While I already have a "shedload" of 15mm American Civil War and 10mm Napoleonic troops, the Warlord Thirty Years War / English Civil War (TYW/ECW) line seemed a perfect and convenient starter for someone dipping his toes into what could be, according to this American correspondent, a very confusing subject.
There are countless reviews of the miniatures line, and tutorials on the "delightful" [sarcasm] experience of painting the blighters, so I wont go into that here. Suffice to say that the commentary I have read about painting the Epic minis has been so far pretty on point. They are easy to paint for sure, but the overall look of them in my humble opinion, leaves much to be desired when painting with "regular" paints. I've seen some units painted with speed paints and they look good enough but for the amount of work that went into painting 80-100 figures (took me about a week painting in the evenings to finish 1 "Foote Regiment") the results just didn't pay off. Take into consideration that it would take me at least a year to paint up enough units for Warlord's "Pike & Shotte" rules that I eventually moved on after painting 4 units of Pike & Shotte.
The whole time I was painting though, part of me wondered what the troops would look like if I kind of, sliced into them.... IE slice the Pike line in half and slice the line of matchlock's in half and plop them onto a 4" x 2" base for a game like "Tilly's Very Bad Day" or "One Hour Wargames" or even attempt Black Powder's "Pike & Shotte" but with singular based stands.
I know we've gone down this road before but this was an experiment afterall, so let's see how we got on.
|Not bad. I recycled old 4x2" stands and added some of my grit mixture.
So 1 sprue of minis was enough to fill 2 x units for Tilly's.
|A full brigade maybe.
I liked the results. So much so that I chopped up all of the other units I had completed, and completed another unit that was spray painted on the sprues, awaiting their full uniforms. It's amazing that with only 4 sprues worth of troops, I was able to field 8 full units for Tilly's Very Bad Day. The "Push of Pikes" Starter Set which I pre ordered has literally so many more sprues that I'll have plenty for a full Army, likely being able to field historical forces for much larger continental TYW battles, or a full range of ECW battles using these guys as units. The actual Epic units were about 6" wide and about 2" deep. With them shrunk down, I can field way more on the table.
Right now I have 8 or 9 Pike and Shot units based up. Not all of the bases are "finished" with flock, detailing, etc but they look good on the stand. I'm going to continue on with this basing scheme as I like it and I dont have to paint up quite as much as I would have had to if I went the full "Epic Battles" route. and thankfully I will not have to purchase anymore, as I am well provisioned with the "Push of Pike" box.
|Close enough for government work - but whose government? King or Parliament???
I was so excited I finally started on the artillery, cavalry and the generals. The cavalry are a hot mess at the moment and I have been sorting them out but was able to start on a command stand and an artillery stand. Still have to start on the commanded shotte.
|A work in progress but they're coming along. I bought the "personality" pack of generals so hopefully you'll get to see Fairfax, Byron, Cromwell, and if you're lucky, the King himself on a battlefield in the near future.
So there you have it. A nice TYW/ECW force starting to take shape and I may even be able to put on a proper game of Tillys Very Bad Day by Christmas!
Also, I've heard rumors that the next line could be ancient - possibly Republican Roman and Carthaginian. I already own close to my body weight in 15mm metal Early Imperial Romans and barbarians but I may have to take a serious look when they come out. I think the important take away here is that if you purchased these guys and had second thoughts, they are versatile (and malleable enough) to base in different configurations. You just need to touch up with paint where you cut, and use a very sharp knife.
Anyways Dave is coming over and we're finally getting some ACW action on the table. Stay tuned and keep your powder dry!