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"28mm Marlburian/War of Spanish Succession/WSS miniatures" Topic

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michaelsbagley18 Jan 2011 7:12 p.m. PST

I'm new to the forum, and relatively new to the realm of die-hard miniature gaming… although I am a very long time RPGer (and very aware how different of a beast that is), and a long time historical re-enactor. Personal intro and pre-amble aside…

I recently bought a bunch of Dixon miniature from an American distributor that was blowing them out at a great price, and while I can purchase more from Dixon in the UK, I am a sucker for variety, and was wondering how well the Dixon minis mesh with other company's lines, like Front Rank, or Old Glory, or Wargames Foundry, or even the plastic line from Wargames Factory (if anyone has even gotten theirs and had the chance to compare them yet).

I'm looking to build up a good and varied collection, but would like to try and stick to purchasing minis that won't look too large or small beside the ones I have started my collection with. On the whole, I am not a cheap guy, but out of those I have listed above, Wargames Foundry's minis seem a little high priced to me… But if I get enough positive feedback regarding them, I would probably buy those.


bcminiatures1 Inactive Member18 Jan 2011 7:44 p.m. PST


I built a large WSS army back in the 90's. I feel your pain / excitement. It is a fun period to collect.

Given your cost concerns – I would have recommended looking at the Wargame Factory WSS figures. I bought two boxes and was pretty darned impressed. You could (have) turn(ed) out lots of standard units with not too much assembly. Alas – the fate of WF seems to be in the air.

If were starting out and had unlimited cash, I'd probably look at the Front Rank figures. Since I started way back when, they seem to be the best new line to come out. But at $2+ per figure – it would be hard to build large units or a large army. Plus, I think they would be a bit too chuncky for your Dixons.

I think you should give the Old Glory figures a look. To this day, I think that some of the WSS sculpts are some of the best ever done – by any manufacturer. You need to look them over. Some of the figures have the standard old glory – "let's reenact the u.s. civil war at right shoulder shift" syndrome. But many do not. If you can get to a convention take a look at the bags. If you have access to anyone who used to subscribe to MWAN, Charles Sharp did an excellent article on the Old Glory line telling you exaclyt which forces/ country could be built with each bag. You'll find that the Dixons mix in very nicely with the OG's. I have a lot of Dixon officers, seargants and standard bearers in my units. I also have a fair number of Foundry figures mixed in as well. With the money you save on the OGs, you'll be able to spring for some Foundry's.

There was a company out there called Imperialist Enterprises making some figures for this period as well. The guy who owned the company – Rob Haggerty (?) was just great and very helpful. I had already bought most of my figures when I met him. But if you like his stuff, they should mesh with your dixons as well.

If you are on Yahoogroups and are a member of the old school wargamers group, you can look at my figures in the photo section under the battle of Beoirachberg. You might spot some of your Dixons and some foundries there too.

Best of luck.


Repiqueone18 Jan 2011 7:51 p.m. PST

Michael, I, too, am increasingly fascinated with the WSS, which is a great wargaming period.

Dixon's are very nice and clean castings, but are on the smallish side. They should be quite allright if kept in units of their own. I'm using them as my "Dutch" forces. Some OG officers will work with them, not all. Since officers were among the first castings to disappear in the Wargames sale, you might be looking for some compatible figures.

Dixon's shipping rates are prohibitive (50%!!) so, as much as I would like, I can't see ordering more directly from them. It is unclear if Wargames will be restocking. Shame! Does anyone else handle them? Foundry has long ago decided they really don't want to sell wargame figures, but "collector's specials."

For size comparisons:

Compared to Dixon, Foundry are close, OG are slightly taller, the Front Rank are taller and bulkier as are Imperialist Figures, and Reiver (they are quite good with an excellent range) are larger still. All in All I'm using Reiver for some horse units and some Guard foot, OG and FR for most of the French, Bavarian and Austrian units, Dixon for the Dutch, and possibly some Imperialist figures (i've sent for samples) for the Danes and Prussians, and a mix of all (by unit) for the Brits. I await the hopeful resolution of Wargames factory for a 3 box pre-order to compare those figures for quality and size.

Great period.

michaelsbagley18 Jan 2011 8:15 p.m. PST

Thanks a ton for the quick responses! I really appreciate the advice on all accounts…. I too have a box of Wargames Factory minis on order…. And await to find out if I will ever get them or a refund should the product not be forthcoming… although I would rather this topic not go down that path, it seems there are enough discussion about that here.

I did find the Reiver web site, and was most impressed with what I saw, but I did not see any pricing. and I have always tried to live by the adage that "if you have to ask how much it costs….".

I also really appreciate the mention of Dixon's shipping costs. I have searched quite extensively for another North American distributor online, but haven't had any luck yet.

Maybe I will focus on the Old Glory for expanding my collection for starters, and then check out the others first hand as I go further down this rabbit hole (or not).

On the whole the miniature business (specially historic minis) has moved almost solely online, and as someone who prefers to see before buying, I find myself in the rather new position of no longer really having that choice. I don't think I would find a great deal of mini gaming conventions in or around Ohio… and even if I found a convention, WSS would likely not be represented in lieu of ACW, Rev-War, WWI, WWII and other more American-centric collections.

Couldn't agree more on how great the period is! Just wish it was more popular in the US (specially the Mid-West).

korsun0 Supporting Member of TMP19 Jan 2011 4:50 a.m. PST

We have a small range;



Supercilius Maximus19 Jan 2011 5:26 a.m. PST

I would concur with those who group Dixon with Foundry and Old Glory size-wise, they are the most compatible ranges. Front Rank and the new Copplestone "Glory of the Sun" ranges are taller and wider. Whilst Foundry themselves now charge ridiculous prices for what are very (very) old sculpts that must have paid for themselves many times over, they do have the occasional sale; alternatively, you do sometimes see stuff come up on eBay at reasonable rates.

There is one new range that nobody else has mentioned so far; ostensibly, it is Grand Alliance, rather than WSS per se, but if you want the transitional uniforms of the early WSS then they are ideal. I have no idea how compatible they are with the above three ranges, but you could always go onto their "Fighting Talk" forum (which has both "Grand Alliance" and "Marlburian" sections) and ask:-


Just a suggestion, but if you know people who are going to travel to the UK (or via the UK to another destination) you could always save up for a decent sized order and get them to bring it back for you.

PKay Inc Inactive Member19 Jan 2011 5:52 a.m. PST

But I thought 10's were the only way to go??? That 25/28's were dinosaurs of the past? Hmmm.

Repiqueone19 Jan 2011 5:54 a.m. PST

Michael, The Reiver figures are 10 foot or 4 cavalry (inc.Horse) for £10.00 GBP (roughly $16.00).

When I started in wargaming, the miniature figure business was all by mail and most catalogs had no pictures, Jack Scruby's catalog had pretty basic line drawings by Jack. It's come full circle to email and online catalogs. My usual procedure is a small representative order of cavalry, foot, and artillerymen, followed by a larger order of I like the figures. Reiver is the largest, but that works very well for cavalry, which most lines make proportionally too small compared to the foot.

adster19 Jan 2011 6:21 a.m. PST

The Dixon figures are a nice basis to start on (sculpted by Mark Copplestone) and mix perfectly with Foundry, Essex Miniatures and Parkfield Miniatures. The Foundry figures are not cheap bought by the blister but in their sales or on eBay(where I picked up all of mine) they are gettable at very reasonable prices. I have quite a few of the Old Glory range, which work fine for size but are quite different in style in my opinion.

For some photos of these all being used together have a look at the League of Augsburg gallery page: and there are a few of mine at : link .

Reiver and Front Rank both have extensive and nice looking lines for this period but they are both too large and chunky to my eye to mix with the others and very different styles of sculpting mean they don't work well together.

Repiqueone19 Jan 2011 6:21 a.m. PST

I do believe that 10s are the only way to go in the long run. Per figure cost, ever increasing shipping, the demands of storage space and playing space for many gamers, especially younger gamers, argues against the 28mm figure.

For many periods including ACW and later 19th c. warfare the gamer loses little in terms of uniform detail and gains a great deal in terms of ground scale. In WWII, unless one is fond of skirmish gaming, 15s or 10s are almost required because of ranges and movement scales. Even in Napoleonics, if you want any ability to do major battles, or even sections of them, 15s and below are the only solution.

However, I am intrigued with the WSS period and its uniforms, and one must have at least one Horse and Musket 28mm army, if for no other reason than old time's sake. The scale of the period is also friendlier to the larger scales, as is SYW, and AWI than the wars of the 19th century. I also had a few hundred unpainted figures from the 90s!

Plastics, or Sam Mustafa's modular army system from Lasalle, may save 28s, or at least slow down their decline, but as many a convention now attests, the younger gamers are moving to smaller scales, and 28s are more the purview of the older veteran gamers who are vested in the scale. Change is life, life is change.

Big Red Supporting Member of TMP19 Jan 2011 9:22 a.m. PST

"…the younger gamers are moving to smaller scales, and 28s are more the purview of the older veteran gamers who are vested in the scale. Change is life, life is change."

I remember hearing this many times in the 80's and 90's. So I guess it is also the more it changes the more it remains the same.

Oldenbarnevelt Inactive Member19 Jan 2011 9:39 a.m. PST

"…the younger gamers are moving to smaller scales, and 28s are more the purview of the older veteran gamers who are vested in the scale. Change is life, life is change."

Ah the myth rises again.

If you want Dixons look to the UK retailers such as Spirit Games. Their postage fees is "at cost" whatever that may be.

Personal logo Der Alte Fritz Sponsoring Member of TMP19 Jan 2011 9:40 a.m. PST

I disagree with Repiqueone. The 28mm figure size is doing very well and each passing year sees more and more new figure ranges in this size of figure. It is hardly a dinosaur.

Catoctinmike Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member19 Jan 2011 10:49 a.m. PST

I agree with Fritz, I see more 28's. I like the Dixon figures, but this is not much variety, and they do match with the expensive Foundry. But I really like the Front Rank, it is a complete range, and the figures are the best sculpts out there.

RockyRusso Inactive Member19 Jan 2011 11:04 a.m. PST


The youth will move to 28s as they pass 40 and have trouble SEEING them!


Been gaming with figs since the 60s, and every few years someone gets up on their hind legs and announces the death of 25/28 for a smaller scale. Der Kreigspeilers in the 70s? Sheesh. Remember the "bristle block" revolution back then? One of the english companies did 3mm.

Look, some of us use figs because we like seeing nicely painted figs on the table. ANY game would be served much better with an oblong of card with "4th brigade infantry" on it. Simple and cheap.

Remember "System seven"?

To the subject, I painted up a bunch of the Dixon when they came out because they were beautiful. Did "Tercio Lombardy" and "Tercio Walloon". For fun. They have never gamed. I do NEED some cav and guns, I suppose. Recently one of my gaming buddies bought the cheap WF figs, if he paints them, FINALLY they might see a fight 20 years late!

What is your hobby?


conflans Inactive Member19 Jan 2011 4:56 p.m. PST

I second what Supercilius Maximus has posted about the new League of Augsburg Range. Go to the following link at the League of Augsburg page:


It shows a photo comparison of various manufacturer sizes. You can also look at examples of the upcoming range to be relelased shortly.

Musketier Supporting Member of TMP20 Jan 2011 5:06 a.m. PST

Fritz, maybe it's us who are the dinosaurs – albeit with some spending money left, and the 28mm market is merely catering to our whims? – Right, I'm off to push over some trees.

Bloody6th Inactive Member20 Jan 2011 4:49 p.m. PST

1st Posting……. Hello All, I too took advantage of the dixon close out., ive been painting and collecting wargame figures in small batches since the 80s. i bought up a bunch of the dixon Marlburians but since dixon doesn't make a attack March figure in that range. i also ordered a box of wargame factory marlburlians, which Happly showed up today. to bulk out my regiments. they are BTW not a bad match hightwise to Dixons though im going to trim down the neckclothes, both too reduce the hight somewhat. and to cutdown on the giraffe look

18th Century Guy Supporting Member of TMP20 Jan 2011 4:59 p.m. PST

There is another range that people forget about and that is Imperialist Enterprises. I've had his figures before and though they may not be the same quality as a Dixon you won't be paying the price of a Dixon either. His line is more of a true 25mm so it would match up against a Dixon just fine and I've mixed the standard bearer & officer figures in with my Dixons without much trouble. I'm not sure if he's listed here as a manufacturer but I know on the Warflags site I've seen his ads. He doesn't have a website that I'm aware but he does have email and can be reached there. This guy really knows the WSS quite well and he has a really large amount of different figures available for it. So look for Imperialist Enterprises.

michaelsbagley20 Jan 2011 5:10 p.m. PST

@Bloody6th …. You are very lucky to have received your WGF minis, and thanks for the review…. That does come as good news in case my order ever gets fulfilled.

Bloody6th Inactive Member20 Jan 2011 6:10 p.m. PST

Hopefully WGF will recover sets of Horse and artillery would be most helpful….. plus a sprue with a better firing pose I'll drop imperialist a line and request a catalog too Thanks

michaelsbagley20 Jan 2011 6:15 p.m. PST

Those would be great, but my confidence in their ability to deliver is so shaken, I'm not sure I'm willing to risk ever doing business with them again. Do you mind if I ask how long your order took?

Bloody6th Inactive Member21 Jan 2011 2:19 p.m. PST

i ordered mine from the on monday, they showed up yesterday

Ginger rebel Inactive Member23 Jan 2011 9:35 a.m. PST

Front Rank wins for me i love these figures but they are getting expensive even back here in the uk.
looking at the bigger picture, 10s would be the way ahead. These large formations are becoming a thing of the past on the battle table, as time money and space are all factors of the down turn.
unless were memebers of a wargaming club with the room to wargame like this i feel these important periods in history will die in 28mm and become dust collectors

bluewillow24 Jan 2011 3:00 a.m. PST

I disagree GR, Horse and musket gamers love the colour and wigs of the WSS period, some of the guys at the club are converting to 1/20 and even 1/10 rules for WSS up to 7YW, so larger armies as we get older and get more cash flow as the kids leave home.

For WSS Front Rank or foundry if you have the cash or old glory, or if you want budget WSS plastics.

my two cents

Porkmann Inactive Member24 Jan 2011 8:23 a.m. PST

I have some comparisons at my blog – they may prove useful.


Sir Samuel Vimes Inactive Member10 Apr 2011 3:40 a.m. PST

I've been using the Old Glory line and am now looking to supplement my selection with some models from imperialist. On the whole, I've been very happy with the Old Glory options for WSS. I got them back when they were still 30 to a bag for the infantry…later I decided that taking up the option of the army deal was worth it, since I had committed to the scale for this project.

The figures looked a bit rough to me at first, but they paint up very well and, once the units are based and have flags, they really look the business. It took a bit of getting used to how to paint these particular models, the figures in this range were very different from the 28mm fantasy and science fiction figures I had cut my painting teeth on.

I'm looking at using imperialist for french horse as I want more sedate cavalry for the french than Old Glory offers. A Imperialist also produces a triple barreled cannon used by the French and I feel compelled to have such an oddball unit in my French force.

As to the scale argument; I have tried 15mm and while smaller scale may give a more "realistic" look than larger scales, it just leaves me cold and does not get the artistic juices flowing. 25-28mm on the other hand (heck 20mm plastics for that matter) just feel right whenever I think of playing with toy soldiers. I know I could get more bang for the buck at lower scales in terms of a head count, but I just love working on miniatures in such striking and attractive uniforms at a larger scale. My sense of gaming pageantry seems to require the bigger figures. When I think of the money I had sunk into Games Workshop in years past, I see the stuff I'm working on now (.70 – 1.50 USD a figure) very reasonable in price.

EvilGinger Inactive Member04 Sep 2011 2:19 a.m. PST

I agree about Spirit Games for Dixon miniatures out of the UK & by at cost it means he charges whatever it costs him to send it to you & an exchange of e-mails will give you a good idea of what that will be, or if possible an exact quote.

I post mostly because its a period I was into a long long time ago in 15mm Peter Lang & the new Wargames factory plastics have started me up again

warren bruhn Inactive Member18 Sep 2011 8:15 p.m. PST

I was part of massive 28mm projects to do Blenheim in 2004 and Ramilles in 2006. After these projects were over I bought the collections of some of the other participants.

Of the two guys left in the project, between us we have 28mm WSS figures from the following:
Front Rank
Old Glory
Imperialist Enterprises
Blood Axe (out of production?)

We do not yet have any figures from the following:
Blaze Away
Wargames Factory

I think there's one or two other makers out there whose names I've forgotten.

Of the figures that we have, I'd say the Old Glory, Imperialist Enterprises, Irregular, and Blood Axe are among the cheaper figures, and accordingly they are at the lower end of the sculpting and casting quality scales. However, there are many figures in these lines that look great or have a special charm of their own. In particular, there is one of the Imperialist French Infantry poses that is my favorite figure for the period. And the Old Glory have that over-animated look which actually works really well in mass. And the Irregulars have a plain look to them which is good for certain kinds of troops.

The Front Rank, Foundry, and Dixon figures are fabulous. But fortunately we have all the figures that we probably will ever want, excepting cavalry, because the prices now are terrifying! Personally, I don't buy the excellent Front Rank infantry because those figures are just too bulky to look good next to the small to medium sized figures from all the other manufacturers. I think Front Rank would have gotten a lot more of my money if their WSS figures were of a similar bulk as compared with the average size of other figures. The mix of figures that we have looks fine in mass, but for me the Front Rank units stand out from the crowd due to their massive bulk.

28mm is indeed alive and well, especially for WSS.

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