Friday, 7 February 2014

Story of red tails: modeling with plastics

Overheard between two miniatures wargamers: "Those are very nice figures." "Thank you",says the second wargamer, "the new plastics are beautiful aren't they"  "Oh", says the first,"well, for plastics, anyway"

Wargamers seem to have a liking for, or contempt of plastics. Frankly, once sitting on the table, can the difference be seen other than perhaps the better proportions.  While I am not a great fan of the 1:72 scale boys, the hard plastics coming out now by Victrix, Warlord and certainly the current Perry productions offer good value and a great opportunity for the modeler to have, um, fun.

While all the units I have been creating are offered in metal, I want the light weight for transport.  OK I must admit that I have fun creating different units from the bits at hand.  For example the 6th Dutch Hussars I decided to make from the Perry British Hussars. No problem all hussars look the same.  Yeah, OK the equipment is a bit off, but no one will care. I will not have the elegant saddle cloth but hey, this is campaigning is it not?  The covered shako which is often portrayed for this unit, can be from the French bits box, so no worries there.  So as I am gluing the horses together, I notice the 'docked' horse tails!  I forgot the British cavalry still cut off half the tails of their horses.  But the Dutch did not. Oh, darn.  However I remembered I had some plastic fantasy horses and so the cutting and gluing continued.

While they look a bit odd now , once primered and painted, they will certainly play the part.

Other particularly interesting mixes are:

Dutch Jagers who have Perry British bodies suitably shaved of the button lace, with added French packs but British canteens ,an Austrian shako with all the big cockade and stuff removed and with a British shako plume added.  As you can see from the white limbs of the photo Victrix French arms were used as they have the necessary cuff flaps.  Being ex-French, the Dutch might still have a stock of Charville muskets, right?.....
The entire British 52nd regiment had all shoulder 'wings' of the flanker companies.  I so happened to have the large box of Victrix Highland Flank Company with lots of extra bits and so made the unit "in waiting". The arm position of this particular figure suggested holding something so I gave him a spare canteen -- from his own back of course! -- and added cut strip of plasticard for the strap.  The shako, extras included in the box by the Perrys for Peninsular use, had their plate scraped off awaiting perhaps the horn badge of the Light Regiments. Also note the far lad holding his shako in hand -- try modeling THAT in metal....


  1. Nice work! You must have the patience of a saint. I nearly went into meltdown while gluing my Gripping Beast plastic Vikings together!

    1. Did I say I work on a hardwood floor so I can hear and find all the darn little bits when I drop them!
      Saint? No. Devoted wargamer. Yes.
      Thanks for the comments

  2. Nice - but, shouldn't that quote have ended, "Oh, plastics - then forget what I just said"

    1. Oh aren't you the Hollywood script writer! - grin -
      But I was just quoting and think that was the inference.