Recruiting a 54mm Army (Part 2)
or, Build an Army, and They Will Come
In my last post I discussed some of the factors and decisions that have to be made before embarking on 54mm building and painting sprees. I made some suggestions on where to start and what to consider, not the least of which are era and rules. Now let's take a look at what's available. Unlike smaller scales where the variety of figures and equipment is mind-boggling, for 54's -- not so much! Let's take a look at what's out there for Horse and Musket gamers.
The most extensive line readily available is Armies in Plastic (AIP). They can be found at many Hobby Shops (both online and brick-and-mortar) as well as directly from the manufacturer. The line is extensive although keep in mind that more often than not you are getting the same figures but in different colored plastic. For example, the figures in the SYW Prussians/SYW French are the same, but one is blue, the other grey. It will be the paint job that will distinguish them.
Additionally, although 16 figures are in the box, you are getting 8 poses. This presents a couple of practical issues. For example I have in front of me the two bags of figures from the French and Indian War French Army (5542). Each bag contains the following: 1-Officer waving a sword; 1-Drummer standing; 1-NCO with Halberd waving his hat; 1-kneeling firer; 1-standing firer; 1-infantryman, running, musket at the ready; 1-infantryman, walking, musket at port; and 1-infantryman, standing, doing pretty much nothing. With two bags to a box, if I want 12 figures doing the same thing, you will need 6 boxes. Even then, you have 11 each drummers,officers, and NCO's left over. But on the other hand you have enough identical figures for up to five 12-man units. Hmmm...
Artillery? It's not available. Although if you are not too picky, the American Revolution line of artillery would work. Again, it depends on the paint job.
Cavalry will be a problem. Der Resin Kavalier (above) is one of AIP's American Revolution Cavalry, painted to resemble a dragoon from one of the North German States. The uniform I painted was inspired by the ill-fated Brunswick Dragoons, part of Burgoyne's Saratoga debacle. It's not quite accurate but to those who might complain: "Hey, we're dealing with toy soldiers here, not collections."
Well next time I'll go into some of the other manufacturers like IMEX, A Call to Arms, and HaT.
Until then, TTFN!