Friday, September 14, 2007

Martin Hille Miniatures

Martin Hille Miniatures (pictures from the company's web site)

My recent box of goodies from Berlin Zinnfiguren also included a few packets of the 30mm Martin Hille miniatures, or to be more precise, I believe that they might be called Kellerkind Miniaturen by Martin Hille. I have copied some pictures of the painted figures from the company's web site since I haven't had the time to paint the ones that I bought.

I first heard of Martin Hille figures on the Old School Wargamers yahoo group and when I investigated further and saw the above photographs, I saw the possibility of adding some of these interesting figures to my wargame collection. I like to have a few battalions from every manufacturer of figures within the 30mm part of the hobby. Now when I talk about a few battalions, you must remember that I mean 60 figure battalions, so this investment represents more than just a few figures.

The figures have a slightly cartoonish appearance to them, particularly in the way the faces are sculpted. Each figure measures 35mm from the soles of the shoes to the top of the head. I don't know about anyone else, but I've never subscribed to the idea of measuring a figure from foot to eyeballs. What about the rest of the head? That would be like saying that Wilt Chamberlain was 6 feet 9 inches instead of 7 feet tall. However, I digress...

The figures have realistic body proportions, so everything appears to be in the right scale and they look like real people. The heads are not too big nor are the hands like baseball mitts. So they pass Der Alte Fritz's muster and they have a good chance of entering the service of the Herzog von Hesse Seewald (my fictional 18th Century duchy located in central Germany, between Hesse Kassel and Saxony).

There are only a couple minor drawbacks to this range of figures. The first being that they only come in one pose, the one that you see in the pictures above. There is nothing wrong with the pose, but some people might like more variety of poses. To my way of thinking, a single pose is all right for the formalized linear warfare that we like to depict on the table top.

The second little quibble with the figures involves the bases. Each figure has a large rounded pin or peg sticking out from the bottom of the feet and you are given a little round disc with a hole in the center (it looks like a Life Savor candy). So you have to assemble the base by slipping the disc onto the peg, hacking off a substantial chunk of the lead peg, and then filing down the stub of the peg until it is flat with the disc. Oh, and don't forget to glue the pieces together. This might also put a few people off, especially if you do not care to assemble things. The assembly is a minor job and easy to do. However, I thought that you should be forwarned.

The figures come in two different packets of three figures: musketeers and grenadiers at a cost of EURO7.95 per pack. That works out to EURO2.65 per figure or about $3.45 each in US Dollars. The officers come in a pack of two figures for EURO5.95. So these figures are not cheap by wargamers' standards and they require some assembly, but they have a certain appeal and charm to them that I like and I can imagine how impressive a battalion of 60 Martin Hille figures would look. So I will probably buy some more to fill out the battalion. The range also includes a pack of soldiers' wives or camp followers and I believe that I read that musicians (drummers and fifers) and zimmermen (pioneers) are planned for the future.

You can purchase Martin Hille figures from the Berlin Zinnfiguren store in Berlin, or directly from the company through its web site (for the same price). You can click on the BZ link on the left hand side of this page for more information.

1 comment:

  1. Jim,

    You know, great minds think alike! I was looking at these figures online earlier this afternoon. You are right -- They are very nice looking, but just a bit dear for my purse strings currently. However, maybe the next time my wife travels to Berlin for an extended stretch -- Hmmmmm. . . Anyway, it's a real pleasure to check in every few days a see what you've added to your blog. I enjoy it immensely.

    Have a nice weekend,