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Sonntag, 1. August 2021

10mm Thirty Years War Overview: Infantry

 


Heyhey, I'm an avid collector of 10mm Thirty Years War armies. I often get asked about these figures, so I thought I'd put together an overview of were I got my figures from and how I rate them.


Let's start with the backbone of any army - the infantry.

In this period of course this means pikemen and matchlock musketeers.



Pikemen 


I mostly get those from Old Glory (from their Grandscale 10mm ECW range). This will be a regular occurrence by the way. With a topic such as the Thirty Years War in 10mm one can not be picky with where to get figures from, and most figures I use actually are from English Civil War ranges. Close enough for me at that figure size.

These OG pikemen are cast in strips of 5 figures and are available in helmets and armour (no tassets though) or hats. For one that's easier to rank up than single-cast figures. The other thing I like about them is that the pikes don't come cast onto the figures. Rather than that, you'll have to drill a hole in their arms and stick a pike through. Here's a tip - stick them all the way through and glue them down on the base as well as in the arm hole. This way they'll be way less prone to snap. 

Some of my first bases of infantry. All Old Glory. By now I moved on to 7 figures per rank.
More work, but it fills the 40x20mm bases out better.


Cost per pikeman (packs of 100): 16p, you'll have to supply pikes though!
Variants available: 2
Prettiness: Nice
Convenience: Great (cast in strips, robust, no cast-on pikes)
Notes: My pick.

Pendraken Miniaturespikemen come with cast-on pikes, which is why I never really used them for fear of 'spaghetti pikes'. By now I painted several of their pikemen for other projects though (some of which for promo pictures for Pendraken's online store). Maybe my fear was unfounded, but I feel safer with wire pikes. (more on that a bit later). However, they are very pretty and come in various poses: armoured (including tassets) standing, armoured advancing, unarmoured standing, unarmoured advancing. All these four varieties also available with Scots pikemen. Of course lots of Scots fought during the TYW, but to my knowledge they were clothed as other soldiers on the continent.

Pendraken pikeman from their online store, painted by yours truly.


Cost per pikeman (packs of 30): 18.3333333333333333333333p
Variants available: 4
Prettiness: Great
Convenience: Okay (single-cast, slightly delicate, cast-on pikes)
Additional Notes: Very pretty, good variety.

For my latest few pike blocks I used pikemen by relatively new company Lancer Miniatures. Their figures are a lot chunkier than OG's or Pendraken's offerings (the heads and thus hats are much bigger), so I wouldn't suggest mixing them in the same unit with the above, but they'll go well next to each other in separate units.
The pikemen here are by Lancer, as are many of the musketeers. For number reasons I mixed in some
Pendraken musketeers in there as well. With Lancer pikemen I reduce the ranks to 6 figures each.

Lancer pikemen come with 'open' hands, so you can glue pikes into their hands. Not my preferred way of doing things since occasionally you'll rip a pike from someone's hand, but perfectly okay.

Cost per pikeman (packs of 10): 16.6p, you'll have to supply pikes though!
Variants available: 1 (mixed headgear!)
Prettiness: Nice, different. (lovely to paint up)
Convenience: Nice (single-cast, robust)
Additional Notes: Chunky boys!


Musketeers


Old Glory's musketeers are available with muskets shouldered, advancing. Which goes well with their pikemen, and I'm a fan of the fact that they're cast in strips of 5. You can also get musketeers in skirmish order (sold as forlorn hope musketeers, single-cast). I got both, and I like the skirmishing ones a bit better. The Musket Shouldered variant seems to be a bit roughly cast in places (these places mostly being the muskets).

A comparison shot I made almost 10 years ago. Pendraken's got even nicer since.
I'll get to Irregular figures later, because these are a bit special.

Cost per musketeer (packs of 100): 16p
Variants available: 2, advancing and Forlorn Hope Skirmishers (the skirmishing ones come in several poses; three if I remember correctly)
Prettiness: Okay to nice.
Convenience: Advancing variant: Nice (cast in strips, robust, may require additional cleaning), Skirmishers: Nice.
Notes: Advancing, so go well with the pikemen. Consider the Forlorn Hope ones for skirmishers or for adding variety to your musketeer units.


Pendraken again offer a staggering amount of poses (9 different ones in total, not counting dismounted dragoons and scots, which of course you can easily mix into your musketeers units). For musketeers I went with these figures due to the nicer sculpts and the multitude of poses. Also - they're the only ones I'm aware of who got musketeers with musket rests. Not that I insist in those, but it's nice to have them.

Pendraken musketeers, the three guys with shouldered muskets are OG.
This is the old 6-man basing I used. I switched to 8 figures per 30x20mm base since 
for a tighter look.


Cost per musketeer (packs of 30): 18.3333333333333333333333p
Variants available: over 9000. Well, 9, but that's a lot.
Prettiness: Great
Convenience: Nice (single-cast)
Additional Notes: Very pretty, great variety. Musket rests! My pick for musketeers.


Lancer Miniatures again are different in terms of look, so I mostly keep them together in a separate unit, whereas I'll happily mix OG and Pendraken.

Again, referring to this picture: You can see how I used mostly Lancer musketeers in these units. 
I did add the odd Pendraken figure for numbers reasons.


Cost per musketeer (packs of 10): 16.6p
Variants available: 2, Firing and At The Ready (mixed headgear on both!)
Prettiness: Nice, different. (lovely to paint up)
Convenience: Nice (single-cast, robust)
Additional Notes: Chunky boys!




Infantry Command


Old Glory offer dedicated command strips which will work for musketeers as well as pikemen. Again, cast onto a strip of 5 figures: an officer, a drummer, a fifer(!), an ensign with colours, and a lifeguard with musket. The only problem being, that the flag is cast onto the figures. It's well made and all, but I prefer having paper flags (mostly so I can switch them as seen fit). In my pikemen units I use these command figures a lot, but on each of these strips I have to saw off the flags, neaten up the back of the ensign and add a flagpole.


Pretty clearly visible here. In the left I added another pikeman to bring the number up to 6 per rank.


Cost per command figure (packs of 50): 16p
Variants available: 1 strip
Prettiness: Great, actually.
Convenience: Okay to Great, depending on whether you like the cast-on flags or not. Robust.
Additional Notes: Fifer! Nicely arranged figures.

Pendraken have one infantry command set on offer, not counting the Scots variant again, but theoretically it's there. The set consists of an officer (this one actually used to come with the gun crews if I remember correctly), a drummer, and an ensign. Pretty basic, but they'll do the job. 




Cost per command figure (packs of 30): 18.3333333333333333333333p
Variants available: 1
Prettiness: Great
Convenience: Very good. Single figures.
Additional Notes: If you feel the need for more variety, have a look into Pendraken's excellent League of Augsburg range and their manifold variants of command figures. If you get the ones with wide-brimmed hats and give the commanders a haircut and a proper early 17th century paintjob I think you'll get away with it.



Lancer Miniatures, like Pendraken, offer a command set like Pendraken do, featuring a drummer, an offier and an ensign. The nice things being that they're sold as packs of three figures (one of each).

Yup, I'm getting a lot of mileage out of this photo, aren't I. Here you can see Lancer's command figures.

As usual with Lancer, I wouldn't put them in non-Lancer minis units, unless you want your commanders to be proper bigheads.


Cost per command figure (packs of 3): 16.3333333333333333333p
Variants available: 1
Prettiness: Very good, different. (lovely to paint up)
Convenience: Nice (single-cast, robust)
Additional Notes: Chunky boys!



A word on Irregular Miniatures: I haven't mentioned these so far, because they are a slightly different kettle of fish. The main thing being that you can buy single figures, which makes them great for adding variety to single-cast figure units, for command bases, for getting a variety of officers, musicians, lifestock, civilians, wagons, and so on. The only drawback being that the figures are rather delicate and a bit smaller (not showing in infantry, cavalry's a different matter). Some will also seem a bit flat, showing their age.

However, they'll mix alright with Pendraken and Old Glory, but a Lancer figure next to it will make you fear for the Irregular figure's life.



Cost per infantry figure: 22p
Variants available: All of them.
Prettiness: Nice.
Convenience: Good (for adding poses, special figures, etc. Delicate though)
Additional Notes: My pick for certain special figures and variety.


I'm aware of the 10/12mm Minifigs range, but I never had them in hand. So if you could let me know something about those I'd love to hear it in the comments.


For now I hope that you found this information useful or maybe got you interested in wargaming this fascinating period in this convenient scale. Next time I'll give you a little run-down of the various options for pikes for your pikemen (unless you go with the Pendraken ones with their pretty cast-on pikes, and then we'll talk about some lovely cavalry!



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