British Infantry, 1944–1956
Valiant Miniatures 25 mm Figure Review
Valiant Miniatures is a British manufacturer of hard plastic figures for the popular RAPID FIRE! wargame rules published by Colin Rumford. Valiant’s first figure set of British Infantry provides a scaled down infantry battalion of five companies, and several support elements for RAPID FIRE! The mix of poses, weapons, and accessories is perfect for wargame units in this scale. While Valiant Miniatures design their figure sets specifically for RAPID FIRE!, these miniatures may be used for any other wargame system using single figures or multi-figure bases.
Each figure set includes 68 figures in 12 to 14 poses. Some of the miniatures are multi-pose figures with a selection of separate arms holding a variety of weapons and accessories. Separate heads, back packs, spare weapons, and other valuable items of equipment are liberally included on each sprue. The Valiant figure boxes, too, provide wargaming accessories like sections of ruined buildings, period advertisement and road signs to be cut out. Clearly, Valiant Miniatures is a company of wargamers producing for their fellow wargamers, and for themselves, of course.
- 68 Figures in 14 Poses – 25 mm Height
- Officer with Binoculars (4)
- Officer with Map, pointing (4)
- Officer/NCO Forward Observer, kneeling (4)
- NCO with Sten SMG (4)
- Signaller with Sten SMG, kneeling (4)
- Wireless Set WS-18 Mk.III (4)
- Machine Gunner with Vickers MMG (4)
- Mortarman/Anti-Tank Gunner (4)
- Mortarman № 1 with 2″ Mortar (4)
- Mortarman № 2 with with Bomb Case (4)
- Rifleman (multi-pose), kneeling (4)
- Separate right Arm, firing PIAT (4)
- Separate right Arm, firing Bren LMG (4)
- Separate left Arm, supporting PIAT or Bren LMG (4)
- Stone Wall Section with Bren Bipod (4)
- Separate Figure Base (4)
- Rifleman (multi-pose), advancing (4)
- Separate right Arm, holding Bren LMG (4)
- Separate right Arm, holding Lee Enfield Rifle (4)
- Separate right Arm, holding Mortar Bomb Case (4)
- Rifleman advancing (8)
- Rifleman advancing (8)
- Rifleman running (8)
- Separate Head with Steel Helmet (8)
- Separate Head with Officer’s Cap (8)
- Separate Head with Beret (8)
- Separate Head bareheaded (8)
- 3″ Mortar (4)
- Vickers .303 Heavy Machine Gun (4)
- Back Pack (40)
- Paper Road Signs and Ruins of "CAFE NORMANDIE" on the Box Side
Excellent choice of subject. British Infantry of the Normandy Campaign, Liberation of France and Belgium, and the Battle for Germany, wearing Battledress with 1937 Pattern Web Equipment, and MK.III “Turtle” helmets will be popular with wargamers, diorama builders and collectors.
Excellent wargame poses. Valiant Miniatures are designed for wargamers who want to raise sections, platoons, and companies with the proper mix of support weapons. There are enough figures and weapons in this box to recruit a complete infantry battalion, and supporting elements for RAPID FIRE! wargames. Every figure in this set is useful, and it may be converted to fill gaps in existing collections of 25 mm wargame figures.
The figures are relatively slender, and naturally posed. Wargamers will be happy to note that there are no wild poses in this set which would look ridiculous if used repeatedly in the same formation or diorama. Instead, all of the figures are either standing at ease, kneeling, or advancing cautiously like real soldiers operating near the front lines.
Excellent casting quality, minimal flash and hardly any noticeable mould lines.
The multi-pose figures fit together perfectly and easily, without any fiddling around. Once the glue has set, the multi-pose figures are indistinguishable from the one-piece casting in this set. This is an area where manufacturers have often failed in the past, because their multi-part figures continued to look like dress puppets with mismatched arms glued on, even after they had been painted. Valiant Miniatures set a new industry standard in precision modelling of multi-pose small scale figures.
The facial features are superb, these figures look determined and in tune with what they are doing. Unfortunately, the heads are nearly twice the size of a real human head in the proposed scale.
The separate heads included in this set may be used to add variety in poses. The instructions recommend cutting the head off and drilling the neck of the figure to accept the locating pin of the new head, but this is not strictly necessary. Simply shorten the locating pin to the proper length, cutting it at an angle, and glue the new head onto the figure. Turn the head into the desired direction and allow the glue to set over night.
While the eight bare heads may not be very suitable by themselves, they will provide the basis for several interesting conversion. Add tissue or modelling wax bandages around the head to create a walking wounded, or press a tiny ball of modelling putty into place to model a beret. The uncovered steel helmet is the pre-1944 model which may be used to draft some of these riflemen into platoons or companies modelled for earlier campaigns in France, North Africa, Italy, or Burma.
The signaller needs to have a sectional rod antenna attached to the left side of his WS-18 Mk.III wireless set. The antenna can be up to 3 m tall, particularly if the set is used in a defensive position.
Expert modellers may want to add rifle slings made from thin plastic card or paper strips.
Valiant Miniatures advertise the British Infantry figure set as 1:72 scale, but the figures, and the equipment they carry turned out much too big to be considered true to scale. The figures’ heads are huge: 1:27 (twentyseven) scale; and the weapons range from 1:46 to 1:64 scale, we found none in 1:72 scale.
- The PIAT included in this set is 15.5 mm long, without the bomb, the equivalent of 1:64 scale.
- The barrel of the Ordnance ML 3 inch mortar was 1370 mm long. The model of the 3″ mortar included in this set turns out to be 1:60 scale, with a barrel length of 23 mm.
- The Bren LMG is 19.5 mm long, or 1:59 scale.
- The Webley Revolver is 5 mm long, or 1:57 scale
- The Sten SMG is 15 mm long, or 1:51 scale.
- The Lee-Enfield Rifle is 22.5 mm long, the equivalent of 1:50 scale.
- The 2″ Mortar had an overall length of 533 mm, or 7.4 mm in 1:72 scale. Again, the model in this set turned out much too long, 11.5 mm to be exact, which is the equivalent of 1:46 scale.
The Mk.III steel helmet worn by these figures is huge, 6 mm in diameter, it scales out to 17 inches. Revell’s 1:72 scale British infantrymen wear Mk.III helmets which are only 11.3 inches in diameter. Valiant’s Tommies need big helmets, because their heads are over 11 inches wide, nearly twice the size of an average human head which measures only 6.3 inches between the ears.
Tiny sink holes in the chest of the signaller and 3″ mortarman, as well as on the crown of the officer’s cap need to be filled.
The kneeling multi-pose figure might have been supplied with a separate left arm to add more variety. Since there is no complete left arm in the set, this man can only be modelled as a firing Bren or PIAT gunner. A left arm from the German infantry set released by Valiant Miniatures may be used to correct this, provided that the sleeve of that arm is filed or carved to a British BDU pattern sleeve with cuff.
Separate bayonets would have been a valuable addition for diorama builders, who may want to display some of these figures with bayonets fixed. Wargamers, too, might have been tempted to fix bayonets, even if there is a greater risk of breakage when figures are handled during games.
Incompatible with ESCI, Hasegawa, Italeri, Revell, and other true 1:72 scale miniatures. While Valiant’s Tommies have the same height and shoulder width as the 1:72 scale British Infantry available from Revell, their huge 1:27 scale heads, and out of scale weapons make them incompatible. To deploy Valiant Miniatures Tommies alongside existing 1:72 scale platoons and companies, consider mounting them on thinner bases which will make them less conspicuous on the battlefield.
- British Infantry, 1944–1956
- Canadian Infantry, 1944–1950
- Commonwealth Infantry, wearing Slouch Hats or Turbans
- British Army Commandos, wearing Beret
Valiant Miniatures’ British Tommies are a must-have for wargamers and diorama builders interested in modern warfare. The figures are perfectly suited for RAPID FIRE! and other popular wargame rules using individual or multi-figure bases. While they are incompatible with 1:72 scale miniatures, these troops may fit in well with available 25 mm metal figures from other manufacturers.