The Waving Flag: 15 mm Wars of the Roses Archers Review

Sunday 28 March 2021

15 mm Wars of the Roses Archers Review

Mixing figures from different manufacturers is a perennial problem for wargamers; both height and heft can vary as can sculpting style.  With this project I ran into all of these issues as well as the thorny issue of historical compatibility.

This picture shows how three 15 mm manufactures compare:

From left to right: Essex, Feudal Castings, Donnington "New Era".

Essex & Feudal Castings
When I started the project my twenty year old bases mixed both Essex and Feudal Castings figures on the same base.   As you can see the height and heft are close enough and the sculpting styles don't clash.

But, and it's a big but, they are clearly dressed & armoured very differently.   More to the point I was no longer happy mixing them.

The Essex figures are early 15th century whilst the Feudal Castings are clearly late 15th century.  This is the main reason I split them up.

Of course the Essex archers are still useable for the Wars of the Roses but separating them just felt better.  Plus I would have the option of fielding at least two types of (three to a base) archer units that could be readily identified on the tabletop.

Essex & Donnington "New Era"
Before I settled on the Essex / Feudal Castings split I bought a few late Hundred Years War archers from Ancient & Modern (Donnington "New Era") with the aim of mixing them with the Essex figures.

It didn't work out.  I really like the figures but the size and sculpting style are just different enough that I didn't want to mix them on the same base.

From left to right: Essex, Feudal Castings, Donnington "New Era".

The Donnington "New Era" figures have a much sharper sculpting style and are much broader in the chest than either Essex or Feudal Castings.  However, they are great to paint and I ended up buying more to make up a further eight bases.

In total I now have 20 bases (batches 1, 2, & 4) of three to a base levy archers and 8 bases (batch 2) of four to a base levy archers; all of which are easy to identify on the tabletop. Of course, this is far more than I'll ever need.

Closing Remarks
I am a little tired after completing this project and I am desperately trying not to look too hard at my 17 bases of retinue archers and their 3 new command stands.  Sadly, the latter only serve to make the rest look a little tired.  I must resist; I must.  Well maybe.  After I've had break.

Project Posts

  1. 07 Jan 2021 - Rebasing Thoughts
  2. 21 Jan 2021 - 15 mm Wars of the Roses Archer Command
  3. 21 Feb 2021 - Mission Creep
  4. 08 Mar 2021 - Rebasing 1 of 4 (Essex)
  5. 17 Mar 2021 - Rebasing 2 of 4 (Feudal Castings)
  6. 21 Mar 2021 - Rebasing 3 of 4 (Donnington "New Era")
  7. 24 Mar 2021 - Rebasing 4 of 4 (Feudal Castings)
  8. 28 Mar 2021 - Side by side comparisons


Nathan said...

They all look very good to me with your impeccably clean painting style.

I think the figures would mix well enough but the bows are too different to look right together. Generally I find that the weapons are the limiting factor. You can get away with different heights and builds of figures, just as people vary in height and stature, as long as the weapons look like they come from the same world.

Vexillia said...

Thanks for the kind words. An interesting thought about the weapons but, now you've pointed it out, I agree.

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