12 Mar 2023

Wiglaf Dark Ages 18mm Figures

I'd seen and heard a lot about the new Wiglaf Miniatures range from Dan Mersey, the rules author of several Dark Ages era games.

The range is nominally for The Age of Penda, designed for the wars of the seventh century AD Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and their enemies and is sculpted by Mark Copplestone, but with more than enough Viking/Saxon/Norman etc figures in my collection already to field a substantial European civil war, never mind a single army I'd been dithering for a while whether to pick some up mainly for comparison purposes.

Then, on Instagram, Dan popped up and said he has some sample bags available, so a quick Paypal transaction later and I soon had a set of 7 of the guys to have a go at painting them up. 

As you can see they are sharply cast models, nicely animated and with some non-generic poses. 

The figures with spears have been cast with open hands, which is always good now that so many of us have cottoned onto the idea of using wire spears or plastic broom bristles !

And here they are painted up and based - I did a kind of slap-chop approach on them in the main, with black undercoat and white drybrushing to give highlights to the paint, but with so much chainmail there's still a lot of drybrushed gunmetal on black anyway.

The chap with the fur cloak gets the wolfskin treatment in this lot.

And from the front at ground level. 

I'm not really all that satisfied with my efforts on the shields as the black lining is a bit sloppy in these closeups however all of the shields have multiple bosses, nails and metal strips designed into them which did rather cut across my simplistic painting approach, 

The big question with any new range of figures like these is "how do they compare to XXX manufacturer", so with that in mind here are the Wiglaf guys next to some Essex Feudal East European spearmen.   I think this pretty much nails the "are they really the 18mm they are marketed as?" debate with a resounding "yes". 

A few more manufacturers to compare - these are my Two Dragons Norman spearmen

Some Corvus Belli (now Plastic Soldier Company) 100YW dismounted knights

Figures from Xystons "biggest ever" (size wise) range of Roman-era Theurophoroi are about the only figures I have that stand up to the Wiglaf guys for size.

Bauda Carolingian spearmen.

So, all in all some very nice figures which are very characterful - and which I probably haven't managed to do full justice to with my painting either (althought with Steve Dean doing the brushwork on Dans own website that's also a pretty high bar to fall short of!). 

But, what is clear is that they are absolutely 18mm in height, so be careful which ranges you are looking to mix them with - or just go ahead and buy a whole army full from North Star!  

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