15mm Miniature Producers
Here there are all the 15mm ancient and medieval manufacturers that I know. I wrote also a comment about the figures quality, based on my personal liking. Beware because I’m biased.
In the 15mm market there are two main style of figures: the truly 15mm and the 17-18mm, sometimes bulkier.
Because of my sight, I prefer the later style, it is easier to look at the painted details. Another personal preference is multi-pose packs. This doesn’t mean that true 15mm are bad, just they are not my first choice.
To have an idea of how the figures look like, I have added where possible a link to some pictures
Alain Touller - http://www.atoufigs.com/
Touller figures are nice, well made. The early ranges are small, while the later ones are bulkier. Better check well the pictures on the website, that reports them all.
Touller is maybe the only manufacter depicting steppe ponies as ponies. Have a look to Skythian and Mongol ranges. Figures are sold individually.
Baueda - http://www.baueda.com/
This manufacturer well known for gorgeous camps, tents and fortifications, have now started some miniature ranges of excellent quality.
It sells also some rare figures as emishi and ottoman PsX.
The figures are fine, slightly bigger than 15mm and multi pose. The website is well made and the customer service awesome.
Corvus Belli - http://www.corvusbelli.com/
Few ranges, but of excellent quality. The Carthaginians and the EIR are first choice. The miniatures are close to 15mm and do not mix well with Xyston, so you have to choose which way to go.
The website is well made and has all figures pictures.
Donnington Miniatures - http://www.donnington-mins.co.uk/
Donnington has a very mixed feeling among my clubmates. Some love it some hate it. Their figures quality is mixed, the old ranges are crude, and saying crude it's a kind remark. The newer the ranges are, the better the quality is. Donnington belongs to the big guys bulky miniatures category.
The figures are well researched, and sold individually. This is a plus. There are a lot of different poses, and ranges made by no one else.
Their catalogue is complete, and the website well made. Customer service is excellent. My advice, if you don't know the figures, is to order some individual samples just to check if these miniatures are your cup of tea. I do like them. New era range have a high price.
Essex Miniatures - http://www.essexminiatures.co.uk/
Essex has the most complete range of miniatures. The figures have all with the same quality standard. I like the metal they use, I don't remember a lance or pike broken. The variety of poses is limited and I don't like much the style. This means that I have several Essex armies, but on some specific ranges I prefer other manufacturers.
Essex guys are true professionals, they were already in the market when I started collecting miniatures, 20 years ago. Their customer service is very good. The website doesn't show all the pictures.
Spring and autumn Chinese
Gladiator - http://www.blackhat.co.uk/
Gladiator has many ranges of mixed quality. Their Chin Chinese are old true 15mm, very small figures, while the biblical armies belongs to the big guys category.
Imho Biblicals and Aztec figures are stunning. They should be the first choice of every wargamer. I like a lot also punic wars and classical indian ranges.
The website is well made and the customer service is good. The metal used is a bit rigid, miniatures needs careful handling to avoid bow and spear breaking.
Irregular - http://www.irregularminiatures.co.uk/
Irregular is a old manufacturer still on the market and still expanding their ranges. They are true professional, with an excellent customer service. They sell miniatures individually, and have a lot of position for code (from 3 to 20 for barbarian host).
The downside, for me, is that the miniatures are truly 15mm. As I said in the introduction, my opinion is biased.
Khurasan Miniatures - http://khurasanminiatures.tripod.com/
There has been a period, after DBM started to die, when few to no new “ancient” ranges were produced, and the market seemed to be still, immobile.
Then, thanks to a new generation of ruleset, including DBMM, things changed.
Khurasan is one of these new and dynamic producers. In few years has created an incredible number of ranges. KM uses several sculpters, including the gifted Clibinarium and Sandra Garrity. I like almost all their production. The figures are historically well researched and are multipose. Due the different artists, not all range have the same size, some are big some are true 15mm.
Their online catalogue has a lot of pictures and is user friendly. Customer service is top class.
Legio Heroica - http://www.legio-heroica.com/
Few ranges, but awesome quality. Many poses, the swiss have 20 pikemen and 14 halberdiers !!!!! The website is well made and there are pictures of every miniature produced. The sculptor is the company owner and this means same quality for all the figures in catalog. These miniatures are a "must have" for every players that do care about quality.
In my top five.
Lurkio - http://www.lurkio.co.uk/
A new manufacturer with few ranges, focused on western IV-VI AD period. The miniatures are gorgeus and each range is complete of every option needed. The figures are quite tall but slender. They don't mix well with true 15mm. The cavalry is produced in two part, with the torso to be glued to add variety of position. The cavalry has big horses and thin riders. I suggest to check it before to mix it, if any. The miniatures are sold in multi pose element packs, including an MDF base, or in cheaper unit bags of 4-8 elements. I like them, and suggest to do an all Lurkio army instead of triying to mix them with others.
Mirliton - http://www.mirliton.it/
Few ranges for Mirliton too, but the figures quality is pretty high. Packs have many poses, all the miniatures can be seen on the company's website.
The figures size tend to the bigger 15mm, except the Condottieri that is a true 15mm. Horses are very well made.
I do like a lot both Mirliton and Legio Heroica and I do not understand why having so few ranges in many case they do the same army?
Museum - http://www.museumminiatures.co.uk/
Many ranges, with average quality figures. Museum miniatures tend to be big, but horses are sometime big sometime small. The pictures on the website show most of them, so to decide what you look for is easy. The metal quality is very good. There are few poses (often just one) for many categories. I don't like that sometime they use the same miniature with a different name.
The customer service is good.
Navigator - http://www.navigatorminiatures.com/
Navigator sells the old Chariot miniatures. Chariots figures often are monopose and truly 15mm. I don't like them.
I have used some late roman gold series, multipose, for my barbarians. The figure quality is high, the metal and the casting are excellent.
Not my cup of tea, but if you like true 15mm navigator is a good choice, expecially for their biblical range.
Old Glory - http://oldglory15s.com/
OG has a large range of ancient 15mm figures. The quality is generally high and the price good. Each code has a minimal of 3-4 poses, and this is good. The downside is that the packs are quite large. This is a problem just when looking for very small number of specialists (like janissery handgunners in Ottoman list, just 4 figures needed)
The figures are 15mm, with quite small horses. Beware when mixing them with others miniatures. My personal favorites are marian Romans and Ottomans. The website is good but not all the figures are shown by pictures.
The customer service is very good, once they refunded me of a 30% price paid on an order that being large, earned a discount I didn't know. Honest people.
Outpost - http://www.outpostwargameservices.co.uk/
Very well researched miniatures, I like them a lot. They are on the big side. The main problem with Outpost is the metal they use. If you don't put extreme care handling the figures, lances, spears, pikes and bow too risk to bend or crack. This is a shame, because the miniature are nice and multipose.
Outpost should really change their metal.
By the way I have three outpost armies, gorgeous they are. Just before playing a game say your opponent to not touch them.
The website is decent, and customer service not bad, they just take some time to reply to emails. Their figures are cheap, and have an excellent cost/quality ratio.
EDIT: Recently I have bought some miniatures from Outpost, and I have noticed the metal is much better. Excellent news!!
Central Asian Turks
Splintered Lights Miniatures - http://www.splinteredlightminis.com/
Splintered miniatures are awesome: several packs for the same code, a lot of different figures. Infantry is very nice, cavalry a bit less. Heroes and personality are a plus, and they produce Beowulf and Grendel too. The drawback is that they have just four range, all based on Arthurian time.
This is a problem for me, because it is a period of zero interest, so I had bought some miniatures for different armies. As example, their saxons and picts javelinmen are very useful for an Herul army, where you need shielded and unshielded foot skirmishers.
The saxon warband are gorgeous, and I'm really tempted to use them for some VI century barbarian host. Their website is well done.
Strategia Nova - http://www.strategianova.it/soldatini-e-resine/miniature-wars-15-mm?zenid=3c8fcbc6560bb526b46ba9da6568a826
Few ranges, focused on dark ages and classical. The miniatures and poses are fine, even if a bit static. There are some interesting packets as the isaurian javelinmen.
The website has almost all the pictures and the customer service is good.
Xyston - http://www.scotiagrendel.com/Xyston/
Awesome range, limited to classical period. The variety of poses and the very high quality of figures make this company the number one in their period ranges.
The downside is the high cost. Another issue to consider is that the pole weapons (spears pike, xyston and the like) must be bought apart. Xyston provide steel wire with worked spear point. This is a plus for me, but not everybody likes it.
In my top 5
Later Achemenid Persian
Warmodelling - http://www.warmodelling.com/
Few ranges. The miniature are quite fine, and are on the big side. They mix very well with Xyston, Donnington and Splintered Lights.
The quality is excellent, my only remarks is about metal quality, because spears must be treated with a bit of care. "Rough finga" players should be careful.
The customer service is good as their website. Some time ago I used their painting service for a Napoleonic army and it was a good deal.
Resource page for Pre Columbus american armies
More to follow