Friday 13 May 2011

Decorate Your Battlefield

The effort needed to paint sufficient troops for my tabletop battles has in the past precluded the creation of figures which are there just to make the table look more interesting. However, I recently decided that some figures of this kind would make a pleasant change from painting 'real' soldiers, and would also improve the appearance of my Hochkirch battlefield when I take it to Colours in September.

So after some online searching I ordered various bits and pieces (mainly civilians and a few sheep) from Hovels and Spencer Smith Miniatures. In the latter case I selected from the Willie Figures range.


I ordered 8 of the 'wedge tents' from the ACW range (to represent the Prussian camps at Hochkirch), and from the 'Animals and Civilians' range I ordered a total of 9 sheep, a farmer, an innkeeper and an innkeepers wife. Total cost £24.38 including p+p. You can see them posed above with an RSM musketeer for comparison.

I was very pleased with these items. I ordered with a bit of trepidation as the figures are advertised as 25mm (so I thought they might be too small) and Hovels aren't really known as a figure manufacturer (so I thought the quality would be poor). Wrong on both counts. The figures fit perfectly with my RSM95s, and quality is excellent - well sculpted, well cast figures with little or no flash. The tents are also good - just the right size and well cast in resin with no bubbles or other faults.

Close up of 'wealthy farmer', RSM musketeer and 'innkeepers wife'.

Willie Figures

You can see below the figures I ordered from the Willie range. Again I was well pleased. This is an old range, of course, but the quality is fine and these are nicely proportioned, anatomically correct figures fully compatible with my RSMs. 

From left to right: D36 French Engineer Officer, D35 British Sutleress, N5 British Company Officer, D8a Lady Riding Side Saddle, RSM musketeer, D10 British Mounted Officer, N31 Gentlemen, N32 Lady, N33 Farm Boy, N34 Farm Girl. 

For my taste the pose of the lady's horse is a little extravagant, but on the other hand I particularly liked the portly sutleress. There is a bit of flash on these figures (which were cleaned up quickly for the photo) but it is very easy to remove. The officer figures come with separate swords to glue on. Total cost was £17.12 including p+p (I ordered 2 of the French Engineer Officer, British Company Officer and Sutleress, 1 each of the rest).

Close up of Lady Riding Side Saddle, RSM musketeer, Gent and Lady.

Service from both manufacturers was good. So overall I am well satisfied and looking forward to working my way through painting these models in the next few months. With a few individual musketeers and officers from the RSM range added in, I can produce some solo figures and vignettes which should add a bit of class to my SYW table.


Andy McMaster said...

Hi Keith, Thanks for the comments re my blog over on the BKC/CWC forums. For some reason I'd not come across your blog before and I'm now glad I have! I've been painting RSMs for my ImagiNation stuff recently and really like the range so will be doing more later this year. I also really like the other compatible ranges you've ID's as I need some civvies as well and these look spot on. I've not had experience of ordering Minden, but hope to do so soon as the figures I have soon (and the couple I have) are bloody lovely. If you had a Follower widget I'd sign up but I've added you to my Blogs I Follow and look forward to exploring your blog more.
All the best

abdul666 said...

A very laudable addition to any Lace Wars table-top army!

The 'Willie' show their age, but for most of the types you illustrated, specially the feminine, one could hardly find better in modern ranges. And I don't know of any other '18th Lady riding' -sidesaddle or otherwise.

Seemingly the French Sutleress is less portly and offers a generous cleavage: Vive la difference!

Looking forward to discover them in their painted glory.

littlejohn said...

Really helpful shots, Thanks Keith!

Anonymous said...

howdy - wonder if you can clarify - do the RSM figs match SSM for size etc - I have some of the latter, but would like to mix in RSMs if compatible...

all best,


Keith Flint said...

Hi Mark,

Yes, I would say Spencer Smiths match RSM for overall size, though RSMs are far superior in detail and general quality. However, Spencer Smiths are such distinctively 'old fashioned' figures that matching other figures with a more modern appearance can be problematic, even if they match for overall size.

This group of Bavarians has an SSM standard bearer, if that's any help:

Best of luck, Keith.