These resin castings, sculpted by Alan Ball, come three to a zip lock bag with card having a photo of a bobwhite and some company information. A small chunk of Styrofoam keeps the birds safe. Detail is naturally pretty simple on these tiny items, however, the wings show a great deal of detail. The enlarged pictures show some tiny casting flaws or air holes, but these would either disappear when painted or would be an easy fix.
There are three poses, wings raised, flat and with a slightly downward turn at the tips. Therein lies my only complaint. Quality control at packaging seems to be something less than 100%. I bought two packs recently, one had only two poses and the other had all three poses, but four birds. Okay, the extra bird made up for the missing pose, but that doesn’t help the next guy who only gets one or two of the styles.
While this is sold as flying quail, a quick bit of research on my Peterson’ North American birds CD-ROM shows this could be any number of birds from many areas, including grouse, quail, bobwhite, partridge or ptarmigan in the more arctic areas. For people modeling a European scene, this could represent a partridge which is an introduced species in North America. Most of the illustrations of these birds in flight show the crest is down, so the one need not attempt adding them. A bit of work on the tail and correct painting could also represent the ubiquitous pigeon.
Minié Ball’s Flying Quail are available from Military Miniatures Warehouse
at $3.49 a pack.