But I wasn't sure what to expect from such a hoary range when I ordered. In too many cases, ordering figures from a range that's a few decades old (or older) can be a disappointment. The molds might not be maintained well and what you get requires a lot of filing and trimming just to distinguish them from fishing weights. (I recall an order to Minifigs USA many years ago that made me think I'd purchased from the Carve-Your-Own-from-a-Block-of-Lead range.)
This is not the case with Dixon! The figures are as clean and well cast as if they were a brand new range. Not only that, but the packaging has all the elegance of old school English figure manufacturers. No bubble-packs or baggies full o' lead. My order contained two small 3" x 3" x 2" white boxes personalized with my initials on the top.
|All snug in their box|
These figures bring back fond memories. I painted a lot of them in the '80s. When they first came out ca. 1980 they were absolutely the best figures on the market. In a world that was still dominated by Minifigs and Hinchliffe (both cutting edge in their day), their fine detail, animated poses, and head variants put them way ahead of everyone else. They were also in an historical niche that I just loved and no one else was making late 17th c. figures.
I was living in San Jose, CA at the time and several of us got the bug to game the late 17th c. using the old WRG Renaissance rules by George Gush. I painted my minis as Brandenburg-Prussians ca. Nine Years War. I sold them when I went off to seminary in 1986 and briefly resumed painting some about three years later while I was still in Chicago. I never did much with the new batch and sold them in the early 90s after I moved to Seattle. Since then, I've wanted to do another project using these figures. The North Star 1672 range fulfilled some of that desire—Mark Copplestone is the sculptor for both ranges and I'm a big fan of Mark's work.
Among the felicities of The Pikeman's Lament, is that the small scale of a company means that I can do projects for those rules that I would eschew if they required hundreds of figure to complete. So I decided that I could use Dixon Grand Alliance figures to build a company for James II and William III's Irish campaign. I'm already doing late 16th c. Irish Wars using the excellent Timeline Miniatures Border Reivers, so this is a fast-forward by 100 years from that period--no kern or gallowglass.
I'm starting with James' Irish forces first. Years ago, I picked up a nice booklet on the conflict: William III at War: Scotland and Ireland 1689-1691 by Alan Sapherson.
It's chock full of information about Irish, English, Dutch, and Danish units for the campaign in Ireland. I picked it up for $8.95 30 years ago, now it's going for $45.00 on Amazon! I've already got the uniform colors in mind and Flags of War makes the flags for both sides. (Gotta have flags, even in a skirmish game.)
In my Dixon order, I got 12 musketeers for a shot unit, 6 grenadiers (with plug bayonets) for a forlorn hope unit, 2 each of the officers and drummer, and a mounted general.
|All unboxed now|
|Musketeers and grenadiers|