Saturday, January 11, 2014

French Marine Artillerists from Askari Miniatures

Shiney New for 2014, these were a pleasant surprise when I visited the Askari Miniatures website on New Year's Day.  Ali Askari and I had discussed the need for 1890's French Marine gunners to bring the campaigns of Tonkin, Indo-China and Madagascar to the tabletop - not to mention wargaming on Mars post 1889. These figures fill an important gap, as I could not find any other manufacturers who make them.

Packs come with four figures, one with arm raised, one firing, one standing holding a bore-sponge, one sighting with field glasses.  The figure with the sponge might be puzzling, where a figure holding a shell might have been  plus approprié - though would still be necessary to sponge the barrel for the older French guns in use in les colonies.

Animation is nice - a different pose for each. Detail is good. Proportions are also good - the figures seem a little larger than the previously released French Marine Infantry (comparison pics forthcoming).  I hope that Askari Minis isn't giving in to scale-creep - there are plenty of larger scaled colonial period miniatures available. 

Shown below with an Old Glory French Marine on the left and a RAFM British Martian "Sepoy" on the right.

From left to right: 1 Old Glory, 4 Askari, 1 RAFM

Askari Miniatures French Marine Artillerists
Animation: 4
Detail: 4
Proportions: 4
Variety: 4
Overall: 4 out of 5

Apparently, I cannot leave the miniatures of mixed manufacturers alone on the photo table, as when I had returned, the poor Old Glory Marsouin, outnumbered (but not out-gunned), was having the wind put up him by Les Bigors - allegedly for his hyper-active pose.

O Marsouin, ne vous regardez vous sont en marche?

Ah, the joys of a friendly, inter-service rivalry...

- finis -


  1. Interesting comment about the sponge guy. We took the poses directly from a period photo of French sailors at gun drill on the deck of a ship with a field piece. I suppose the field piece was carried specifically for landing parties. The sailors and colonial artillery crews have similar poses.

    As for scale creep: I obsess about it. I harass my sculptors about it. With each figure being unique, you point out, it is more difficult to maintain an absolute uniformity of size. In the end, 1mm in this scale is something less than 3" in real life.

    And when you're playing a game and looking down from a great height, the differences are less noticeable than when photographed head-on and blown up bigger than life size.

    Still, it is a battle we constantly fight. Look for some Foreign Legion in tropical dress this year.

  2. Hi Al,

    I don't think the sponger is wrong, only (slightly) limited. If you were to expand the range, a shell carrier would be a good prospect.

    Good news on your position regarding scale-creep: hold that Tiber.

  3. If we all kept too closely to strict scale creep rules we would be limited to on company. While obsessed with scale creep myself a good range can join the table as long as they aren't a totally different scale like 20mm or 32mm ;)

    Looking forward to seeing the finished unit.

  4. DLI - point taken. Only I do like to take pictures of the games we've played, and as Al has observed, it's more noticeable in a photo.

    I'm not entirely sure why this is so, aside from a theory that our brain "edits" this sort of thing out when we're focussing on playing the game.


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