Sunday, 10 April 2011

A day at Eureka


I will remember Saturday, 12 March 2011 for two reasons. First, I visited the home of Eureka Miniatures in Melbourne. Heaven. Secondly, I lost my voice for the first time (that I remember). Bummer. That the two events coincided was a personal disaster - imagine spending months looking forward to meeting people and then when the time comes finding that you can't talk to them! It wasn't quite that bad, but conversation with the Eureka team was unfortunately limited and my voice gave out completely in the afternoon when Melbourne wargamer John Baxter took me out to wineries in the lovely Mornington Peninsular (although John was very good at "predictive text" conversation). I'd picked up a tongue and throat infection which the Kiwi had contracted earlier in the holiday; a course of antibiotics did the trick, but for 4 days I couldn't taste red wine - a disasterous state of affairs for an Allison on holiday.




Anyway, about Eureka. Visiting is to be presented with a real embarrassement de riches, the entire Eureka range available for perusal. On display are figures that have been beautifully painted by Nic's friends and colleagues - to name drop a couple of painters, the work of Mark Spackman, John Chadderton and John Baxter was particularly impressive. John C had worked up a terrific French Revolutionary infantry battalion, with no 2 figures the same (and with a couple of "ragged Continentals" thrown in as new recruits). In fact, seeing the 25mm Revolutionary Wars range in its totality made me realise just how extensive it is, with many figures and vignettes I don't recall being advertised. This is indeed a "signature" range for Eureka and one I intend to explore properly in due course - in the meantime I bought some figures for AWI French duties. But the main draw was the new AWI dragoon figures. Those who signed up to the 100 Club "ragged dragoon" figures will have received news of this range. Commissioned to make ragged cavalry to go with the ragged AWI infantry, Nic Robson decided to make "unragged" Continental dragoons as well. The result, in my view, is one of the key AWI releases of the past few years. Gamers now have the ability to model the whole gamut of AWI American cavalry, thanks to Eureka's method of releasing the figures with separate headgear and in ragged/unragged variants. Looking at these figures, and I saw some greens of the ragged troops, reminded me of the Don Troaini painting of Washington's cavalry at Cowpens. Now gamers can model a unit that looks just like the dragoons in this painting, in both coats and hunting shirts and with a mix of headgear.





Let me be quite clear up front: to my mind, this range is up there with the Perry campaign dress British infantry as being a revolution (excuse the pun) in AWI figures. I saw and bought the uniformed Continental cavalry, as the ragged figures had not been finished at the time. I gather than the ragged figures will consist of uniformed figures that have been "ragged-up" and hunting shirt types; I saw a few greens and they look fantastic. The uniformed figures are in two general poses - standing/walking and charging. The range includes officers and trumpeters for both poses. I was first struck by the horses, which are very well sculpted in animated poses (see photo below for the charging horses). There are 4 helmet variants: (1) brass helmet; (2) leather helmet; (3) jockey helmet; (4) turbaned helmet (or "tarleton"). These hats fit on the figure heads well, the heads having a plug on which the hats can be fixed. I found a bit of greenstuff was the best adhesive as you can then sculpt it around the head and cover off any gaps. the first unit I'm working on is Armand's Legion. I'm using the uniformed figures with (I think) the jockey helmet. A photo of these figures is below. As the comparison shot with a couple of Perry 17th Dragoons shows, the Eureka figures are a little bit smaller and thinner than the Perry figures. The next photos show variants of the two poses, and then the other 3 hats in the top row, with some of the "ragged" hats in the bottom row. When I've finished Armand's Legion I'll post some thoughts on dragoon uniforms using these figures. Incidentally, the photo above shows Nic doing his "we love metals and hate plastics" dance....







6 comments:

painterman said...

Sounds like a great experience Giles - the 'kid let loose in the sweetshop' time. Those ragged Dragoons look like a must-buy for my AWIs too.
Simon.

Bluewillow said...

looking forward to these myself, although I think I will do them in a ragged dress and more hats then caps. More close ups please Giles

cheers
Matt

AJ (Allan) Wright said...

Those horses remind me of fine Essex lead.

Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

Nice looking unit so far. I think I need to take a closer look at these Eureka miniatures as I would really like to have some ragged Americans in my collection.

Cheers
Christopher

Man Cave said...

When it comes to Nic, John and the boys at Eureka - for customer service they can't be beat!

Kirsten said...
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