Thursday, March 27, 2008

15mm Minifigs Napoleonics

From what I've read, I gather than Minifigs is one of the oldest wargame figure manufacturers. They have a reputation for high quality figures in a remarkably consistent toy soldier style. Most packs include only one pose of the rank and file soldiers and three poses of command. The figures themselves are very flat, with minimal raised detail and very wooden poses.

For these reasons, some people don't care for Minifigs. I like them a lot for the very same reasons. The flat surfaces are very easy to paint assembly line style. The wooden poses, when combined into a unit, create an impression of a disciplined group of soldiers moving in strict formation. For the horse and musket period, this is absolutely ideal. I love Old Glory, and AB are definitely growing on me, but there's something about Minifigs that captures the look of the period.

This week I painted two units of Minifigs soldiers. First is the Russian Preobragenski Guard regiment for Borodino. In my Age of Eagles order of battle, this regiment gets 11 stands of four men each. Most of my Russian 1812 army is made up of Old Glory figures, but I wanted Minifigs for the disciplined Russian Guard. These figures are from pack 15013022, "RU Infantry March/Attack in Kiwer 1812." The figures all come with the grenadier plume, which can be trimmed off for line regiments.

Click on any picture to get a larger image.

Close up of Russian infantry

Here you can see both the good and bad of the Minifigs approach. All these infantrymen are the exact same pose; there's no variety at all. The lack of raised surfaces makes detail painting difficult. I painted the cockades unevenly, I wasn't able to paint any bands on the muskets, and I was just able to create the impression of a face. But these guys definitely look the part nonetheless.

Close up of Russian command

Here are the other three poses in the pack. The officer and standard bearer are much more animated than the infantryman pose. The drummer boy is actually a boy. In fact, he's so short that you can barely see him behind the standard bearer. The flag is from

Group Shot: Preobragenski Guard Regiment

It's only in the group picture that you can see the true strength of the Minifigs range. By skipping a couple of highlighting stages, I was able to finish all 44 figures in just six hours. And six hours of painting produces an outstanding looking unit. I'm not going to enter my Minifigs in any painting contests. But when I'm building an army of 1000 infantry, Minifgs is a good choice.

At the same time I was painting my Russian guard, I painted one base of Minifigs French horse artillery (pack 15010035). There's no use clicking on these pictures to get bigger versions. You're seeing the full size picture here.

No comments:

Post a Comment