15mm Chinese WW2

Well this morning the postman delivered a small package containing some new releases from EUREKA MINIATURES. I had heard Chinese Infantry for WW2 were being released and having seen the quality of other 15mm, such as the brilliantly sculptured Italian WW1, I was quite excited to see what these were like. Mike Broadbent sculpted the range, and his previous products have always been top notch.

I was certainly not disappointed and if anything my high expectations were exceeded.

There were four samples to examine and I looked them over at close range, in a bright light, by sitting them on the tabletop at ‘wargame viewing distance’, and by comparing them with some reference books.

Figure 1. A crisply cast standing rifleman is standing in a pleasingly ‘human’ posture, while firing. Weight on the front foot, elbows in the right position and yet looking as if he is about to receive the recoil on his back foot. This level of the understanding of the human posture is carried over into all the figures. He has the typical hat with fur ear covers, that are normally worn with the covers tied over the top of the crown. The hat is just as one might have wanted, based on photographs of the era. He has crossed ammunition belts and a high level of detail to his equipment. Having been reading about the period in recent days, I consider this figure would be equally usable for Nationalists, War Lord, or Communist soldiers from 1930 onward. This makes it a very useful model.

Figure 2. This depicts a ‘Big Sword’ soldier. He has a grenade in one hand and his sword in the other. Detail is once again very crisp, especially the puttees and the way the trousers flop over them. He is shown wearing a distinctly ‘Nationalist’ type ball cap, with a slightly ‘kepi’ type top. Mike has gone to the trouble to make sure this hat doesn’t just look like any of the similar hats worn by other countries. Close examination shows it to be very much of Chinese pattern. The crispness of detail in his webbing etc is pleasing. He even has a high cheek-boned, Asian face, which is very skilful for 15mm. Animation is again very good.

Probably the only fault I can pick with this figure, is that he does not have the distinctive large sword scabbard slung across his back. Which makes me wonder what he is supposed to do with the excellently done, large sword he is waving, when not in use. Although he has ammunition belts, he does not have a firearm. This of course is very common with many manufacturers when it comes to people throwing grenades and was a bit disappointing. After all, even people with big swords and hand grenades, usually have some sort of firearm for longer range use.

That quibble aside, the figure is none the less excellent.

Figure 3. A prone light machine-gunner with a Japanese LMG. The detail of the weapon is amazing for 15mm. It is not only a great example of the sculptors art, but also of the skill of the mould maker, to get all this tiny detail to come out. Often the ability of a master maker will exceed the capabilities of the mould maker, but in this case Eureka obviously have a ‘joint act’ and have got it all together. He is wearing a fur hat and like figure 1. would fit with various Chinese forces. Once again his equipment is very crisply cast. He is presented on a sculptured base, which is a refreshing change from the usual flat, smooth ones. Visually this figure appears a little too long and must be one heck of a tall Chinaman. But this was insufficient to spoil my admiration for the general appearance and look.

Figure 4. My absolute favourite. This one is wearing a Mao-Tse-Tung type cap that is brilliantly done. Rounded as it should be, yet with creases and dents. The peak is slightly over hung by the billow of the soft cap, producing a really accurate look. He has crossed belts with ammunition pouches and is running forward with his rifle extended, but with the butt under his right arm. The effect is great because the animation is real to life. He looks like a man running forward, and does not have that rather ‘wooden’ look that some manufacturers seem to produce. I would bet that “The Great Leader” himself would approve of this figure as being a genuine representation of his Chinese Peoples Army.

Nic Robson of Eureka, has kindly provided the following provisional list of figures in the range. They are due to be released this month.

Provisional listing is:

  • Infantry (24 variants)
  • Big Sword men (4 variants)
  • Artillery crew (3 variants)
  • SMG soldiers (3 variants)
  • HMG set (1 only)
  • MG (2 variants)
  • Mortar (1 only)
  • Standard bearers (2 variants)
  • Officers (2 variants)

The figures have sprung from the successful “100” and “300” club listings. For those unfamiliar with this, Eureka has a special section on their page where wargamers can submit figure types they would like to see produced. The 100 club is for 28mm and the 300 club for 15mm. Once submitted, if enough people put their names down total the required number, it is passed on to the designer who then produces them. This means several people may collectively pre-order enough to exceed 300 of a particular 15mm type, even though individually they might only want a few each.

EUREKA MINIATURES will spring to life on your browser, if you search under that name. The visit will be worth while, for the excellent variety of figures available across a wide range of periods.

Reviewer: Mal.Wright.

Related Link: Eureka Miniatures

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Eureka Miniatures can be contacted by the manual means at:

149 Poath Road Hughesdale Vic 3166 AUSTRALIA
(Melways Ref 69 C6)
Telephone/Fax: +61 3 9568 4085

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