I have recently been putting together a couple of forces for Seven Swords (The Samurai version of Dux Britanniarum from Too Fat Lardies). To this end I have been using lots of models from my collection (rather than simply buying new models).
I had bought several different packs of Sengoku period miniatures from AW Miniatures – here are my thoughts on them:
I have a couple of packs of Ashigaru – the first being a pack of Teppo armed troops.
Whilst the detailing on the miniatures is fine, they have (in my mind, at least) a few issues. The kneeling pose looks terribly awkward, with both knees on the floor and the weapon being held near the end of the barrel. I’m not sure if this is actually a realistic pose, given the need of a stable firing platform for the weapon.
There looks to have been a problem with one of the standing miniatures – not sure if this a fault, but one of the figures has a malformed head/neck – could this be due to a mould slip I wonder? Either way, the miniature simply doesn’t ‘look’ right.
Ladies in Kimonos
These were bought to compliment a couple of packs of Perry civilians.
It’s difficult to know exactly what to say about these – considering that they are meant to be females, they appear to have very little body shape, and the faces are very angular. I saw one comment about this pack which said that they bore more resemblance to men in drag rather than women – a comment I find very difficult to disagree with.
At first glance, these figures didn’t look to bad, but closer inspection revealed that each had been sculpted with rather a long, and somewhat thin, neck – giving the figures an almost ‘bobble-headed’ appearance.
What really bothered me about that was the fact that in all cases, this left the neck exposed. The flare on the bottom of the Samurai helmet is designed in such a way as to protect the neck area from sword cuts, so these models looked wrong.
Compare these models to Samurai from Perry Miniatures (middle) and North Star (right), and you will see the difference:
The gap might only be a couple of millimetres, but it’s enough to cause issues. Since I needed to use the miniatures in my army (they may end up getting replaced at a later point) I ended up correcting the fault by cutting the heads off the miniatures, filing the neck flat, and then re-attaching them – I thought the result is something of an improvement:
There is another issue, which features across all the miniatures I have, and that is of proportion – the bodies seem too long and overly wide and the legs slightly too short. Again, it’s not by much – just a couple of millimetres – but enough to be noticeable. Look at this AW Samurai (left) standing next to a Perry Samurai, and hopefully you will see what I mean:
AW Miniatures produce some interesting pieces, such as a Taiko with drummer and several Palanquins. Unfortunately, I am not a fan of the sculpting style of these figures. As a range I have to say that I found them disappointing and sadly lacking in many respects when compared to the likes of Parry Miniatures, North Star and Warlord’s metal Test of Honour miniatures. With that as a conclusion, I am afraid that I cannot recommend this range, although the odd pack may be of use.