A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that


Friday, 18 March 2011

Qualiticast - just a glimpse of the unknown

I'm not sure why, but Qualiticast, the British manufacturer of 20mm wargame figures, has been a mystery to me. There is a brief summary on VINTAGE20MIL, which suggests they were sort of compatible, size-wise, with (presumably) Hinton Hunt, but there's no listing and no pictures. There is some discussion of Qualiticast on TMP, mostly about the Romans, and mostly repetition of urban myths - i.e. the figures are a little bigger than Newline, the Napoleonics are "unimpressive" and so on. Somebody produced a useful side-by-side photo of Qualiticast Napoleonics and 1/72 plastics, to give a size comparison, but that's about all the evidence I've been able to find. It seems very odd that all these years of involvement in Napoleonic wargaming have left me unaware of one of the makers I might have been very interested in, but no matter. The mystery has remained.

Well, today I received my very first Qualiticast Napoleonic figures. I am now a fan. I suggest that they are far from unimpressive. Just so there is no doubt, let me state that they are well proportioned, very nicely sculpted, and average about 23-24mm from soles to scalp. The figures I received today were part of a mixed eBay lot of Spanish guerrillas - a mixture of Qualiticast and Kennington. The Kenningtons are a very close match - the figures are about 1mm shorter (maybe less) and very slightly coarser in quality than the Qualiticast, but it's close, and it required some time poring over catalogue listings to work out which was which. They would be good with Hinton Hunts, though the castings are a little slimmer and more elegant than HH, and they would mix well with the HaT plastic guerrillas, for example. My eyes are opened - I shall watch with interest for more. They are currently out of production, and I am unaware of anyone who has stocks, but I did come up with a catalogue list, though I don't think it's complete.


Mixed guerrillas - the 3 on the left are Qualiticast (L to R NIS5, NIS1, NIS4), the rest Kennington (L to R SGA2, SGA5, SGA3) - you get the idea. The guy in the top hat is a little masterpiece, if his sword is a little long for true beauty.

7 comments:

  1. Ahh, interesting, when I saw people mention Qualiticast, I thought they were referring to Quality Cast(ings) a US company that did 15mm WWII, then got involved, I think with Heritage who did 15mm Napoleonettes (who chose that name?). I've learned my new thing for today. Those are nice looking figures.
    -Ross

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  2. Well they do look like some nice figures. Not many companies even pay attention to Spanish forces, let alone Guerrillas. If they're older than 7 years and out of production, you could probably cast some yourself. My guess would be the company had a very limited production and went under quickly. I've not heard of this company either.

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  3. I found a figure listing on the website of Micromondi (Torino, Italy). I phoned Micromondi, but they say that Qualiticast figures are no longer available, and they don't know anything about what happened to the makers. If you want to see what we all missed, a very detailed catalogue of the sets and the individual figures which were available is here

    http://www.micromondi.com/QUALITICAST/Napoleonic/napoleonic.htm

    This may be one of the more useless pieces of information you see today.

    Tony

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  4. It is a pity that many good 20mm designers, for example Qualiticast, NapoleoN, are now unavailable. They added variety to our formations!
    Regards
    Rafa

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  5. It almost looks like General Foy was hoping to eat them for breakfast!

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  6. I own a lot of Qualiticast figures (Napoleonic and Zulu war) and originally bought them because they fitted in with Airfix figures. Qualiticast was a one man band. I spoke to him at the time he stopped and he said he had a new job and couldn't devote the time to what was a part time things. I also spoke to his wife a few months later who said he wasn't planning on restarting manufacture and if someone made a substantial offer he might sell the moulds. This was years ago but I guess the moulds are out there somewhere!

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  7. I would certainly buy more Qualiticast figures if they ever became available. I particularly like their cavalry and Peninsular War ranges.

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