When trawling the internet for minis, once in a while you’ll stumble upon a little gem. For example: you sometimes find a company producing minis of exceptional quality for a decent price. Drabant Miniatures is such a company!
Operating out of Russia, Drabant sells its miniatures through Old Glory UK (www.oldgloryuk.com). Aside from an impressive couple of early modern 40mm miniatures, the focus lies on the dark ages in 28mm. Perfect for SAGA!
Drabant Miniatures Normans & Huscarls
Looking over Drabant’s own website (www.drabant-miniatures.com) I was immediately taken by the amazing looking Vikings, Saxons and Normans to be found there. Not only do the minis in the pictures in the photos feature stellar paint jobs, it was obvious the detail was something else entirely.
Not being able to resist, I ordered both packs of Normans on foot for my fledgeling Norman/Crusader army (these have since been passed on again due to lack of time to paint everything!). And the Saxon Huscarls for my Anglo-Danish, which have been feeling the brush of my… well, brush.
Here’s the pics from the Drabant folks themselves:
I’ll start with the some of the technical details.
The minis are in 28mm scale, cast in white metal. They come supplied with weapons and shields. They do not come with bases, allowing you to pick your own preferred way of basing these figures. For SAGA, I prefer MDF 25mm bases, but that’s entirely personal.
Note that the models with spears come with closed hands. You’ll have to either drill holes in them, or cut the spears in two and attach them with superglue. I recommend the first option, as it will be much sturdier! And if you’re using wire spears, like I do, then drilling is the only option (but at least it’s clear where to drill).
The metal used is quite soft. It’s handy if you want to convert things around a bit, but it also makes for bendy-sword-syndrome.
Detail & Comparison
As far as detail goes, these are some of the best metal models I’ve seen.
I’ll argue that the poses can be a bit static, but the actual detail of helmets, belts and other accessoires is crisp. I prefer to some of the other metals I’ve held, notably Gripping Beast and Saxon Miniatures.
You can’t go wrong here, really. Whether you like the models better than those from other manufacturers is up to personal taste. It won’t come down to quality.
In terms of scale they match up perfectly to the 28mm standard. See the photo below.
As such, you’ll find they easily mingle with your existing miniatures. That seems to be the norm amongst historical figures of this period: my SAGA Anglo-Danish force is a mix of miniatures from Drabant, Saxon Miniatures, V&V Miniatures and even Wargames Factory plastics. Only if you look closely can you see the difference.
As mentioned above the miniatures aren’t directly available from the Drabant Miniatures site. I have no idea why this is.
The good news is that you can order them from Old Glory UK (www.oldgloryuk.com) easily enough. The packs come in a £6,20 each featuring four models of infantry or two models of cavalry.
This about as expensive as the metals from Gripping Beast (£6 for four models) and Footsore Miniatures, to name a few. Of course, plastics are way cheaper, but a significant step down in terms of detail.
If you’re looking for some models that are different than what your friends are playing with, I recommend these models. They have their own distinct style and are a nice change of pace from the hordes of Gripping Beast models out there (even if those are no chore to look at, either!).
Note that Drabant has also just released Russians through Old Glory (check them out there) and there’s also Vikings up for grabs.
Let me know what you think about these models in the comments!