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Gripping Beast

United Kingdom

Norman spearman, as delivered
As Delivered

Barrett Scale: 28½M.
Mixes best with: Black Tree Designs and Battlestandard Normans, Crusader Byzantines.
Long Review: The Normans and Spanish sold by Gripping Beast are what drew me into 25mm gaming again, after many years as a 15mm collector. Every time I look at these figures, I get a pang of nostalgia.
Anyway: each pack contains (where appropriate) a variety of shields, and spears and swords or other weapons.
I have a mixed pack (OK, so I took them out of their packs without noting what each is) of Gripping Beast figures. Other than referring you to the GB site, I can't really say more than that the figures are a painter's figures. The surfaces are made to allow a painter to express himself fully, without being forced to use certain textures. That doesn't mean that the detail is bad or missing- quite the contrary, in fact. Every figure is meticulously detailed, with incredible attention to detail and shape. Apart from saying that there are one or two figures who have slightly longer arms or legs than their brethren, I can't fault the foot figures. There is a degree of scale creep from the really early releases to the newer figures of a range, but it is not visually disturbing.
The one draw-back of Gripping Beast is their horses, a fact that many wargamers have also commented on over the years. The heads just look odd due to the positioning of the eyes. The Beastie Boys are apparently in the process of redoing their horses, though.
Commentary: Probably most associated with the WAB rules because they feature so often in the photos, the Beastie Boys supply figures for many of the armies listed in WAB. The majority of their business is still based on the Early medieval ranges, though: the Normans, Vikings and Saxons as well as the El Cid-era Spanish and Moors, more lately the Byzantines.
Historical Accuracy: Five Good. The overall look is pretty good, and it compares favourably with reconstructions of Normans I'm aware of.
Pose Quality: Four Average. One or two of the poses are a little awkward, but the overall effect is good.
Sculpting: Four The figures have great character to them, mainly because of the style of sculpting, which suits the rather rough-hewn style of the period so well.
Casting: Five Good. There is minimal cleaning to be done, and the metal is a nice consistency, really easy to work with.
Sources: Items purchased for own collection.
Sculptors: The Pattens, lately Soapy.
Other reviews for this company: See the reviews:

Assorted additional images of the figures

Norman Cavalry, as delivered

Norman Cavalry, as delivered

Norman Horse, as delivered Norman Rider, as delivered

Norman Armoured Spearmen, as delivered

Norman Unarmoured Spearmen, as delivered

Norman Mercenaries, as delivered

Norman Crossbowmen, as delivered

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