Sunday, 16 September 2012

18mm "Man at War" Napoleonics

I've bought myself some more toy soldiers, because I clearly didn't have enough toy soldiers. It's not entirely my fault; I was led astray by Evil Companions. Honest.

Anyway. I bought a box of Waterloo-era Napoleonic British infantry by Man at War for their "Napoleon at War" game — which may have been a bad idea, when it comes to mixing and matching them with figures from other manufacturers. They're described as "15/18mm scale" and measure 18mm from foot to eyebrows, which would make them giants of men among actual 15mm figures. Never mind; if it comes to the crunch I'll call them Guards or something.

As far as sculpting goes, they're not too bad. Not the best I've seen, but far from being the worst. The picture shows an unpainted and painted version of the same figure (almost the same — the unpainted guy is a flank company soldier, with the swallows-nest epaulettes, while the painted one is from a centre company. The epaulettes are the only real difference... though the flank company guy seems a trifle taller).

The figures don't need a great deal of cleaning up, but there is some to be done. They're moulded in a very soft alloy, and a lot of them arrived with their muskets wrapped around themselves like cthulhoid tentacles, so they need to be carefully straightened out. Also, there tends to be quite a bit of roughness around the somewhat massively chunky bayonets that needs to be trimmed off. As usual, there are some visible mould lines to be smoothed away, and that's about it for the pre-painting clean-up.

The test figure I did (to work out a reasonable production-line paint process) painted up pretty easily. The detail on the figures is well delineated without being too chunky, which eases painting enormously — tiny figures with in-scale lacing, frogging and what-not can be a bit of a trial to paint for the wargames table, in my opinion; I like a bit of "colouring book" help to speed things along.

The box includes plastic bases designed to hold 4 figures, for the Napoleon at War game system. I may replace those with MDF bases, since I prefer square-cornered bases to rounded ones for formation-based games like this. Ideally I'd like to mount them on 2mm MDF, but if need be, I'll go to 3mm.