During a visit to Australia (conference in Melbourne) I had the pleasure to visit Eureka miniatures. I intended to get some 15mm Hoplites for my Carthaginians, but ended up leaving with some very nice Seven Years War Grenzer miniatures (18mm). I would like to use them with the Ganesha Games skirmish rules Song of Drums and Shakos, slightly modified to match the context of the Seven Years War. All I need now are some Jägers or other light troops and off we go.
Sculpting quality and pose:
The troopers are depicted in various firing and loading poses, all action poses very suited for skirmishing Grenzers. There are seven different poses in total, amongst them an NCO and musician. This implies in a small skirmish game you won’t need to use any figure twice. All poses look natural and are not a victim of being overly animated.
The details are crisp and easily distinguishable facilitating painting them up. The only less defined area are the eyes, however, so far I did not paint eyes on 15mm miniatures. I could see this being very difficult with these miniatures, as the eyes are not sculpted as such and would need to be painted on. Some of the adornments you find on uniform plates (in this instance the yellow adornments on the sleeves) are not sculpted on the miniature, but can be added easily with a steady hand.
I could not find any inaccuracies of equipment, making them historically correct and suitable to depict a variety of Grenzer regiments.
The guys are well made and clean up was very easy. All details are well defined and I could not detect any casting mistakes or artifacts. A small problem is the very soft metal Eureka uses. While this is good for the details it makes some of the muskets very bendy and one needs to be a bit more careful with the miniatures when gaming. Apart from straightening some muskets after I took the miniatures out of their blister, this was not an issue so far.
The Grenzers retail for 0.80 AU$ per miniature and can be bought as single miniatures. Comparing them to another 18mm line, Blue Moon musketeers retail for 0.57 AU$ per miniature, but only come in packs of thirty. If the 23 cent difference is a deal breaker depends on what you want: Massive armies with reasonable detail, then Blue Moon will save you some money or slightly better sculpts were you can go crazy on every miniature with a high quality paint job, then Eureka is worth the etra money.
I decided to paint them up as the Banat-Grenzinfanterieregiment No. 1. After a one week painting session the miniatures were finished and only the bases needed some more attention. The metal miniatures did not mislead. The rich detail guides the brush and makes it very easy to achieve a good result.
And then after a short break (couple of months to be honest) I finally got around basing the guys.
The Eureka Grenzers offer a very good selection of dynamic poses and convince with excellent casting and sculpting quality. They paint up well and are – in my opinion – the best money can buy in 18mm scale.