May 24, 2003
In brief: Over the past few months, I've waxed poetic over Perry Miniatures' AWI and Samurai releases. And while they're very good, a slight trace of Foundry heritage lingers. The lips 'gggrrr' a bit too much on the Scots' overly angled faces, and the legs were a bit too thick on the Sengoku lads, to give them the unqualified praise we often bestowed on Tony Barton's AB Napoleonic figures.
But reservations have been blown away by Alan Perry's newest releases. I received a small order of AWI American infantry (shouldered-arms) and their command group. These are the best 28 mm’s I've seen. The anatomy is very good, with each face a rewarding character study.
From the images on their web site and comments received from one of our regular reviewers, the American riflemen and Indians are on par with these figures, and hopefully indicate a complete disconnect from the elfin Foundry style. Foundry's latter AWI figs are good, but come up short when compared with the work Alan is presently doing.
I only wish the following scans did justice to the actual miniatures. (We're both in the throws of scanner meltdowns!)
I'm celebrating. I don't know whether the style change is, in part, one Alan wished to make, or whether it has been helped along by the work the twins are doing for Games Workshop, etc. Whatever the reason, it addresses the anatomy issue we've championed since the web site’s inception and finally will allow the 25/28 mm hobbyist to paint wargaming figures with increased realism.
One thing is certain: Painting these figures is much easier than the 28's I've been struggling with. For the experienced painter, you should be able to achieve some fantastic expressions and tabletop effects. For the novice, the features are well-defined and even a simple, thin application of skin color should provide a real boost to your end results.
As in my earlier Perry reviews, the casting quality is first-rate. These figures go to the head of the class for artistry, quality control, price, and availability.
One can only anticipate great things to come. Perhaps we run the risk (as in the case of AB) of turning the site into a Perry praise page. I have noted from their web site images, however, that Michael Perry's ranges (the Crusades, etc.) have too much Foundry blood in their veins for my taste. So this unbridled praise is for Alan's evolution at the moment. Hopefully, Michael will also move towards more natural looking features and poses.
If there is any doubt about their ability to produce artistic product, check their site for images of custom-made, 54 mm ANZAC W.W.I figs created for Peter Jackson of "Lord of the Rings" fame. They speak for themselves.
Don Johnson, one of our regular Massachusetts readers, suggested posting a side-by-side comparison of these new American infantry (shoulder-arms) with their Foundry counterparts. Not having both, he was good enough to send the following scans. Now remember, the AWI Foundry figs done by Alan merit accolades in their own right. But you should still be able to appreciate the overall improvements in the new figures.
In each scan, the two Perry figures are on the left, the two Foundry on the right. It does call out one minor negative I've discovered while painting the newbies, and that's bayonet tips. I've taken to using sand paper to give them a better finish.
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