I see. Well, what I’m looking to do is basically have more artistic / detailed game pieces and not use the original. It doesn’t have to be exact matches I suppose, I was just wondering if people do this and if so how they go about it? I see the game as more like pieces of art, and I just wanted the pieces to look pretty, does that make sense?
Most folks on the forum who want to give their A&A game pieces a major artistic upgrade do so by painting the ones in the box, without replacing them by other sculpts. As you’ll see from some of the painting threads on this forum, the results can be extremely impressive. Some folks also paint non-OOB sculpts, either as supplementary special units or as case-by-case replacements for certain OOB units.
As far as I’m aware, however, it’s not a common strategy (if it’s even been done at all) to want to replace every single sculpt for every single nation before painting them, and to work from the principle that the highest priority is to find sculpts which are highly detailed, while giving a lower priority to the question of whether or not the new sculpts actually correspond to what the units are supposed to be. The kind of detail that, let’s say, you might find in microminiature metal castings rather than plastic injection-molded sculpts. It’s a valid choice to make on a personal level, even if it’s not a typical one, but it potentially raises the problem of whether you might end up with a beautifully detailed, exquisitely painted set of A&A variant sculpts that the other players you play with might have trouble using because they don’t recognize the units. To use a chess analogy: there are chess sets out there that are fabulously ornate works of art, but which are impractical for play because the pieces are not necessarily easy to identify. That’s the reason why official chess tournaments are played with plain, simple, rigourously standardized chessmen: so that the players don’t have to waste any mental energy trying to figure out what each piece is supposed to represent.