When Old Glory announced that they would be producing 15mm ACW figures under their Blue Moon label, I didn't really take that much notice. It seems there are already dozens of manufacturers competing for space in my 15mm ACW armies. So I might have picked up a pack or two out of curiosity, but I thought it unlikely that I would stray far from my favorite, Battle Honors.
Then Old Glory put up some photos of the new range, and I was intrigued. Long time readers of the blog will know that I prefer my horse and musket era armies to look like they have some discipline, marching in step and generally keeping eyes front. Blue Moon has four marching packs, each with fifteen separate poses! I like the Battle Honors marching packs, since they have enough variety to look like real troops, not wind up soldiers, but still they are all generally doing the same thing, marching. If the twelve Battle Honors poses could accomplish this, I figured that 60 Blue Moon poses would do it all the better.
EDIT: Joel from Old Glory writes in the comments that each bag contains 30 unique poses, so the four packs contain 120 different marching poses!
I went ahead and made a large order of Blue Moon figures. I bought 14 marching packs and 6 command packs, for a total of 480 figures. With my Old Glory Army card, I ended up paying $.36 apiece for command and $.30 apiece for rank and file. The only cheaper figures are Old Glory 15s and Battle Honors 15s from 19th Century Miniatures.
I arrived home yesterday to find the Old Glory box on my doorstep. Blue Moon offers some attractive packaging, and if any brick and mortar stores still stock historicals, these figures will look nice on some pegboard. The yellow-and-red header figures are French and Indian War for my friend Jon.
I will have more on the Blue Moon figures themselves as I paint some up over the next few weeks. For now, I will just write that they are crisply cast in hard white metal, the overall level of detail is very high, and the figures are very natural looking. I prefer the look of these figures to any others, including Battle Honors. The pictures below are intended to make for good size comparisons and are not showing Blue Moon at their best.
Today I wanted to compare the Blue Moon figures to other manufacturers. Most 15mm ACW lines work pretty well together. Will these new figures fit with your existing armies?
Here's a typical marching figure all by himself. The 1mm base makes the figure look a little taller than he is. In fact, he is just under 18mm from foot to eye.
I remember from the late 90s and early 2000s how many gamers were bemoaning the scale creep that was moving 15mm figures in the direction of 20mm. The Blue Moon figures seem to have stopped right about where everyone else stopped, around 18mm.
The good news is that Blue Moon figures are all perfectly in scale with each other. The bad news is that most companies produced their ACW lines before the scale creep decade.
Frontier has one of the older ranges, and it's darned near "true" 15mm. Because both figures have the same total height (25mm to the tip of the bayonet), they will mix very well on the table. I would not use Frontier and Blue Moon in the same unit, but they will look fine in adjoining units.
This is a pretty reasonable match. The Old Glory figure is about 1.5mm shorter than Blue Moon, and that's within my range for mixing figures.
Stone Mountain Miniatures
Musket and Stone Mountain are probably the worst fits with Blue Moon. They are significantly shorter and more slender, and their muskets are even smaller! I still think these would work in different units, but they're pushing the compatibility envelope.
This is the most important figure to me to have match, as I have around 600 Battle Honors infantry in my armies. I wish I had a marching Battle Honors figure for comparison, but all mine are painted! Here's the closest pose I could get.
At first glance, the Battle Honors figure appears much too small. The Battle Honors figure stands about 16.5mm from bottom of foot to eye, while the Blue Moon figure has 1.5mm on him. The fact that the Battle Honors figure has bent knees while the Blue Moon figure stands completely erect might explain away .75mm.
Will they work together? I think they definitely will work in separate units. They may even work in the same unit. I'll have to mix some painted figures together and see what you think.
We will have to see how the Blue Moon figures take paint, but right now you can color me impressed. The figures look just like 15mm versions of Sash and Saber's 28mm line, and you all know that is high praise from me!