Whether you’re a diorama builder, model painter, or avid war-gamer, historical miniatures can be a fun and rewarding hobby. For those interested in a hobby that requires a certain amount dexterity, patience, and research, miniature painting is the way to go.
But where to get them? If you’re not lucky enough to live near a hobby shop that stocks historical miniatures, you’ll have to scour the Internet looking for manufacturers. Lucky for you, I’ve done a little of that work for you by providing you with the two most popular. While miniatures come in a range of different sizes, this article will focus on the most common scale of 28mm.
Foundry miniatures is a British based company that offers the largest selection of 28mm historical miniatures around. While sculpting quality is something that can be debated until the end of time, it’s my humble opinion that Foundry offers the best and most consistent sculpting jobs. The only problem with Foundry, is the cost. While they have a large, high quality selection, they are probably the most expensive manufacturer. Packs of miniatures generally run around $18, with various numbers of miniatures in each pack. The number of miniatures per pack is dependent on the size of each individual miniature. For instance, horse mounted models may come three to a pack, while standard infantry come 5-6 per pack.
Foundry also offers their own line of paints, which are also very high quality. Unfortunately, paints are packaged in groups of three, including a base, a shade and a high-lite. This can be a pain if you only need one particular color, and very expensive too. Each pack of three paints costs $13.
Foundry offers several different miniature lines, including but no limited to: Ancients, medieval, Renaissance, 18th century and Napoleon, Victorian, modern, fantasy and sci-fi.
Old Glory miniatures vary heavily in sculpting quality, but are generally cheaper then or competitive with other companies in price. Sculpting quality may not be of high importance to someone mostly interested in war-gaming, but will probably be of importance to someone more interested in painting for display.
Packs vary heavily in price, but you can expect to pay an average of $1.00 per infantry figure, or $3.00 per calvary. Miniatures often come in packs of 30.
A few of the different lines that Old Glory carry are: 1600’s to 1700’s, colonialism, darkest Africa, Napoleonic, American 1812, British 1812, The American Experience, and Biblical wars.
Keep in mind, there are lots and lots of other companies out there, but most of these offer a much more limited line of miniatures then Foundry or Old Glory. Browse through the gallery sections of the websites for inspiration to build your own miniature army.