Miniature Review – Alban Miniatures British Line Infantry

Welcome to Episode 1 of the Meeples & Miniatures Miniature Review Video Podcast.
On this show, I will be looking at several packs from Alban Miniatures range of Napoleonic British Line Infantry in 1/56 scale.

16 Comments on Miniature Review – Alban Miniatures British Line Infantry

  1. Hi Neil

    a worthy successor to Incoming, this is just the sort of info gamers need, and the fact you are independent and therefore impartial means we get the truth about the figures you review.

    Looking forward to seeing more of these in the near future

    Now get back to painting those dwarves

    Cheers

    Mike

  2. Greetings & Salutations,
    Really enjoyed the new ‘cast, a really good indepth review of figures, found really useful, especially the explantaion of the figure scale.
    Will look forward to more in time !
    Keep up the excellent work !
    All the Best
    Andrew

  3. Pat Cohn // April 3, 2010 at 23:17 // Reply

    Overall, a decent review.

    I do take exception to the comment on the metal quality.

    I have purchased several hundred British, French, and Austrian figures from Alban and, to date, have not received even one broken or damaged figure!

    That is a testament to Alban’s care in packaging/shipping and the quality of the metal used by Griffin Moulds. I have had no issues with bent muskets, bayonets, etc.

    • Pat

      I wasn’t saying that the figures were broken at all – what I was trying to point out (and maybe should have made clearer) is that the metal does not have the same amount of lead content as some other miniatures, and is therefore much less pliable.
      This makes for figures which are harder, and therefore less prone to breakage and bending, but it also means that if you do have to correct any issues, you have to be extra careful else you could end up breaking the model yourself.
      The ‘cracking’ is was refering to are almost micro-fractures in the metal – you can definitely feel them when you bend the figure.

  4. Mike Siggins // April 3, 2010 at 23:30 // Reply

    Nice review.

    I think the issue with Alban, and Mr Ansell’s excellent sculpts generally, is that they are not going to work with anything else. Lovely figures, and similar height to other 28s, but pretty much nothing else works. So we have to wait for complete ranges.

    As for average pricing, I would disagree. These are bog standard rank and file troops – as in you are going to need a lot of them – and therefore the price is toppish. And that without the influence of plastics.

    Mike

    • I take your point about price Mike, although with the way that price points have started to move in the past 12 months, I would suggest that the days of the Β£1.00 figure is starting to be a thing of the past…but percentage wise, I can see where you are coming from!

      However, as you say, this is all thrown into chaos by the arrival of plastics – something I will be coming back to in some of the next shows…

  5. Neil

    Really enjoyed the review show.

    On Alban Miniatures. I really don’t like the look of them. They remind me of the cloning aliens from Star Wars Attack of the Clones. It must be the skinny legs. Richard Ansell is one of my favourite sculptures for his TAG Vietnam figures. I hope he does not follow this style for everything he does in the future.

    Good work on the video.

    Paul.B

  6. Excellent review. Really like the in-depth detail.

    Very fair appraisal IMO. Personally I’m not keen on these as they strike me as a bit sameish and somewhat devoid of character. This may not be an issue to someone assembling big battalions (or divisions) of soldiers, but for me, 28mm demands a little more. The muskets do seem oddly large, but more importantly for me, the soldiers all look like clones of one particularly slim fellow with the personality of Heime. And that’s the killer.

    Looking forward to the next review.

    Thanks Neil.

  7. Extraordinary, isn’t it? Someone sculpts figures with anatomically correct proportions, and see what thanks they get? Innit marvellous! πŸ˜€ This would never have happened back in the early days of the hobby, with all those beautiful Tradition, Willie, Holger Erikkson and others dominating the market.

    As Snowcat’s comments reveal, what most wargamers evidently want are caricatures. But as far as I’m concerned, hurrah to a sculptor who dares to avoid the pumpkin-headed, banana-fingered, dwarf-legged trend.

    Incidentally, Neil, I know precisely what you mean about the curiously brittle nature of that harder metal. I’ve got some Bolt Action samples here which had precisely the same sound effect when I had to bend some bits back into shape — a noise a bit like pouring warm water onto ice as it develops thousands of microfractures.

    Anyway, good little show, Neil, and personally I feel much better than reviewing just photos of miniatures in the previous format. Confining it to just one manufacturer at a time will also, I hope, limit your workload somewhat! And don’t make them too frequent, either! [Wagging finger…]

    • Thank you for your kind words Henry.

      As a reviewer, it is always my intention to both inform and provoke comment – and this review certainly appears to have done that!

      (For those of you who are not following the thread on TMP, you may want to follow this link http://theminiaturespage.com/news/talk/msg.mv?id=984100)

      It seems that Mr Ansell is under fire from many sides on these figures, which he understandably finds a little frustrating.

    • …and yes, I do prefer this format of review.

      Incoming! was fun, but you could never really cover any particular miniature in detail due to time constraints and the actual limitation of essentially reviewing a photo.

      What I’m trying to achieve with these shows is to be far more in-depth and give actual, hands-on ‘proper’ reviews – whilst still working within the discipline of a 10 minute maximum time slot.

      So far, so good. I’m looking at producing several of these over the next few weeks to catch up on my outstanding commitments, but I do take your “finger wagging” comments on board… πŸ™‚

  8. Actually Henry, it’s really not that extraordinary at all, particularly if you think about what I wrote instead of imposing your own agenda upon my words. I wouldn’t be so swift in adapting them to suit your own opinions in future. πŸ˜‰

    I said these Alban figures looked like clones of one particularly slim fellow with the personality of Heime. In other words, they’re ALL *exactly* the same state of slim, all with the same android head with very little character. Clearer now?

    By contrast, with Eureka’s 28mm Napoleonics you also get excellent proportions, but with a range of heights and builds, a range of characterful heads, and some subtle (and not so subtle) variations in clothing & equipment. Alban aren’t the only mob doing ‘realistic’ proportions – some just do it better.

    So don’t be so swift to lump me in with the crowd that like pumpkin heads and sausage fingers, as you will have completely missed my point. πŸ™‚

  9. Nice review Neil!

    For me, I don’t want caricatures, but I want detail that I can actually see and paint. As a consequence, I don’t mind bigger heads and hands.

    That being said, I don’t mind painting 1/56th scale figures at all! Especially if they’re cheap! That’s why I have recently started putting the HaT French together (http://www.hourofwolves.org/?view=armies&which=napoleonicFrench&thumbs=1). On that topic, I am concerned that the metal manufacturers might not be able to compete with the plastics coming out these days…

    n.

  10. Neil – thank you for this review. This is the first time I’ve visited your site and I appreciate the time and effort it must have taken to construct these 10 mins of video.

    I thought your review was well balanced and made some carefully considered observations. The Alban British range isn’t quite to my taste but I would draw your attention to the Minden Minatures range of Seven Years Wars figures also sculpted by Richard Ansell – I think that range shows his sculpting talents at their best. Also, some of the Napoleonic Austrian figures he sculpted for TAG which I thing Alban has recently taken over are very tasty.

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