Friday, April 13, 2012

Schilling Zinnfiguren - review

I haven't done a figure review before because I'm fairly limited in choice due to my preferred scale of 1/72. Besides the odd metal figure or unit by SHQ/Kennington for figures I can't find in plastic, or for which I wouldn't waste money buying in plastic (Think Airfix and some of the weirdly posed early Italeri and Esci productions), most of my figures come from the stables of HaT, Italeri and the limited, but beautiful, Zvezda collection.

I indulge in conversions (usually head-swaps) to produce figures that can't be found in general production, but often I'm resigned to not having figures in my collection which I'd really like to have (read British Peninsular War cavalry; what prejudices do manufacturers have against tarletons and bicornes, I ask you?!).

It comes as a welcome surprise to find a new manufacturer of my chosen scale whose product is so enticing online that I had to get my mitts on some!

The company is German based with a German language website which, with my schoolboy German and help from Google Translate, I was able to find my way around. I sent an initial email query, again in my pidgin German, and was answered quite promptly in English. Jorg's English is about as good as my German, but Ulrike's English is fluent, so there were no problems there. The ordering and payment system went smoothly with the transaction conducted via PayPal. After the order was dispatched, the Schillings kept in touch, wanting to know how the package survived its international trip and if there were any problems. As my figures were securely packaged in a box filled with shredded paper, they were snug as a bug in a rug from Germany to Australia and arrived in perfect condition. The only thing was that I timed the order to coincide with the Easter long weekend, so I didn't get them as quickly as I could have; Damn those public holidays, I say!

So, to the figures.

They are very well sculpted and exquisitely cast with no signs of flash or mould lines to speak of. The range is very comprehensive from action poses like firing, loading etc., as well as march attack, advancing at the charge and standing to attention. My favourite are the casualty figures (yes, I am a morbid chap, I know!) including a figure sculpted in the act of falling, dramatically flinging his musket as he falls.

Compared to the more anatomically proportioned plastic figures, these figures are a little boof-headed, but not in a way that detracts from the otherwise excellent proportions. As fans of 28mm figures know,  anatomical features are often exaggerated (thinking of Front Rank, Foundry etc.). Compared with the lumpen sculpting of my SHQ/Kennington figures, these are sylph-like!

My one gripe is that the range doesn't stretch to elite company figures. Yet. I notice that they make Grenadiers of the Guard and Black Brunswickers, too, so they are obviously aiming at the Waterloo period. The Napoleonic Wars are not defined by Waterloo, so I'm a little ambivalent about the range catering to that battle AGAIN, but I suppose they think that's a selling point.

Two of several marching figures

The casualty figure (focus problems, sorry!)

Eagle bearer with attached wire; too long IMHO, but I'll trim it to match  my figures. The figure also has eagle and  ribbons!

Loading figure, biting cartridge

Charged bayonet figure

Firing figure. Very dynamic, as he leans in against the recoil.

One of the other wounded figures. Knocked over on his a*se, he asks "Did anyone catch the number of the bus that hit me?"
 Comparison shot with HaT Chasseur NCO

All things considered, these are wonderful figures. I hope they make more, including the elite companies, but other than that, I give them 4/5 cockades! 


  1. Oh I say, you are a lucky man! What a great find, looking forward to seeing them with paint on.

  2. Great finding indeed, they look high quality. I'm more on the 28mm side, but have some tons of Napo plastics stored that will find a way out some day in the future. These are a good complement

  3. Monsieur Rosbif - I keep thinking about these figures, and you have reminded me that I don't understand why they make 4718 different positions of the French fusilier but no elites. Do they intend to cover that?

    Beautiful work - never seen one in the metal - comparison pic avec l'homme plastique suggests they are a bit short - what do you think? They are well displayed on the Kamar website, too.

    Thanks for this - Tony

    1. My photo comparison is slightly misleading: I've lined up the figures' bases, but the metal figure's base is a lot thinner, so really they're quite similar in size when compared from the boot upwards.

  4. They are very nice figures and even more so when you consider that they are 20mm and not 28mm.

  5. They look very nice figures and should fit in quite well with your collection. Love the loading pose and the falling figure.


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