The gnomes are back! Iím not sure if Essex started/created the trend away from normal anatomical proportions, but whenever I see huge hands and stubby legs, I think of this brand of miniatures. I have heard that this was done to (a) emphasize the interesting bits of the uniforms - after all, how interesting can pants be? And (b) make sure hands were visible from a distance. Whatever the reason, there are now a large number of miniature makers following this pattern. I can only hope it will stop soon.
Rants aside, If these proportions do not bother you, I think you will like the Essex line. They have a clear focus on providing clean, easy to paint figures of moderate detail. This is primarily noticable in the equipment detail. Muskets tend to be long tubes with hardly a break betwen stock, barrel and bayonet. Key uniform details such as trhe cuff flap and buttons are present, but minor details on the shako are not. The result is a figure that is easily identified on the gaming table, and will probably look impressive in mass units. Further, I always find Essex figures easy (and quick) to paint. Details are large and chosen with care.
The other major issue I have with Essex is their poses. Many (such as our Fusilier here) are a bit static and unexciting. Some of their advancing or attacking poses can look strange (usually because the legs are far too short). Essex are sold 8 figures per pack and do not provide an variation in pose. This means they will tend to look like toys in groups. I prefer variety in my units (but Iím not a gamer, just a painter) but seen from five feet on a gaming table, I expect Essex will look just fine.
Finally, Essex does have an extensive range which means you can build a lot of armies with just their figures.