Friday, 3 May 2013

Quick Review: Swedish Skirmish set for 'By Fire & Sword'

UPDATE 19/5/2013: Problems mentioned below now fixed and I give the set 9/10

My eagerly awaited Swedish skirmish set for 'By Fire & Sword' arrived from Nothstar yesterday morning so as promised here's a quick review.

The models come in a colourful box with a large photo of the box's contents on the cover. The rear of the box has a list of the contents with some nice historical background for the units it contains.

Inside the box are two cardboard boxes containing the figures separated into plastic bags with foam padding top and bottom.

The set includes the figures, nice pre-cut metal bases and a sheet of flags. Everything you need to get going. I particularly liked the separate brass spear/lance for the standard bearer as it's top is pre-ground to a nice shiny point.

The figures themselves are ok. There's a nice mix of figure poses and horses and the detail is about the same standard as Essex miniatures. But, and it's a big but, every figure had a heavy mould line round it and I mean every figure. I've been buying figures for nearly fifty years and these have to be the worst batch I've ever had. We've all had the odd figure in a batch with excess flash or a thick mould line but not on every figure. The photos below give you some idea what I'm talking about. I don't know if all their figures are like this or the moulds need replacing or their quality control is just rubbish. But it's going to take me hours if not days to clean off the heavy mould lines on these figures. If I'd bought them locally I'd be returning them to the shop.

Overall I'm incredibly disappointed. I like the idea of the all-in-one pack and I think it's well executed with the flags and bases etc, and I'm looking forward to getting the rules which sound great. But the castings are just atrocious. If they were ok I'd give it 9/10 but as it is it's at best a 2/10. I was going to buy extra figures from them to bulk up my skirmish force to division and probably buy at least one more faction but I can't see that happening now, which is a shame. It looks like I'll be getting my figures from other manufacturers if I decide to expand on my forces.


  1. Hi Ferb,
    Shame about the figures, sounds like you had a bad batch. I would send them back to Northstar and ask for a replacement or at least see what they say.

    I recently bought 2 box of Janniseries and a box of winged lancers. All sculpt were fine with Lille or no flash.

    I would definitely give Northsatr a call

    1. I thought about that but it's too much hassle, plus not really Northstar's fault.

  2. Ferb
    We're really sorry to hear that Your miniatures are not up to high standard that You expected. If You can send us Your details (name and address) to: or we will send You new Swedish Skirmish set, mould line-free of course.

    With sincere apology
    Michał 'Kadrinazi' Paradowski
    By Fire and Sword team

  3. Good to see the manufacturer stepping up. Sounds like the skirmish sets are nice starter boxes.

    1. Yes a nice change from companies like GW. The skirmish sets are a good way to get started. In fact that level of play is the most popular in Poland.

  4. I recently received a dodgy skirmish set, very much like yours. It's not the first time I have had issues with their miniatures. I contacted the company and was sent a few replacements, nowhere near enough to replace what was sub standard, two of the horse had missing tails and all of the horses lean over so badly that they won't stand up on their own.

    1. I'm sorry to hear that, my replacement box was fine. But their quality control could use some work.


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