Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Iron Mitten tip on Great Ironsides

 I've been collecting historical figures for many decades now but have always struggled to find a good lobster pot Ironside. Well after a chance buy on eBay I was delighted and thought I would share the tip.

Over the years I've watched the old companies like Essex and Dixon get over shadowed by newer companies like Perry, but actually these old companies are worth a look as a few hidden gems can sometimes crop up. These cavalrymen are a prime example. They are listed as Royalist heavy cavalry on page two of Essex Miniatures, English Civil War category.

In 1997 I bought two ECW armies from Dixon...these are now adding to the lead pile in the loft, although like Essex some of their heavier cavalry are quite usable.
 The nice thing about these sculpts is that they match in size the Bicorne and Renegade figures that people tend to go for when collecting this era. The large pot helm is a perfect match for these other ranges, although it has to be said the arms are thinner in the Essex sculpts. There are only two helmeted sculpts available but this can be counter balanced by mounting them all on different horses. Essex does do a wide range of horse for this range. Although I think their later sculpts don't fit with these newer horse models so some filing is advised.

It seems the money I saved on eBay was soon spent on buying different horse poses from the Essex website. Some of the horses haven't got pictures so it's a bit of a lottery as to what might turn up. As I say a lot of the later horse standing poses needed to be filed so the musket holsters could fit on the horses back.
 However, for me as well as the nicely sculpted pot helm another great point was the open hand which can be cut free from the body and bent into different positions. I also bought a few packs of pistols and muskets from the web site and these look great in different resting positions.
 A trooper with a fitted wheel lock pistol and altered arm. Cut the thumb away from the leg and bend the arm up for different poses. It creates great diversity in the unit.
 One thing that I was rather disappointed with Is that I also bought from their Web site some of their new New Model Army cavalry to add some variety to the units. These did not match up at all with the older Royalist range and were rather small and crudely sculpted. The pistol holsters were down by the troopers feet. I might still try and mix them in as I have them now, It's worth saying they do not match the larger Renegade and Bicorne ranges. Below is one of the smaller New Model Army figures.
Anyway, If you are collecting ECW and want some great parliamentarian troopers, then I would certainly give Essex a look, just be careful not to mix their Royalist and Round head ranges.

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