A gaming friend of mine recently picked up a copy of Warhammer Historical: Legends of the Old West, which is a Wild West skirmish wargame. Reading the rules it’s sort of a franken-game, combining the best features of Mordheim, Necromunda and the GW Lord of the Rings systems. Unfortunately it still retains the awful ‘I go, you go’ scheme that GW games can’t seem to escape from, but fortunately it has staggered rounds which offsets that somewhat.
As I’ve often admired Black Scorpion’s range of Tombstone range figures, I thought this would be an ideal time to pick some up. However I didn’t just want cowboys, but rather some figures that might mix into my Pulp collection as well. Black Scorpion have two groups of female figures that seemed like a good compromise, Tombstone 5 and Tombstone 6, most of which would work in a Pulp setting too. I ordered them from the Black Scorpion site a couple of weeks ago and they’ve just arrived, so here’s a quick review and comparison against a couple of other independent figure manufacturers.
On unpacking it’s clear the figures are well cast. There’s almost no flash (one figure of ten had some flash under an arm), and only visible mold lines on a couple of figures that had to be filed down. The mold lines are also well placed, with no lines crossing faces or other important details. One minor annoyance is the fact that I had to straighten the barrels on every figure holding a gun out of the box. I suspect this is because rough handling by international post, as the figures have travelled from the UK to New Zealand. As you can see from the photo the figures use a slotta base system and have molded on tabs. I’ll probably be cutting a few of these off so I can base some figures on wooden planks.
The figures are well sculpted with a nice variety of clothing and hair styles. For female 28mm figures they have fairly realistic proportions with only a single figure displaying an enormous chest and cleavage – I guess there had to be one! They’re generally statically posed, with only four of the ten figures actively aiming or drawing their weapons, but it’s a nice mix of poses I think. The static figures are presenting their arms in a gun-safe but threatening manner.
They also have a nice mix of firearms, with two shotguns (either of which could be filed down to make them sawn-off), two recognisable Winchester repeaters, four armed with a variety of single and dual revolvers and two unarmed ‘showgirl’ figures (maybe they have derringers). This mix of weapons makes them ideal for putting together a couple of Legends of the Old West posses.
In terms of detail the figures are passable. Period costume of the Old West was pretty simple and this is reflected on the miniatures, with decoration consisting of tassled fringes and the odd bow. In terms of detail I’d say the Black Scorpion figures are comparable to the Copplestone Casting ranges, but not as detailed or crisp as the Artizan Designs collection.
The wide mix of clothing, hats and hairstyles will keep the figures interesting to paint though. I particularly like the figure that looks like a gentle homemaker, in a full dress and leg’o’mutton jacket, clutching a sun umbrella in one hand and a Winchester repeating rifle in the other…!
Black Scorpion state their figures are ’32mm’ scale, which equates to the so called ‘Heroic 28mm’ that Games Workshop use. Here’s a photo comparing several of the Black Scorpion figures to an WWII Artizan Designs 28mm German and a Copplestone Castings female archaeologist. I’ve chosen the tallest of the Black Scorpion ladies for comparison and as you can see there is a noticeable scale difference. However as it’s not often you see figures lined up like this on the tabletop I can’t see any problem mixing and matching these slightly larger figures with the rest of my Pulp collection.
At GBP7.50 for each group of five figures, plus 15% for shipping internationally they’re a pretty good deal and I’m perfectly happy to recommend them to anybody after some 28-32mm Western miniatures. I ordered directly off their site and had no problem getting the items shipped international air to a New Zealand PO Box.
Black Scorpion also have several other interesting looking ranges, in particular their Pirates, Fantasy Pirates and Iraqii Militia all look good to me.