Tuesday, September 25, 2012

My Adler Napoleonic and ACW Samples Finally Arrived!

Four weeks ago, the fine folks at Adler sent me a packet of ACW and Napoleonic samples. Just when I had given up hope that I would never see them, consigning the figures to customs purgatory, the packet arrived yesterday.

I was excited and nervous to see these little guys in the flesh. I've seen plenty of photos online, but I've never handled them in the flesh. Dumping them out on the table and then looking at them under my optivisor, I was impressed with their detail and character. My son, who proudly proclaimed he didn't need to wear a goofy optivisor, said: "Oh, they're not as small as I thought. They're really cool looking! But what's up with their heads?" Yeah, the "Adler head" issue quickly reared its...uh....head.

Let's Get to the Details, Shall We?
Overall, I love these little guys. I'm amazed they get so much detail on something so small that's cast in pewter. Because Alder exaggerates some key details like GHQ does with their micro-armor, the figures really pop, making them look more detailed than they really are. Same with the heads, which is kind of like a reversed forced perspective at work when you see the figures on the table. I think the heads look fine. (IMO 28mm gamers should be the last people to complain about larger-than-normal heads! Ever look at a 28mm head compared to a real head? I rest my case!) So a 10/10 for detail and character, that's for sure!

Cue the Flash Gordon Move Theme Song!
Even people just quickly glancing at the photos below can see these figures have a lot of flash. I was surprised how much flash some figures have. Honestly, I didn't notice the flash until after I snapped the photos. To be fair to Adler, not all the infantry strips were as bad as some of these. On a positive note, the flash on the infantrymen cleaned up very easily, even between the legs. The downside, is that cleaning up several 100 tiny figures can take just as long as cleaning up a few dozen larger figures. Another downside is that some of the cavalry were really badly flashed. Oh well. It seems that cleaning flash and mould lines is part of the hobby regardless of scale or material (metal or plastic). So a 4/10 for mould quality but an 8/10 for ease of clean up.

You So Tiny...And Cute
Wow, these guys are tiny...and fragile. I think every time I picked up a strip, I kept bending the rifles and sometimes an entire figure. Still, these Adler figures are more robust than the Baccus sample I got a couple years ago. I don't see these Adler breaking easily at the ankles like my Baccus did. With proper care, I don't think their fragility would be much of an issue. After all, anything this small will be fragile no matter who makes it.

I would only use Adler figures for grand tactical gaming, placing them on larger bases and far away from base edges where bulging fingers like mine wouldn't damage the figures. I would think that 60mm x 30mm or 60mm x 60mm would work best for my hands, though I know fellows with better hands than mine use smaller bases.

Bottom Line
Would I recommend these figures to someone looking to game horse and musket wars in 6mm/8mm? You bet I would! Will I actually paint at least one French and one Prussian Napoleonic army in this scale? I'm still not sure. I need to mess around with these guys a bit more before I commit any time and money to such a project. Plus, I've been talking with a buddy about starting a Prussian army in 18mm using AB Miniatures to fight his 18mm AB French. (You know, I tend to talk a lot about buying and painting Napoleonic figures more than actually buying and painting Napoleonic figures. But that topic is another post for another day.) Still, these little guys really are pretty neat. I can see why people enjoy them so much.

Many of the infantry have flash along the mould lines as well as between the legs.

I love the detailed backpacks. I could even paint the straps without problems!

I didn't clean up any of these strips. This is how they look fresh our of the pack.

Oh my. The flash on this strip was horrible and a bear to remove. The moulds must have been slightly off as well.

I got some ACW samples as well. Lot's of character, but I think I'll stick to no smaller than 10mm for ACW.