Thursday, March 2, 2017

Preview: Lancashire Games' 18mm Napoleon in Egypt

NiE infantry (front)
Lancashire Games is preparing a release of 18mm figures for a new Napoleon in Egypt (NiE) range.  As the range approaches release, Allan from Lancashire Games sent a small package of French figures in Kleber helmet from this new release.  Allan asked me to take a look at the figures, paint a few, and offer my impressions.
NiE infantry (back)
In the package were twelve figures with three poses each of advancing, marching, firing/loading, and command.  Also in the package were eight French artillery crew in four poses.
18mm AB (L), 18mm Lancashire (C), 15mm Lancashire (R)
First off, the figures are billed as 18mm.  That they are.  From the sole of the shoe to the eye is about 18mm.  Compared with AB Miniatures, they are both taller and chunkier.  The sculpting style of the NiE range is definitely of the chunky style of sculpting.  Standing next to the NiE figure, the Lancashire Games' 15mm French infantry from the mid-19th Century range appears diminutive and slender. 
Firing, loading, and command (front)
Command, firing, and loading (back)
Before painting each of the figures, I lined them up for a photo shoot in the bare lead.  Besides being of a heavy, chunky style of sculpting, the figures are reminiscent of a cartoonish style of modeling.  That is, some features are exaggerated while others are minimized.  That sculpting style gives the figures much character.
Marching and advancing (front)
Advancing and marching (back)
While the infantry sculpting and casting is sharp and clean, my favorite figures in the package received are the French artillerymen.  The sculpting on the artillerymen are exceptionally well rendered with nicely raised detail and sharp, crisp features.
Artillery crew (front)
Artillery crew (back)
To get a more enhanced perspective of the nicely raised details and crisp castings, I gave four of the artillery crew a wash with Minwax stain.  Compare the artillery crew figures above with those below.  With the stain, the detailing on these figures really pops.  An army of figures with only a stain over bare metal might be a handsome sight.  I like the look.
Artillery crew with stain (front)
Artillery crew with stain (back)
Since figures often look much different in their unpainted vs painted state, how do the figures look once a coat of paint has been applied? 

Again, my favorite figures remain the artillery crew.  Great looking figures with less caricature than the infantry.  The nicely raised detail made painting easy on my aging eyes.
Artillery crew (front)
Artillery crew (back)
For the infantry, I painted each figure as a different regiment to get a sense of the kaleidoscope of color offered to this interesting and little gamed period.  Jackets, turnbacks, collars, and cuffs all offered various combinations of colors.  The "pouffe" or crest of the Kleber helmet is often multicolored with few regiments having the same color scheme.  The French infantry during the 1798 campaign would have presented themselves as a patchwork of color with variety the watchword of the day.  These are not the blue-clad troops of later years.





With figures sculpted in a larger and chunkier style, this range may not fit in with other manufacturers' ranges.  How many 18mm Napoleon in Egypt ranges are there?  Not many, I think.  The Egyptian campaign was an oddity during the Napoleonic Wars with uniforms designed specifically for the campaign.  Why not offer a unique and characterful range to represent it on the table top?  If tackled, the French army of this period will certainly present a colorful spectacle.

25 comments:

  1. Now those are very nice! I must admit that Napoleon in Egypt is very appealing...and the temptation is enhanced vpbybthe Perrys sending me images of their latest additions. I think when the current austerity measures are lifted I may have to buy a few packs. Do you know of any good reference books?

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    1. Mark, I used the Osprey's Napoleon's Egyptian Campaign 1798-1801 as guide for painting these figures. Osprey also offers the French Soldier in Egypt 1798-1801. Haythornthwaite's Uniforms of The French Revolutionary Wars 1789-1802 has good color illustrations and descriptions too. Don't overlook Funcken either. These are to name a few...

      Perry's recently announce Dromedaries look superb! Brigade Games make a nice range in 28mm too.

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  2. These look great, I quite like the style but the artillery are really good,I remember when games workshop was one little shop in Hammersmith and they gave all the figures in the glass cabinets a black wash to show all the detail and of course there was a big mix of manufactures then in their shop!
    Best Iain

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    1. Glad you like them, Iain! The artillery crew are my favorites of the lot too. Very well done! Figures with a black wash is something all manufacturers ought to consider. Really brings out the details.

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  3. You've done a superb job of the painting - the castings are nice, but a bit cartoon-like for my taste. I'm intrigued by the 18mm thing - the AB figures are so wonderful that I were starting all over again I would look no further. I have never seriously studied the cross-species comparison of 18mm AB vs 20mm Pax Britannica and all that (though i bet someone has) - I am intrigued that Lancashire already have a 15mm range (which, in your pics, is not a bad match for the ABs) and yet introduce a range of 18mm figures. Nothing to do with me, but why? Are they moving everything to 18mm? Have they simply redefined the millimetre? The miniatures world seems unnecessarily complicated sometimes!

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    1. Tony, the figures are a bit too cartoonish for me too but if I was interested in gaming the period in 18mm, they would get a serious consideration.

      I really like the proportions of the 15mm Lancashire figures I have and their infantry are first rate and some of my favorites for my 1859 project. Why "grow" the hobby to 18mm when the other ranges are 15? Good question! Perhaps there is no competition for Egyptian Campaign figures in 15 or 18mm? That way, you may do as you wish. A larger figure does allow a bit more detail to be seen and modelled.

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  4. Its a good review you've done here, Jonathan, and you've presented the miniatures in both the unpainted and painted state very well. Really top work.
    Its not my scale or subject matter for Buonaparte in Egypt (as I'd love to do the naval battle of Aboukir Bay), but reading your review was very interesting and gave a good example of how to do similar should I have a need in the future.

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    1. Roy, thank you for the positive feedback on the figure preview. Very good to read that my work may provide inspiration for your own reviewing efforts.

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  5. Good post. Lancashire Games are 15mm specialists and they have a large catalogue, so moving in a more certain direction of 18mm (as shown in their recent ACW release) is perhaps a brave move, but one that many will welcome, particularly those that are looking for a figure that will 'help' their painting by the presence of such definite raised textures and deep undercuts.

    The figures I have had from LG have been cast in quite a soft metal, so the chunkier body allows chunkier weapons, so they should stand up to good handling.

    You have done a good painting job, showing this attribute off to best advantage. It is also nice to see a smaller scale getting a bit of the spotlight.

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    1. Thank you, Norm!

      Very good point about larger, chunkier figures being better suited for both painting and gaming durability. I doubt many of these bayonets will suffer breakage during the rigors of campaigning!

      Your comments are much appreciated!

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  6. Excellent review Jonathan! You really did a fine job of showing how they compare to others and how they look.

    Christopher

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    1. Pleased you found the preview useful, Christopher.
      Thanks!

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  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. Jake, I inadvertently deleted your comment when trying to magnify it on my phone to read it. Here is your thoughtful comment resurrected...

      From Dartfrog:
      Good overview and an honest review. I agree the advantages of the exaggerated features. It allows the models to stand out from the 2-3' where we normally see them. I think these figures will look good en mass on your large bases. As Norm pointed out, they also benefit from having more resilient rifles and bayonets.

      So is there a NiE 18mm army in the offing?

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    2. Jake, glad you enjoyed the preview of the Lancashire figures. You are quite right on the notion of looking good en masse and viewed from the three foot rule. Exaggerated features do help painting as Norm mentioned above.

      For a figure review, I think it prudent to publish a number of photos (painted and unpainted) and let the figures primarily speak for themselves. That way, the reader can come to his/her own conclusions with a few of my own thoughts and impressions to guide the way.

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    3. Oh, I have no plans for an 18mm NiE project but I never say never...

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  8. Funnily enough I was speaking to the sculptor of these, today. I thought when I saw your photos that I recognised the sculptor's handiwork, so asked him at a wargames show this morning. He was very pleased that his work was being viewed favourably.

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  9. Great work on these Jonathan. Allan also sent me some, but due to real life stuff they haven't got past the undercoat stage yet unfortunately. I'm looking forward to getting some paint on them too!

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    1. Thanks, Nathan! I look forward to reading your impressions and seeing your paintwork.

      Best wishes in Real Life!

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  10. Argh! I feel terrible. I don't like them at all. I wanted to. I tried. But they just don't cut it for me. They are better than I could sculpt, but compared to other ranges out there these seem oddly wrong. I could accept the facial weirdness but for me the hands are way too massive. Also the size puts me off. They look a lot bigger than 18mm. Sorry for negativity.

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    1. Hi Colin, I understand your impressions very well. They are a bit too cartoonish for me. Appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment. What became of your Marengo 1800 project?

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    2. Still there in the background. My young son discovered Warhammer 40k though and I've been painting Space Marines ever since :(

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    3. Keeping your son engaged is a more important task. Good for you!

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