L->R: Irregular, Soldier and Swords, Old Glory, Black Tree, GW, Foundry
Various projects demand various figs and approaches if you've interests in the aesthetics of the hobby [some aren't...my first game club had a guy who used ceiling tiles as hills, no paint, nothing, white side up or brown side up, mixed!]. Having been at this for over 30 years, I've definitely developed some preferences and approaches.
Figure size, bulk, and sculpting style are all factors that I take into accounts with various projects. Sometimes the projects itself is figure - driven, or even fluff - driven. More often it is history and game play driven. However, the aesthetic of the figs themselves matters to me.
Realism verses a style and paintability all come into play with my figure collection. A while back, I discovered some Black Tree Design figs in my collection, posted HERE, and had not only forgotten they existed but what they were! I like the big monsters, and as I get older bigger figs are better figs, generally speaking. I bought more of them from BTD with the intent to do either some medieval skirmishing with them, or build them up into a Kings of War army. I got stymied on the mounted knights, however - BTD didn't have a great selection of great sculpts. I checked into GW Bretonnians, and thought they might do the trick but didn't have any luck trading for them. Then the KoW group sort of died down and I got busy and the idea of building and painting an army of any sort was ludicrous.
The other day, I wandered into the FLGS and lo and behold was an old WHF box set with Bretonnians and Lizardmen, in good shape, for $40. I did some math in my head and couldn't see how I could lose on the deal, even if I sold it for parts.
Indeed, the Bretonnians are a good matchup for those figs. Here's some size comparisons that I think will be helpful against some well-known manufacturers:
L->R: Irregular, Soldier and Swords, Old Glory, Black Tree, GW, Foundry. The Foundry and OG are comparable, altho the face on the OG is exaggerated for ease of painting. The GW plastic Bretonnian is very nice work by a Perry Brother. The BTD is clearly the largest in height [just a hair taller than GW] and bulk. The ruler sits on the GW bases. Heights of model from sole of foot to highest point, excluding any base, are;
Irregular - 25mm
S&S - 26mm [plus some bulk]
OG - 28mm
BTD - 32mm
GW - 30mm
Foundry - 28mm
Bulk is hard to measure. Biggest is BTD then GW, OG, Foundry, S&S, and Irregular last.
Blurry close-up of the BTD City Guard and Bretonnian archer. Below the same in focus:
Well, what if you want to mix up the figs you've acquired in various places?
Archer comparison: BTD, Foundry, Wargames Inc, GW. Below same figs.
Moving around the ruler here for you.
Now to horse! The mounted knights are the centerpiece of any medieval army, even if the country is fictitious. Cavalry are always tough to compare since you have to compare BOTH the horse and the rider. Horses are often down-sized due to cost. There's also the issue of breeding big horses for various ers - some horses really were much larger than others! How you mix and match is up to you, but here's some data to help you decide:
New Fireforge Teutonic Knight horse on left, old GW Bretonnian horse on right. The GW sculpt is noticeably 3-4mm taller, and much bulkier. A horse expert will have to tell you if it is accurate or not!
Help! I'm being chased by a monster knight from the abyss! GW v. Old Glory 25s.
OK, even setting aside the funny hat, the GW sculpt is a good 3-5mm highter and much bulkier. They Might Be Giants...
Old Glory 25s v. Fireforge 28mm figs. Horse is larger, bulkier.
No ruler - just visual impact.
Finally, comparison of horses heads.
So, to each his own, but the bulk and style have almost as much to do with how things look together as anything else. Yes, there is definitely a size issue as one goes up the ladder from Irregular 25s to BTD. But the eye sees bulk and other sculpting style issues as quickly as mere height. Yes, people ARE different heights - and different bulks - but sculptors work to a series and keep the comparable realism within the sculpting project.
- I can definitely use Bretonnian knights with the BTD figures - in fact, I can't find anything else that compares. These are good for a medieval / fantasy skirmish project.
- I'd keep Old Glory 25s together in units. To me, they are the new 15mm! They look great together, are dynamic, easy to paint and inexpensive. Why go 15 if you can go 25 for almost the same price for a unit?
- I'd mix Foundry and Wargames Inc together without any hesitation, they're all 25s.
Hope this is useful for you and your decision making, and Happy Gaming!