Shufflin’ off to Buffalo, er Wazzu

Herd 1

A chunk of my growing buffalo herd. Monday Knight Production buffalo in the foreground, being trailed by a more diminutive Dixon bison.

Taking a week away to attend my final student journalism camp.  It’s been five or so years in Bellingham at Western Washington Universtiy, about two and half hours away from home.  This year, due to construction in Bellingham, and the sweet deal offered by the Murrow School, camp has moved to Pullman in the opposite corner of the state, about five hours from home.  Today is mostly a travel day, tomorrow a work and preparation day, and then journo kids from Wednesday until about noon Saturday when things wrap up and I return home.

I’ve enjoyed my 13 summer camps, but this is last unless there is some awfully strong persuasion to convince me otherwise. Time for me to move on.

One of the projects I won’t be able to work on is my Buffalo Hunt game. I’ve been pretty steadily painting figures for this project.  Chiefly, i”m working on buffalo.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Smyth, a buffalo, is a buffalo, is a buffalo, get on with it already.”

And, of course, you’re right, sorta.  But they really aren’t and I’d like to offer my observations and recommendations. I’ve ordered the beasts in 28mm from five different manufactures, and here you go.

WestWind

These are perfectly usable miniatures.  They come five to a pack for $15, which is a perfectly reasonable price compared to other manufacturers.  Available as part of Old Glory’s Cowboy range, they are cheaper if you have an Old Glory Army membership.  They are well-cast, with some, but not an unreasonable amount of flash.  There is a variety of types, including what looks to be a calf.  I found them quite easy to paint.  Highly recommended.

Dixon

I gave two British manufactures a try.  Dixon was very easy to work with.  They have two varieties of buffalo.  I ordered four of each.  With the exchange, they were about four bucks each, plus shipping.  They are clean, well-cast, and easy to paint.  I found them to be a little small, but not ridiculously so.  Might work best with true 25mm figures or as part of herd, or just with other Dixons.  Not bad figures at all, but not my favorite.

Monday Knight Productions

These figures are old school, and part of the true 25mm Desperado range.  They are clean, and I like their size.  They come two to a pack for eight bucks, and I bought four packs.  They lack the detail of other figures, and aren’t super animated.  But I really like ’em.  They were easy to paint, and I like their proportions, though they do seem a tish flat. A little past their prime.  They come with their own large base, which makes them unique.  But I like ’em.

Acheson Creations

These large resin miniatures are from Acheson’s Primaeval Designs of Prehistoric Mammals.  They are called Steppe Bison and at seven bucks a throw, they are the most expensive of my buffalo miniatures. I need 36 buffalo for my project, and I certainly wouldn’t use 36 of these babies. But they are terrific castings–well cast with loads of detail and animation.  I use them as the leaders of each obstinacy (yes that’s what a group of buffalo is called) of six buffalo.  They do require some care.  They do have a little bit of flash, and require some soaking in soap and water to get that release agent off.  If you don’t do the latter, your figures will shed paint. After that, they are much fun to paint.  The absolute best of the lot, if you can afford them.

Foundry Figures

I should just leave this space blank because I don’t have them.  Ordered figures on June 17th, confirmed by e-mail on June 18th.  They are clearly coming by container ship through the Malacca Straits, Hong Kong, and Guam. This service is unacceptably slow by any important manufacturer, but especially one of such importance as Foundry.  Patooey.

This project still has some work to finish.  I thought I had enough Comanche figures, but decided to add another dozen foot figures from Warlord Games.  I still have almost all the Achesons to paint and one more pack of WestWind’s, but I find them fun and easy to do, so no biggie.  The Comanches are another story as they are special orders.  So we’ll see.