Wednesday, January 21, 2015

EM4 Plastic ACW Infantry

I don't know how well known about they are, but when I looked in on one of my old bookmarked companies I noticed something unusual.  Under the plastics section of the EM4 website a new tab had appeared for historical models.  "ooh, that's odd" I thought, I wondered what they might be planning.

It turns out that a small range of soft plastic American Civil War troops was the plan, sold in packs of twenty with six different poses in each.  At the very, very reasonable price of £5 a pack, I felt it wouldn't hurt to grab a couple of packs and see how they looked.

The models are made of a soft polystyrene of the sort familiar to 20mm plastics fans, not unlike Reaper miniatures either.  They certainly needed a dip in hot soapy water, both to get the release agent off and to straighten out the many errant musket barrels, but once this was done they looked quite acceptable.

The proportions are good and generally similar to Perry's first set, though by no means copies.  By making a Union set and a Confederate set they avoid the main criticism of those too; no Union troops in spurious blanket rolls or excessive beards here.  Given a craft acrylic undercoat they took paint as well as any metal miniature:

Three of the poses and six of the models in each pack are devoted to command figures, for an officer drummer and ensign.  This gave me a quandary of how many of whom to use to fill out my standard 18-man regiment.

I opted for more drums, but the second officer would've been a valid alternative.  The ensign with his pre-moulded flag is the weakest of the set and hard to paint convincingly too.  A model with a bare pole would have been better but may well have been hard to cast well.  As to building larger units, well I guess you'll be buying spare packs to make up the numbers, but then they aren't expensive...

The models come on uniform round bases about 20mm in diameter, these proved easily too wide for my 50mm frontage basing so I belatedly trimmed them down; this proved that the paint on the models was resistant to rubbing or flaking off.

Overall, for the price you really can't go wrong; and whilst you may not want to do an entire army from these models, to add a unit of two in a different style they are cracking value.

A pleasing addition to my Union army, and I hope they prove a long term success.

Now if they could do the same for Napoleonic troops I would be very impressed.


  1. Nice work on these; I need to check out the site too.