Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The English Civil War Project..

...and so it starts, another project.. fairly rare things in Steve the Wargamer's life, so something to be enjoyed..

So let's start with that which is dearest to all of us.. the figures! I think for this project I am wanting to go 20mm or 25mm as my eyes are no longer up to 15mm, I can paint them, but when you have to put on your reading glasses to see them on the table in all their glory then enough's enough!

If I did go 15mm though, then Peter Pig would have have been it without a doubt... There is a possibility that when Old Glory UK start selling the Blue Moon 15mm range (that's to the eyes, so 18mm, really) they may just hit the spot, so I'm not rushing in to a decision yet, but the following was the result of a lunchtimes enjoyable browsing...

I already know that some of these are not going to be for me... I'd need a fourth mortgage for the Empress figures as beautiful as they are... at the other end of the scale, the Warrior, while super cheap, are very (very) basic... What did surprise me was the (relative) affordability of the Perry figures - cheaper than Minifigs?

Been in touch with Sean at Newline Miniatures and he has no plans for a range.. shame, as that would have been a "no brainer" for me...

There will be no plastic.. full stop... it's an aspirational thing and now burned into my psyche.. so trust me... no plastic...

Click on the images (which are links to the manufacturers own images/page) for a bigger view, click on the makers name to go to their relevant page..

Infantry Cavalry
Maker Figs Price Price/figure Figs Price Price/figure
Tin Soldier UK 1 £1.00 £1.00 - -
I like the look of these.. no cavalry in the range...
Empress 4 £7.00 £1.75 2 £8.50 £4.25
Cast in solid platinum I believe....
Empress Battalion Pack 28 £39.00 £1.39 12 £40 £3.33
Foundry 8 £12.00 £1.50 3 £12.00 £4.00
Sculpted by the Perry's before they left...
Renegade 8 £12.00 £1.50 3 £12.00 £4.00
Not sure about these...
Bicorne 8 £11.00 £1.38 3 £11.00 £3.67

Like these very much.... a front runner... look at the character in these
Dixon 1 £1.30 £1.30 1 £3.55 £3.55
Bit cartoon'ish? Not for me...
Dixon (Battalion Pack) 24 £29.95 £1.25 12 £39.95 £3.33
Essex 1 £1.20 £1.20 1 £3.15 £3.15
Like him - business'like, not flashy...
Minifigs 1 £1.20/1.30 £1.20/1.30 1 £3.00 £3.00

No mistaking these..!
Perry 6 £7.00 £1.17 3 £8.50 £2.83
e6

Remarkable value but I'm not sure these are ticking my box...
Old Glory UK 30 £25.00 £0.83 10 £25.00 £2.50
Possible....
Tradition 1 £0.95 £0.95 1 £1.90 £1.90
Vintage... undoubtedly has gravitas, but .. no... I guess modern tastes change....
Warrior 1 £0.70 £0.70 1 £1.40 £1.40
Big heads, spindly ankles..?
SHQ (20mm) 4 £3.00 £0.75 3 £5.00 £1.67


The SHQ website is perhaps one of the clunkiest I've ever come across... not only do you have to guess how many figures come in a pack, but they also have no pictures of any of this range, so this was nicked (hopefully with his blessing) from the Figure Painting Therapy [clicky] blog.. superb painting... another possibility....

Redoubt 1 £1.40 £1.40 1 £2.90 £2.90
These come with separate heads....
Redoubt Regiment Pack 24 £30 £1.25 - - -
Les Higgins 1 £0.40 £0.40 1 £0.95 £0.95
This is another of the classic ranges and made available via the Vintage Wargaming site - picture courtesy The Plastic Pellise... can't argue with the prices, and the figures are elegant...  I have some samples on the way...

44 comments:

  1. I'm a big user of the Les Higgins boys - Old John has been a fantastic help. If you like the pre-Newline definition of 20mm, then LH go well with Hinton Hunt (if you can find any), though the earliest "subscription"-series LH's are very slight in build. SHQ figures also pretty good (better than most of their Napoleonics) - Tumbling Dice are chunkier, but OK match for size with these two - to complete the mish-mash, I use Tumbling Dice cavalrymen on SHQ horses, which somehow looks better. If you can't find pics of Tumbling Dice, there used to be some on the Hagen (History in 1/72) site.

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    1. Tony - I was first and foremost taken with the look of the LH figures, they are elegant, and I'd noticed them before as something I might like to investigate further if and when the project started...but second, the price (which is gob smacking'ly low)... add to which Old John sends samples at the drop of a hat!

      Of the others, the SHQ do indeed look nice - I have a feeling that as I stole the picture off of Lee's blog, they may well be figures in your collection? Will check out the Tumbling Dice..

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    2. Tony - you hould have directedme to this page.. :o)

      http://prometheusinaspic.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/ecw-yet-more-figure-comparisons.html

      Excellent and just what I was looking for in terms of size comparison.. between the three I am 95% certain this project will be 20mm comprising Les Hggins/Tumbing Dice/SHQ...

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  2. In terms of period accuracy- forget any musketeers who have helmets (though I'd make an exception with LH if you went 20mm I'm tempted myself). Essex pikemen are mostly left- handed and well just a bit wrong drill wise- the same goes for those minifigs. Empress- in platinum- are also a good bit bigger than many . Me I mix makers in an army - in different units - obviously mostly Old Glory but also some redoubt some nice Hincliffe- especially the Foremost Cavalry and a bit of Foundry .
    I should have the first of the Blue Moon as soon as tomorrow when UPS deliver.

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    1. Andy - despite the attractiveness of the LH (in both ways) it's still not a made decision in my mind.. the LH have a limited number of poses so I have a decision to make about look and feel at a unit level as well as figure level.. I saw some pictures up of the Bluemoon figures on TMP (I think) - they look good.. an interesting thought would be how 18mm fits with small 20mm.. :o))

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  3. My ECW project consists primarily of Redoubt and Renegade. Both are on the largish side of 25mm and come in closer to 30mm. I like both very much. My understanding is that Bicorne are of the same size caliber as Renegade and Redoubt. Old Glory are on the more traditional side of 25mm. To my eye, too small to fit with Renegade/Redoubt. I recently picked up a dozen Empress cavalry. I have yet to paint and field them so too early to make comparison with my collection.

    If you are interested in seeing painted samples of Redoubt and Renegade, you can visit my blog at:
    http://palousewargamingjournal.blogspot.com/p/30mm-ecw.html
    for an ECW gallery of my collection.

    Good luck in your project!

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    1. Thanks Jonathan - I will indeed check the blog...

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  4. 25mm ECW is a white whale I have been pursuing for twenty years. In that time I have gotten a lot of figures, setting them aside for a project I have never really started, but still intend to. I found that the Foundry, Dixon, and Essex lines all go well enough together, and have a good look and good variety. Minifigs and Tradition are sadly of a distant past. I will have to take a look at Les Higgins....maybe this is the year I start painting.

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    1. Ahh, the Les Higgins figures look pretty good, and the price is fantastic, but I can't in good conscience change scales now...

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    2. Chuck - the same issue I had with the Sudan project.. started in 15mm and then a lovely 20mm range came out way too long after I could easily shift scales... in the words of the knight guarding the Holy Grail.. "he chose poorly"... I'm not rushing the decision :o)

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  5. Love the Les Higgins, Tradition, and Warrior figures! Those by Renegade are also nice. Does Suren/Willie have an ECW range?

    Best Regards,

    Stokes

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    1. Stokes - thought you might like that Tradition figure.. :o)

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  6. I have hundreds of painted (and um of course plenty of unpainted) Old Glory 25s. I very much like the variety and animation of these figures and they are fun to paint.

    For rules we mostly use Victory Without Quarter but I've used these figures for games with 1644, Warhammer ECW, Warlord's Pike and Shotte and others. Simon Miller of To the Strongest is working on an ECW version of his rules.

    Just to relate that there is no end to it, I'm currently painting units to use with Pikemen's Lament based on Lion Rampant.

    Very much looking forward to following your project as it progresses.


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  7. I have painted a lot of Bicorne figures and love them...

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    1. Loki - they hve loads of character... and it's not like it has to be a single range project...

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  8. Big decision for you, I've used a mix of Essex, Old Glory, Perry and the old Renegade range. All very nice figures

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    1. Neil - I may well go the same route.. lots of different makes..

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  9. If I was going to get drawn into this period (again) I would go Les Higgins plus some Hinton Hunt. 20mm is a great scale for aging eyes - you can paint them fairly easily but without the extra effort you need for 28mm. Looking forward to seeing your project develop!

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    1. Cheers Stryker.. I'm looking forward to seeing the Les Higgins in the flesh..

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  10. I have toyed with the idea of the Tumbling Dice range but the LH figures are little beauties.

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    1. Matt - you're the second person to mention Tumbling Dice - I really must check them out..

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  11. Oh dear, what to do ah? Personally I think 25mm's to big a figure to do the ECW justice, but that's me. I'm having trouble myself seeing my beloved 15mm figures, my eyes are going rather rapidly!! I'd try for the 20mm, whatever make you decide on??

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    1. Ray - wise words... and I only have a 6 x 4 table...

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  12. Steve, a subject very dear to my heart! I must have painted ECW's from many ranges over the years but if I were starting out again now and was not a '28mm plastics' man, ( I have 2 Warlord ECW starter boxes upstairs in the pipeline), I would definitely go for the 20mm SHQ range.The figures are accurately depicted and well modelled. Only downside was separate heads bit fiddly to stick on as I recall, but worth the effort.

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  13. Been having a look back through my old blog posts to try and find a few images for you of the 20mm figures I painted on commission back in 2014. I'm pretty sure that these were by SHQ or possibly Tumbling Dice, I'm sure somebody will know for sure? They were a joy to paint, I was doing 48 figure regiments and still had plenty of contrast in the figures/ heads/poses etc.

    Essex's Regt: http://napoleonictherapy.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/the-earl-of-essexs-regiment-of-foot-1642.html

    This is a shot of 3 cavalry units I did for Tony (Foy)back in 2013. I think these are SHQ on Tumbling Dice horses, very good fit indeed. You see how much contrast there is in figure types. 20mm scale has much to offer for ECW.

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-v6-YDdHqV4Y/UjWIHfzx0uI/AAAAAAAADxE/emdcrnDNyCM/s1600/001.JPG
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-H8twMfaeGzA/UjWISBu9EGI/AAAAAAAADxk/MREq92-PNmc/s1600/014.JPG
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-BfO6ltNmuNM/UjWILViQ3OI/AAAAAAAADxM/goYWg3QPoCE/s1600/004.JPG

    Finally some fine 20mm clubmen, also for Tony, think these are also SHQ?

    Hope these images help you make your decision Steve :)

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  14. Oops, forgot the final link! The dreaded 'Clubmen'
    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-GU0Dj7pK8Zw/UmlaZD_b_uI/AAAAAAAAD5g/P_HpcnJK-J0/s1600/017.JPG

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    1. Cheers Lee - they are magnificent... thanks very much for the links..

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  15. That "I can't see them without my glasses" thing is something you just have to get over. I've had to wear glasses since I was eight, and now I get subsidised prescriptions (good old NHS) but I can paint and play with scales from 6mm up. So get over the problem, have your eyes tested properly and buy Peter Pig. They're lovely.

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    1. Trebian... may be, may be not.. I have to wear reading glasses but my distance vision is 20:20... so at the table I am putting them on, taking them off, putting them on, blah blah blah... easier to pick a bigger scale... :o)

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  16. Very interesting Steve but as I already have a large number of figures (job lot going cheap - the worst reason to buy and get into a new period) I shall be more interested to see how you get on with choosing rules. I have dabbled with several sets but not often enough to give a valid opinion.

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    1. Ah... now there's an interesting subject Jim, as I need the rules to give me an idea of how I'm going to base! I have a suspicion I will write my "own" (ie. a distillation of everyone else's work over the previous 30 years!)... use the SYW Project rules as a framework but more period specific..

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  17. I did something similar, but not as wide ranging when I started my ECW 'thing'. I'd decided to stick to 25/28mm and was heavily influenced by personal taste. I came down on the side of Perry, supplemented with probably quite generous numbers of TAG and some Bicorne (cavalry) - which defeats the economic advantages of Perry!

    Being perverse by nature, if I decided upon a foray into the Thirty Years' War, I'd drop down to 15mm to give me a better ground scale with easonably sized units. I don't think you can get a decenet representation of a tercio with a couple of dozen figures and caracoling pistoleers just don't cut the mustard with eight or so figures.

    Another consideration is the physical size of the figures and how you want to represent your units. The Bicorne cavalry are excellent, but their figures are bigger than my existing complement of Perries and TAGs, so I wouldn't be able to maintain the same 'Baroque' basing I use for the pike (i.e. 4 files in 3 ranks), which is disappointing. Somebody contradict me PLEASE!

    I shouldn't worry about the eyesight thing cos it's coming to us all anyway. You can always get a magnifying lamp, although I'd be happier with a guide dog who could paint.

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    1. Cheers Gary.. three ranks for pike was something I was mulling over... I'm leaning more and more towards 20mm.. had one of them lamp things for donkeys... it's made no difference to the standard of my paint brush butchery but I can at least see how awful they are clearly! :o))

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    2. Steve my own ECW form in 4 ranks - I think 3 was a minimum for period looking units- the standard wargamers 2 ranks just does not look right for ECW and haveing the shot in fewer ranks than the pikes is a daft modern affectation and implies that the shot always moved about in "double files".
      Also- at least to begin with Essex's foot formed 8 deep as distinct from the 6 of the Royalists ....
      You are going to have fun sorting this out. I'll be doing it all again in 15/18mm too.!!!!

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  18. FYI chaps- you saw it here first- I've just a few hours ago got a shipment in from the USA- including the Blue Moon ECW- well the first 20 or so packs anyway. In the metal they are even better than the pics-and are definitley on the large side of 15mm so well into 18mm territory.
    If I had any LH 20mm (as distinct from my 30mm) I'd wonder how much bigger the 20mm were .
    Incidentally Suren did do some ECW- i have one small unit.

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    1. Andy - Old John is sending me some LH samples, I'll send you one or two and we can do a size comparison..?

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    2. The LH are a good bit bigger than Airfix, unusually for the time. I think it was at a period of scale creep which led to minifigs S Range (about the same size) and the whole lot being relabelled as 25mm. About 1968, which of course finally settled the whole problem of figure size and scale creep.

      I have a few units of Suren, the range is still in production and has a reasonable number of figures. If you want an army that looks like the Drill illustrations this is the range. The price is good now (£1.50 euro permitting) and the castings OK, but the real problem is that the originals were cast in high tin alloy so that you could bend the arms into shape, now they snap if you try that. Not a problem on some figures but others are useless.

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  19. The Bicorne and Renegade figures (which I have) are by the same sculptor, Nick Collier so I use both as they match perfectly and the combined range is huge. Redoubt are noticeably bigger than Bicorne and Perry are too small and the range is not comprehensive.

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    1. Thanks Legatus... so Redoubt => Bicorne/Renegade => Perry in size terms (large to small)..

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  20. So many things to think about when starting a project - choosing your scale and figures is the most important one to get right - buy what you like and stick to it.

    I went mad and did ECW in 40mm using Sash & Sabre and Irregular Miniatures. Figures are larger and easier to paint and convert.

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    1. Allan - if I had the room then maybe.. but you are absolutely right... figures can be rebased if you switch rules, but you can't switch figures!

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  21. Steve, re eyesight, the are a type of glasses called something like 'professonal' but basically they are a varifocal with just two lens in them, the bottom half are for reading and doing things a cross a desk, such as computers etc, but the top part is just plain glass. That sort of thing would suit you.

    If you get a true vari-focal, I find they are 'packed' with various lens points and so gaming becomes very tiring on the eyes.

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    1. Norm - may be time for some half moon's :o)

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