Some ramblings this time.
Like I mentioned in my New Year's Resolution post, this year should see me venturing into new scales. Apart from an early effort with back then all-new Flames of War in 15mm - soon abandoned due to a lack of historical interest - and commission work with 20mm figures, I have no experiences with anything smaller than 28mm miniatures.
Recently I had to realise that my capacities both of time and storage room keep melting down. However, at the same time I felt the urge to play with armies again (after my early beginnings with huge, however awfully painted Warhammer armies).
I came up with two solutions:
First, playing grand scale battles with small sized armies. Impetus became the magic word here: Being able to field as many (or as few) miniatures as you want to stand for your troops is a considerable advantage for someone painting slowly like me. The only problem I have faced so far is the somewhat brittle appearance of such armies in 28mm. I'm totally fine with moving dioramas, though it's hard to avoid overstretching this specific look. Maybe my imagination is too limited, but I have my issues with two or three figures representing a horde of skirmishers.
So there came in, second, playing grand scale battles with small scale miniatures. Admittedly, I'm a sucker for the detailing of 28mm figures. Anyway, I was often put off by the lack of the same detail on smaller miniatures - or at least my inability to paint them properly. Therefore I had to find a compromise: on the one hand finding miniatures that were still appealing to me aesthetically; on the other hand using a scale small enough not to be tempted to paint too many details.
|Click to enlarge|
The shot above pictures the whole misery. Currently on my desk there are 28mm crossbowmen for my 14th century Impetus army, shown here primarily for scale and to stand in for the approach mentioned first. Next are 15mm knights from Legio Heroica that sparked my interest from first sight. My dear friend Tellus of Sweetwater forums fame was kind enough to send me some samples of Pendraken's 10mm Seven Year's War range. And lastly there are 6mm Landsknecht figures from Irregular.
Having painted these samples, here are some thoughts:
15mm can definitely provide good detail. In fact the miniatures almost look like scaled down 28mm ones - and that's also their main issue. Of course, I could stand away from painting all those tiny bits in order to speed up and building armies that deserve this title. But even if I succeeded, I would know that I could have done it better. Silly me!
6mm didn't really tempt me with these issues, though I was impressed by the level of detail still possible on such tiny figs. However, I found it hard to choose my approach. One has to be quite bold with colours in order to visually 'shape' the miniatures. Only the brightest colour schemes seem to work - at least from a distance, for looking at them closely while painting almost made me break up. For sure, these miniatures are meant to be amassed and they can be painted astonishingly fast. But after all I had little fun.
So then, 10mm. First impressions were quite similar to my 6mm experience. Anyway, after reading this inspiring tutorial and a few brush strokes painting turned out more enjoyably. These miniatures have a lot of individual character and good clear detail, yet reduced to a minimum. I'm still in the process of getting accustomed to the altered painting techniques necessary at this scale.
Thus, so far I'm most pleased with the 'cost-value ratio' of 10mm figures. Surely it depends not the least on the quality of the miniatures themselves. Though I'm now willing to invest a few bucks and see if I can cope with 10mm on the long run. Therefore, Seven Year's War, here I come!
In the meantime, let me know what you think. Or tell me about your experiences with different scales. I'm very interested!
Painted February 2011. Models by Perry Miniatures, Legio Heroica, Pendraken and Irregular Miniatures.