Are AB Figures the best miniatures you can buy? If you are buying Peninsular British and can afford them I would have to say yes. However, if you are a gamer looking to quickly add a couple divisions worth quickly, cost may be a more important issue for you (since I’m only tackling a few dozen figures a month, I have the luxury of holding out for detail). At $4.95 per pack of 8 infantry building an army is an expensive proposition. (May 1, 2005: AB are now approximately $0.85 each, and are sold individually, not in packs.)
Why are they the best? First of all they have a very nice degree of detail. What’s more they have a high degree of what I like to think of as figural integrity. Meaning no “mystery lumps.” Straps actually go where they should. Items are clearly delineated. You can tell the canteen strap from the crossbelt, the gun barrel from the stock.
Second, the overall proportions of the figures are very good. Hands are smaller than feet, thighs are bigger than upper arms. Small items, such as cuffs, are engraved rather than raised. The overall anatomy looks human (compared to Essex which always look a bit “gnomish” to me). One exception: the bayonets here look pretty large to me (using some photos from Osprey’s British Redcoat as a guide).
Third, the pose is realistic. This particular infantryman looks like he’s advancing at a walk. Compare this to the “comic book” pose of the Old Glory entry. The OG figure is surely either (A) about to belly flop into the Belgian mud or (B) capable of defying gravity!
Fourth (although you can’t see it here) they come in a wide variety of poses. The firing infantrymen come in various loading and firing poses. This helps create a little more realistic look to entire units (at least to my eyes).
There are only two downsides to the line: (1) that they are substantially taller than many other 15mm lines and hence not very compatible with other minis you may already own and (2) generally only available by mail direct from England or from Eureka based in Australia.
So all in all, AB figures score very high in all areas except value (they cost twice as much as most brands, three times as much as some value priced brands).
They will comprise the bulk of my armies at least. (Disclaimer)
Page last updated May 1, 2005.