Wednesday 12 March 2014

Warefare Miniatures Swedish GNW Cavalry – A review

Swedish cavalry - Great Northern War

I’ve used Warfare Miniatures' earlier ranges for my Scanian War collection, so naturally I was exited to hear about them launching an extensive range of Russian and Swedish 28 mm miniatures for The Great Northern War (1700-1721).

Containing all the necessary drama with the birth of the Russian Empire under Tsar Peter the Great, and parallel decline of the Swedish Empire, perhaps best symbolized in the apocalyptic Swedish infantry charge at Poltava, it’s a period I really find appealing. I started a collection in 2006 of another brand. However that range took more than a few years to really launch in completion, and meanwhile I had got into other troubles such as Napoleonics with the excellent launches from Perry, Victrix et.c. 

Helsingborg 1710 - painting by Marc Grieves

With this latest addition to their range, Warefare Miniatures once again directed my attention to the clash of Empires in the Great Northern War. At the moment only cavalry is available in their web shop, but their blog gives evidence to a coming launch of infantry for both sides – so once again I took the plunge into the thrills of early 18th century warfare:

Blister pack with logo printed leaflet.
This is standard for many producers in metal, and leaves a decent impression.

The first test sculpts of Swedish infantry.
More info on Warefare's blog

As I understand it, Warefare is once again working with a sculptor, who goes under the name “Clibinarium”. This is the same sculptor who made their previous 17th century range. I’d have to say he has notched up the quality of his work one more level, when comparing to my other minis from Warefare. The figures have clean and crisp level of detail. 
There is no flash at all and proportions offer a very lean and natural body size,
something I prefer.

Size comparison - Warfare and Musketeer.
Warfare offering multi pose arm solution. 

The figures measure 25 mm from foot to eye (sitting position).
The horses 28 mm from hoof to saddle.
Please note the picture above for size comparison with other ranges.
Many will be sitting on figures from other makes, and naturally each will have to decide whether there is a potential for mixing the ranges, or if one will go with either or.

Warefare: 3 x horse with rider GBP 8.5 (GBP 2.83 per horse and rider)
Musketeer: 3 x horse with rider GBP 9 (GBP 3.00 per horse and rider)
Foundry: 3 x horse with rider GBP 12,50 (GBP 4.16 per horse and rider)
Front Rank: 3 horse with rider GBP 9,30 (GBP 3,10 per horse and rider)
Concluding on the above: The price point is the low. If the future launch of a complete range will see Warefare Miniatures sport unit deals like on their other ranges, this will bring the price down further to GBP 2,5 per horse and rider, and you get to add a free flag sheet on top of it. It’s truly a fair price for a product of good quality. 

The Swedish cavalry was famous for its fierce close ranked charge

At the moment, only cavalry is available – and only Swedish at that. One could almost call this a little pre-launch appetizer. However, turning to their Forum I find many really lovely pictures of dollies for infantry figures to be released in the near future. The blog also projects a quite extensive range, with many poses and a very complete representation of all troop types. Additionally a beautiful range of flags is offered for both Swedish, Saxon and Russian forces.

Russian test sculpts - more close up pictures on the Warefare blog

Warefare Miniatures sports a good forum via The League of Augsburg and a nice blog too.
Both are vivid and regularly updated with news, articles, scenarios and photos of fantastically painted figures. Especially the forum seems to be very well visited. Need any information on a special uniform detail or historic fact regarding the Great Northern War, I’d point to this forum as the prime source for fast info of high quality.

Charging cavalryman - illustration from the book "Karoliner"

Nothing wrong with the minis or the price mind you, but I'll hold on to the 10 points until the complete range is launched. However, I have all the confidence in Mr. Barry Hilton and his Warefare Miniature to see this through to a completion, which will be to the joy of all period enthusiasts.

When the range is completed with the current expected extend, it will be the biggest available on the market today, offering the widest selection of troops and poses. I'll be following this development along the way, posting news and painted figures as they become available.

Thank you for reading!


  1. Very nice review Sören !

    Best regards Michael

    1. Thanks Micke - can't wait to get these on the painting table!

  2. Thanks for another informative review! These miniatures do look great indeed. Seems to be a great time for fans of the GNW right now – a couple of nice ranges in 28 mm to choose from and even more goodies to come.

    Need to dig out my old copy of "Karoliner" as I'm getting sorely tempted by this period. But on second thought, maybe I shouldn't ... ;)

    1. You should definitely dig out that Alf Åberg classic! We're about a handful getting into this at the club, so if you're allowing yourself an extra side project for 2014, this is it!
      Hopefully we'll have the Warefare GNW infantry to look at when visiting Salute.

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks Stephen, and thanks for dropping by!

  4. Nice review and info, especially the comparison between Warfare and Musketeer riders.

    1. Thanks John, thought it might be useful. I know more than a few who's got some minis from the Musketeer range, and I guess many want to know if they'd mix with Warfare. I'm probably not going to mix the figures into the same based units, but see no problem in playing these two makes on the same table.

  5. Really useful review. I have a lot of Musketeer infantry but have been disappointed with their rather static Swedish cavalry. These charging figures look much more like it and very compatible size wise. Thanks!

  6. Think you're absolutely right! You'd want the figures to really show the aggressive "Gå På" doctrine of the Swedes, as they attacked with cold steel in close ranks of massed cavalry charges, hammering into the enemy. That is naturally incorporated into the Warefare figures.