Saturday, 8 June 2013

1930s Italians, Perry v Empress/Anglian

Following the jolly to Partizan, I now have some of the Perry Miniatures WW2 Italians. Now I intend to use these for the C.T.V. in the Spanish Civil War, as later on they were equipped with the M33 helmet.
So here's another Higgins review, and a comparison to boot.

Perry Miniatures - Pack ITWW3 Italian Riflemen Advancing.

So, what do you get for your £6.50?
Well, six nicely posed riflemen, they all appear to look a little nervous, or perhaps just advancing with a little caution, the models are equipped with what looks like a good representation of the Carcano Short Rifle, now for those picky individuals, this weapon was introduced in 1938, so its probably a bit late for use in Spain, or Abyssinia. I am not that picky, so the models will get used.
Uniform detail looks just fine, and will pass for the earlier M37 uniform, as well as the M40 lightweight  uniform. The figures carry the very minimum of personal kit, consisting of Cartridge pouches, bayonet in scabbard, and the water bottle, one model has a shoulder pack.
The castings are clean, and for a welcome change, are not covered in those funny little wiggly worms. Mould lines are minimal, and will require very little clean up. I reckon they will paint up a treat, and will certainly add some more suitable packs for what I need, as they are released.
There has been some discussion on various forums, around the size of the models, so I have taken the liberty of comparing them to the Empress Models I have. Now be prepared for some controversial comments, especially if you are a Perries Fanboi!!

Perry Miniatures v Empress Miniatures 

Right, now to give them both an equal playing field, I washed them in ink, to help show the detail. For those of you who cannot tell, Empress on the left, Perry on the right!!
As you can clearly see, the models are just about the same height, and build, fantastic for those of use who want to use them together. Now dare I say it, but the Perry model looks a little bit chunky, and I think the face on the Empress model is streets ahead of the Perry one!! 
You can accuse me of bias, I spent many a happy year working with Paul Hicks when I ran Anglian, and the above Empress model was one of the figures Paul sculpted for me. I do firmly believe, that Paul is one of the finest sculptors currently working, and his faces show an incredible amount of character, and are a joy to paint
Both of the models are very good, and I have no hesitation in  recommending either of the ranges. 
The Empress Italy in Abyssinia is currently dead in the water, but has some very useful models, lets hope that the Perry Miniatures interest in North Africa can provide some resurgence in interest, in the Italian part of the range at least, and encourages Empress to add a few more figures to the range.
If you have an interest in the WW2 Italian army, then its worth looking at the following link
Excellent resource for all things WW2 Italian

Now the Perry models I have. could well find themselves suffering a Higgins execution, and get some Empress Adrian helmet, or Spanish Gorillo heads as replacements.
More pics when I finally get one of them painted up!!


  1. No, no Nigel! This is nothing to do with Louis XIV !!!


  2. Thanks Nigel,

    Extremely useful as I have been wondering exactly how the Perry's would go with the Empress minis.

    Looking forwward to seeing them painted.

    Speaking of which, what color would you paint these figures? Perhaps a Vallejo or Foundry paint color to be specific if possible. If you have any pics of links to a good site for Italians in the SCW that would be fantastic.

    Thinking on uses for the Italians in the early stages of WW2 as well as the SCW - Greece and North Africa, would the Empress minis work for those eras?

    Again, very useful posts - thanks!


    Happy Wanderer

  3. Empress Italians are fine for North African operations, especially Libya.The CTV are more specific, early on in the SCW they had older style uniforms, and the Adrian helmet, later they got the M33 helmet and more modern unform. The Perry Italians are useful for all three, though the uniform colour would be different in Spain and Greece, to the African one.
    Colour wise, the early uniform is a more greenish khaki colour, the Adrian helmet is a greyish green. I will dig through my paint stack, and come up with some actual paints.
    the colours are a bit off in the pics though

  4. Thanks Nigel,

    A couple of nice links and good info.

    To clarify if I may.

    Using the Empress (Anglian) CTV Italians, are those figures suitable to paint them in either a Green color or the Sand Brown color?

    I’m guessing the Sand Brown color was used in the early stages (Malaga) and up to the advance on Madrid, but from then on (Guadalajara ++) the Green color would be the color of the uniform. Would that be correct based on your info?

    Is the Sand color the look of the Italians in the desert in 1940?...I guess the Adrian helmet by then is not the look?

    I kind of like the look of the Italians in the Sand color.


    Happy Wanderer

  5. Thanks a lot Nigel, very useful. I must say that IMHO you have been generous to the Perry minis, I bought two packs of their Italians and I found them below what you would expect from the twins. I am badly mauling them by chopping their heads off and putting scarves around their necks in order to turn them into Italian partisans.