Befreiungskriege 1813-14

Painting and modelling 28mm Napoleonic wargaming miniatures

More plastic Prussians

Posted by Martin on August 28, 2010

Warlord Games plastic Prussian landwehr.

Warlord Games plastic Prussian landwehr.

When the Perrys announced their new forthcoming plastic Prussian figures earlier in the week, there was a cryptic joke about how plastic Prussian ranges were like buses – you wait for ages for one to turn up and then two arrive at once. It turns out there is to be another plastic Prussian range – it’s been announced by Warlord Games who are also based in Nottingham. These facts plus the way that the Warlord announcement mentions the Perrys’ range has enouraged some people to add two and two to make a number that, in my opinion, is much bigger than four by implying that there is some mutually convenient arrangement here.

But all that is speculation. There is one area, where we can actually look at hard evidence because the Warlord website includes several photos of their new plastic Prussian Landwehr painted up. Now, the photos of the Perrys 3-up Prussian greens make it difficult to judge the quality of the figures. Yet, in photographing painted versions of their range, Warlord has made them much easier to assess without having the little chaps in my hot little hands. And, yes, the caveat that I haven’t actually seen these figures in the flesh does apply to my following comments but I don’t think I’m going out of a limb here.

Firstly, it’s plain to see that these Warlord figures are not scuplted to the same quality or anatomical accuracy as Perry plastics. Just look at the size of those hands and the lack of definition on things like the shoulderstraps, the Landwehr cross on the cap, the axe and the waterbottle if you need evidence. Secondly, there are problems with historical attention to detail. Why does the figure I’ve shown above have a rolled up blanket attached to his backpack while simultaneously wearing a blanket roll bandolier-fashion? That doesn’t make sense. And what about that backpack? It looks like a standard line infantry issue hide backpack, not the canvas variety normally carried by the Landwehr. The profile of the cap looks wrong to me, as does the collar plus there’s a button on the cuff which is atypical.

Now, given the supply difficulties faced by the Prussians, I can accept that there were variations in equipment and some number of Landwehrmen would have had items that were out of the ordinary, Plus, some of these examples are indeed shown in plates by Knötel and other expert illustrators. My issue is that all of the pictured Warlord figures seem to have the same unusual combinations of equipment.

So while I’m interested to see how the Perry plastic Prussians will compare with my beloved Calpe figures I’m already confident that I know what the outcome would be of a face-off between Calpe and Warlord Landwehr figures.

4 Responses to “More plastic Prussians”

  1. djoker40 said

    It’s always been my intention to finish a division of French (based for Lasalle) before doing anything else, but all these Prussians are really making me think otherwise. Some really great, inexpensive stuff soming out. Definately a good time to get into 28mm Napoleonic painting and wargaming.


  2. Robert said

    If I already had the core of a Prussian collection, and I wanted to add a battalion of Landwehr, I’d unhesitatingly take the Calpe route. Looking at the Warlord Landwehr side-by-side with a Calpe equivalent, it is indeed no contest.

    But I’ve been thinking long and hard about this, and I feel these plastics by Warlord- and particularly those from Perry Miniatures- have their place and are a very welcome and practical development. There are some undeniable benefits to using the plastics that for many people may well trump any accuracy issues.

    For someone starting out with limited funds, and who may or may not have much knowledge of the minutiae of Napoleonics, the cost and availability of plastics may mean the difference between taking the plunge into buying a Napoleonic army, or not getting into Napoleonics at all.

    This has certainly been the case locally for our club. There is also the weight difference, an important factor for those here who have to lug their wargames figures collection back and forth from the club.

    A year or so back I was going to get myself a Prussian brigade using Calpe miniatures to complement my 1813 Russians and to take on my French. I like a 1:20 ratio for my units, which means a lot of miniatures. Doing the math- and factoring in postage to Japan- I realized that it would be an expensive undertaking, given the other projects I had on the go as well. Too expensive, especially at a time when the economy was on the skids and caution was called for. As a result, I put the whole project on hold indefinitely.

    Accuracy has always been important to me. I’m knowledgeable about the period, and I consider myself a good painter who cares about such things. But as time goes by I have been coming to the conclusion that compromises sometimes need to be made. It takes time to get a force to “critical mass” so that it can be ready for the tabletop. Now that the plastic Prussians are imminent, I’m encouraged to take the plunge again knowing that I can build up the numbers needed cheaply with plastics- and not feel too guilty about giving them a basic paint job! That means being able to get miniatures painted within a reasonable amount of time for the gaming table.

    And speaking for myself, in recent years I have been getting frustrated by being able to get only a relatively few, well-sculpted and painted figures done, when what I really want is to enjoy the spectacle of shoving completed battalions and brigades. Plastics mean that this is now a possibility.

    So I’m happy with the prospect of having the plastics available to work on, and will forgive lapses in accuracy if it means I can quickly get myself a Prussian brigade in the numbers we want to play with. Now, this doesn’t mean turning my back on Calpe. I want units of Calpe miniatures. Favoured regiments will, of course, be in metal-Calpe Hussars, jagers, and fusiliers to start with. And I could always sell off the plastics later and upgrade with metal models later should I feel so inclined.

    But if the plastics had not come on to the scene, the Prussians would still be a pipe dream.

  3. Phil said

    these look pretty weak.

  4. K. Weissi said

    “So while I’m interested to see how the Perry plastic Prussians will compare with my beloved Calpe figures I’m already confident that I know what the outcome would be of a face-off between Calpe and Warlord Landwehr figures.”

    My thoughts exactly.

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