Thursday, February 28, 2008

Bienvenue à un nouveau blog, et au Régiment d'Orleans

...or the Royal des Vaisseaux, I haven't decided yet!

First off, My friend Kris Opsetmoen has finally put up his own blog showing the figures from his extensive-well, okay, huge- Seven Years War collection of 28mm figures. He has started with the Hanoverians. If you like Lace Wars "eye candy,", be sure to check his site- I've posted the url in my "links" section. Well done, Kris, and I'm sure everyone will want to see more.

Next, I received the French infantry from what is, in the opinion of M. le Marquis, the rather unfortunately named Minden Miniatures (see photo). These are simply among the very best SYW figures I have seen- their stately poses capture the look of those period engravings, yet they are no caricatures. The detail has to be seen to be believed, and the nice thing is that they look surprisingly easy to paint- no fuss, no flash to speak of at all.

The drawback is that they are - I was going to say "tiny", but in height they match Front Rank well. These are well-proportioned and SLENDER! In fact in style they look a lot like 20mm miniatures, or even 1/72 scale plastics, particularly the faces (the rank-and-file have the most wonderful sardonic sneer- as if having just learnt that the regimental wine casks were empty).

But they are gorgeous, and clearly inspired by the "Charles Grant" image of 18th C. gaming. The muskets and bayonets are the best I have seen in this scale.
Think Stadden elegance with Perry-quality sculpting and what looks like Front Rank paintability! Richard Ansell did a magnificent job here- these miniatures are exquisitely conceived and designed.

They certainly would not look right on the same base as a Front Rank figure, but kept separate they should be fine. In April or so I should get the Eureka Dutch- they will be on the slender side too, so should match up better- and of course they will be on the opposite side of the table!

Now, I am not one of those people who bemoan the anatomy of wargames figures (with some notable exceptions). In fact, I feel that these days there is sometimes too much emphasis on the individual figure and not enough on how they look in a unit- I have been guilty of this myself and realize that to a large extent this has been one of the reasons why my painting is so glacially slow. I will first paint up a complete unit of these as well as the Front Rank French in white coats to see how they look on the tabletop, and then decide which way I want to jump for the rest of my collection.

I like to stick to one manufacturer as far as is possible, at least for each nationality. Minden Miniatures look fabulous, Front Rank have a larger range of figures, the price is the same for both, and service from both companies is excellent. It may come down to which ones are easier to paint.  

The biggest drawback I can see with Minden is the fact that it remains essentially a "private" venture- while we are assured that in the future customers may count on him to cast more figures should they require it to beef up their collections, there are no plans to produce anything beyond what Mr. Hammond chooses to add to his collection.   Fair enough, Frank makes this very clear up front on his blog so no faulting him there- it is his own project after all.  Nevertheless, this could be a factor in whether someone would choose to make Minden Miniatures their "range of choice" for a WAS/ SYW Army as there are few if any other ranges out there that are truly compatible in style and quality.

Finally, apologies- I had hoped to fight the Battle of Seligenstadt this past Monday, but what with spring definitely in the air, we ended up spending the better part of the day at the gardening centre instead, and in planning for the coming campaign season against the annual ravages of centipedes and slugs. This coming weekend, I promise.

As way of compensation, I have added the March of the Regt. Saintonge to the site. For your listening pleasure.


Bluebear Jeff said...

I have RSMs in my collection since I like their slim elegance . . . but if I could afford it, I would get Minden figures instead . . . they do look fabulous; and the figures are properly proportioned and not large dwarves.

-- Jeff

Fitz-Badger said...

I came across the link to your blog while catching up on the EvE blog (I really should take a closer look at those links from time to time!).
Very enjoyable and informative so far! Looking forward to seeing your miniature units take shape.
Nice flags!

Der Alte Fritz said...

Hello: der Alte Fritz here, stopping in for look. I am enjoying your blog very much for all the information that you have compiled.

Robert said...

Thanks everyone- glad you are all enjoying the blog.

Der Alte Fritz, I always find your blog- not to mention your painting, productivity, and general approach to gaming-inspirational.

It really is high time I updated this blog. March and April saw my hands full with other projects- not to mention work and "real life".I had the time to enjoy either the painting or the blogging, but not both!

Anonymous said...

Always enjoy popping back here and beathing deeply the joy and resonance of a devoted gamer.


Robert said...

Thanks...(I think?) Given that the last update for this blog was in February, it's hard to know how to interpret that, Drew!

I basically have had too many projects on the go without making much progress in any of them, so I felt this had to stop; it was time to focus on one era for a while.

For me, this means Napoleonics as that makes up the bulk of my collection. This past summer has seen me trying to make a dent into my French force.

Rest assured I certainly have not given up on this blog or of the adventures of the good Marquis- I still jot down ideas in a notebook for future reference!

And if Eureka ever get their War of the Austrian Succession Dutch range finished and sent off to me, I'm sure I'll find myself diving into Flanders and the 18th C. World again.