Saturday, 15 September 2012

Irregular Miniatures' 2mm Fortifications: Review

Thought I'd post some thoughts on the new range of 2mm fortifications recently released by Irregular Miniatures. These are welcome additions to an expanding range, and being available in separate parts, offer a whole range of options.

They are very much made in the new trend by Irregular to more closely scale the size of their 2mm buildings to the miniatures themselves, whilst still not being near a true 1/900th, are closer visually than the older parts of the range that concentrated on BUA -type sections that depicted a whole range of housing types on a single base.

I found that with these new sculpts there was much less tendency to find flash that needed removing when fresh out of the box, and indeed, the undersurfaces of the various ravelins, bastions and walls were nice and smooth; what were present, however, and noticeable on close inspection, were mould or casting lines on the crenellated turrets. Given the small size of these, though, this didn't really affect them adversely.

Irregular have some good close-up pictures of these new items on their catalogue pages, so I thought I'd concentrate on how a standard set up would look as a whole - I think most of us would want to deploy a fortified structure in its entirety; I've combined a crenellated section within a Vauban star-fort - sort of a medieval town later enclosed in the seventeenth century kind of thing.....

Fully laid out, this is quite an impressive sight, and depending if you were to want to base the whole lot as one piece, you might be looking at a footprint of around 150 by 200mm or so, even bigger if you were putting in further outerworks.

The pieces, posed here individually, fit together very well, and are nicely in proportion with each other, with natural-looking angles on the scarping/earthworks, and even some windows visible on the turrets!

Although I haven't illustrated it here (d'oh!), the standard artillery bases from the Renaissance and Horse and Musket ranges will fit in the open top of each bastion, even the RBG 29, large Ren. cannon, with a bit of trimming, will go in there - so you can even show the works ready for action!

As a size comparison, the next photo shows the layout next to a plastic city piece from GW's Mighty Empires game, and then the BG118 castle fortress, the closest contender, I suppose, from the existing ranges; you can see the scaling-up tendency of the newer pieces, but I think they wouldn't look out of place on the same playing surface....

That said, plonking the Mighty Empires piece into the middle of the crenellated walls, you could imagine that as a neat set-up all it's own, certainly the design of these has a distinct Romano-Byzantine feel to them rather that later Medieval; I suppose if one was putting together a wish-list, some circular turrets would also be nice, although these could be scratch-built easily enough at this scale.

Meeting the up-scaling half way, I've 'gone large' in the next photo by adding in a trio of 1/1200th buildings by Rod Langton, which visually have aways to my mind sat closer to the actual heights and appearance of the 2mm infantry blocks themselves - these are paired up with three of Irregular's own IKS10 house model, making the whole layout appear 'smaller' - more town than city, but very effective nonetheless:

Overall then, I'm very pleased with these latest new additions to the range of 2mm scenery and terrain - I can see them not only accompanying 1/900th figures, but not looking out of scale as coastline pieces in a 1/1200th or 1/2400th naval set -up either - their pricing is also very reasonable, so you could get quite a lot of bang for your buck; here's an interesting link for inspiration, recently posted on TMP by andygamer:

It wouldn't be too hard to replicate a lot of those real world forts if you really went for it.......!

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