Nobody seems to want to admit to owning Minifigs miniatures. This is
maybe not surprising. Figures presented themselves as lacking animation,
rather overweight, dressed stiffly in over-starched uniforms, faces which
had no personality and eye sockets that looked like they had a bad night.
The anachronism is that they have been around for over 30 years, but fortunately
many new figure manufacturers have entered the fray, the hobby has grown
and Minifigs have found their niche and band of loyal supporters - probably
the same supporters over the years. But things are changing. Minifigs are
introducing 'new' castings.
In my search for Brunswickers and Nassauers to introduce into my Order
of Battle for Wellington and his allies at Waterloo I turned to the 'new'
Minifigs after a fruitless wait for the rather good Imperial figures and
the lack of alternative suppliers. My existing British troops being ably
represented by figures from Essex who to date do not manufacture Brunswickers
and Nassauers. I contacted 'The Keep' in Devizes England who efficiently
posted my order and I was ready to go. A pleasant surprise awaited me when
Iopened the packets. The 'new' Minifigs were a far war-cry from those of
old. Gone was the rigid, lifeless, stodgy pose replaced by well-proportioned
and dare I say animated poses. (Don't worry though, they're not going to
threaten Old Glory just yet). There was minimal flash to tidy up, but closer
inspection revealed a number of casting flaws. Many plumes were half missing,
left sides of faces had no discernable features. Even though you could
make out the detail of fingers, musket firing mechanisms, buckles and straps
the casting (or more likely the sculptor's omission to 'cut' grooves deeply
enough to create definition) has removed any definition making the painting
of the figure through dry-brush techniques very awkward. Minifigs need
to improve their quality control to overcome these major blemishes.
The figures have painted up well however, but close scrutiny still reveals
the casting flaws. They don't look out of place among other troops on the
tabletop and at first glance will not be recognisable as Minifigs. I'm
happy with the outcome and have ordered more (Dutch-Belgians) from 'The
Keep'. If you are considering trying the 'new' Minifigs the price is GBP1.25
a packet (8 infantry or 4cavalry), but check the catalogue or enquire of
the knowledgeable staff at 'The Keep" that the figures you want are the
'new' castings as the range is in the process of upgrading.
(Ed - In light of the poor customer service of some manufacturers of wargames figures, Rabbitt Hobby Shop is presently considering obtaining figures from Minifigs.)