Thursday, 5 November 2015

SYW range is going digital!

First Sculptures

Chris Tubb (the sculptor) has decided to move to digital sculpting, as you can imagine there is quite a learning curve involved. This has contributed to the slowing up of figure production, but should pay dividends in future.

Changing to digital sculpting part way through the range needs to be done carefully. In order to 'calibrate' the digital design, rather than go straight to the cavalry it was decided to produce some French infantry to get the proportions, and 'feel' right.

The approach he has taken is to manually sculpt an 80mm infantry torso to mimic the pose of the figures already done, and then 3D scan this to form the basis of the new digital sculpts. The first figure digitally sculpted is a French Infantryman advancing, he is shown below with an Austrian in a similar pose for comparison (I know the Austrian grenadier should have a sabre, but it is a similar pose).

The pose matches quite well. Looked at side by side there is quite a difference due to the clean nature of the digital sculpt, however I doubt that would be anything like as obvious in a painted casting.

The musket is probably a more realistic thickness, but i just wonder if it might benefit from thickening up a bit?

Chris is planning to 'print' the figure in the next few days, after which he will make me a mould and I will cast some up to see how they look in the tin.

If you have any comments PLEASE let me have them, and I will pass them on.

Release of French Infantry?

It was originally planned to release the cavalry next, however with the move to digital the plan was side tracked (to a great extent by me), in order to try and get the feel right.

With the French so well advanced, after some test casts have been done it might be worth finishing off a French infantry range and get them into production, I would suggest a couple of moulds as discussed back in August.

Mould 1

  • Rank and file (turn backs) advancing - as above
  • Rank and file march attack (turn backs)- arms changed on above
  • Tricorn - fusilier - as above
  • Tricorn - grenadier
  • Bearskin with bag - grenadier

Mould 2

  • Drummer (no turn backs)
  • Officer (no turn backs), there was a suggestion that he could double as standard bearer - anyone have any ideas on pose?
  • Tricorn - officer
  • Bonet de Police
  • Bearskin with no bag - Cuirassiers du Roi (if it will not fit in the cavalry mould)

Mould 3

Easy to add an 'early' version of mould 1 with no turn backs for WAS etc.


The change to digital is happening, and if not done right could spoil this range. Your comments are important and welcome, so please make them, they will be listened to.

Cartridge box and sword

Rahway commented on the depth of the cartridge box, I thought it looked shallow as well and discussed with Chris, who sent me an additional image from the rear, the depth is OK.

The images seem to have some quirks, for example the base above looks tapered, but I am assured it is not!

The image raises another point we have been discussing. Putting the sword outside the coat leaves a large gap between the sword and leg, details like this may be OK for commercial spin casting, but not for producing the home casting moulds, there are not many options to make it suitable for home casting:

  • Fill in the gap, less work but could be ugly
  • Make the sword septate and glue on

We think that a separate sword is the answer, as:

  • It will look better, even if a bit more work
  • Later in the war the fusiliers did not carry swords so not needed anyway
  • For grenadiers and early war it can be glued on
Has anyone noticed he has two bayonets, one on the musket and one in the scabbard?


  1. It is unfortunate that the cavalry was pushed back but it seems the prudent thing to do at this point.

    The look is different but not incompatible or objectionable. However, both the cartridge box and the musket stock do look too flat. I see that the treatment of the right coat tail has changed.

    The mold contents have been discussed before so I would think that there would be nothing controversial in your list for Molds 1 and 2. An NCO could be created from already existing molds.

    Including a WAS mold will increase the appeal of the range.

    1. Rahway

      I have added another image showing the cartridge box, it looks deep enough, I think it is just the way the programme generates images.


  2. Over all he looks fine. The coat seems a little long but its hard to say with the figure rushing forward.

  3. I forgot to ask, does this mean my Brits might appear before the cavalry?

    Not impatient but I have been waiting nearly 20 years....

    1. Ross

      There are no plans to do the British before the cavalry - PA really need to get all arms for the eastern theatre done to allow whole armies to be cast.

      The first cavalry are part done so should not be tooooooooooooo long.


    2. The new photo does make the sword look like a potental problem. That small bit of the hilt in front of the body would also probably be a source of casting frustration. The third option would be to let the sword follow the coat tail downward so that it stays clear of the ight leg.

      A separate swaord does have the advantage of being used on other figures, such as Austrian grenadiers.

      Thank you for showing the cartidge box. It looks like part of the learning curve for Chris will be creating accurate images. I wonder what distortions would occur in a picture of a horse?

      Nice catch concering the bayonets.

  4. Brilliant use of 21st century tech to bring about an old school feel.

  5. I agree on the separate sword. Could be useful for other conversion work as well.

  6. It is too bad we got off focus again but I guess we can't control the sculptor! Cavalry and artillery are needed just to get people gaming and to build greater interest in the line. I like Prince August but they do have a tendency not to finish lines! That said, the sculpt looks good. I would try and keep the muskets the same width across the range if only for strength. These are wargame pieces and will be handled at times by heavy hands!

    1. Steven

      You can blame me to some extent, I wanted to get the 'feel' right before the cavalry. I'm told the cavalry are not far off?

      Are you suggesting we beef up the muskets, I tend to think so - I will suggest it


  7. Great news about the French: they’re looking good. I’d be very happy with the figure as it is. But if you’re asking me to be incredibly pernickety, to my eyes the haversack looks a little too small and neat but I could certainly live with it. If it was up to me I’d probably leave it out altogether: I’m guessing that such a bulky item would probably have been left behind for combat. That said, it’s quite a distinctive feature of the French equipment.

    The separate sword is a good idea and would allow you to covert the same figure into a grenadier, simply by replacing the straight sword with a sabre and using a head with a moustache. (Might need to beef-up the cartridge box for the grenadier but could do that with Greenstuff).

    I like the idea of mould number three having an infantryman without turnbacks. It would allow the range to be extended back to the WAS, opening up a whole new set of campaigns.

    1. Glad you like them.

      It is appreciated the haversack might have been left behind, however it was decided to put it on to make it more distinctively French. I think it was originally sculpted larger but did not sit well on the semi-flat. I will see if there is time for minor change, do you have any prints or links which show what you are looking for?

      Differing cartridge box sizes is outside what we are trying to do here, there is already a lot more detail than was originally planned.


    2. Steve, I've just sent you an email with some pictures.

  8. I like it. A useful pose. Yes, getting full casts of the sword can be problematic and I also support a separate casting within the same mold.

    And as has been mentioned, the option to cast without turnbacks is desirable for the French.

  9. very good news that french mould will be first !
    i vote for separate swword too !!!

    It looks very nice !!

    best regards

  10. Great news mold 3 is the holy grail for me. I agree on the separate sword