We interrupt the normally scheduled Bavarians for this Fantasy Interlude. As I alluded to back in this post, I decided to pick up some of Microworld game's 6mm fantasy figures to try out. I opted with the Dwarf Army Pack A for $33 which included the following:
60 Dwarf Warriors
60 Dwarf Musketeers
30 Dwarf Beserkers
30 Dwarf Ironclads
Command Pack: 6 Heroes on Shield, 6 Foot Heroes, 6 Runesmiths with Anvils and 6 Standard bearers. (Most are incorporated into the stands above, some are pending..)
So what do I think of them:
- Sculpt Quality: Excellent. The figures are the traditional Norman/Norse style Dwarves in the GW and LOTR tradition. There is a nod to GW with the Berserkers (Troll Slayers) and the Gatling gun/Organ gun alternative barrel for the cannon. The detail is very crisp and there were few mold lines.Where mold lines did exist however (only about 10 of the 200 plus received), they were quite pronounced and could not be filed away without altering the figure. The metal is the same hard/brittle alloy you get with manufacturers like Oddzial Osmy picoarmor), which means that flash snaps off crisply rather than bends. Note that all of the figures in this line are individually based rather than in strips. This allows for more detailed painting, but increases mounting time for final basing. My only real problem with this style is that it is easier to clean flash off of strips as there is more to hold. The flash was moderate on these figures (mostly on the edges of weapons), but removal could be a little fiddly. I mount my figures about 10-15 per pop-sickle stick with Elmer's glue, so the pressure required to remove the flash sometimes snapped it free from the stick....
- Scale: These are a larger size sculpt, on par with Adler figures (so closer to 7-8mm). I have some Baccus Dwarves on-order, so the final verdict will have to wait until they arrive, although I anticipate the Baccus sculpts will look somewhat Anemic by comparison. (It is difficult to tell exactly as the models are individually cast on round bases, which make them look taller in comparison to my other 6mm figs)
- Variety: The sculpt variety is fairly good, with 2 sculpts each for the warriors and Ironclads and 3 for the Berserkers. This works well, as the Skirmish style basing you'd expect of the Berserkers makes the unit look more varied. The cannon pack comes with two crew each and two possible barrels (cannon and Gatling gun). This is one of items that really didn't work for me as the crew members are a master gunner with telescope and a loader with cannon ball. The problem is that the the loader really doesn't work with the Gatling gun as the cannon ball is larger than all the barrels combined. I would rather sub out the alternate barrel and get a third crew sculpt. That crew could then be used for additional weapons like Onagers, goblobbers, etc.
- Also of note are the Command figures. You get six of each, including a Lord carried on a shield by two fully armored bearers, and a Runelord next to his Anvil. These are nice sculpts, but I could really use more heroes and standard bearers as there are no command groups packaged with the Infantry. Also, how exactly does that Anvil get around? I trimmed the Bearers off of two of the Generals to make them foot-borne and snipped off two anvils to create two more leaders. (More on these in a later post) What would have been more useful? Empty standard poles (or a second icon.), horn blowers, a second hero sculpt.
- Service: I had only one damaged figure (Axe on a General) which is much better then I usually expect. Turn around time on my order was fantastic, and the $5 flat rate for US Domestic postage. I emailed Steven about doing a substitution on an army pack and he responded within 12 hours, and was very accommodating. (I wanted to order another pack, but get more warriors instead of the Musketeers)
- Value: Infantry and Command are about $.17ea, cavalry $.45, Cannon and Crew $1.25. Each army has value packs as well (Dwarf A army pack was a roughly 20% savings.) The costs seem rather steep, but then I am old and still think these costs are steep for 15mm figures. The variety is excellent, and the quality is beyond anything I can get from Irregular. Your mileage may vary.
- Final Verdict: I really like these figures. I thought they would languish on the table for a few months, but I actually completed the pack within 4 days of receiving them. (Not including the week of TDY in Virginia in between primer and painting) They have plenty of character, and I plan on trying some kitbashes and conversions with them to round out my collection. If you are thinking about doing a WHFB style dwarf army in 6mm, these are a great starting point as you can readily do Troll Slayers, Iron Breakers and Thunderers with this sculpts. Although the prices are on the higher end, the quality and service from the company is excellent, and I am old enough to be willing to pay for both those things.