The three Ps
Posted by Martin on October 14, 2008
I’ve resisted the temptation to get involved in all the recent excitement about the Perry plastic Napoleonics (and an honourable mention for the Victrix ones too). After all, if you wanted hot off the press news about the recently released French infantry box and the “3-up” sculpts for the British infantry then there are plenty of other places on the Web where the news is already available and being discussed.
So why bother mentioning it now. Well, this quote from the horse’s mouth is the cause:
The box contains 42 infantry figures in campaign clothing (half in Bardin regulation short-tailed ‘habit-veste’ and half in greatcoats, all in overalls), unit bases to allow you to build units easily and quickly, 2 flags and uniform guides, and 37 additional heads for converting (these include Pokalems, damaged shakos, etc.).
In particular, that last bit about all those additional heads. That’s got me thinking about when the Calpe Saxons are finally available – will these plastic Perry French heads give me suitable raw material for a swathe of head-swap conversions to create truly individual battalions? The heads of the Perry metals are a little smaller and finer than the Calpe heads but the difference between these plastic heads and Peter F’s new style of heads he’s sculpted for the Saxons may prove to be only slight. Food for thought…
The third P is for paint. Specifically, Foundry’s new Napoleonic range. I’ve got to say I’m a little skeptical about this. How many of the colours are genuinely new ones? Austrain White vs. Arctic White anybody? And what about British Redcoat vs. Scarlet? It’s hard to tell without being able to compare them side by side in real life.
And I’m not happy with Foundry’s use of the word authentic to describe the range. I think that’s a bit naughty especially when they actually admit that:
In reality the exact shades of uniform colours varied, often within the same unit!
If you wrestle with the question of historically accurate shades for any length of time you soon realise that the key fact is that the dyes used in Napoleonic times were almost all organic rather than chemical in origin which led to tremendous variation and, crucially, heavy fading when subjected to the rigours of sun, rain and wind on campaign. So if you ever get bothered by a self-proclaimed expert who tells you the red facings on your Kurmark landwehr are the wrong colour, you know what to say!
Still, some of these Foundry colours do look nice – especially the greens. Although I’m not convinced that the French dragoons and chasseurs a cheval were clothed in different shades of green.