Friday, 11 February 2011

In the Doghouse

Every Gentleman needs a four-legged friend.
Every so often a thread about 28mm dogs pops up at TMP.  Usually the postee wants to know what is out there and if it looks any good with a "normal" 28mm figure.

There are quite a few manufacturers offering Canines, some depict mutts some refined pedigrees.  This goes for the quality also!

In no particular order I will deal with the models I have collected.  As an aside, I use them on my bases to add a bit of character.  Most of Beimbach-Schönau's General staff favour a four legged companion and a few of my Infantry bases will sport a mutt getting in the way of the advancing troops.  Incidentally, I have a Macaw in the parts box but cannot figure out how to use him without making things look too piratical!  Perhaps I need to create an ancient mariner named "Lang Johannes Silberstein"  then again, perhaps not.

I hope these shots are of use to anyone wishing to buy their troopers a pooch or two.  Mr Alexander MacDonald appears courtesy of the Jacobite Retirement Home - he acts as a scale reference.  Neither Mr MacDonald or your author are great fans of "Man's best friend" so our opinions concerning accuracy should be taken with the proverbial pinch of salt.

SGMM (exVendel) Mastiffs - scary.
First up, four monstrous Mastiffs from what used to be the Vendel range (now owned by Sgt Major Miniatures) If memory serves me well these were sold in a pack of five in their Border Reiver range.  Horrible and aggressive looking beasts but my wife assures me they are spot-on in terms of size.  Some very nice sculpting on these, but in my opinion, some are a bit "active" to be used as companions.  More of a hunting/war party feel - good for manhunts.  Also usable as Demon Hounds or similar for those favouring Fantasy games!

Eureka's elegant greyhounds.
Now, to something more refined.  These Greyhounds are from Eureka Miniatures' George Washington set. They are beautifully sculpted and look very lithe.  Expensive miniatures but the elegance is well worth paying for.  Happily, I was sent these gratis by the chaps at Eureka (thanks again)

 Incidentally, it has been suggested that these may be "Wolfhounds" rather than "Greyhounds" - as I said earlier, I am no expert and leave it to the reader to make a decision!

Front Rank: BSP4 "William Cadogan's Dog" 
Front Rank have a dog available in their WSS range.  He is priced at the same level as their figures (in my opinion a little steep) but is a nice enough pooch - albeit a little "stiff" in his pose.  The breed is not obvious to my eyes but perhaps he is a Beagle?  A good solid model and easy to obtain.

Mega Miniatures': Labrador, Collie, St.Bernard and Alsatian.
All the remaining hounds come from Mega Miniatures USA. The proprietor has a very large catalogue of animals (and a lot else besides) and sells dogs both individually and in bargain packs - comprising two each of six different poses.

Mega Miniatures': Beagle(?), Irish Setter, and Pitbull.
Truly these are a mixed bag. Some of the breeds are (as far as I am aware) no good for the C18 but others are very useful.  Likewise, some of the sculpts are a markedly inferior to others.  I suspect this is due to their varied origins from different (now defunct) ranges purchased by MM.

Mega Miniatures': Crazy Mutt & Bulldog.
As dogs come in all manner of sizes and shapes I don't think I can castigate Mega Miniatures too harshly for the weird ones.  That said, both the Pig Faced Pitbull about to pounce and the depressed Irish Setter look a tad strange- not impossible - just odd!

When it comes to value MM Canines are great.  You get a dozen in a "pack" for around US$10.00 and can therefore keep your Generals in pets for quite some time.

I recommend checking them out before going elsewhere.

Dirty dawg!
There is also a very nice mutt in Redoubt Enterprises' catalogue.  He is a shaggy little Terrier-like thing cocking his leg.  Sadly I couldn't find mine for a comparison shot but the picture from Redoubt's site may be of interest.  Of course he would have to be unique in a given army as the "joke" wouldn't be too good if repeated - then again it worked for Henny Youngman, "Take my Wife... PLEASE".

Thunderbolt Mountain: #8046 Wood Elf Dogs
From the fantasy side of the hobby come some impressive and shaggy "hunting hounds" manufactured by Thunderbolt Mountain.  "Neotacha", a fellow TMPer, alerted me to these and very nice they are too.  TBM offer these without the Elven handler so those of us of the historical persuasion are not going to be left with an Elf lurking in the bits box!

Eureka: 100CIV28 "Frederick vignette"
Finally, "Der Alte Fritz" has brought to my attention the dogs in Eureka's Friedrich der Große vignette.  Again a very nice offering by this company.  Friedrich was renowned for his Italian Greyhounds that prowled the palace of Sanssouci and accompanied him on campaign.  It is my opinion that the Eureka hounds are a little "beefy" to properly depict this diminutive and fragile looking breed.  However, they remain a fine product and should be given due consideration.

I hope this has been of some use to anyone considering a metal pet.


  1. I agree, every gentleman needs his hounds. I also believe the gentleman in the portrait is sporting the Ancient and Honorable Order of the Tankard...

  2. Interesting.
    For small breeds one may consider to use 15mm dogs with 28mm humans. For instance I posted a query on TMP along this line regarding possible Border Terriers (the larger males can reach[!] some 16 pounds): Indeed the Xyston wolfhounds seem to roughly have the right peculiarities, though I don't know if they are of the right (diminutive) size when associated with 28-30mm humans.

    The (Vendel) mastiffs can hardly appear as pets, but the Prevote de l'Hotel du Roy -or any form of Palace guard- could have a "K9" (as the Americans say) squad, specially for patrolling the Palace gardens at night.

  3. The Washington dogs by Eureka are actually Hunting Hounds (of some kind) or Fox Hounds. Eureka does make some greyhounds as part of the Frederick Playing His Flute vignette. The Fox Hounds are a little larger and thicker than the greyhounds.

    This is one of the more interesting blog postings that I have seen in quite a while. Nicely done, sir.


  4. Thank you DAF, I thought this may fill a void!

    I wondered if they were a little beefy to be standard Greyhounds - more like Lurchers. I will have a look at the Frederican Greyhounds later.

    Remember that Fritz's Greyhounds were of the Italian variety - and therefore miniatures. They should be less than half the size of a "standard" grey. Indeed you can comfortably keep an Italian inside an opened coat as Fritz was known to do with "Madame de Pompadour"!

  5. A very good post, sir.

    I should also point out that I've found some quite usable dogs (as opposed to wolves) in some Fantasy ranges . . . I particularly like a pair of good greyhounds that I found around 30 years ago (manufacturer long forgotten).

    -- Jeff

  6. Yes Mate, good one , I too am keen on dogs on the base..I have some cats somehwere as well..