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Thursday, 26 May 2011

A Look at Vintage Wargaming Figures.

 This spiel is just to point would be SYW/Vintage type gamers in the right [ my opinion] direction.

  There doesn't seem to be a week goes by where some brave enterprising soul isn't releasing a new range of wargames figures, vehicles or buildings for the enthusiast to swoon over. Every period, every nation, real or otherwise is catered for. There has never been a better time to be a wargamer.
 However I sometimes wonder who the figures are actually aimed at. Just how many ranges of French Napoleonic figures does a person actually need? How many times do you need to update you're units, just because the latest figures are even better than the last? To me it all smacks of a Games Workshop type of mentality, and I do collect Warhammer figures so I'm not bashing that company. 
All are good, some are truly wonderful, however replacing your old units with the new improved ones are not only expensive but it is very time consuming.
 It should be noted that I have been wargaming for over forty years and like virtually every other gamer of that experience I progressed from Airfix figures to 25mm metal figures and then onwards ,ad infintum.

Three years ago I set out on a journey of re discovery and returned to my wargaming roots.

I decided that I wanted to fight with a simple set of rules, pushing around large wargaming units, and I wanted it to be fun with a capital 'F'.
I identified my aims as;

1] Simple but accurate rules.

2] Colourful armies.

3] Large units.

I also wanted to fight a period that I hadn't done before.

I opted for the Seven Years War, a period of beautiful uniforms and numerous battles.

There are several very good ranges of figures on the market, but I wanted my armies to contain figures from a by gone age. I opted for the ranges produced , by the late Peter Gilder ie. Hinchliffe and Steve Hezzlewood,ie .Pax Brittanica/RSM.
 Hinchliffe are now owned by Ian Hinds of Hinds Figures. Pax Brittanica or RSM are now produced solely in America by the Dayton Painting Consortium, [ www.dpcltdcom.org/] when searching on the internet.
 Steve Hezzlewood was a wayward genius who produced anatomically correct 30mm figures, in practical poses from a wargamers point of view, they are elegant and in my opinion capture the 'look' for the period.

Peter Gilder in turn adopted a different approach, and created wonderful ranges of action packed characterful figures. Both had their detractors, both in my opinion were gifted designers.
 Gilder opted for a broad stroke approach which if then painted in that style look brilliant,research any wargames magazine from the 70's and 80's.

 Ian Hinds when he purchased the Hinchliffe ranges took the wise move of dropping the prices of the figures. There's not many wargaming companies doing that is there. His infantry retail at 75p per figure, his cavalry are £1.65p.They are extremely good value. Interestingly from my point of view, Hinchliffe sell an old Steve Hezzlewood range of figures under the name of the X range. These are really fine AWI figures, probably the best AWI on the market. Discuss.

The Dayton Painting Consortium sell the Steve Hezzlewood ranges for $29.00 per bag of 36 infantry, the cavalry retail at $25.80 per bag of 12 figures. That equates to £18.54 for a bag of 36 figures at current exchange rates.
Both companies do decent mail order, and both are readily available via the internet.

When buying from America you always run the risk of HM Customs, so I would recommend that you place smallish orders and come to some arrangement with the owner Richard Masse regarding how the orders are recorded on the parcels. It may help save the purchaser getting a bill for actually opening the parcel to see whats inside. The usual cost for this service from HM Customs is £8.00! plus tax.

I thoroughly recommend the service provided by Ian Hinds and would liken it to a by gone more naive era where trust was a given.


Finally what I would suggest is that before the reader goes reaching for the latest range of figures. They pause and consider what are now classed as vintage figures, they will be pleasantly surprised at what is out there and just how good they are.More importantly just how good value they can be. 


                       Hinchliffe Austrian Dragoons.
           RSM French Heavy Cavalry.


 





























7 comments:

  1. I also have a large number of the RSM figures . . . and they are indeed "elegant". I highly recommend them.


    -- Jeff

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  2. Yes, yes, and yes!

    Best Regards,

    Stokes

    ReplyDelete
  3. Robbie,

    You won't be surprised that i fully endorse you views. I'd also put in a mention for Ted Suren's Willie range - whilst the foot are generally too big to work with Hinchliffe or PB/RSM the cavalry riders - once mounted on Hinchliffe or Connoisseur horses - fit in very well. Expensive, but wonderfully detailed, full of character (humour, even) and movement, each one is an individual. And the service from Magnus in Sweden is first class.
    Cheers.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Its interesting that you go on about vintage figures but that your presentation is modern- black edged plastic bases a la GW - something I personally wouldn't do since the black edges stick out like a vicar in a knocking shop . Nevertheless as a chap who is busy with a vintage style range I'd largly echo most of your comments except regarding the current quality of Hincliffe- unless Ian - nice fella has updated his moulds in the last year or so. I had a few X range and binned 'em - too much hacking. I've had the same problem with some Willie Grassins - but they are very old not the new Willies David made so have an excuse.
    Mind you I may revisit the X range- they do go pretty well with my Stadden and not too badly with muOG 2nd ed.

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  5. Hinchcliffe and RSM are great ranges with plenty to offer.

    -- Allan

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  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  7. How can I get a copy of "A Nostalgic Whim?"

    ReplyDelete

My 6mm Napoleonic set up.

My 6mm Napoleonic set up.
Austria 1809.

Austrian Hussars

Austrian Hussars
Hinchliffe figures

Austrian Grenzer

Austrian Grenzer
Austrian Grenzer

Smoggycon 2013

Smoggycon 2013
Smoggycon 2013

Smoggycon 2012

Smoggycon 2012
Smoggycon 2012

Smoogycon 2009

Smoogycon 2009
My French getting another beating