Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Vaubanner Flags - a review

I recently made a purchase of some flags for my SYW project from Vaubanner in Canada. Since I haven't seen much of them on TMP (it was a sort of sight unseen buy for me) and people on this side of the Atlantic at least may not have had the opportunity to see them, I thought I'd post a quick review for you.

The complete order

When I started my SYW project the first the around, I cast around in the hope of finding a manufacturer who would be able to supply me with everything I need for both sides. My first stop for flags, GMB, has an incomplete SYW range, and I don't think it's likely to be filled out any time soon.  I did make enquiries about whether more flags would be done, but Grahame Black let me know that it wasn't likely in the near future. It was the same problem at Maverick, and while Stuart is exceptionally quick to respond to customer requests, I didn't really know how long it might take him to do everything I needed. I discovered that the Flag Dude, though, has a very comprehensive range, so I bought just a few of his excellent flags to get me started. Shortly thereafter, however, I got seriously sidetracked, and the project got put on the back-burner.

This time around, when starting again, I re-examined all my plans, and decided to take a look at the flags again. I wasn't unsatisfied with what I had, but I stumbled cross a couple of threads on TMP about this company I had never heard of before, Vaubanner, out of Canada. There were a few, indistinct, pictures, but there was a lot of praise, and most importantly a complete range, so I decided to take the plunge and order everything I'd need in one go. Brian Homenic, the owner of Vaubanner, was polite and easy to deal with and even registered the delivery for me for just a few extra C$s. 2 weeks later an envelope arrived, sans duty (hooray!), and I got my mitts on what can only be described as miniature works of art. I'll let the pictures do the talking...

Here are the Prussian flags, with a couple of Foundry figures to give you an idea of the scale of them. The fantastic detail is absolutely clear.

The Prussian flags

Below are the Russian flags I purchased, along with a couple of other flags from other manufacturers for comparison.

The Russian flags

The red French Napoleonic 3rd battalion flag on the left  is by GMB. I have a lot of GMB flags and I love them; they are a sort of gold standard for a lot of people I think. Here you can see the difference between Grahame's and Brian's flags. While the GMB flags tend to have shading worked into the design, you can see that this is not the case with the Vaubanner ones. On the other hand, the colour saturation of the Vaubanner flags is amazing, much higher than the GMB one. I really like the look.

On the right is an instantly recognisable flag from Rick, the Flag Dude.  Rick's flags come prepared already on the flag staff, with finials  and ready to go. They are also a lot larger than the flags from Vaubanner, as can be seen above. All of these things score points for the Flag Dude in my eyes. Some people may not like the animation he gets into his flags, but I love it. I'm also in favour of oversized flags - I want them to be seen not hidden away. And any work done by someone else is work I don't have to do, so it's all good.

Why then have I decided to swap and go with Vaubanner flags for my SYW project? Quite simply, the beauty of these flags is the main reason. The print quality from Vaubanner is just outstanding, and the difference is noticeable.  I also found a few discrepancies between the Flag Dude flags I received a while back and my (admittedly very limited) sources. Finally, while the Flag Dude range is undoubtedly less work, I can put flags on poles and paint finials myself, although I admit that I have yet to get anywhere close to the motion that Rick captures in his flags. That's something to work on. The only regret I have is the smaller size (the Russian cuirassier colours are tiny!), but I know that's in line with what they should be - I just like large flags.

I hope this has been of use to someone. If you're vacillating over which flags to get for your own SYW troops, don't! Order up some of these little beauties. You won't regret it.


  1. The flags do look very nice and are miles better than the Flag dude's, I just don't see the fuss about his flags????