So the figures are clean, now it's time to paint them. Now depending on what you want this is where Adler either come into their own or send you screaming for cover. Simply put the Adler figure is a thing of beauty. The poses are lifelike, the limbs proportioned and in the modern day the wobble heads a long forgotten memory. I have to say I love the Adler castings. The figures stand close inspection and look good from a distance. The line infantry tends to be just the one pose as is the Baccus but the cavalry have two poses per figure type making for a really nice base of eight to ten figures. It's often thought that Adler are taller than Baccus and I have to admit that was my view but as the three photo's used in this series shows in fact they are much the same though it's obvious Baccus lads like their pudding. No it's the cavalry that have the scale difference with Adler a hand or two taller which makes all the difference. Baccus have listened to comments and as ranges are remodelled the cavalry are on larger mounts. I have to admit though that the Adler don't stand out a great deal when on the table together and as such I won't have any issues mixing them together but not of course on the same base.
I think Adler on the one hand steal the show here and it's why they have so many fans and loyal customers. they do look like little people, the horses have great movement. Little things such as the pennants on the end of lances flutter with the charge. Men lean into the charge whilst the casualties to pardon the pun are worth dying for! Sorry. One word they are fluid.
Baccus aren't, well not anywhere near the extent that Adler are. They remind me of the 90's Essex 15mm figures. Again Baccus have sooo many fans, but from a aesthetics point of view I have to give it to Adler they have it nailed. Yes I want my Napoleonic regiments to be in formed ranks, I want them to have that en'mass look about them that we know Napoleonic armies are famous for. But at the same time I want them to stand up to a close look, I like the lines of cavalry to be more wave than ruler. I like a casualty to be somewhere in the line, I like a bit of character. Not that Baccus don't have this, they do but they are more the stiff Aunt than the bonkers Uncle and you know what I love them for that too.
On the other hand the idea of basing all the single bases of Adler does my head in. The thing is, all that individual character comes at a price and not to the wallet. I was surprised how close a price figure for figure Baccus and Adler are when you start talking pack sized purchases rather than at the lower numbers. No I am talking the enemy of all wargamers. Time, each and every Adler figure requires more time to paint that Baccus. That is for anyone other than the slap in on thick style of painted (not to be confused with Dr. Mikes system of painting). Not that big a deal on it's own but when you consider the extended prep time and also add in the equally longer basing time and from my personal experience, painting style and way of working I'd say three times as long to paint Adler over Baccus. That is a lot of lost production and if I fall behind on the Waterloo Project I will be subbing in a lot of Baccus to beat the deadline.
So Baccus are more grand scale than Adler, their infantry base up with ease in lines, especially the newer sculpted figures as the bases are flatter and lack the annoying rounded edges some of the older Baccus have. Whilst I like a bit of a wave I hated the column I based up recently, though the next one will base up better with lessons learned. I do think for cavalry Adler to this point win hands down, the mix of pose and that both companies require you to base the figures as singles means time wise Adler don't suffer from such a large time lag. Sure they take longer but not that much longer.
Baccus really score big when it comes to guns and limbers, the new style all in one carriages really are a great innovation and beat the hell out of how fiddly Adler guns are. But Generals are again the strong point of Adler with the wider mix of poses and increased detail.
At the end of the day though a lot comes down to what you want from your army. I think for the majority of the wargames who want to play it big Baccus probably get the bigger share of the market whilst the spend a month on a unit painter will be all over Adler. I suspect though their is a solid base of customers that use both and I say why not. I even think it's good to mix it up, OK bringing in Heroics and Ross and Irregular would be a disaster in the making but Adler and Baccus work well together but if I really HAD to choose just the one it would have to be Baccus, though I am happy to say that's not how it has to roll.
So no real conclusion other than I would go to both, order something you want to have a bash at and try BOTH. One or the other may float your boat, but if your lucky both will.