If you are just getting into the New Zealand Wars I recommend you choose one of the following three periods as the European figures required for each are different:
- 1840s Imperial Red Coats with muskets
- 1860s Imperial Blue Coats with rifles
- 1870s Armed Constabulary in the bush
My own figures are predominantly from the 15 mm Maori Wars range of Battle Line Miniatures. The figures were originally mastered by Military Miniatures, then distributed by Battle Front Miniatures, more recently by Wildly Inspired Miniatures, before a name change to Battle Line Miniatures. This range covers all three periods for the Europeans. Apparently some figures are no longer available.
The Battle Line Miniatures range includes:
NZ02 Maori with Hatchet
NZ15 Maori with Tupara
NZ16 Maori with Carbine
NZ17 Sub Chief with Mere
NZ18 Sub Chief with Hatchet
NZ21 Maori with Mere
NZ22 Maori with two handed Axe
NZ23 Maori with Musket
NZ24 “Friendly” Maori with Musket (he has a European style jacket and a bayonet fixed to his
NZ26 Rangatira with Spear
NZ29 Rangitira in European Clothes
NZ41 Hone Heke 1845
NZ43 Maori with with hatchet and Shotgun
This should fulfil most of your requirements. It is a bit tricky if you’re looking for a Cannon crew or mounted warriors.
Battle Line Miniatures have some aval Brigade figures – fine for 1840s or 1860s:
NZ08 Naval Brigade Command Set 2 figures
NZ10 Naval Ratings
NZ30 Naval rocket crew and Tube 1845
I used the Rocket Crew for artillery crew.
1840s Imperial Red Coats
1840s British wore Napoleonic style red shell jackets and a forage cap. Battle Line Miniatures only have a couple of 1840s Red Coats:
NZ27 Imperial Infantry 1845
NZ28 Imperial Officer 1845
If you can’t get theBattle Line Miniatures or you want some variety or you want some missing figure types (standard bearer or drummer), there are a number of options using figures from the Indian Mutiny, Crimean War, the Sikh Wars, and the US-Mexican War: Couple of warnings:
- British Other Ranks should have a forage cap, not a shako. Crimean War figures often come with a Shako, but it is possible to find some with a forage cap. Indian War figures will often have a cover over their head gear including a neck flap – very inappropriate for NZ.
- British Officers are a little easier to find. In place of the forage cap they wore a peaked cap worn in many 19th Century armies. Crimean War or Indian Mutiny might reveal such chaps, but so would US Mexican War – the US troops all had the peaked cap.
Some alternative ranges to consider:
- Dixon do a Indian Mutiny range. They are tall and skinny. The figures all come with cap covers with neck flaps (bad) except the tall, skinny drummer boy who has the right forage cap. But he is so tall and skinny that he is incompatible with other ranges. .
- My mate Roland tells me that Rank and File (from Awesome Enterprises) do some nice figures and have a good selection of figures that could be used. They are a bit tall and skinny but have good detail.
- Minifigs do a Crimean range. I can’t say if the men have an option for forage caps. The command figures lack the appropriate peaked cap. .
- Frei Korps – now owned by QRF – have a US-Mexican War range. I haven’t seen any of these but you could almost certainly pick up some command figures from this range. If you’re not so fussy on the forage cap then the Other Ranks would work as well.
- Feudal Castings – now owned by
QRF – have a Sikh War/Indian Mutiny range (1840s) with a couple of useful packs:
SM.9 British Infantry Command, Peaked Forage Cap
SM.10 British infantry advancing, peaked forage cap.
Of these, Feudal Castings could be used as a complete replacement for the Battle Line Miniatures range. If I’d found them earlier I would have used them instead.
1860s Imperial Blue Coats
As far as I can tell 1860s British looked completely different to any other British troops of any period. They were issued a new, locally made, uniform when they arrived in NZ. This was blue with a different type of forage cap to the 1840s guys and a loose jacket.
Battle Line Miniatures have quite a few figures in their1860s range. The Imperial Blue coats are well represented: :
NZ01 Imperial Infantry Advancing
NZ03 Imperial Infantry Advancing Blanket Roll
NZ04 Imperial Infantry Charging
NZ05 Imperial Infantry Charging Blanket Roll
NZ06 Imperial Infantry officer
NZ07 Imperial Staff Officer Umbrella
NZ11 Imperial Artillery Crew 3 Figures
NZ34 Mounted Officer
NZCA01 Six pound Armstrong Gun
NZCA02 Twelve Pound Armstrong Gun
NZCA03 Coehorn Mortar and two Crew
The Colonials wore a similar style of uniform.
NZ19 Forest Ranger
NZ20 Forest Ranger Officer
NZ29 Colonial Militiaman
NZ33 Colonial Defence Force Trooper
NZ36 Auckland Volunteer Militiaman
1870s Armed Constabulary
By the 1870s the Imperial troops had left NZ, leaving the fighting to the locally raised Armed Constabulary. These guys adopted blue uniforms along the lines of the departing Imperials, but some adopted the Maori blanket shawl/kilt when campaigning in the bush.
Battle Line Miniatures 1870s range includes: :
NZ35 Armed Constabulary Trooper Late
NZ37 Arawa Flying Column
NZ38 Armed Constabulary Trooper Shawl and Soft Hat
NZ40 Armed Constabulary Officer
Civilians and such like
Battle Line Miniatures have a couple of extra figures:
NZ14 Settler with Musket
NZCA07 Pair of Oxen
For armed settlers I threw in some Frei Korp – now owned by QRF – ACW militia types, and I think I used Frei Korp for my unarmed Settlers as well (they have some fine women, children, banjo players and drunks – all suitable as defenceless citizens).
ACW46 Home Guard Militia, mixed
I imagine that the volunteers from the Frei Korps US-Mexican War range would also serve for Armed Civilians (apparently they come with a broad brimmed hat).
M.Y. Miniatures has 15mm Maori in their Dark Age range – apparently former Table Top figures. I’ve got a few but haven’t painted any up. they good but smaller than the Battle Line range.
Apparently Evil Gong does bags of 24 Maori with various weapons, although I’ve never seen these advertised. Their web site is gone but I believe you can contact the owner, Dave Brown, at this email address: dfmbrown at mpx.com.au. I believe they are the same or overlapping figures with M.Y. Miniatures.
Irregular Miniatures also has a small 15mm Maori collection. I’m not a fan of the Irregular style, but they usually paint up alright.
Blue Moon Miniatures
Blue Moon Miniatures has some figures that would make a useful addition to a Maori Wars collection. Basically colourful civilian types. You’ll find them in their Deep Dark Africa and American Civil War ranges. Also available from Old Glory UK: 15mm Blue Moon.
15ACW-93 Forge and Battery Wagons
I like it because of the blacksmith and assistants.
15ACW-94 Sutlers Wagon
Aside from the wagon there are also some civilian figures on foot – two women and three men. These might be suitable as missionaries if you don’t go whole hog on pack 15DDA-117.
15DDA-115 Tribesmen in Canoes
4 canoes and 12 figures per pack. The canoes are small by Maori standards but still useful for HOTT style Water Lurkers
15DDA-117 Missionaries, Explorers, Victims and other White Folks
Great for novelty. There are 24 figures in the pack. They range from very useful (e.g. missionaries), through useful (e.g. armed civilians), through not useful (e.g. the handful of figures in pith helmets). The victim inside the big cooking pot falls into the not very useful pile but could be seen as symbolic of the cannibalistic nature of early Maori warfare.
25/28 mm Figures
If you’re into 25/28 mm then have a look at