Friday, 31 January 2014

Thoughts on figure compatibility.

When starting a range of figures the inevitable question of "Will they be compatible with Foundry/GB/Old Glory/Any other manufacturer, pops up. Its an understandable question as lots of us have ranges from other companies and often people are looking to fill in gaps in their own collections. Fair enough.

Trouble is, and I know a number of other sculptors who feel the same way, we are generally not interested in trying to replicate someone else's range of figures.

One of the reasons we might take up producing a range of figures is we feel that whats on offer in the market is not as good as it could be, and we seek to provide the customer with what we consider a better product. I don't know of any sculptor who has other peoples figures on their desk, trying to match their's up with them. Sculpting is an art form and we produce figures like any artist, to please ourselves first. That may sound a little selfish, but you have to be pleased with your product before you'll want to release it to the public. Therefore size and style are chosen to appeal to ourselves. Its not always done consciously either.

The two ranges I'm going to be working on over the next 12-18 months are both also made by Foundry (Sikh Wars/FPW). I'll make no secret of the fact that I'm a huge fan of the Perry's range. Probably the only figures from another manufacturer I ever buy (other than maybe Artizan, just for character and I like Mike :) ), and these 2 ranges are probably the best out there still, even though they were made almost 2 decades ago now. The Perry brother have come a long way in sculpting style and technique since then, as have lots of other sculptors, and even though currently the best out there, technique wise, they now look a little dated. I'm sure they would probably agree compared to what they produce now.

So why would I, or any other sculptor, want to replicate them?

Pretty much every figure produced over the past 10+ years has been in 28mm rather than 25mm. The days of 25mm is pretty much over (Begin composing your hate mail now on that one). Nobody sculpts that size anymore, 28mm is pretty much the standard and will be for the foreseeable future. Guys, just deal with it lol!
Stop asking us if our ranges will fit with other people, because 8 out of 10 times they won't. We all sculpt differently, and we don't have a fixed standard other than foot to eye measurement. Even then it may vary (I seem to remember my Early Saxon Warlord is 31mm. Never noticed till I finished him). No figure I ever make will fit in with early Foundry ranges. Sorry.

So there you have it. I know it may seem like a bit of a rant, but I assure you I was smiling as I typed. It's more of an infomercial. :)


  1. Better newer sculpts raise the standard for everyone. It gives companies an opportunity to reflect on old ranges and to make decisions to beef up or redo older ranges.

    Also bear in mind that as long as different manufactures figures are used in different units the + or - 1-3 mms is typically not noticeable.

    Since I have started in this business with Bill my figures will all be Footsore going forward; although I have a few Foundry FPW figures and really love the character of some of them. I will find tabletop vignettes to work a few of them in on as very few folks are the same exact size.

    And in truth they are still lovely figures.

    When our site is officially up and running we will have a public gallery for our customers to post their armies. While we would hope the majority of figures posted will be Footsore we are not going to delete any pics with characters from a different company. This community is just too small for that type of pettiness.

    I hope our competitors feel the same way.

  2. Hi guys. Thanks for your views on the matter. I have about a thousand painted Foundry FPW figs and do love them and would love to add to them.I understand figures have grown in the last 20 years bu its really impossible to start over for me and other like me. That said if they are true 28mm I suspect they will fit in OK. The Foundry figs were the first to be labeled 28mm and in fact the FPW figs tend to run 26-27mmto the eye. I have successfully mixed in some 28mm figures with no visible problems. The challenge is for makers of 28mm figs which are really 30mm + like the new Helion figures (which I would have loved to have added). Anyway all the best on the new venture and fingers crossed they are close enough! Cheers. Michael

  3. Michael our figures will all be 28mm from the bottom of the foot to the eye which is the standard for measurement. Hopefully you will find a place in your collection for a few of our figures. Knowing what Bill has planned I'm pretty sure you are going to want to.