Monday, January 25, 2010

Plastic Figures -

A comment on a recent posting, and a conversation yesterday with a friend I hadn't seen for quite a while (Gidday, Brian!), reminded me of the contrast in style between the old Airfix and ESCI figures and more recent manufactures.

I have always thought the best of Airfix were full of character - E.g. American War of Independence, WW1, some of the Napoleonics ... On the other hand, there was something bland about the ESCI. Yet I was to make an interesting discovery about ESCI figures. The Airfix figure design did not lend itself to mixing poses within a unit. You could get away with front rank of one pose and rear rank of another, but that was about it. Here's a couple of pictures of one of my Airfix ACW Union infantry regiments:

On the other hand, ESCI figures seem to cry out to be mixed in units, with as many different poses as possible. Here's the sort of thing I mean:

Actually, the cognoscenti will recognise that these figures started out in life as ESCI French Foreign Legion, but they make fine ACW figures.
The grey unit has been painted up as (Lew) Wallace's Zouaves - 11th Indiana - just so I could have a Union regiment in grey. It is also smaller than the usual run of regiments in my army, just 21 figures instead of 27...


  1. How charming they both are! I did much the same thing, I used Esci and Imex mostly for 20mm because I got them cheaply at the local shop. My union regiments are almost all the same pose, while my Confederates have mixed poses with mixed equipments, to sort of represent the Industrial Manufacturing of the North against the Ad Hoc supply of the south I guess. Anyway it seemed to work!

    1. I can imagine that would indeed work. My own feeling about the more formal appearance given by the same pose was a comment made concerning Pickett's Charge' that I read when I was still at school. This had to do with the Confederate steadiness under fire, even pausing to dress the ranks before the final charge.

      Somewhere I have an independent unit of 'Berdan's' sharpshooters in green, built from ESCI Union figures. I'm not sure where they are...