Saturday, 27 July 2013

Maori War Brits arrive! - A few anyway...

Whoo-hoooo! My Empress Miniatures order has arrived. So far I have been impressed by the company, ease of ordering/time of dispatch/arrival at my door etc. I also liked their multi buy deal for the British Infantry I bought. The packs of four figures are £7.00 but the multi buy deal is for four packs and works out at just £22.00. This is a really good saving and one of the best I have seen amongst manufacturers...and you don't seem to get dumped with a pile of odd crappy figures either like some companies do (see my Crappy Figure Rant post). So far all fantastic, but what about the figures themselves?

They are bloody brilliant!!!!

Those who know me and follow my blog will be aware of my love of all things Front Rank, fantastic figures, fantastic prices, fantastic company to deal with etc etc etc. I can honestly say that these New Zealand Wars figures are at least as good as the Front Rank pieces, very different in style and heft of course, but they are incredibly clean with no flash whatsoever...they even stand up on the bases! All I had to do was slightly straighten the odd rifled musket, you can go from packet to painting tray straight away! Take a look at some of what arrived...

The firing line poses, two of the four pack value set

As you can see, these figures look great straight from the pack, no clean up at all. This next close up pic gives you a better idea.

Not even a mould line in sight, I especially like the slight lean the figure has in anticipation of the recoil.
This shot is of one of the figures from the other two packs in the value pack, the advancing/skirmishing sets. You can see a spec of flash on the musket butt but that is about it! The detailing is very neat indeed, just look at the face!

This is the Regular Infantry Officer set, some very nice poses I think you will agree. Again, look at the detailing and crispness. The heft of the pieces is nice too, just right.

The Homesteader set, Father, Mother (far right) and two daughters. The set is clearly designed to be used in a defensive scenario and a fantastic job has been made of the sculpting, you can see the panic.

These figures are some of the best I have seen and I cannot wait to get started on them. I have sixteen infantry figures, given that is the most economic way to buy them, but I am going to need more. The Units in Muskets and Tomahawks allow me to make two units out of them but I would like slightly larger units, ten figures each for preferance...ish....I have a thing about numbers in units...don't ask, so I will need to buy more, obviously. My plan is to build a 1:1 ratio force based around a reduced Company of regulars supported by some locals/provincials, so now I need to find some info on how British battalions were organised c.1840 to do this properly. Again, I am a bit OCD when it comes to such things. And then there are those nice naval party figures too of course....

The officer set is great but I could really do with more of the sergeant figure, one of the downsides of wanting such stupid things as a perfect 1:1 ratio is that getting hold of enough of certain figures can be a real pain. The contents of the figure sets is dictated by the moulds so securing enough of certain figures could be a problem....or very expensive! I will need another of the great value four pack sets, that will then give me three units of ten figures and a couple over that I can turn into sargeants etc. Final unit size will be set by the historical numbers for section/platoon/company. Then some Provincial troops, some militia....perhaps a naval party.....this could become a tad expensive you know and I havn't even looked at the Maori yet!! Bloody hell....I wonder if I offered to sweep up and make the tea at Empress I could exchange my services for figures? I would bring cake too of course.....smacks a bit of drug fuelled desperation....

I leave you with this last thought regarding skirmish games in New Zealand...terrain is going to be a pig...not many european trees down there you know. There is a solution though, a Kiwi company makes stuff for railway layouts, a tad small for 28mm but who can argue. Seen many of these at your local model shop? Another order form to complete....sigh.


  1. Very nice, but they're not painted???

  2. Hi Ray,

    Steady, son, steady....oh gods, its no good...where's me brush!!!!!!!!

  3. The toitoi looks good. You mention that they might be too small so I am guessing they are for HO OO railways. No one will know other than you so don't sweat it.

    The figures also look good. Well proportioned and characterful. Like Ray It will be a pleasure to see them painted.

    Lastly, Osprey have a new book out on the subject so check Amazon (WSS Magazine price it at £9.99 so quite affordable.)

    1. Hi Clint,

      they do look good don't they. Scale of the model is a bit of an issue but as you rightly say, who would really notice? I have experimented with making my own larger versions with some success...not perfect but the concept holds. I will give ferns a go too, but me and craft knives have a long an terrible history....

      The figures? I admit to feeling some trepidation and worry over failing to do them justice; I shall just have to bite the bullet.

      Thanks for the heads up on the book too, I will take a look :)