Thursday, May 13, 2010

Miniatures Review: Curtey's Miniatures - Infantry, 13th century Spearmen

By way of a crude figure comparison, from left to right are examples from Gripping Beast, Curteys Miniatures, Wargames Foundry and Essex Miniatures. The left two will feature in my spear units for the Rebel Right Ward. The Curtey's figures are of a smaller stature than the Gripping Beast figures but will mix well. It has long been my philosophy that figures within a wargames unit, like real life, should reflect the differences in human appearance, more so for irregular units predominant in the 13th century.

For some unknown reason half of my square on shots of this selection (taken from Curteys ME33 pack) will not upload without rotating (go figure) so you get the angled shot above. I have to say that on first impression I am extremely excited about these miniatures. 

They are superbly detailed and are realistically proportioned - not at all toy like or chunky. As Curteys range suggests, they are also designed specifically for the mid-thirteenth century period and come with a range or subtle variations, one with a hood and three with caps. The shields come in two varieties but I will be adding a third (round) from their javalinmen range (ME30 and ME31) who I will mix into the unit for further variety. The javalinmen also come with two shield types, small (bucker) and larger round shields. As you can see, the backs of the shields are also very detailed.

The pewter content of Curteys alloy seems to give the best compromise of malleability with sufficient rigidity and the spears are rigid enough even for me to use which is rare; I usually resort making steel wire substitutes. Weapon retention for these figures is the same as that used by Gripping Beast with hands cast to receive weapons. Taken together with the pewter content, only time will tell if they present similar difficulties; however, the hands have a better finish than the Gripping Beast figures, the spears resting nicely in the recesses before 'cleaning'. 

I predict that I will enjoy building and painting these figures and also predict they will make for the best figures I can produce. If I'm right, Curteys Miniatures will make for a significant proportion of the armies at my re-fight of Lewes.

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