Befreiungskriege 1813-14

Painting and modelling 28mm Napoleonic wargaming miniatures

Decision time

Posted by Martin on October 2, 2012

Big news: after a lot of head scratching, reviewing all your comments and suggestions plus some deliberation with Peter F, I’ve finally settled on the theme for the BfK Limited Edition pack of figures. Equally big news, I want your opinions about the figure poses to use in the pack. So, after reading the rest of this post and the figure descriptions below, please cast your votes, choosing your favourite four figures from the list of six.

For a long time I had a mental block because there was no clear favourite emerging from all the possible options. It seemed that most of the ideas were liked by quite a few people. In one sense this was gratifying because it meant that I had tapped into everybody’s thoughts. The only trouble with that was it didn’t make the final decision any easier. The logjam finally burst when Peter F. pointed out that not all the figures need to follow the same theme. Until that point I had been fixated on all four figures being in the same vein. Once I had realised they could be split 2-2 or 3-1, new possibilities arose. Put simply, this means that I can satisfy more people by covering more than one theme in the same pack.

What I’ve come up with is an idea which I hope will work both as a coherent set of four figures but could also be split up into smaller groups if people wanted to paint and base them that way. I also think that this idea also meets some of the other criteria about avoiding things that’ll clash with the main Calpe range and that can actually be useful on the wargames table.

So here it is then: the theme for the pack is “Resting Behind The Guns”. But what, I hear you ask, does that actually mean?

It’s combination of the idea I had for a pack of ill-equipped Marie-Louises and the idea I had for an artillery crew doing something unusual. I also think that, in a way I hadn’t noticed until recently, this idea owes something to a Perry pack: FN20 “Infantry hired help for hauling guns, resting”. It will comprise a mix of infantry and artillery train figures and the intention is for the group to be flexible enough to be used in a variety of practical ways on the wargames table as well as work as a display piece. For example, the figures could be added singly, in pairs or more to enhance artillery bases; they could similarly be used to embellish command stands or used individually as unit status markers. And especially for those of you adopting the Republic to Empire rules, I envisage this pack being used on the bases that mark out the dead space behind an artillery battery.

The next step will be for Peter F. to start sculpting the figures alongside his planned programme for the remainder of 2012. But before that can begin in earnest, there’s one more decision to make. The pack will comprise four figures but, at the moment, I’ve got six ideas for figure poses:

  • Figure A: Standing Marie-Louise wearing a pokelem and greatcoat. My model for this figure is the chap on the left of the Knotel Band XII, Plate 24 in the brown greatcoat with the flaps of his pokelem down protecting his ears. I like the pose of his left arm over his musket holding his shako. I also like the detail of the cloth tied round the lock of his musket to keep it dry.
  • Figure B: Marie-Louise #2, again wearing a greatcoat but this time bare-headed. Instead of carrying a weapon, I envisage this chap holding a piece of artillery equipment (like a trailspike but it could be something more exotic like the worm/ladle combination tool illustrated in the Osprey Napoleon’s Guns book) horizontally across his front with both hands or perhaps holding it vertically propped on the ground and leaning on it to rest.
  • Figure C: A solider of the artillery train taking a drink from a water bottle.
  • Figure D: Soldier of the train #2: this one could be standing holding a coiled rope or horse whip or dragoon musket. There a quite a few clothing options to make the the two train soldiers distinct from each other: covered vs. uncovered shako, different trousers/breeches/overalls etc – the Rousselot plate about the artillery train shows all kinds of variations.
  • Figure E: Foot artillery drummer in Imperial livery standing with one foot resting on the rim of a drum on the ground in from of him.
  • Figure F: Light infantry chasseur, in Bardin uniform, standing with his musket smoking a pipe.

This list needs to be pruned down to a final four – and that’s where you guys come in. I’d like to get you comments and input on your favourites. Not to mention your votes in the poll at the top of this post. Now, there’s no guarantee that I will definitely go for the four most popular poses. As I said at the start of this project, this isn’t a democracy and my decision in final. I do have my own preferences but I also want to take into account your opinions before making a final selection.

I’m going to let this poll run into next week and then make my final selections. The main reason for this is quite exciting: Peter F. and I would like to aim to get these figures done in time for Christmas. Partly because that’s a nice thing to aim for but also because, dare I say it, that will fit well with Peter’s plans for the release of French artillery packs!


5 Responses to “Decision time”

  1. Rob Kenny said

    Frankly, I like them all, so I won’t be unhappy with any of the choices (as long as the drummer is one of them… It sounds like a fantastic model where Peter could really go to town). It’s also good news to think that the artillery is that close!

    Now if we can just get an announcement that the march attack French are ready for sale!


  2. Ralph said

    Damn! It only lets you vote once – One man Two votes I say!

  3. Jeffrey Smith said

    Any chance the artillery figures could be Prussian as well?

  4. Vote(s – there are 4 of them) cast.

    von Peter himself

  5. Burkhard said

    My favourite is the drummer. Simply because it is a mini rarely done for the artillery. Second comes the smoker. When reading wartime accounts by soldiers theough the ages the one thing that seems universal is smoking, so I have always had a soft spot for these kinds of minis (which are too rare).
    My least favourite os the one with the rope. The Perrys have a mini like that and I absolutely hated painting it. So I ambiased.

    All that being said… they would all be great!

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