6mm Figure Review
This is an attempt to compare all the 6mm historical figure ranges available on the market right now. Its not fully comprehensive as it has no figures from Baccus, but until Baccus do the decent thing and start doing modern or WW2 infantry I have no interest in their figures (however by all accounts they are very nice figs).
I've taken one figure from each manufacturer. In some ways this is unfair, as manufacturer's figures can vary in quality and scale throughout their range, Some manufacturers may make better figures then represented here. In cases where I know there are big differences I've chosen two different figures to illustrate this.
2008 update - added the first figs from Armstrong Models
From left to right: New H&R, Old H&R, GHQ, CinC, Small Scotia, Adler, Large Scotia, Irregular and Main Force
For each figure I have taken a general shot to give some idea of the over-all look of the figure. I've then taken a shot against a 0.5mm scale ruler so it can be seen how big they are. In all cases the ruler is placed on the top of the stand so the height of the figure is being measured. Lastly the fig is photographed against an H&R King Tiger to give an idea of how the model scales against armour. For those with GHQ armour note it is generally 1 or 2mm bigger. Also note that the King Tiger is a big tank, some of the larger figs look odd next to early war tanks.
My friend Dave Chapel standing next to the real thing in La Gleize, Luxembourg. This Tiger's suspension has collapsed some-what so the rear hull should be around head height.
All prices are current as of Dec 2008. I've used $1.75 to the pound as the conversion rate.
Nice detail on the Adlers. The legendry big head is on prominent display. I think this gives the figs more personality at a distance but many people think they look silly. Currently they are circa 5 pence a figure
Stupidly I chose a leaning forward pose for the Adler, so I had to tilt the ruler to get a true measurement. Looks like I've missed the base too. However Adlers are 7.5mm tall - so not quite "6mm"
The Adler chap towers over the rear of the Tiger despite leaning forward. The big thick base doesn't help
Ian has just started added a few figs to some of his models. This means they can't be brought separately. The figs I've used are a pair of German Pioneers that come with the the Somua Pioneerwagen
Abut 6.5mm high
Scales pretty well with the Tiger, though the head is a little above the back deck
C in C
I must thank Bob Barnetson from Canada for sending me the C in C samples. I've used a German infantry man painted khaki to represent a Hungarian. Current prices are 14 cents each or about 8 pence
Definitely the least bulky of the figures reviewed. C in C figs have a reputation for being delicate and snapping at the ankles, it obvious from the picture why this is. The proportions of the figure look good and its even got ammo pouches but the pose is un-natural and the left arm is just all wrong.
The figure is spot-on 6mm
As the figure has a nice fine base it scales very well against the Tiger
GHQ's infantry used to be awful. However in the last year or so they have started to make individual infantry. They are 16 cents a figure or about 9 pence
A good looking piece. The Panzerschreck looks blobby but I overdid the black-varnish so its my painting to blame. The 'shreck is actually crisply moulded. Nice detail, you can just see the webbing
Rumour has it that GHQ infantry is "big" but as you can see here its 6.5mm tall, not as tall as some
The base thickness is nowhere near the worse but it does lift the fig's head above the rear deck of the panzer
Heroics and Ross were the first company to do creditable infantry and for a very long time they were the clear market leaders. However some of the earlier castings are showing their age and are not as good as later offerings. This man is from the German paratrooper pack. I've painted him khaki to use as a Hungarian. Current price is 5 pence.
H&R figs have a reputation for being "5mm" well this chap is 5.5mm
Being a bit short and having a reasonably fine base the Hungarian scales pretty well against the Tiger
Later H&R packs are much better than the older packs. The "in action" packs are nice figures. This one comes from the Panzer Grenadier pack, again painted as a Hungarian
Nice detail and animation.
Still 5.5mm, though if the pose was standing bolt upright I'd guess he'd reach 6mm. The lump under his upraised arm is a piece of flash I missed carving off
The fig should scale well against the tiger but the big thick base lets the figure down (or boosts it up depending on which way you look at it)
H&R are no longer in business, their range is now carried by Navwar. Navwar don't officially have a web site, best place to look on the web for their products is Spirit Games.
I've chosen an Irregular WW2 German Engineer. Their WW2 Infantry come cast on big bases. What you see in the pictures is half a base. As you can see the base is already big enough for wargames use, so no cutting up cardboard and sticking - a definite bonus. The other big advantage over the competition is that Irregular infantry can be brought is strips, not bags, so you never end up with a bunch of "spare" figures. Current price 6 pence a figure.
Irregular figures are "well fed" (or lumpy if you are feeling uncharitable) and often get a bad press. However the detail is there, the webbing is clearly visible. Their chunkiness makes the nigh-on indestructible. That's a reel of wire being carried by the standing chap. My painting doesn't do it justice the cables are visible on the reel.
Let down by the big thick base. However if you base your infantry and not your tanks, like I do, the fact that no extra cardboard is needed works in favour of the Irregular guys.
These figs used to be made in the UK but are now produced by Last Square in the US. Finding a standing figure to do a size comparison was tricky as most of the MF range is prone. As they come with bases like Irregulars they are equally as durable. One big disadvantage is that MF have to be brought in company bags of mixed line inf and heavy weapons. if the bags' mix isn't what you want - tough! Current price is difficult to work out as Last Square don't indicate pack contents on their site
This chap is a mortar loader. I brought him such a long time ago I can't remember what nationality he is supposed to be. He is pretty blobby and indistinct and seems to have enormous feet.
Big bloke. This shot is at an angle, the fig is actually closer to 8mm rather than 7.5mm. Oversize.
Big model, big base, dwarfs the Tiger. To be fair as most of MF is lying down this won't usually be a problem.
Scotia infantry is quite variable in size, so I've divided in in to small and large models. This small model is a Belgian officer, if I remember correctly. Current prices are difficult to determine as there is no indication of how many figs you get in a pack from their website
Belgian Officer, nice kepi and baggy trews
He's not that small, nearly 7mm
A tall figure with a thick base, scales quite poorly with the Tiger.
Soviet soldier with a very cumbersome looking SA-7. The detail isn't so good on this figure and I'm unsure what the protuberances on the SAM are supposed to be. He's pretty weak at the ankles too.
7mm, but the out-size SAM makes him look bigger
A bit of an anachronism. Big figure on a thick base makes the Tiger look small.
So which is best? Well in my table-top armies I have all makes except CinC, which looks too flimsy for table-top use. All the pics above are many times larger than the real thing. At gaming distances they are little more than coloured blobs. My current favourites are Adler, their enlarged heads have a fighting chance of showing up at gaming distances.
Have I missed any? Well Baccus are not here and all of the Sci-Fi manufacturers are missing. Trafalgar miniatures once did some "infantry". These were 1/2" cardboard squares with infantry printed on them! All the offerings above are a million times better that that.