I do a little bit of ACW wargaming. Since I have small children, inexpensive but quality is the name of the game for me. I want something that looks great, but I won't die inside if my kids get into it.
This is an excellent set for my purposes; the numbers of figures and the types of poses really lend themselves to being useful and economical.
Iâ€™ll start with the Zouaves, since they are the most exotic component of this set. It comes with ten figures in four poses: 1 officer, and three each standing/firing, advancing/charging, and reloading. While awfully limited for a diorama builder, the poses are all appropriate for a wargamer. Since the poses come in multiples of three, it is also fairly easy to accumulate similar numbers of like poses and create a unit quickly with an economy of figures, especially when you have four or six figures to a base. My only complaint, and a very weak one at that, is the lack of dedicated Zouave figures for flagbearers or musicians. I would recommend creative painting of another figure to make him fit in with the rest of his brethren. It would even be easy to defend; fancy Zouave uniforms didnâ€™t stay too pretty under extended campaign conditions.
The Zouaves are also perfectly acceptable for the more limited numbers of Confederate Zouaves.
The other Union Infantry form the bulk on this set. We have forty figures in eleven poses: 2 officer poses, a flagbearer, and a musician pose each with one figure, 1 dismounted cavalry pose with three figures, 1 â€œcasually walkingâ€ infantry pose with 3 figures, and 5 infantry poses with six figures each: kneeling/firing, advancing, marching, charging, and what I will call Hardee Hat man with cape. I would recommend basing him with any figures from other sets that have a similar aesthetic, since he doesnâ€™t quite â€œgelâ€ with the other figures. All the other infantry wear caps. Again, the multiples of three make basing easy, as there will be fewer â€œleft overâ€ figures to sit forlorn and neglected to the side of you painting table. The flagbearer is a point Iâ€™d criticize: his flag is already engraved, reducing his flexibility if you choose to use him. If you are the type who can modify figures in a competent manner, though, he can be made to serve your purposes. I use him as is, with the logic that my three year old will destroy him at some point anyways.
And for the nitpickers: the musician is a drummer. Though popular with wargamers, a bugler would be far more accurate and useful for a Civil War battlefield and relaying signals. Not a big deal, though, in my opinion.
The figures paint up well, and they can put up with a good amount of abuse. When my three year old son gets a hold of them, it isnâ€™t the end of the world; he has yet to break one or even bend them in a way that isnâ€™t easily fixed.
I would heartily recommend this set. After painting and basing, it fits in well with the following sets I use: Italeri Set 6013 â€œUnion Cavalry,â€ Italeri Set 6038 â€œUnion Artillery,â€ Italeri Set 6014 â€œConfederate Infantry,â€ Italeri Set 6011 â€œConfederate Cavalry,â€ IMEX Set 505 â€œUnion Infantry,â€ IMEX Set 503 â€œUnion Cavalry,â€ IMEX Set 501 â€œUnion Artillery,â€ IMEX Set 506 â€œConfederate Infantry,â€ IMEX Set 504 â€œConfederate Cavalry,â€ and IMEX Set 502 â€œConfederate Artilleryâ€