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


Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Qualiticast - Some Illumination!

Following the previous post on Qualiticast, Andy Taylor was kind enough to contact me via email, and send some more information and some smashing pictures. Very many thanks, Andy.

I read your recent blog entry and comments about Qualiticast with interest and was particularly surprised to learn that the company are such a mystery to many people. It’s true that there are very few images of these elegant figures on the web, so I thought you might be interested to see this selection of units from my own collection.

I’m pretty sure I bought these towards the end of the eighties. One of the early Qualiticast mission statements that appeared in all their advertising was to design a range of metal figures that would compliment the plastic ones then available and specifically to fill the gaps in the plastic market.

Amongst my first ‘buys’ were the Brunswickers, Prussians and 95th Rifles. No one was making those in plastic back then as this was long before HaT had arrived. They were also an acceptable match for Hinton Hunt figures which were next to impossible to find in the days before Tim Berners-Lee did his stuff.

I think the company was a husband and wife team who were a regular feature at SELWG on the rare occasions that I attended. I don’t recall their names but they were a delight to deal with in much the same way that I’ve read people compliment the guys at Newline and Tumbling Dice. On one occasion they sent me some British colour bearers but later declared that they hadn’t been altogether happy with the design of the figures and subsequently sent me a double load of their new mould. If there was a difference between the two excellent designs, I certainly couldn't see it.

My main interest in them had started with the Zulu War figures they produced, which I still rate as the finest in any scale of plastic or metal.

It’s a huge loss that they’ve gone. The figures were never less than perfect and I never encountered flash at any time. The last time I looked at a catalogue, their range had expanded to include Waterloo , The Peninsula, US Civil War & Plains War, Vietnam , The Crusades and Imperial Rome. I think they also dabbled in 28mm too which, given today’s developments, makes them truly visionary.


It's only right and proper to note that most of the artwork on these figures was done by GJM Figurines.

8 comments:

  1. The Zulu wars figures were beautiful. They also did "command sets" for the Union & Confederate personalities at Gettysburg and Napoleon as well. About ten figures plus a tent etc.
    The figures were sculpted by the guy who did the original FAA figures (Paul Barnshaw?).
    Anyway, brilliant figures and sorely missed by me.

    Matt

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  2. I see Qualticast compared to plastic figures on the Plastic Pelisse blog and get excited, then realise that they're no longer manufactured. Every time it gets me! I must have a goldfish memory. He must put up the comparisons to tease unsuspecting visitors like me!

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  3. Lovely stuff Foy - I particularly like the armed civilians. I'm in the market for horse artillery at present. I'll have to start haunting eBay.

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  4. Mr Kinch - the only French line horse artillery I've seen in plastics was HaT set 8039 - very strange shakos - they look like the Keystone Cops. Maybe not to your taste, but Kamar have some remainder stock of NapoleoN Miniatures, including British & French horse arty - Peninsular period. One set gets you enough kit and figures for 2 guns, I think - pricey, mind. I've had good experience dealing with Kamar in the past - helpful people.

    Have a squint at

    http://kamar-zinnfiguren.de/onlineshop/index.php?cPath=214_47

    Tony

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  5. Thanks for the info. I wonder what ever became of their moulds? They might have gone under before the advent of the internet which makes advertising and catalog disbursement cheaper and easier. It's as clear as day some companies leave gaps in their ranges and where there is a void, people need an option.

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  6. Emails from a couple of their former retail outlets indicate that the moulds were probably sold, maybe 4 or 5 years ago, but nobody knows who's got them - now that would be a find!

    I'll put that down on my current dream list for moulds:

    (1) Qualiticast 20mm moulds come to light.

    (2) Ditto the Hinchliffe 20mm artillery moulds.

    (3) NapoleoN Miniatures sell on the Les Higgins 25mm Napoleonic moulds, or - even better, start production again.

    The Qualiticast range, as listed at Micromondi (see comments on previous post), was huge for such a small undertaking. Remarkable.

    Regards

    Tony

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  7. Hi Tony

    Just found your blog...very nice! Some great insights too...

    I have a few images of my old Qualiticast figures...colonials.

    Hope you enjoy them

    http://osborneradloff.blogspot.com/2010/01/dragoon-guards-in-egypt.html

    http://osborneradloff.blogspot.com/2009/10/18th-hussars.html

    All the best

    Duncan

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  8. Duncan - loved the colonial cavalry - splendid.

    Tony

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