March 29, 2017

TRENCH RUNNER REVIEW: Charles Oldaugh Reviews Dioramas F.A.Q. by AK Interactive & Ruben Gonzalez

Dioramas F.A.Q. by Ruben Gonzalez
ref. AKI-8000
With a final count of 559 pages and weighing in at 8 pounds, this tome of knowledge takes you step by step through the creation of 12 dioramas. Ranging from modern urban settings, war torn Europe during World War II, to the jungles of Vietnam, this book covers a wide range of techniques and materials. Each step by step article in the book contributes to one of the 12 featured dioramas.

Like any good project, a diorama must start out with an idea and a solid plan. The prologue of the book covers planning out a diorama. From concept to composition, the author tells you how he plans out each masterpiece.




Getting to the meat and potatoes of the book, the first chapter is about bases. Utilizing wood, clay, foam, cork, and more, he starts each of the projects with a good foundation.  The materials he uses range from scratch built, to found objects, and commercial products, all blended together to make bases from simple to complex.


An entire chapter is dedicated to ground and earth modelling. Natural deserts, mud, and rocks are explained alongside man-made groundworks like concrete and asphalt.  A section entitled ‘Special Ground Effects’ take you step by step through bomb craters, sink holes, and mud puddles.


The chapter on vegetation was an eye opener. There is no cookie cutter process for each diorama. He varies the techniques and materials for each location. Starting with ground cover like grass and flowers, he works up to larger elements like bushes, shrubs, and trees. Even the lowly mushroom gets some attention lavished on it.


The next chapter is my favorite as it covers buildings. I love the contrast of buildings with natural elements. Hundreds of photos detail making buildings of brick, stone, concrete and wood with all sorts of materials. To compliment the buildings he has instructions for accessories like signs, lights, doors, and windows.


The final large chapter covers miscellaneous items used to add life to a diorama. Small things like boxes, posters, crates, and tarps are all covered in great detail. The most impressive step by step in this chapter is a 7-UP vending machine that looks like it could have been plucked from a gas station in a ghost town.


The chapter on figures explains his process for fast and efficient painting of figures to fill out our scenes. He then explains how to integrate them into the scene for maximum realism and effect.


He finishes the tutorials with a chapter called ‘Construction and Atmosphere.’ The chapter details how to bring all of the elements together to tell the story. Even though they were all painted separately, we need to integrate them into the diorama so they all look like they belong to the scene.


Now we come to the end of the review where I tell you to buy this book. If you are interested in dioramas or vignettes at all, this is a must have. The amount of knowledge contained inside is unbelievable!
Charles Oldaugh 2017

Order from MichToy.com HERE

View our expanded Product Spotlight HERE

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March 28, 2017

FARLEY'S FIGURE OF THE WEEK #147: Grant & Lee from the Franklin Mint


Our latest Figure(s) of the Week come from the Franklin Mint circa 1983. Released under the banner American Military Historical Society - Toy Soldier Set 1775-1965. While I wouldn't normally equate 1/32 scale painted pewter figures with The Franklin Mint these two figures warrant attention. Depicting Civil War General Ulysses S. Grant & Robert E. Lee these are beautifully sculpted and painted and among the nicest figures of these two ever released. These turn up on eBay from time to time and can purchased relatively cheap.

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March 27, 2017

March Madness 20% off All Orders SALE

March means the first day of Spring it is also March Madness. On the former we are still waiting although the weather man says it's coming this weekend. On the latter..March Madness means it's time for our annual 20% off MARCH MADNESS SALE! Hopefully you know the drill by now... 
20% Off ALL ORDERS
Now Through Monday April 3, 2017

Make sure you are logged into your account then enter 
PROMO CODE 20170403 
in the promo code box and get 20% off your order!

**If you choose not to register you can still receive 10% using the PROMO CODE

Conditions of Sale* 
*You cannot combine sale price with any other sales, special offers or discounts 
* Sale excludes products being sold on consignment and several vendors. 
* Sale excludes products already being sold at 20% off suggested retail 
*If you are making payments by PayPal and items are out of stock your order will be held until out of stock items arrive 
*Sale Ends Monday April 3, 2017 at the final buzzer.


*Remember you must be registered and logged in to your account and include this promo code: 20170403 in the Enter Promotion Code Here box of your cart to receive the extra sale discount. Please remember to log in before you add items to your cart and enter the promo code before you check out.

March 24, 2017

TRENCH RUNNER REVIEW: Wings of Glory WWII - Battle of Britain


Battle of Britain is the new starter set for Ares Games’ WW2 Wings of Glory: an all-in-a-box opportunity for new players to approach this classic air combat game in the WW2 period. 

Under the Battle of Britain’s lid, players will find four iconic fighters - two Spitfires and two Messerschmitt Bf-109E- each beautifully sculpted in 1-200 scale and painted in every detail; all the cards, rulers, markers, tokens, and other materials to fly them across your tabletop; a rich rulebook ranging from introductory to advanced and optional rules, plus all the specific rules needed to add the two-seaters and the multi-engine bombers available in the range; and a booklet with seven scenarios giving a married choice of game situations, all set during 1940 in the skies of England.

Separate Squadron Packs are also releasing, with the most famed planes from the Battle of Britain - not only Spitfire and Bf-109E, but the feared Stuka dive bomber and the glorious Hurricane fighter. The new feature of these Squadron Packs is a sheet of alternative decals with individual Codes and insignia: buying several copies of the same pack, players can then field a whole squadron.


The Battle of Britain set is also compatible with all the miniatures released up to now for the WW2 series, from the biplanes of the early war to huge bombers such as B-17 Flying Fortress and Avro Lancaster. 24 different WW2 planes have been released thus far, all available in a range of different variants and color schemes, and more will follow.


For newcomers to the game, Wings of Glory in designed to simulate air combat during WW1 (the colorful biplanes of 1915-1918 already form a range of 32 plane models) and WW2 in the most streamlined way without giving up accuracy. Every plane in the game reflects the features of its historical counterpart. Yet the game can be quickly learned in just two-minutes; kids and casual players of all ages can play without difficulties.

Every plane has a deck of maneuver cards with arrows on them; they are chosen in secret and then put in front of the miniature, then moved on top of the arrowhead. I call it “hidden complexity”. You don’t need charts, tables, points, or specific rules to handle differences in plane speed and maneuverability, special maneuvers, and pilot tricks - it’s all in the shapes and lengths of the available arrows on the cards. All the same, combat is easily resolved by drawing damage chits for all planes in range: They determine if the plane is hit or not, the amount of the damage and special occurrences depending on the weapons used.

More experienced players have the option of playing with a wide range of additional rules to deal with every detail of air war - from aim and tailings, to fuel, take offs, and landings. Wings of Glory is a fast-paced, with no downtime and easily scaled: the largest game session ever was a 100-players match in Florence on a huge table along the Arno river, and was played in just one hour!

Since its first release, Wings of Glory has been very successful, both the WW1 and WW2 versions, have devoted fans and communities who make this game richer and more lively, sharing house rules and homemade scenarios. The largest group, “Wings of Glory Aerodrome” (www.wingsofwar.org), counts more than 4600 members. The players’ community is always in action to meet and play, promoting events and game sessions in massive gaming fairs and small conventions all over the world, and even online through Skype, to engage all types of players in the game. Thanks to its loving supporters, the game continues to spread and gain new players every day. For them, I am sure the new starter set Battle of Britain will be a great way to start to fly high with Ares Games’ WW2 Wings of Glory.
View to Order HERE


AGS WGS003A Wings of Glory WWII: Battle of Britain Starter Set
AGS WGS401A Wings of Glory WWII: Supermarine Spitfire Mk.I
AGS WGS402A Wings of Glory WWII: Messerschmitt Bf. 109 E-3
AGS WGS403A Wings of Glory WWII: Hawker Hurricane Mk.I
AGS WGS404A Wings of Glory WWII: Junkers Ju.87 B-2

The Company line-
In the summer and fall of 1940, after the fall of France, the German Luftwaffe faced the Royal Air Force in the first major military campaign fought entirely in the air...The Battle of Britain. This was the prelude to the invasion Hitler planned for the British Islands, Operation Sealion. An ultimate German victory was at hand, and British pilots bravely flew into battle, fully aware of what a defeat would bring to their country and the entire free world.

Now, with this WW2 Wings of Glory Battle of Britain Starter Set you can bring to life the epic aerial duels between the Axis and Allied aces on your tabletop. Defend Britain as an Allied pilot, controlling one of the most iconic WW2 airplanes, the Spit fire; or fly dangerous missions as a German pilot in a powerful Messerschmitt Bf.109 fighter.

The Battle of Britain Starter Set is an all-in-one boxed set with everything needed to play, including four airplanes fully assembled and painted - two Supermarine Spitfire Mk.I and two Messerschmitt Bf-109E, a comprehensive rulebook (presenting from Basic to Advanced rules, plus Optional rules), a scenarios booklet, and a rich assortment of counters, rulers, and airplane console boards.

The WW2 Wings of Glory Squadron Packs feature a complete airplane model together with decals to customize it as a member of a famous squadron. The airplanes coming in these new packs are the Spitfire Mk.I (610 Squadron), the Messerschimitt Bf.109 E-3 (Jagdgeschwader 2), the Hawker Hurricane Mk.I (303 Polish Squadron) and the Junkers Ju.87 B-2 "Stuka" (Sturzkampfgeschwader 77).

Andrea Angiolino, co-designer of Wings of War and Wings of Glory (together with Pier Giorgio Paglia), grew up playing wargames with toy soldiers and hex-grid simulations. Today he is a game designer and journalist: His many board games and books about gaming have been translated into near twenty languages. He has published a 1,200 page long “Dizionario dei Giochi”, a game dictionary about all types of games, and he broadcasts the history of games and toys on the Italian State Radio Rai Tre



March 23, 2017

TALKING TOYS CONTEST! Winner for #09-17 and MARCH MADNESS Teaser for #10-17

TALKIN' TOYS #09-17 WINNER
It's Thursday so...we have a winner for last weeks Talkin' Toys contest. Charlie Bass (with enhancements for us) has snagged one of the most coveted prizes on earth...which is of course is a $50 Gift Card from Michigan Toy Soldier. Email us at michtoystaff@michtoy.com to claim your prize

TALKIN' TOYS MARCH MADNESS
#10-17 Teaser


Here's our image for this weeks contest. All you have to do is come up with the wittiest quote for the word bubble, post to the comments on our Facebook page and you will win a $50.00 gift card from Michigan Toy Soldier Company. Just think... you get free stuff and you get show off your comedic charms that will fly around the world via  ‘Over The Top’ ‘News From The Front’ Google+ & Facebook pages. We will post the winning entry right here next Thursday.
CLICK HERE TO ENTER ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE

March 22, 2017

The Art of The Toy Soldier: “Toy Soldier” by Vik Muniz

The Art of The Toy Soldier
 “Toy Soldier” by Brazilian artist Vik Muniz, based on a portrait of Pvt. Edwin Francis Jemison, 2nd Louisiana Regiment C.S.A., ca. 1860-62. Jemison, a native Georgian enlisted at 16 and died at 17 at the Battle of Malvern Hill in Virginia. Look closely and you will see that this is completely made made plastic toy soldiers.




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March 21, 2017

FARLEY'S FIGURE OF THE WEEK #146: WWI Germans by Lasette


This weeks figures are WWI German Infantry by Lassett. The English firm of Greenwood & Ball, made 54mm figures sculpted by John Tassell and released them under the name Lasset. John transposed the T and L in his own name to give a name to the series. These were professionally painted in oils from the original 1970s castings.


Click to enlarge image

Click to enlarge image

AFV's SUPERKING Returns - Building Trumpeter's 1:16th Scale King Tiger

Good news for those who may have missed it the first time, as this book is being re-printed and  will be available at the end of April. PRE-ORDER HERE

 AFV Modeller the UK publisher of AFV Modeller magazine (which has long been one of my favorites) and the excellent books Air Modellers Guide To Wingnut Wings: Volume 1M4, Made in Holland and Modelling the Merkava 3D has published SUPERKING Building Trumpeter's 1:16th Scale King Tiger - The step by step story of David Parker’s remarkable award winning 1:16 scale replica. Bringing together the three and a half year coverage from AFV Modeller with additional unpublished material and combining archive photographs with extensive walkaround photography of the real vehicle in 452 pages with over 1500 images for the ultimate guide to modelling the King Tiger.







AFV Modeller is the leading visual bi-monthly magazine for armoured vehicle modellers. AFV Modeller showcases the work of the very best modellers from around the world, shows techniques on how to achieve the best results and offers unique references

March 20, 2017

TOM STARK'S PLASTIC PASSIONS: Expeditionary Force’s WAVE 3 Zulu Wars & Colonial Wars 1878-1902

Tom Stark takes a multi-part look at the Zulu Wars from Expeditionary Force...Here is Wave 3 Releases of Colonial Artillery

  It was not my intention to turn this BLOG into a “new products” review column and I promise it will not be limited to that, but the pace of releases by Expeditionary Force (EF) is hard to ignore so I am once again writing about new releases for this segment.

When I wrote the last installment, I had said artillery for the Zulu wars was on the way. Well it’s here already along with several other related sets. There are actually two “artillery” sets consisting of two field guns or two gatling guns with four man crews for each and a single officer. Historically these are a bit too modern for me to feel I know what I am talking about from a detail perspective but I can say they display very well. Both are on the same carriage depicting bolted metal for which Scott Lam, the man behind EF, somewhat sheepishly apologized, giving me the impression that one of them, likely the gatling, should have been on a lighter, wooden carriage. To save tooling costs he elected to use the canon carriage for both. Not a problem for me but I suppose it could be for some. Assembled, you have a field piece that heralds the innovations coming to artillery for the Great War.


Both come in a medium-dark blue, a bit too intense for my taste. The gatling “kit” consists of the carriage, two wheels, the gun-barrel, a cartridge drum and two cartridge drums in wooden crates that mount on the axels. These are easy to assemble with superglue. The canon consists of the carriage, two wheels, the barrel, two seats that mount on the axels and two arm guards that mount on the outside of the seats. Putting this together takes a bit more effort due to the separate molding of the arm rests or guards. Historically, the arm guards sat just above the wheels to protect the gunners’ arms from getting mauled in the wheels while riding to the front.  These guards are not plug-fits so must be held for 30 to 60 seconds after gluing and care must be taken to keep them positioned correctly above the wheel.

Crews for both are in the same blue; naval personnel for the gatling and Royal Artillery for the canon. Torsos for both include kneeling and standing gunners and a standing officer in the appropriate dress; braided jackets for the RA and bibbed blouses for the RN. Pith helmets with spikes for the artillery plus a bare head and bonnets or straw hats for the Navy with a peaked cap for the officer. Scott also reported that history buffs had informed him that straw, or Sennet, hats for the navy were not in use for the Zulu period so he was going to pull those but, for my taste, the variety of the headgear is fun. I also believe a sailor could have found a straw hat somewhere if he wanted one and not every officer on campaign would have demanded uniformity. To add a bit more variety I have begun attaching items to the bases of some figures, a spare hat/helmet with a bareheaded pose, a crate with a spare gatling cartridge drum etc. Various arms provide sponges, buckets, cartridge drums, shot, and rifles for the crew members and pistols, swords and binoculars for the officers.  There is an arm holding a firing devise for the canon and an arm holding the crank for the gatling. When attaching these, care must again be used to be sure they get glued at the right height to appear “attached” to the guns where they should be.

Speaking of variety, I recently had a dealer tell me that there was little of it in the poses EF provides. While I understand where this comment comes from, I have been pleasantly surprised with how much visual variety can be achieved out of just 2 or 3 torsos and a bunch of arms and heads. An example of this is the naval pose shown with the canon, slightly out of focus for which I apologize. This figure uses the exact same parts as the sailor shown with the falling Conte Zulu but with the Zulu, his arms have been raised up so instead of being at the ready, he is clubbing with the butt of his rifle. Just moving the arms makes an incredible difference. This is also why in many of my photos you may see a bit of a gap at the should/arm joint. Generally, the fits are so tight,  glue is not needed to keep the arms on which allows me to adjust the arms for whatever little diorama I am fiddling with at the time.

And speaking of variety, the Conte Zulus are a very good color and scale match for the EF Zulus which I may cover another time.

Also available now is a set of Frontier Light Horse in the same blue. A more traditional set of 9 consists of two standing torsos for the enlisted ranks and a standing officer. Uniforms are braided jackets and two styles of slouch hats that fit atop a variety of heads/faces. This set has relatively standard arm pairs with carbines; firing, at ready/at high port and at ready/low port. Pistols, binoculars and left arm with sword for the officer although mixing and matching between ranks can add to the fun. As the Light Horse was a substantial part of the colonial forces, there are plans for a mounted set. Not reviewed is a set of foot Carabineers, also in blue, which appears to be much the same but with spiked helmets rather than slouch hats.



A lesser component of the colonial forces, there is a single set of auxillary/volunteer figures in a medium-dark tan which include both horse and foot. Certainly suitable for Boers when the time comes, these have a number of civilian clothing items including some top hats with plumes right out of the American wild west! Carbine and double barreled shot gun arm pairs are provided. There are two mounted torsos in one pose and a total of 6 foot torsos, 2 kneeling and 4 standing, one pose each. The horses include both a walking horse with 2 interchangeable heads and left rear legs and a running one. A tan saddle with rifle boot is supplied for both. These mounted torsos fit in the saddles better than the earlier Dragoons fit theirs. I equipped one of my foot with a Zulu assegai for a bit more spice.




Finally, there is a mixed foot and mounted set of Natal Native Contingent in the dark brown plastic EF uses for all its Zulus. Some heads have western-style headgear and, in some cases, torsos with shirts and trousers which set these figures apart from their Zulu counterparts. There are many component parts, torsos, arm pairs and heads, that do duplicate the Zulus but this is a historical reality, not a criticism of the set. Carbines and optional shoulder slung cartridge belts and blanket rolls provide a western distinction for these colonial allies but torsos and arm pairs for wielding native weapons, provided in matching brown hard plastic, and shields are also provided. The horses are the walking and running and a nifty boot of spears for mounting on the molded in saddles is also present. EF shows one of these slung over a foot figure’s shoulder but it would be a challenge for the figure to “draw” one of the rather lengthy spears form over his shoulder. Looks good though so maybe “Who cares” applies.



As I said at the start, EF’s pace of new releases is really unheard of in today’s plastic market and has not been all that common in the past either. AIP kept up a somewhat similar pace for many years but relied on a large extent on simple color options for much of its variety. Conte seemed to start out about as strong as EF but pretty quickly slowed down and then simply disappeared. I am hoping this is not the fate of EF and I have no reason to believe it will be at this time. For now, anyone that wants to can assemble a display of the Zulu wars that can cover any size display area they choose. Enjoy!
Click HERE to View the Review on Wave 1 & 2

Expeditionary Force Colonial Wars 1878-1902
Zulu Wars
British & Colonial Forces
Infantry
EXP-54ZBR01-M British Infantry 1879 in Badged Sun Helmet- Zulu Movie Version
EXP-54ZBR01-P British Infantry 1879 in Plain Sun Helmet
EXP-54ZBR01-S British Infantry 1879 in Spiked Helmet with Metal Strap
EXP-54ZBR04-C British Auxiliary Carbineers in Spiked Sun-Helmets (Dismounted)
EXP-54ZBR04-F British Auxiliary Frontier Light Horse in Slouch Hats (Dismounted)
EXP-54ZBR05 Natal/Boer Volunteers
EXP-54ZBR06–H Naval Landing Party in Sennett Straw Hats
EXP-54ZBR06–S Naval Landing Party in in Sailors Flat Cap

Cavalry
EXP-54ZBR02-N British Dragoon Guards Cavalry - Helmet with Pugri
EXP-54ZBR02-P British Dragoon Guards Cavalry - Plain Helmets 
EXP-54ZBR02-S British Dragoon Guards Cavalry - Spiked Helmets

Artillery
EXP-54ZBR03–P British Artillery in Plain Sun-Helmets w/9-pdr RML Field Gun
EXP-54ZBR04–S British Artillery in Spiked (Ball) Sun-Helmets w/9-pdr RML Field Guns
EXP-54ZBR06-G Naval Landing Party – Sailors with Gatling-Guns

Zulu Kingdom
EXP-54ZUL01-M M Zulu in War Dress (Married)
EXP-54ZUL01-U M Zulu in War Dress (Unmarried)
EXP-54ZUL02–C Cetshwayo’s inGobamakhosi Zulu Regiment
EXP-54ZUL02–M Mpande’s uThulwana Zulu Regiment
EXP-54ZUL02–S Shaka’s uGibabanye Zulu Regiment
EXP-54ZUL03 Natal Native Contingent including Natal Native HorseEXP-54ZUL04 Zulu with Rifles including Zulu Officers in coattail kilts
View & order the current range HERE

TOM STARK'S PLASTIC PASSIONS: Expeditionary Force’s Zulu Wars & Colonial Wars 1878-1902

Tom Stark takes a multi-part look at the Zulu Wars from Expeditionary Force...

The Initial Release 
Expeditionary Force’s (EF) historical theme of “British Colonial” are in my hands. They have begun with the ever-popular toy soldier conflict of the Zulu Wars. Excellent stuff here.

Let me start with the colors. Interestingly I have just noticed that the colors of the boxes, past releases and present,  mirror the colors of the figures. Using the same “stiff” but still soft and matte  plastic that makes the figures less subject deforming,  the Zulus are in a deep brown and the British in a most excellent deep red. For my taste, this red is so much better than the reds used by other makers in recent years that have been much  brighter, almost  glowing!   EF’s plastic is red enough to make the point, these are Brits, but deep enough not to blind you and not to obscure the excellent sculpting detail



Next scale. These hit the 54mm scale perfectly making them very compatible with what is already on the market, albeit, some of these are out of production now. Prior to EF’s entry into this conflict-rich time period, Armies in Plastic was the only source for a substantial number of figures. AIP’s plastics and animation left a fair amount to be desired and if EF continues to produce additional sets, they will be filling a considerable hole in the world of 54 mm unpainted plastic. This critique of AIP may be too general. The AIP Zulus were some of their best animated sets and they fit in very well with these new EF Zulus, being just a slightly lighter shade of brown.


Left: Ex-Force Zulu. Right: AIP Zulu
Left: A Call to Arms 24th Foot. Middle: Conte Right: Ex-Force 24th Foot.
Collectors should be quite happy with the alternative arm selections provided for the British. You get many more than needed for the 9 figures in the box giving you the option to customize the pose selections. If you want a firing line, you can make half the troops in this pose. This may in part be a response to negative feedback I heard on EF’s  approach on their WWII sets where to get more variety, in the WWII case provided only by different head/helmet sculpts, you had to purchase complete additional sets. For the British colonials, it remains true that to get the three “major” head varieties of sun helmet, badged sun helmet and spiked helmet, you have to buy individual sets but, unlike the WWII sets,  these headgear types are indicative of troops in different conflicts. I believe (not my prime period of historical interest) that the badged helmets are the most Zulu-oriented belonging, perhaps exclusively, to the 24th Foot. Un-badged can be used for almost anywhere in Africa in the late 1800’s, when the Martini Henry rifle was in use. I am not sure where one would have found spiked helmets on British Line. “Minor” head varieties in my set include bearded and clean shaven faces with one in a Glengarry cap thrown in. The arm combinations are much more significant.

For the cut and thrust Zulus EF has again provided  separate weapons in a harder plastic to remain straight. These include assagis, a longer spear, a knobkerrie club, a Zulu axe and another striking weapon I am not at all familiar with but I am sure was researched by EF as in use in the conflict and at least three shield varieties. This time the weapons come in a dark brown matching the figures exactly which I really like. I could have lived with a lighter shade of brown but the match is better. I don’t dislike the mis-match of gun metal weapons for the recent EF Greeks but I do find it distracts me from the unpainted plastic experience somehow; just a little bit.. Remembering EF’s plastic is also more paint-friendly than most older plastics.  Like the British arm sets, you get far more weapons than needed to arm the nine are figures in a box. This is a very good thing. I already lost my first assagi while doing these photos despite trying to be careful. In part this is the sculptor’s fault. He or she has not taken the easy way out making these” ring hand” figures molded with a hole through a ball at the end of the arm with some rudimentary fingers sculpted on. The Zulu’s right hand has each finger clearly articulated and the palm is actually open and sculpted with an opposing thumb. They hold the weapon of choice firmly and naturally. Fantastic artistry in my opinion. If weapons were limited I would be inclined to superglue the weapon of choice into each palm so as not to lose them but with the number of weapons supplied I don’t have to. I just have to be a bit more careful.

Wave Two 
Expeditionary Force releases just keep them coming. The British Dragoon Guards for the Zulu wars and beyond are a treat. Once again EF has provided 5 mounted figures in a box, in this case with two  torsos; sitting straight in the saddle and turned slightly to the right. Without looking closely you could overlook this difference. Pose variety comes primarily from the arm selections; striking with saber (3 sets),  holding saber at ready (3), firing pistol (2), holding carbine in right hand (2), holding carbine at ready (2) and firing carbine (2), so you get plenty of arms to use as you see fit.  A left arm holding reins is also provided. There are two horses, running and  walking, but the walking horse has two head options and two left rear leg options. Like the torsos, the optional horse elements are only subtly different so don’t transform the poses available but they are clearly different nonetheless and the “fit” of these parts is excellent, almost invisible. You get one of each “major” horse in light and dark brown and the officer’s horse, always running as far as I can tell, in white.




A separate saddle/saddle blanket and a separate carbine boot with gunstock protruding is supplied for each horse but the horses also have a molded in saddle. I suspect the horses will see use for a number of future releases where the heavy dragoon saddle equipment would not be appropriate, like Natal Native Horse. The riders fit a little loosely on a horse without the separate saddle and a little tightly with the saddle; note how the striking pose in my photo appears to be standing in his stirrups. Neither fit is perfect but both work without fuss.

There are three sets distinguished exclusively by the type of pith helmet; dress with spike, plain and wound with a “turban” as seen in the Anglo-Egyptian wars. I suspect we will see the later in khaki sometime in the future. The heads, or which there are at least two and perhaps more variants, are molded separate from both the bodies and the helmets. This would not seem to make design sense to me but it was the same approach taken with the WWII sets so I guess it makes sense to EF. It does however result in an extra assembly step, albeit a very simple one as all the part fits are clean and tight.  Given that small parts are not a concern to EF, I am surprised they did not supply separate hilts for the swords since all torsos have an empty sheath molded on but  those using their carbines would typically still have a sword to fall back on. A very small matter but one that made me wonder.




Expeditionary Force Colonial Wars 1878-1902
Zulu Wars
British & Colonial Forces
Infantry
EXP-54ZBR01-M British Infantry 1879 in Badged Sun Helmet- Zulu Movie Version
EXP-54ZBR01-P British Infantry 1879 in Plain Sun Helmet
EXP-54ZBR01-S British Infantry 1879 in Spiked Helmet with Metal Strap
EXP-54ZBR04-C British Auxiliary Carbineers in Spiked Sun-Helmets (Dismounted)
EXP-54ZBR04-F British Auxiliary Frontier Light Horse in Slouch Hats (Dismounted)
EXP-54ZBR05 Natal/Boer Volunteers
EXP-54ZBR06–H Naval Landing Party in Sennett Straw Hats
EXP-54ZBR06–S Naval Landing Party in in Sailors Flat Cap

Cavalry
EXP-54ZBR02-N British Dragoon Guards Cavalry - Helmet with Pugri
EXP-54ZBR02-P British Dragoon Guards Cavalry - Plain Helmets 
EXP-54ZBR02-S British Dragoon Guards Cavalry - Spiked Helmets

Artillery
EXP-54ZBR03–P British Artillery in Plain Sun-Helmets w/9-pdr RML Field Gun
EXP-54ZBR04–S British Artillery in Spiked (Ball) Sun-Helmets w/9-pdr RML Field Guns
EXP-54ZBR06-G Naval Landing Party – Sailors with Gatling-Guns

Zulu Kingdom
EXP-54ZUL01-M M Zulu in War Dress (Married)
EXP-54ZUL01-U M Zulu in War Dress (Unmarried)
EXP-54ZUL02–C Cetshwayo’s inGobamakhosi Zulu Regiment
EXP-54ZUL02–M Mpande’s uThulwana Zulu Regiment
EXP-54ZUL02–S Shaka’s uGibabanye Zulu Regiment
EXP-54ZUL03 Natal Native Contingent including Natal Native Horse EXP-54ZUL04 Zulu with Rifles including Zulu Officers in coattail kilts
View & order the current range HERE