Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Plans for the Russians

PA are planning to do three moulds for the Russian 'line' infantry, so six figures plus a selection of heads and weapons.

When putting together this range, the Greenwood and Ball range of booklets are often used during reference and discussion, although relatively slim at 24 pages these booklets are packed with information. Nigel Billington at 18th Century Press has kindly allowed me to reproduce some of the pictures from the Russian book to describe what is being planned:

 Summer Uniform

For the Russian infantry, during summer it was normal to leave their heavy coat and knapsack with the baggage, and fight in their waistcoats. Equipment would be light with just their cartridge box on a single shoulder belt, and a sword on their waist belt.

In the Seven Years War the Russians fought all of their major battles in the summer, so the summer uniform seems a good option. It also means that the figures are quite distinct from those of the Prussians and Austrians.

For the summer uniform, as far as I can figure out, the rank and file and NCOs would strip down to their waistcoats. The officers would probably wear their coats, officially drummers should retain their coats, but G&B, Osprey and others show them in waistcoats, so either is fine. So the current plan is:

  • Rank and file - waistcoat - two new figures
  • NCO - waistcoat - new figure
  • Drummer - waistcoat - new figure (if you want the coat use a Prussian)
  • Standard bearer - in coat (use the Prussian)
  • Officer - in coat (use the Prussian)


The Russian grenadiers wore a very distinctive helmet, which clearly needs to be covered by a separate head.

Another item which distinguished the grenadiers from the musketeers was the cartridge box worn on the front of their waist belts. At first sight it would seem that a separate figure is needed for his, however due to the pose and semi-flat nature of these figures the box would hardly be visible, and can just be painted or stuck on, so we decided it was not worth a separate figure?

The first two Russian moulds

We have pretty much firmed up on the first two moulds.

Mould 3109

  • Musketeer/grenadier (summer uniform) advancing
  • Musketeer/grenadier (summer uniform) march attack
  • Heads for musketeers and grenadiers

Mould 3110

  • NCO (summer uniform) with separate musket
  • Drummer  (summer uniform)
  • Again heads for musketeers and grenadiers

And the third mould????

There are still spaces for two more figures in a third mould and we have not finalised this yet - current favorites are in bold:

  • Observation Corps musketeer in summer uniform advancing?
  • Observation Corps musketeer in summer uniform marching?
  • Musketeer/grenadier in winter uniform advancing?
  • Musketeer/grenadier in winter uniform marching?
  • Musketeer/grenadier officer winter uniform with musket?
(The Observation Corps wore their cartridge box on the front and had no shoulder belt, they also wore dragoon boots rather than gaiters. The suggestion is that the figure is in summer uniform, so no coat).

Any thoughts?


  1. I think the looser style of the uniform also adds something a bit different so would be in favour of winter dress advancing. (I really dislike that leaning forward march for anything but acw.

    remind me again what was different about the observation corps?

    1. I take it your preference is for a figure such as that on left side of first picture in advancing pose.

      I have added a picture of an observation corps musketeer in winter uniform, similar to musketeers but with shoulder belt and boots rather than gaiters.

    2. Its too late now but my preference would have been at least 1 figure marching upright with straighter leg at 75 paces a minute to get that Seven Years War feel. The picture of the Grenadier in this post is from a different angle and looks better, I suspect they'll do well enough seen from above, en masse on a table.

      For a minute I thought the Observation corps in winter uniform would pass as a dismounted dragoon but then the belt issue sunk in. Probably easier to paint gaiters as boots than to add belts.

      There is a certain light troop look to the observation corps for imagination use but I'm undecided whether summer or winter would be better. I suppose it might be matter of which battles they played the biggest part in.

      I'm also a trying to picture how big the difference is between the Russian and Austrian uniform in the metal, Sword under the coat would be one thing, lapels another and a useful one. I think worth having at least 1 Russian in coat.

    3. For the troops in coats (winter) the differences are as follows:
      - All have cartridge box over left shoulder.
      - Prussian - haversack & bread bag over right shoulder, sword under coat
      - Austrian - haversack over right shoulder, no sword
      - Russian - nothing over right shoulder, sword on belt
      - Hungarians are like Austrians, but in with short boots rather than gaiters.

      The thing about the marching gait is that if a marching figure is made with a shorter gait the 'command' figures would all be out of step, so think best to stick with what we have. See attached link for what he was aiming for:

      For dragoons I think painting the boots is the best option. Later the intention is to add some skirmishing poses, possibly on the Prussian kit which might be useful.

    4. Yeah, I know the picture, a late 19thC painting with a patriotic post Napoleonic flare. Ironically the officer out front is not in sync with the men who are in less extreme extension.

      Its a pity minifigs ever adopted the "support" pose for all periods so that it has become standard. It is really a route march position and a soldier cannot either fire or charge bayonets without going to the shoulder first. The 18th C British manual of arms doesn't seem to include the support position at all should the range get that far.

      But after all they're toy soldiers and I'll still buy them. I seem to recall that zinnfiguren were sometimes quite enthusiastic.

  2. I would like to see the winter uniform as an option, they just look better in full dress.

    1. Do you prefer the advancing or marching pose?

  3. PA published this in a new article on their blog:

    PA3111 Russian infantry – Observation corps, winter uniforms and guards regt.

    Moulds 3112 to 3118, will cover cavalry ( cuirassiers and dragoons ) for the Prussian, Austrian and Russian armies, together with artillery.

    It appears the decision has been made. I could be wrong but I was under the impression that the Foot Guards did not go to the front during the SYW.

    1. Their webmaster has just been a bit keen on making the current best bets suggested above into a final listing.

      The 'foot guards' is really just to include a guard head (possibly a feathered grenadier helmet or tricorn), for anyone who wants to make up a parade guard unit marching, or more importantly who wants something special in an 'imagination army'.

      The mould contents are not finalised and the sculptor is is still open to suggestions, particularly on the last mould as the greens are not yet finished, and we are not 100% sure what to put in it; so any feed back or suggestions are still useful.

  4. For Russians, the bent forward mitre would be great although perhaps not strict SYW. Not everyone plays pure SYW. But as others have said, lack of a more realistic marching pose is what stops me buying this range.

    1. This is a SYW range, so currently there are no plans to go out of period. Once SYW is done it may make sense to do some 'accessories' moulds to cover other eras, it really depends how popular they are.......

      The march attack figure was a late addition (originally there was only the advancing pose) and fits on the same legs to drop into units. Do you think a marching figure with a shorter gait would look OK with the current command figures which have the long gait?

  5. The OC was not active for very long but it was a fairly large unit so I can see why it might be included. I would like to see an officer with a belly box and fusil that could double as an Austrian Grenadier officer.

    I am happy to see that the “long-stride, rear heel up” pose, so characteristic of Holger Eriksson infantry figures, has been retained. This helps establish a unity of style between the older ranges and the new molds.

    1. It might be worth forgetting the Observation Corps for now?

      In the planned moulds there will be a Hungarian officer with a lower right arm to accept a 'cuffed' pole arm (or the sword), and a Russian NCO with a 'cuffed' musket which can go on the Hungarian & Prussian officers (arm is a bit too high though). If there is space there will be a separate stick on belly box with the NCO which will also work with the officers.

      We deliberately tried to maintain some continuity with the HE figures, and I think the pose looks fine. There does however seem to be a lot of interest in a less aggressive pose, so the final Russian mould might have a marching figure with a more 'parade ground' look with a more upright pose and straighter leading leg?

  6. hello Steve,

    i like the new SYW moulds very much. Are there going to be figures in firing positions too? (kneeling&standing)

    with kind regards


    1. Iwan

      Glad you like the figures.

      Sorry for delay in replying, I have not added anything recently so I did not notice the comment.

      The plan is to produce advancing and marching figures for Prussian, Austrian, Hungarian & Russian 'close order' infantry, along with officers etc, that should be 12 moulds.

      Later there will be some 'light troops' in firing positions, possibly two types, there will be those suitable for Frei Korps, who could also act as close order troops in a firing line, and also some Grenze - they are some months away yet.