s.  Only 2 of the packs are illustrated. Pikes are cast on, and pikemen available in a range of protection from unarmoured all the way to armoured. Musketeers available with/without rests. Some Scots packs available too, as is one pack of Irish musketeers.
Interesting packs: none
Main omissions: considerable

A legacy range resurrected in 2012. Limited range of 21 packs. I know little about them, other than I used to own some of their Napoleonics (which had a reputation, at the time, for snapping at the ankles - as many of mine did). They towered over my Heritage Napoleonettes (which matched Naismith well). I believe they are one pose per pack, musketeers are available in helmet, and also the incredibly titled pack 10 'musketeer firing hat buff goat' which I fear, sadly, is just a typo. Pikes are cast on.
Interesting packs: sadly I fear the 'buff goat' does not exist
Main omissions: considerable

I've tried placing an order for some samples, but the payment option doesn't work - are they on hiatus (again)?

Khurasan (see note below)

Khurasan sell two ranges of Civil War figures, their own covering the Irish and Scots, and the Testudo range covering the English armies (and 30YW). The Testudo being 'better fed' than the Khurasan figures. Good range of English pikemen (open handed), only one pack of English musketeers suitable (all with rests). 
Interesting packs: probably the most extensive Scots and Irish range currently available
Main omissions: English musketeers without rests, Scots dragoons, Scots frameguns, highlanders with pikes

I am very reliably informed that the figures pictured are from the Khurasan Tudor range, so may not be totally representative of the height of the ECW range (although the Scots and Irish in the range were sculpted by the same sculptor as the Tudor range). If/when importing from the US becomes considerably more affordable, (and Khurasan reduce their minimum order size) I will add Testudo and  Khurasan ECW pictures.

Lancashire Games - bonus points for being the fastest figures to arrive 

Large, but no frills, range including armoured and unarmoured pike (cast on pikes); musketeers available with/without rests. Scots Covenanter range.
Interesting packs: none
Main omissions: limbers, baggage, Irish, highlanders, civilians, harquebusiers on foot, engineers, frame gun

Lancer Miniatures

Perhaps better known for their 10mm ECW range, they also have a 15mm ECW/TYW range. A very limited, basic range of just 16 packs. Pike are open handed, and come in armoured and unarmoured versions. Musketeers available with and without rests. Well fed individuals, beautiful crisp sculpts but unfortunately far too many 'missing' packs from the range (cavalry only come in soft hats). 
Interesting packs: none
Main omissions: considerable! Dragoons, just one 'general', harquebusiers in helmets, just one artillery piece available.

Lurkio have just relaunched their website, and amongst the promised new offerings are a 30YW/ECW range. Lurkio have shown images of the figures on their FB page; what is particularly novel, is that the figures are headless. They are cast ready to drop the head of your choice into them. What size 15mm they are, and the full extent of the range will become apparent when I get my grubby little mitts on some. I shall watch these with interest.

Matchlock

Old range of figures that vary in height from 'true 15' up to 18mm, the smaller figures look very 'well fed' compared to other true 15mm figures. Figures are sold individually, some codes not always available. Extensive variety of musketeers and pikemen (open handed). 
Interesting packs: whole section of 'characters' including a general in a mule litter, rat catcher, clergy, and a three man surgeon at work vignette.
Main omissions: another legacy range.

A small, old school looking range of 23 packs; these are one pose of figure per pack of rank and file. Pike are open handed, musketeers all have rests. Foot ensign wears a lobster pot helmet. Some Scots amongst the range. 
Interesting packs: none
Main omissions: considerable, a legacy range?

Minifigs
Old range of figures that vary in size, some are true 15mm, others suffer from scale creep. One pose per pack. Limited variety of pikemen with cast pikes; musketeers only available with rests, including wearing lobster pot helmets. Quite dated figures now, clothing and equipment is not necessarily accurate.
Interesting packs: limbers (2 varieties), civilians, galloper gun. 
Main omissions: a 'legacy' range, lots of omissions by modern standards.

Museum Miniatures

Museum 
Limited range of 18mm figures. Extensive variety of pikemen (cast on pikes), musketeers available with/without rests. Mostly accurate equipment and clothing.
Interesting packs: extensive generic baggage train, limbers, armed civilians. 
Main omissions: highlanders, Irish.

Naismith

Naismith 
Legacy range of true 15mm figures: currently out of production. All but sold out now, a handful of packs are still  available from Keepwargaming (no relation). Musketeers with/without rests; pike armoured/unarmoured (cast pikes). Flags also cast. One pose per pack. Most of the packs are very dated in appearance, but there are a few gems within the range.
Interesting packs: limbers, some Irish. 
Main omissions: considerable.

Whilst I do own some Naismith ECW cavalry figures, they have been remounted upon Peter Pig horses (see Which Figures? Part 3b for a somewhat convoluted explanation).

Old Glory 15s

Not to be confused with Old Glory's range of 15mm figures which are branded Blue Moon. Which is why I had completely forgotten about them. 'Old Glory' and 'Old Glory 15s' are completely separate companies. 

A limited range of 18 packs covering the English armies and 10 packs covering the Scots. Each pack contains a number of poses. Supplied in large packs of 24 foot or 9 horse. Pikemen supplied open handed, not clear if they are supplied with pikes. Pikemen available armoured and unarmoured. Musketeers come in a mixed bag of with/without rests.
Interesting packs: 'moss troopers'
Main omissions: Irish, limbers, baggage.

Peter Pig

An extensive range of figures (almost 90 packs in the range, and 11 packs of heads). The range has a large variety of musketeers with and without rests. Pikemen available with cast pikes or open handed, only available in a half armoured state (no tassets). Irish, lowlanders and highlanders are covered (some gaps though). Usually three poses per pack (some packs have two, some four). Pack contents can be altered for a small fee. Considering the size of the range there are only a couple of 'dubious' figures - a drummer wearing a morion helmet (pretty unlikely headgear for a drummer), and a clubman who looks like he is Captain Caveman with a dodgy looking stave/baseball bat. Clothing and equipment is accurate. They have just introduced 14 'personalities' packs who come with a standard bearer (more are promised).
Interesting packs: plague doctors, civilians, wide range of separate heads available for conversions, petard and grenadoes, frame gun, preachers, small range of 'suitable' buildings. 
Main omissions: highland pike, limbers, baggage, Scots dragoons, engineers, harquebusiers on foot, unarmoured pike, fully armoured pike.

Steelfist - this is how the horse arrived, tail-less

A newer range of true 15mm figures, now quite well established. Extensive varieties of pike (open hand, a bristle type pike is supplied), musketeers, simply oodles of cavalry, artillery, and characters. Figures are sold in packs made up of unique figures. A few mistakes with equipment, which irritates pedants like myself - Lord Brooke wears his grandson's helmet (such a design wasn't available until many years after his death), but mostly very accurate clothing and equipment.
Interesting packs: some of their character figures are recognisable from portraits when super-magnified, not so discernible in real life; dismounted cavalry; Royalist musketeers with pouches rather than bandoliers; dragoon horseholders  
Main omissions: currently mainly early First Civil War available; Scots are due in the very near future (they are just starting to be sculpted). Dragoons, limbers, baggage.

Totentanz

Totentanz
A Spanish range covering the 30YW (mostly) but many figures are suitable for supplementing larger 15mm figure ranges. 

Appear to be unavailable at the moment. In case you are wondering about the name 'Totentanz' it is a genre of allegory from the Late Middle Ages on the universality of death.

The Gallia legacy range, now sold through Warrior Miniatures. Large 15mm (aka 18mm, and in some cases nearer 20mm). Good range of pike (separate cast pikes provided) and muskets. Figures are sold individually. 
Interesting packs: Female camp follower on foot, preacher with Bible.
Main omissions: Scots, Irish, mounted dragoons. limbers, baggage.

Warrior are 'temporarily closed' and have been for a number of years, they are not taking any orders.

Warlord Epic Pike & Shotte Battles

Their Epic figures are a supposedly a unique size sitting between 10mm and 15mm ranges. However, they have slowly crept up in size since the original ACW Epic release, and can now be described as 'true 15mm'*. The plastic box sets are meant to be suitable for both the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, and the Thirty Years War.

Epic pikemen strips with the obligatory ruler

Figures released so far are a generic infantry box with strips of musketeers and pikemen, and some individual pikemen with pikes at port. Musketeers all have musket rests. The Epic style of closely packed figures is problematical when it comes to musketeers - in practice they would be much more widely spaced. The cavalry box contains mounted and dismounted dragoons, cuirassiers, harquebusiers, commanded shot and artillery. Scots figures make up a second wave of releases (a Covenanter box containing horse, foot, dragoons and artillery all on 1 sprue.

Resin cast command packs, and highlanders are available at premium prices. 

Interesting packs: none
Main omissions: Musketeers without rests, harquebusiers on foot, clubmen, Irish, limbers, baggage.

* I wonder how long before young people start describing 'true 15' as 'Epic'?


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Comments

  1. How about Irregular miniatures, they do a generic Western European range ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did not include Irregular as this is primarily a Wars of the 3 Kingdoms (ECW) blog; whilst Irregular have a handful of packs that might be suitable, there range is deeply rooted in Central Europe, and eastwards.

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