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Miniatures...where to start.

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Hi all,


I can't remember the last time I painted a 'worthwhile' figure but I have always been interested in the Napoleonic era since I was a teenager and wargaming, that i still do.

With the view of wanting to do a 'pucker' job (and getting older), what scale will give me the biggest variety so that it covers pre and post Napoleonic? Are their good manufacturers and not so good that you can recommend from a quality point of view? What about paints, the best to start off with the aim of better but more challenging paints. Their are bound to be other 'newbie' questions.

Sell it to me...



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The biggest range of Napoleonic figures is probably Historex in 1/30th scale. This is a French company so covers the French army in detail, but they do some British, Prussian and Russian and basic nude figures and generic scenic accessories in that scale. As they are plastic figures and all body parts are interchangable, other periods can be made. Unlike other plastic manufacturers they are made for the adult modelmaker not the toy market, so they are about the same price as white metal and resin figures.


As a budget range to hone skills I would recomend the Airfix 1/32nd scale WW2 multipose figures. The models in the photo below were converted from the 8th army and Africa Korps figures from this range.



On painting I'm old school and use enamels and artist oils, although some of the newer acrylic paints, especially metallics are very good.


Probably the best figure retailer in the UK is -


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I mostly do 1/32 figures so I'll list some of those options that I have bought:


Airfix, and Historex mentioned by Niall - plastic multipose, usually available at swap-n-shops, sometimes you can find them at hobby shops. I recently found some Historex French Marines in the clearance section of a shop in Ottawa.


M-Models - resin, available from Jadar online, good value but they seem a bit bigger than other 54 mm figures.


Hornet/Wolf - resin, probably only available second hand, worth looking for because the poses and sculpting is so good


Some I haven't bought but am interested in are the few available from Masterbox. Then there are the expensive ones from Metal Models, Andrea, etc.


I have bought larger figures second hand, Series 77 are beautiful, Verlinden had a range of 120 mm resin figures with lots of Napoleonics. I built their Napoleon and it was OK, not great proportions but decent detail.


For painting I used to use artist oils over acrylics but use just acrylics now, vallejo, reaper etc. 

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20 hours ago, Niall said:

The biggest range of Napoleonic figures is probably Historex

Cheers for that Niall, I'll take a look. I think I'll head down the acrylic paint route to start with and maybe dabble in oils when the skill base is their.

18 hours ago, Ted said:

I mostly do 1/32 figures

Cheers for your input Ted. I'm choosing 1/30-1/35 because their is enough detail to satisfy me without going OTT, plus their is the expense.



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