Sunday, July 14, 2013

Old School Figures

Well when I hauled the ancient Hellenes out of their box, it was a real walk down memory lane.  The figures (and paint jobs) are mostly 25-30 years old but mostly stood up well.  Here are a few thoughts about the old school figures - which almost all true 25mm as opposed to the 28mm guys who had taken over since that time.

Ral Partha
At one time these were the bulk of my figures.   You can still find their historicals on ebay etc, but they don't seem to be made anymore (unlike the fantasy ranges).  This is probably just as well!  There are some very good figures in the range, but there are a lot of oddities in gear, clothing, anatomy and clothing.  However, picking through the better figures they certainly fill out the numbers well.  I have strong attachments to my Rhodians (the RP Balearic slingers) which are nice figures and the first ever 25mm ancient unit I ever painted.

Rafm Multiparts
Still available (here) and many of them standing up well.  These came with separate weapons, shields and heads which mean that you can combine packs (and get separate packs of heads) to get a variety of equipment.  For a phalanx that means getting a range of helmets. The phalanx and skirmishers work really well, although for hoplites the lack of a Corinthian helmet sucks.  The cavalry figures are wimpy and static so not really worth the bother, but the heffalumps are wonderful!  These guys need some TLC as they lose not only spears and shields but also heads!

Ok can we get any more old school than Minifigs?  Still to be found here.  These are like Marmite (google it you non-Brits) but I like 'em.  The castings are old, lacking the details and posing found today.   But they have a real toy soldier feel and with the right paint job they look wonderful - especially in phalanxes.

Likely the least well known figures in my collection, but I like them.  I had to google them, but found that they are still available as the Skyraider range.  These are nice figures with some useful poses and a decent range and the best cavalry figures in my army.  The major issue is that the original Corvus range featured soft metal weapons, OK for a xyston or javelin but an epic fail for a sarrissa.  The actual pikes were wonderfully cast with accurate head, butt spikes and central join but soft metal doesn't cut it.  Stacy dubbed these the wet noodle brigade and that about says it.  So I'll be at them with the brass rod!

Take your opinion of Minifigs and go to its polar opposite and that's likely how you feel about this well known range.  These were among the first of the Cro-Magnon 28mm that muscled the Neanderthal 25mm off the evolutionary path.   I have some, I still field them but wouldn't want any more.  They dwarf my other figures and I don't really like the sculpting and poses.  Plus the equipment is more Hellenistic and Greek and Persian wars era.


  1. Agreed all the way around though I still prefer Garrison. Anyway Iron Wind now has the Ral Partha's

    1. I like what I've seen of the Garrisons, I've just never had the chance to field them.