Passing of the Old Guard?
Posted by Martin on March 7, 2008
I’ve been reflecting on making this post for several days now waiting for the right moment. To be more precise, I’ve been mulling it over since the day the Perry twins returned from their trip to New Zealand.
Foundry has released its first new French Napoleonic figures since Alan and Michael stopped working there. In one of life’s strange twists of fate, these figures happen to be chasseurs a pied of the Old Guard. Oops Foundry! The Perrys’ most recent addition to their French Napoleonic range also happens to be chasseurs a pied of the Old Guard. And now is the right moment for this posting because the Perrys have just added pictures of these figures to their site.
These releases from Foundry and the Perrys invite obvious comparison. Nah, who am I kidding? They scream to be compared. So, with a big covering caveat that I haven’t actually seen any of these figures in the metal, side by side to make a comparison, here some observations that immediately spring to mind.
First up, the extent of the release:
For Foundry, there appear to be seven packs, mostly comprising six figures (but some packs have fewer – for example a casualties pack where there is more lead in some of the castings of a wounded chasseur being supported by two colleagues). Note, I’m not counting the one pack of Old Guard foot artillery in this. By my reckoning, there are 18 distinct poses across the seven packs. For the Perrys, there are eight packs, each comprising six figures. Each pose seems to be unique – making a total of 48 – but the 12 march-attack poses show only minor variations.
For Foundry, there’s no specific pricing information for these packs yet. But the current price of an individual pack of Old Guard grenadiers in their existing range is UKP10. Again, caution is called for here because the number of figures in a pack may vary and Foundry offer discounts for bulk purchases. For the Perrys, their packs of chasseurs are currently UKP6 each. In both cases, P&P may also be a factor.
No contest. The Perrys look much better than the Foundry ones in the photos. There’s gonna be a huge scrum at Salute to buys packs of these at Dave Thomas’ stand. I for one can’t think of any reason why anybody would buy the Foundry figures rather than the Perry ones. Well, maybe one… If you’ve got an existing collection of Foundry figures and you want your new ones to be in keeping with them.
My parting thought here is whether this juxtaposition of new Foundry and Perry figures covering exactly the same subject matter is a portent. Does this signal the terminal demise of Foundry as a force in Napoleonic 28mm wargames figures? Has Foundry finally been eclipsed and are these chasseurs and the new Portugeuse figures the last flickering flames of a once-great empire? If so, how ironic that former Foundry sculptors are surpassing their old paymasters.