Befreiungskriege 1813-14

Painting and modelling 28mm Napoleonic wargaming miniatures

Posts Tagged ‘plastic’

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.

Posted in Forward Patrol | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

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.

Posted in Forward Patrol | Tagged: , , | 20 Comments »

Brief bedtime note

Posted by Martin on April 7, 2009

My head swap / conversion of a Perry French plastic officer got me motivated to move on with the next stage of my experimental study for the Saxons. I’ve stated painting the little chap as a Saxon musketeer officer after finally making some colour decisions.

Most other armies of the period have plenty of blue, red and green in their uniforms but not many boast the opportunity for yellow (especially in combination with light blue). So I’ve decided to paint this study as an officer of one of the two 1813 Saxon infantry units that had yellow as their regimental colour – i.e. the Prinz Maximillian and von Rechten regiments. This means I’ll be doing a light blue surtout with yellow collar and cuffs plus yellow piping on the turnbacks.

But, as usual, I’ve started with the head. Now that I’ve had a chance to put paint to plastic, I’m convinced that the faces (and heads in general) on the Perry plastics are better than on their metals. This one’s got a nice expressive face with the mouth open as if shouting a command that lent itself to easy paintwork. Plus the bonus of an unsual covered shako that has what looks like a nasty sabre slash in it. The pom-pom is the exact same size as on the the Calpe Saxons and gave me a good chance to practice how I’m going to paint these correctly with the bottom half white and the top half in the regimental colour.

For the yellow I went for a Flat Earth (V983) basecoat followed by Ochre Brown (V856), then Flat Yellow (V953) and lastly Lemon Yellow (V952). A slight change from my previous yellow palette to give me greater contrast from basecoat to final highlight. White is a colour where I’m hoping to find a new, less harsh palette. This time I’m experimenting with a Light Grey (V990) basecoat and working through Sky Grey (V989) and White Grey (V993) to White (V951). It seems to have worked well but that’s possibly a bit presumptive when we’re talking about a total area the size of half a pom-pom! The real test of this palette will come when I get to the trousers.

Anyway, head, cuffs and collars all done – next stop the piping on the turnbacks with some painting technique observations for Von Peter Jnr. And I’ll try to take a half-decent photo or two to illustrate what I’m doing in this study.

Posted in On the Workbench, Paint and Equipment, Saxon Musketeers | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »