Tuesday, 7 December 2010

28mm Figure Review #3: Old Glory & Irregular

Always on the lookout for a bargain, I recently got my hands on some "Marlburians" produced by the above manufacturers.  In no particular order, I will start with Old Glory.

As most readers will know, Old Glory do not sell individual figures.  Most 28mm codes contain 30 Infantry or 10 Cavalry.  Unusually, the "Wars of Marlborough" range is sold in bags of 10 Infantry or 4 Cavalry.  A quick glance will show that the packs are categorised by their dress rather than any Nationality.  This could prove daunting for someone unsure of a given Army's details.  For me, it was a boon.   I could select exactly what I wanted.

Old Glory MW005 Infantry in Tricorn
In this instance I bought packs:  MW001 Infantry Command, NCOs Drummers and Standard Bearers & MW005 Infantry in Tricorn Marching, Coat with Collar & Fur Pack When Ordering I had a pleasant conversation with the proprietor of OG UK who answered a few questions I had about figure pose.  All very enjoyable - even for someone like myself who makes Larry David look sociable.

In general, I find OG offerings to be a mixed bag.   Some are great whilst others are a bit over-animated for my liking (I am a stick in the mud!)  I am pleased to say that these packs proved to be agreeable to my aesthetic.  Good solid poses and nobody looking like they were dancing or throwing a fit.  There are three basic poses and the usual variety of cast-on head variants.  The figures are dressed in a style that can certainly "pass" well into the 1730s and are thus of great interest to me for both eras of my ImagiNation.  Standing around 26/27mm at eye-level they will prove compatible with many of the other leading makers.  However, should you not wish to mix them there is certainly a comprehensive selection available from OG.

The generic Command pack was less good but by no means a waste of time.   A few of the figures have have some rather weird wigs.  Also my pack included a casualty - something I have little use for.   I knew "deaders" were a possibility but I had my fingers crossed!  

As is usual with OG, there are a lot of venting runners attached (easy to remove) and a few bent bayonets.  Pleasingly, there were NO MISCASTS!  All in all I think these figures are very useful and the smaller bag size makes for a good deal less wastage than the 30 man packs when you use a 24 miniature Regiment model.

Irregular LM1 (march attack) & LM2 (advancing)
Moving on to Irregular.  I wanted a few of their rather nice artillery pieces and decided to buy some infantry samples at the same time.   Priced at 75 pence (November 2010) these are some of the cheapest metal miniatures out there.

Standing a couple of millimetres taller than the OG offerings, these figures are somewhat "beefier" and definitely more narrowly "Marlburian".   Detail is good on the coats and acceptable on the feet.  However the faces are far more "Impressionistic" than most other makes.  This is especially noticeable around the eyes where a wide indentation is present rather than individual eye-sockets.  

That said, well painted and viewed en-masse these figures are going to look pretty impressive.  There are at least three variations in the "march attack" pose which has been realised in a manner new to me.   The muskets are held high up on the torso leaving a great length of barrel "in the air".   I must confess I do not know if this was a characteristic of the period but it looks a bit different - not bad just different!

The "At the ready" pose was not one I chose but rather a packaging error.   However, he illustrates another option and is thus useful.

These figures have a bit of flash present which will have to be scraped off and most probably sanded smooth.  After this is done, their simple lines will certainly give the painter a good, if unforgiving, canvas upon which to work.  It is my feeling that quality of paintwork is going to be key in determining whether these stand or fall. 

If you are able to paint details and add a sense of depth to a figure, I would say these are well worth looking at.  However, if your painting skills are negligible and you rely heavily on exaggerated details doing the work for you, there may be trouble ahead!  In short a "painter's figure" well worth considering - especially with attractive bulk deals available.

Below, as is usual, a side by side photo showing these chaps in my rogues' gallery (an improved version will soon be fabricated)   In this case, I do not think they would work well in the same unit but together in an army - perhaps.

Side-by-side comparison.
As I mail-ordered from both suppliers I can use my marking system this time.  I should add that there were problems but the suppliers sorted these out with politeness and alacrity.

Scores out of 10 - thoroughly personal ratings explained:

Sculpting - Quality of detail and accuracy
Casting - Mismoulds and flashing
Variety - How comprehensive is the range
Service - Was the seller easy to reach, polite and helpful
Delivery - How long did they take to get to me
Value - Are they a good deal overall

Delivery time based upon my experience - UK to UK delivery.

Sculpting:                 OG 7/10  -  IM 4.5/10
Casting:                   OG 10/10 - IM 5/10
Variety of Subject:   OG 8/10 - IM 5/10
Customer Service:    OG 10/10 - IM 8/10
Delivery Time:         OG -/10* - IM 8/10
Value:                     OG 8/10 - IM 6/10

* OG Delivery time was delayed by severe snow.

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