Medieval English Army of the Wars of the Roses ca. 1480

Tumbling Dice 1:72 Scale Figure Review

Medieval English Army of the Wars of the Roses ca. 1480, 1:72 Miniatures Tumbling Dice DAP1.

These War of the Roses figures are sculpted, and detailed in a style very similar to 1:72 scale plastic miniatures, as can be seen in this comparison with a billman from Accurate Figures. If they were from the same historic period, metal and plastic troops could be deployed immediately next to each other in a diorama, or wargame formation. In fact, the sturdy metal miniatures might be placed on the flanks of a figure stand to protect their more fragile plastic comrades. Tumbling Dice sets the standard for 1:72 scale compatible metal miniatures with excellent detail and sculpting quality.


  • 8 Knights/Men-at-Arms
  • 1 Trumpeter
  • 1 Standard Bearer
  • 12 dismounted Knights/Men-at-Arms
  • 2 dismounted Trumpeters
  • 2 dismounted Standard Bearers
  • 12 armoured Billmen
  • 12 armoured Archers (Longbow)
  • 12 Billmen
  • 12 Liveried Archers (Longbow)
  • 12 Crossbowmen
  • 1 Gun and 4 Gunners

Universal Soldiers

Knights, men-at-arms, billmen, archers, crossbowmen, gunners, and artillery pieces can be used to represent forces of either side involved in the War of the Roses. In fact, it was not uncommon for troops to be called up by one side or the other, depending on who got to a recruiting location first, and who had the most influence and military power to ensure compliance with the demand for additional troops. Tumbling Dice offers two other armies, Burgundian and French, which use many of the same figures, replacing the English billmen with pikemen, and adding some light horse, or bidowers for national flavor.

War of the roses figures

Another comparison of scale: A mounted knight from Accurate Figures in the back, and a similarly posed figure from Tumbling Dice in the foreground. The metal knight has a much longer lance, and he rides a heavier horse than his plastic colleague. Both horses are in an impossible gait, galloping in front, and walking in the back. The pose looks particularly strange when the front legs are completely off the ground. The plastic horse is not a stable platform, its hind legs will bend if the figure is handled, breaking and chipping the paint around the ankles. Clearly, the metal miniature is the better choice if the figures are being handled frequently during wargames.

Notice the mould line across the arm, shoulder, and helmet of the plastic figure, this can be difficult to remove without destroying some of the detail of the plate armour. On the other hand, plastic figures are cheap, three of them can be bought for the price of one 1:72 scale pewter miniature. Plastic figures are easy to convert, and conversion is necessary, because plastic figure sets are almost always incomplete. Important troop types, like generals, trumpeters, standard bearers, artillery, and gun crew are frequently unavailable. In an ideal world, perfectly compatible 1:72 scale metal miniatures, like these War of the Roses troops, would be available to plug the gaps in an existing line of plastic figures.


Good choice of subject. The War of the Roses was a drawn-out civil war, involving frequently changing alliances. Armies were raised as needed, supporting the Lancastrian (Red Rose) or Yorkist (White Rose) claims to the throne. The figures in this set can be painted to represent troops fighting for either side, and most of them are equally suitable for Burgundian, and French armies of the same period.

Nicely detailed figures. Quilted jackets, chainmail, plate armour, visored helmets, weapons, belts, reins, ornaments, and decorative edging are well sculpted, and easy to paint.

Riders need to be glued into the saddle. Their legs can be pressed into the flanks of the mount to achieve the desired posture.

The horses are correctly proportioned, and very attractive. The chosen gait is not entirely correct, the front legs seem to be galloping while the hind legs are walking. Since all four legs are attached to the base, this is not a very noticeable problem. Revell’s 1:72 scale Thirty Years’ War Swedish cavalry horses are unsurpassed in realism and animation, they are in a league of their own.

Several categories of horses are available: Armoured warhorse (plate), caparisoned warhorse, courser chanfron & criniere, roncin/hackney, and unarmoured courser. There are no variable poses within each horse category yet, resulting in an unrealistically choreographed appearance of a group of men riding the same horse into battle. The lack of variable poses will be most noticeable in formations using the unarmoured horses, whereas the caparisoned horses can be differentiated by heraldic devises.

Good casting quality, with minimal mold lines. We found no flash on the men, and only a little of it between the horses’ legs. Minimal clean up was required to prepare the figures for painting.

The casting sprues on the underside of the base had been trimmed off, and filed flat, requiring no additional work to make the figures stand up straight. Riders still had sprues attached between their feet, and these were easily trimmed off with a sharp knife.

The figures are cast in lead free pewter, eliminating the danger of lead poisoning. The figures are very sturdy, we encountered no broken or badly bent weapons. On the other hand, conversion work will be more difficult, requiring heavier tools than would be needed for plastic or soft metal figure conversions.

Standard poses make these figures suitable for wargaming and diorama purposes. Apparently, most of the troop types are represented by only one or two poses, but using one of six different helmets to create more variety. An accessory pack with bucklers and assorted weapons is available to customize some of the figures. A few universal soldiers with open hands would be a nice addition to this range, allowing the modeller to add even more variety to a diorama display or wargame unit.

Wonderfully compatible with 1:72 scale plastic figures. Cavalry, infantry, and artillery of the War of the Roses range would mix very nicely with Italeri, Revell, Accurate Figures, HäT, and IMEX troops of the same period. Sadly, none are available, these are the only 1:72 scale figures for the War of the Roses period.

There are enough figures in this set to complete DBA army № 179, including most of its possible variants.

Historical Employment

  • Lancastrian Army, ca. 1480
  • Yorkist Army, ca. 1480

Possible Conversion

  • Burgundian Army, ca. 1480 (With pikemen and light horse instead of billmen)
  • French Army, ca. 1480 (With pikemen and bidower instead of billmen)

Neither of these conversion are necessary, Tumbling Dice offers complete army packs for either.

Tumbling Dice sets a new standard of compatibility against which other 20 mm metal figures must be judged: War of the Roses 1:72 scale troops are true to scale, they are anatomically correct, and they are perfectly compatible with soft plastic figures. The War of the Roses is an interesting subject for wargamers, and it is very easy to get into, because one set of figures provides the troops employed by both sides involved in the conflict. This is a period which lends itself well to campaigns, with several players contributing small contingents of a larger force, and changing sides occasionally.

Sample from Tumbling Dice Miniatures

Medieval Miniatures