Incoming! – Episode 13

Welcome to the latest episode of Incoming!

This week my top ten includes releases from Warlord Games, Gripping Beast, Aventine Miniatures and Wargames Factory.

I hope you enjoy the show…

12 Comments on Incoming! – Episode 13

  1. Paul Caspall // August 3, 2009 at 03:11 // Reply

    Hmm, more chunky 28’s. Where to begin? The Aventine figures are Hobbits. The WW1 figures have Ronald McDonald hands, bigger than their heads. The Dromedarii are riding baby camels! The Gripping Beast cavalry (Black Hats/Svoi Pogyane/whatever) – oh my God! Typical chunky riders riding bleedin’ dogs! Note to Gripping Beast: take a look at a real horse and find someone who can actually sculpt one! Look at the proportions between rider and steed! LAUGHABLE!

    What is going on with so many 28mm historicals? Why do figures have to be proportioned like cartoons or Halflings? Why are animals suddenly so difficult to get right? When you see it done right (eg Eureka/Perry/Ebob and others who know their stuff/make the effort), many of these ‘other’ offerings look like rubbish. Character is great, but it doesn’t always have to look like Frodo or Ronald McDonald!

    The other day I was searching for quality 28mm sculpts of WW2 German Heer for Summer ’40-’42. Could not find one range that didn’t have proportion issues with either heads, hands, weapons or even basic stuff like getting the helmets right! Then I remembered the 20mm figures by AB, produced years ago. Gee, guess what? Perfectly proportioned, realistically posed figures with correct gear, weapons, etc! In a smaller scale!!! Made years ago!!!

    Sorry Neil, there *are* good figures being made. In fact there are *amazing* figures being made today. But some of this bunch are mediocre at best and/or a continuation of a recent trend that thinks chunky cartoon is the one true way to go.

    Rant over for now.

    • Dear Neil:

      I appreciate the effort that goes into your show, but I have to agree. This lot fairly sucked.

      1) Jeeps aren’t huge, but that model was not correct to scale. Three men and a .30 BMG can “comfortably” fit in the cargo compartment of a Willys’ Jeep. As depicted, two figures could not even begin to fit, even if their limbs were in the same plane as their bodies.

      2) Too many Shetland ponies in those figures. Some were downright ridiculous.

      3) Speaking of ridiculous, shouldn’t camels have more mass than their riders?

      Again, not a slam at you. If there really are the “best” of UK manufacturers, well then….

      • David

        OK – I have a couple comments on your comment….

        2. ‘Shetland Ponies’ – check my reply to Paul about the horses of the Steppe tribes. Actually, Shetland Ponies is not too far off the mark for their real life mounts.

        1 & 3. Yes. fair comment on the camels, though I’m not conviced about the Jeep. In my experience, Jeeps tend to be modelled oversize in 28mm. However, I’m happy to suggest that the figures themselves are oversized – which is a ‘standard’ problem with 28mm.

        The “Best” of UK manufacturers? – well, considering the main problems you have highlighted are with models from the same company, and I’m only looking at figures from 5 UK companies in the particular show (Wargames Factory and Khurasan are both US companies) I find that comment somewhat harsh, to say the least…

        However, as I’ve already said, part of the reason I do this show is to put new models ‘out there’ and invite comment…

        Many thanks for you comments, and for watching the show – please continue to give me your feedback


    • Paul

      Whilst I agree with you on some aspects of 28mm scuplting – I’m not sure if the historical miniatures are getting infected by the ‘GW’ proportion of miniatures, there are a couple of your comments I have to take issue with.

      The Aventine figures are Hobbits

      How can you tell? Or are you just going on the size of the feet and the helmets.
      Yes, the helmets look oversize, but you can’t say a figure is a hobbit unless you have something to compare it against, as the term ‘hobbit’ indicates that the figure is too small. Since there is no indication of scale in the pictures from Aventine, I have to disagree with you infreence on this one (being pedantic I know…)

      Gripping Beast cavalry – these are nomadic warriors from the steppes. I’ve got a friend who works as a missionary amongst the Mongolian nomadic tribes – these people still live as they did hundreds of years ago. Guess what? They don’t ride big horses. They ride a breed of horse that is little more than a pony in size – yes, think oversized Shetland. Why? Because they breed horses for hardiness and endurance, so the horses are smaller and more robust than what we may be used to seeing.
      Therefore I don’t have a problem with these at all…

  2. Neil

    Re: the Aventine hobbits. Yes, by ‘hobbit’ I mean they are proportioned like hobbits: little men with big heads and feet. They don’t need to be standing next to anything else to ‘look like a hobbit’, as their own proportions provide the description. I don’t have a huge issue with them as it’s clearly been done for painting reasons, and they’ll look gorgeous as a result – just not my cuppa out of personal preference. I was too one-sided in my comment on them though.

    Re: the steppe ponies. I’m very familiar with the size of Mongolian ponies and larger horses also available in the region. You’re not talking to an ignorant here; the subject is a pet fave of mine: Huns, Mongols, etc. Even with the smaller steppe ponies, the average riders’ feet come down to just below the girth/belly. The GB riders feet come down almost to the knees! The head ratios between rider and pony are out by almost 2:1. Take a look at some photos of Mongolian ponies and their riders Neil, or I can provide you with some.
    Or you can always look at the Copplestone Mongol cavalry and if you study them you’ll see the difference: the Copplestone ponies are correctly proportioned with their riders and the GB ones are not. The GB riders are half-ogres by contrast. GB horses have always been poor compared with their riders and infantry figures, and still are.

  3. Anyway, it’s probably time to move on from this…


    • Paul

      I seem to have missed posting a reply somewhere – I think I forgot to hit ‘save’.

      I’m entirely open to being wrong – especially about the Huns etc. I must admit, I forgot that they were one of your specialities – I seem to remember we’ve cross swords on these before 🙂

      28mm figures. You may have heard me make passing comment on metal 28mm figures and proportion in a VftV show. I think we all know that there are ‘issues’ with proportion with all manufacturers – some more than others – and I’m will to overlook most as a general ‘accepted abnormality’.

      However, please feel free to keep me on my toes 🙂

  4. No worries Neil.

    The whole steppe pony thing is an obsession of mine bordering on complete lunacy. Whenever I see something to do with it that looks wrong, I go off like a barking moonbat.



  5. Dear Neil:

    There is absolutely nothing personal intended. I am just learning about miniatures, and I felt the need to comment on this lot.

    My comment would make more sense if I had elaborated. The “Top 10″ from any given week could fairly suck if it were a bad week, so to speak. I would argue it must have been a bad week for UK miniatures that week. It WAS unlucky 13 after all.

    While you are correct that steppe ponies are no Percherons, their riders would have also been correspondingly smaller in previous eras. In other words, there aren’t that many Central Asians over 5’6,” even today. Some of those figures look like 6 feet tall men on Shetlands.

    In my limited experience, it seems like US and Japanese manufacturers are more “realistic” in scaling their models and their proportions.

    Also, I would agree that a hobbit is a hobbit. You don’t necessarily need any frame of reference to notice the oversize head, feet, and hands, as opposed to the stubby dwarf-like legs.

    As I said, just some constructive criticism. If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t bother! 😉


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