Befreiungskriege 1813-14

Painting and modelling 28mm Napoleonic wargaming miniatures

Perry Plastic Prussians

Posted by Martin on August 27, 2010

3-ups of Perry plastic Prussian musketeers/grenadiers.

3-ups of Perry plastic Prussian musketeers/grenadiers.

I knew it would happen eventually.

The Perrys have announced the start of their 1815 Prussian range and it’s going to include at least one box of plastics that’ll contain enough bits and bobs to make up 40 musketeers or grenadiers and six volunteer jagers.

The photos released so far show the “3-up” masters and while these look promising, it’s notoriously difficult to tell just how good a figure is until you get it in your hot little hands. And I guess the question on most BfKer’s lips will be about how this range will compare to the Calpe range. As most of you know, I’m not an impartial observer when it comes to that question, so I’m going to keep my own counsel until I can actually inspect the figures in real life other than one passing observation: the greatcoat rolls look a bit undernourished to me.

In the meantime, I’d like to draw your attention to a number of specific comments from the Perrys…

Firstly, they say that they’ll be making the command frame (i.e. the sprue that holders the officer, drummer, standard bearer and NCO figures) available separately. That’s a smart move. It means that wargamers who play at figure ratios other than 20:1 will be able to make up more than one battalion from a single box and not have to buy another whole box or a more expensive metal command figures pack just to get the additional command figures they need.

Secondly, there’s the comment that a metal conversion pack will be available to make the plastic musketeer/grenadier figures into fusiliers. It’ll be interesting to see precisely what gets included in that pack and how historically accurate it will be. Among other things to look out for will be the fact that musketeers should be clean-shaven while fusiliers could grow moustaches; fusilier cartridge cases bore no oval metal plates; and the side arm issued to fusiliers was a straight-bladed weapon while musketeers carried a short sabre. I’m inwardly smiling at the idea of a conversion pack containing 40 little white metal moustaches 🙂

Thirdly, there’s the prospect of a range of metal figures to go alongside these plastics. I wonder what’s going to be in that and how extensive it’ll be. This is, of course, the point where the comparison with the Calpe range will come into sharpest relief.

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20 Responses to “Perry Plastic Prussians”

  1. Keir said

    Yes, I was concerned to see this development as well. There’s nothing really particular to be said, as people are free to do whatever they like in the realms of regular commerce and the miniature industry is no exception.

    On the other hand, I’d hate to see Calpe negatively impacted here. Peter has already left off the French IIRC due to the Perry’s endeavours and my world is the porrer for it.

    I’m certainly going to stick with Calpe for all of the choices the Perrys are offering so far and more besides. However, if they beat Peter to the later Cuirassiers I may well wrestle mightily before going the Perry route on that.

    One final thought. I have yet to understand the mystery of Prussion Guard infantry in the 1813-15 period. I believe such formations existed yet peter makes no mention of them, and they do not appear to be expressly offered anywhere.

    Did they exist? If yes, can I use any of Peter’s present range to put them on the tabletop? If no, is there a chance that they will be sculpted?

    Keir

    • Martin said

      Yes, there were Guard infantry units (as well as cavalry and artillery). Peter F’s recently announced that he has plans to do the Guard infantry towards the end of 2011.

      • Jim Pitts said

        Keir,

        In 1813, the Prussian Guard fought with the Army of Bohemia after the Armistice. I think they were also there in the 1814 campaign. In 1815 they were still in Germany and didn’t make it to the Waterloo area.

        Jim

  2. Burkhard said

    I do not think it is a bad thing. Plastics are what got me to finally start playing (or at the moment it is rather painting) Nappies.
    I am a sucker for diversity though, so I will always buy metal minis to beef things up, which in my case usually menas vast numbers. So as long as they match Calpes minis and are historically correct, I can only love this release. In fact seeing the anouncement made my day… and made me want to start painting those Calpe minis I have sitting around! And that at a time when I only have a Btln. of French completely painted! :-/

    Cheers,

    Burkhard

  3. Ralph said

    Yes I agree with Burkhard. This needn’t be a zero sum game, its entirely possible that these two new plastics ranges (Yes Warlord Games have announced Plastic LandWehr for October) will increase Peter’s orders as more people take the plunge into a ‘late-war’ Prussian Army and flesh out their units with the huge variety and quality that Calpe offer. Interesting times for 28millers!

    Kind Regards,

    Ralph

  4. Richard Jackson said

    I hope that these figures and the new Warlord Games plastic Prussian Landwehr will actually increase sales of Calpe.
    More people will be tempted into 28mm later Prussians as a result of the cheaper plastic figures and then after building a few units they will want the greater variety that Calpe provide
    Good times to be a Napoleonic wargamer

  5. Keir said

    Well, lot’s of people believe that competition is the best thing for a business, but that presumes that all businesses are profit seeking concerns with an interest in a competitive environment.

    As far as the notion of of Calpe buy-in following an interest piqued by Perry Miniatures, I’m sure it will occur, but not invariably. The price point is going to be miles apart, and that in a market where plastic is becoming the norm and (given that the Perry greens are three-ups) the figures may well not be that compatible…Peter has a very distinctive style, and it does not bear much in common with the current Perrys’ sculpting style to my mind. I’m having difficulty matching Victrix with Perry French at the moment. Calpe Prussians wouldn’t match either.

    Anyways, it’s a conversation.

  6. Doc said

    Damn! Just when I thought I’d overcome my plastic addiction (so recently fueled by the Perry’s French Hussars) they go and do this! I’d been harassing them to make a plastic set of ‘Polish’ lancers for ages (well, pleading actually) so they ended up doing them in metal (damn!) but now Prussian figures… I suppose I’ll have to start another army (Gott Im Himmel!)

    Seriously, Calpe are such beautiful figures that already have a following, I don’t know if the new Perry’s will take the market away from them. As others have said, it will more likely have a beneficial effect of getting more collectors into the hobby. regardless of personal taste, plastic figures (which will be historically accurate and beautifully sculpted) create an affordable gateway into the hobby.

    Cheers,
    Doc

  7. Keir said

    Hi,

    I’m not criticizing plastic. The differences are price point and style. Both differences are significant.

    Keir

  8. Giles said

    It’s undoubtedly the case that plastics are the future for 25mm Napoleonic rank and file. Within a couple of years we will (if announced plans from various comapnies are anything to go by) have plastic boxes for the major participants’ infantry and, in some case, cavalry. I think that can only be a good thing – variety is the spice of life for wargaming just as it is in everything else. Given that the Perries seem determined to create the most in-depth 1815 range ever, it seems a sure bet that their accompanying metal range will be pretty comprehensive. How it stacks up against Calpe for accuracy remains to be seen, of course.

    I’m intrigued by Warlord’s announcement, which appears to indicate some kind of joint venture (or perhaps non-competition agreement would be more accurate 🙂 )between Warlord and Perry. I find it a bit odd that the Perries would “share” a range this way. Warlord’s announcement refers to metal figures in support and further plastics, so it’s not at all clear what bits of the Prussian army will be covered by the Perries and which bits by Warlord. I don’t know enough about the Prussian army of 1815 to know whether the Perries could leave landwehr to Warlord and still have in their own range everything you’d need for the Prussians at Waterloo. A more immediate concern is whether the Warlord and Perry figures are compatible in size. One would assume so, given the joint nature of the range, but Warlord’s releases to date are noticeably smaller than Perry figures.

    Best wishes

    Giles

    • Martin said

      At present, I don’t subscribe to the view that there is some sort of mutually convenient arrangement between the Perrys and Warlord – but next time I bump into the twins, I’ll ask them just in case.

      I can see how allowing people to believe there is such an arrangement would suit Warlord because they would be able to bask in the reflected glory of the Perrys’ reputation. But I just don’t see how the Perrys would benefit from it. The twins are easily productive and prolific enough to scuplt their own Landwehr plus the Landwehr made up a significant percentage of the Prussian 1815 army – so why give away that revenue opportunity? Also, let’s be frank, the Warlord figures simply aren’t in the same league quality-wise as the Perry sculpts, so why would the twins let lesser figures tarnish their image?

      Nope this theory doesn’t stack up for me.

      • Giles said

        Martin, you’re forgetting the Nottingham connection. Stallard, Sawyer and the Perries are old friends and regular gaming partners. I would be extremely surprised if both Warlord and the Perries were working on the same army, in plastic, at the same time, tooled by the same people without each other knowing about it. Also, it has been noted before that the Perries tend not to encroach on periods which their mates are working on; Paul Sawyer said on the Warlord forum that he and the Perries would be releasing different figures. Finally, Warlord are one of the distributors of Perry plastics, so why go out of their way to compete against their own suppliers? Perry Miniatures’s revenue is already doing very nicely, and I can see how the Perries may have been prepared to let Warlord in on some of the plastic Naps action, if only for a limited time.

        There may not be anything as formal as an agreement, but I’ll wager money on no landwehr appearing from the Perries in the forseeable future. I’m happy to eat my hat, and as I said above I find the whole thing a bit odd. But it’s clear to me that this is far more than coincidence.

        • Richard Jackson said

          What I dont think will happen is that the 2 companies will make competing plastic figures.
          The volume sales that they are hoping to achieve( based on price ) for plastics may be followed by competing metal figures-so Perrys may do metal landwehr down the line but if a gamers main driver is the volume /price of plastic figure then we will be faced with a choice of Warlord for Landwehr and Perrys for Line as a Prussian army needs lots of both,arguably more of the former than the latter

  9. Gaz said

    I think it’ll be question of figure style and the idleness of many when it comes to figure assembly. I don’t think there’s too much to worry about. Front Rank and, say, Elite both sell well and are totally different styles of figures. Calpe are the acknowledged gold standard for accuracy so, as they cater for real enthusiasts I can’t see their turnover being affected. Nobody covers the range or variety of figures.
    Me? Oh I’m well away from Prussians yet. My years of 15mil have left me with a long way to go in 28mil until I get those boys on the field. I’m still threatening to paint some Dutch Belgian militia I bought about four years ago . . . .

  10. Rob said

    For me this is nothing but good news… the Perry Prussians will entice me to add an allied brigade to my Perry 1815 british while the new Calpe models will still make their way into my 1813 army that is 100% calpe. And, frankly, the more personality figures I get from either the perrys or Peter the better. Can’t wait to see both produce a Blucher.

    As for the Warlord plastics, not interested at all really. While I like to save money as much as the next guy (and my wife would rather I liked to save money MORE than the next guy) the quality in these samples just isn’t there. I paint so slowly that i have to like the model I’m painting and for me, these just don’t cut it.

    Rob

  11. Chris said

    I,d have to agree that the quality of the Warlords figures appear somewhat lacking in comparison, yet anything that draws others based on cost or otherwise into the Napoleonic era at this day and time is a good thing. Although I love the quality of the Calpe figures I always held off a bit due to the fact that they just didn’t cover the period I was interested in at the time. However, times have indeed changed and an order to Calpe will indeed be forthcoming! Perhaps, as mentioned in a previous thread competition breads strange bedfellows.

  12. Neil said

    They just won’t match up to Calpe so their not of any interest to me. The only good to come out of this is if we get some more love for the Prussians from publishers etc. But since we’ve had your great article in Wargames Illustrated already this might be wishful thinking.

  13. Giles said

    There are lots more photos of the “3-ups” on the Perry wbesite now. You need to go to the “plastics workbench” section. Close-ups of the uniforms and heads etc.

    Giles

  14. Simon Boulton said

    One advantage with the Perry and Warlord plastics is the ease of getting hold of them, I live in Derby and there are three shops within about thirty minutes that stock them, two more that are within about forty five minutes. Whilst having to order figures by mail order isn’t a big hassle, it is nice to be able to pop into a shop and pick them up there and then.

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