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"Most economical 28mm for starting British?" Topic

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Wayniac23 Sep 2019 6:51 a.m. PST

Hello all, now that my group has finally settled on 28mm with Black Powder 2, I have begun to look at various model ranges to get an idea of what will give me the most bang for my buck to get started. I'm going with Hundred Days British after talking to the core group.

I've been comparing Warlord, Victrix and Perry's 28mm offerings, both in price and what you get as I'd like to get as close as possible to a 1 box = 1 battalion ratio so I don't have to buy more than I need.

Quality-wise they all look the same and looking at the prices none of them seem too bad. Victrix seems to offer the most economical per box at 52 models, but they separate Center and Flank companies so this requires two boxes to make one unit since IIRC a British battalion was what, 8 center companies and 2 flanks (I'm not sure if this size can actually work in BP2 though, seems very large).

Perry comes next with 36 infantry (it doesn't say but I think they have the ability to make center or flank?), and also has 4 riflemen which I think are the Light company, which if so makes this a full battalion in a box with 40 models, center and flank and command.

Finally, Warlord has 24 figures, in a mix of plastic and metal, for about the same price as Perry and lets you build both center and flank companies as well. So this would also be a unit in a box, albeit smaller than the Perry one (6 stands versus 10), and is what is shown in a lot of the BP media for obvious reasons.

Any suggestions or experiences? I know Warlord has a few deals and starter sets, but it seems like Perry might be the winner here? And anyway, from what I've seen the models are roughly equivalent in scale so they can fit together.


robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP23 Sep 2019 7:36 a.m. PST

If you're playing BP, I don't think you need to worry about flank companies. The rules don't seem to concern themselves with the internal composition of a "unit" which might be a company a battalion or a regiment/brigade depending on size of battle and how the Perry Brothers are feeling on the day. FYI, the rifles are not the light company. All the line battalions had organic light companies, but to beef up the skirmisher screen, rifle companies were assigned to British brigades in the Peninsula. I suspect they would normally be a "tiny" unit under BP rules.

Economy is going to depend somewhat on how big an army you're planning to build and whether you're at all concerned about the flank companies. Once you answer those questions, it's math and you can probably do it yourself. Until you do, no one can answer it for you. But do keep in mind that the best solution may be a mix. For example two Warlord and one Perry gives you three standard units and a tiny rifle, which is a common brigade. But if you need 250+ figures, and want the flank/center company mix, four Victrix center and one Victrix flank company box serves you well.

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP23 Sep 2019 8:01 a.m. PST

if you were in the States I'd suggest Old Glory as ther regimental bags come with flank companies and command figs plus they are metal.

Wayniac23 Sep 2019 8:15 a.m. PST

I am in the States, but does Old Glory do 28mm? May have to look at that.

Also, that's a good point, I'll have to do a bit more research over what they come with and what I would need.

Ironsides23 Sep 2019 8:18 a.m. PST
JimDuncanUK23 Sep 2019 8:38 a.m. PST

If you have time constraints then go for all metal figures.

I have no preference for any particular manufacturer.

If time is less of a problem to you then plastic multi-part figures are an option, again any manufacturer will do.

Wayniac23 Sep 2019 8:39 a.m. PST

Thank you, I will have to check all of these out and come up with the best option. Since 24 figures (4x6) is the standard (even if not exactly accurate) I could potentially get two boxes of Perry's infantry and this would give me three units and a small rifle company (2 boxes = 8 rifles so two stands) which seems pretty good and roughly accurate (spacing notwithstanding) for a brigade, assuming I add a suitable commander of course!

I will compare with the pricing for Warlord's boxed sets; I might end up doing a mix, for example, Victrix's artillery is 3 to a box so seems relatively cheap to buy while Warlord's cavalry seems better than Perry's.

Certainly, more research is needed but this points me in the right direction!

Cerdic23 Sep 2019 10:55 a.m. PST

Here you go, Wayniac. A bit more research for you! If you click 'Napoleonic' in the list on the right-hand bar it will take you to a few comparison photos of various figures…


d88mm1940 Supporting Member of TMP23 Sep 2019 11:10 a.m. PST

My favorite troops are Perry. However, the Perry British box is a firing line and this makes a messy formation when playing big battles like Black Powder or Shako. I like them for skirmish games like Sharpe's or Chosen Men. Oh ya, and the Perry boxes give you casualties!
For big battles I prefer the march attack pose. Victrix boxes allow you to make everyone marching or a lot of them skirmishing, but they are a little fiddly to assemble. The only difference between the flank and center company boxes is the arms. You get the same chassis (or bodies) in both boxes. With plenty of arm choices, this gives you a lot of flexibility. In fact, I believe, the Peninsular War figures have the same chassis too, just different shakos.
The Victrix and Perry figures mix rather well. I've swapped arms and heads around with carefree abandon. The Warlord figures do not swap well. The heads are a different style. Perry and Victrix have bodies with the collars on them (you just add head). Warlords bodies have no collars. The head and collar is one piece. Makes swapping difficult, but not impossible. Still, the Warlord figures look good on the table in their own battalions. You see, it's their giant hands that make them stand out. But you can get really dirt cheap Warlord British by buying the plastic Hanoverian sprues. A buck-fifty each for 5 figures!
Regards cavalry. The Perry boxes have lots of extras like dismounted dragoons, tons of head options, extra chassis and the horse options are greater. The Perry horses are three to a sprue. Each half is compatible with any other, giving you 3x3 variations. Warlord gives you 2 horse variations. You can buy separate Perry horse sprues, if Warlord is preferred and if you like your horses varied. Everyone's cavalry mix and match well.
Regards artillery: I have a lot of metal and a fair number of plastic. I simply adore the Victrix artillery. With the British box, you can actually get 3 more pieces! The sprues come with a lot of barrel options. There are different howitzer carriage sides that can be used instead of the cannon barrel sides. If you scratch build a trail and used the limber wheels, viola! 3 more cannons.
I've also experimented with magnets to swap out barrels. They're a pain. I decided to go with tacky. Easier and just as quick to swap out.
'nuff said.

Brian Smaller23 Sep 2019 12:40 p.m. PST

If you are going plastic route then I would say Perry plastic. They seem way more robust than the Warlord or Victrix plastics I have.

In the States – join the Old Glory Army club and get 40% off. Their OG 2nd Edition figures are nice. And metal.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP23 Sep 2019 12:47 p.m. PST

How much effort will you put into painting them?

Are you happy with just painting nothing more than redcoats, grey trouser overalls and black hats, pink faces? I know some are and that is fine, but I would argue why not then just use counters for gaming?

That is one extreme and it would be fine for the smallest scales eg 2mm.

But do you care about correct facings, Grenadiers and Light Cos correctly arranged, Colours as they are meant to be flown etc? If so there will be much work going into each figure. This will mean spending time, which is far more valuable than money.

Get the figures that you consider the best. Anything else is a truly false economy. Economical may not mean cheapest.

My views? Perrys plastics take much assembly, but have huge conversion potential and no two figures need ever be the same. Esp if you do invest in a Victrix box, to mix and match, as suggested above. Even more assembly required, but the facial expressions are a bit grim and simian.

No one does bayonet attack in British, AFAIK, in plastic. You get firing line or "March attack" (which I now know did not exist). Mind you, no one does French firing, other than a few skirmishers.

Above all enjoy it. Good luck

coopman23 Sep 2019 3:37 p.m. PST

Buy figures that you really like, because painting them up is going to be a lot easier if you like them.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP23 Sep 2019 6:31 p.m. PST

+1 Coop,an

nickinsomerset24 Sep 2019 4:31 a.m. PST

My vote is Perry, even though they are in a firing line, one can make a unit with the majority of chaps with muskets at 45 degrees. Out of 11 boxes (8 from the Perry Brigade offer which is a great saving) I have made 13 units including 2 with metal command. Only one of these is the chaps in firing loading etc.

Tally Ho!

Rdfraf Supporting Member of TMP24 Sep 2019 8:33 a.m. PST

I just sold off most of my Front Rank British Napoleonics but I have a lot of Unpainted 28mm Wargames Foundry British Napoleonics I would love to sell. I can make the units to your specifications, 3 lights, 3 grenadiers and 24 line and promise a good price on them as I want get rid of them since I'm downsizing on Napoleonics . Email me at .

You can see Foundry's figure line here link

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian24 Sep 2019 11:42 a.m. PST



Plus if you sign up for the Old Glory Army you get 40% off all orders

Timmo uk24 Sep 2019 3:25 p.m. PST

Exactly what Deadhead writes. Your painting time is the biggest investment in a project like this.

Try and get few samples of each (ebay often has single sprues) and see what you enjoy painting the most as you are going to be spending an awful lot of time painting a Napoleonic army.

Personally I'd rather spend time painting than assembling so for me it would be metal over plastic. You can also consider buying a unit at a time to spread the cost. Depending on how much hobby time you have you might find that you can only paint one unit a month and that when considered in those terms the cost of metal over plastic is less of an issue. Personally I find having too much lead in stock is totally demotivating but YMMV on that.

Wayniac25 Sep 2019 4:28 a.m. PST

I play Warhammer so I am all too familiar with the "pile of shame" xD

I'll check out some of the metals as well. I often forget that outside of Warhammer-land, metal is still a thing! Are the old glory models the same scale as Perry/Victrix/et all? I'll have to do research and see, I don't mind mixing and matching (it's preferred, in fact).

WG Lorenzo25 Sep 2019 7:48 a.m. PST

Hi Wayne,

I'd give strong consideration to the Waterloo starter set if you want to split it and force a friend to play the French (someone has to!), or our British Waterloo Campaign starter army!




Wayniac27 Sep 2019 5:13 a.m. PST

I was looking at Perry, but then I realized there's only one set of command so buying two boxes to make three units would leave one with having to buy command separately. Not a terrible prospect, but not a good one either.

The Warlord offering is looking much better to me as far as being economical (likely supplemented with a box of Victrix artillery). The club has since decided to do Peninsular War/War of the Sixth Coalition (we felt it made more sense and allowed more people to play something other than French/British/Prussia without going too much into "What if Napoleon…" territory. I think I as the British player would have the only real variance, but putting an army closer to 1812-1814 means I can add some units with Belgic shakos as well as the Stovepipe) so I would be looking at the Peninsular War starter army.

coopman27 Sep 2019 11:01 a.m. PST

It seems like I remember reading that the Belgic shako never made it to the Peninsula units. Somebody will correct me if I'm wrong.

Wayniac28 Sep 2019 5:29 a.m. PST

I've read both, but doing more research as I'm relatively new to both the period as a whole and the Peninsular War specifically.

Cerdic29 Sep 2019 2:22 p.m. PST

I believe the general opinion is that the Belgic shako was only worn in battle against the French during the Waterloo campaign.

The stovepipe certainly gives more options…

18th Century Guy Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2019 4:52 p.m. PST

There are no economical ways of doing this so turn to the dark side and go all in.

Personal logo oldbob Supporting Member of TMP08 Oct 2019 10:21 a.m. PST

I'm also new to 28mm Napoleonic. I went with plastic for Cavalry and metal for the Infantry, with Infantry I used mainly Foundry figures and if I needed the odd figure or so, I went with Front Rank single figures. Deadhead made me do it!

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP09 Oct 2019 6:14 a.m. PST

Non est culpa mea.

I am merely "an influencer" my social media savvy offspring tell me. Apparently this should ensure me the annual income of a Premier league footballer. Seems to have gone wrong somewhere.

The most precious commodity is time, not money. My US Marines from Hue are all done, but sitting there waiting for bases, for ages now! 66th B/day today brings it all home, even more. Spend that money, the taxman will have it otherwise, one day.

Lord Hill24 Oct 2019 2:05 p.m. PST

No one does bayonet attack in British, AFAIK, in plastic.

well…I had a go!




Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP25 Oct 2019 3:04 p.m. PST

and if anyone could create such a scene from a multipart set of plastic figures…it might just be him.

Let is work it out. Light company. From a green faced Line Regiment post 1812. It was raining…..must be Waterloo.

Ah ha. So now I follow the link. 69th of Foot. See the bareheaded chap (indeed most are identified). All from Victrix and great work…as we would have expected from LH

Wayniac29 Oct 2019 6:42 a.m. PST

In retrospect, the Warlord box proved to be a mistake. Nothing against the quality but I failed to read that the command require drilling holes in the standard bearer's hand and inserting a wire, and my group later decided to prefer 36 figures instead of 24. Perry would have been a better choice and I had to write the Warlord infantry off as a loss and get a few boxes of those since it turned out that the cost of getting additional metal figures (and a standard-bearer with the standard actually sculpted) for a single unit would cost almost as much as it would cost me to get *TWO* boxes of Perry plastics without factoring in shipping.

Ah well, live and learn.


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