Tuesday 31 January 2023

SYW Range - how is it progressing?

When PA started designing their SYW range (almost 10 years ago) I thought that a good indicator of how the range is progressing would be to see if it was possible to make figures illustrated in the Blandford book 'Uniforms of the Seven Years War 1756-63'. Although an old book, I often thumb through it for inspiration. 

I made a list of the illustrations in the book, and then tabulated how to make them using the PA moulds, with colour coding of progress (see the table below):

  • Green - a mould for that troop type has been produced.
  • Light Green - no specific mould, but it is possible to cast something pretty close by mixing available parts.
  • Orange - hopefully moulds for these will be produced in the future.
  • Light Blue - nothing in the SYW range, but a satisfactory figure can be made using older ranges.
  • Red - not likely to be produced.
Yes - an indication of someone with too much time on their hands, however it was a useful tool in deciding what parts, particularly heads, needed to be squeezed into the moulds.

I've just had a look at the mould list on the PA website, and think the SYW range now has 34 moulds and over 180 separate parts. Looking at the chart the majority things are now covered, the main troops gaps (based on this book) are Prussian cuirassiers and British.

As discussed in the previous post PA are planning to produce more moulds, so hopefully these gaps will be filled.

Saturday 28 January 2023

British and Hanoverians?

 SYW range - progress so far

After ?&%$ years on the project, with the release of the hussars, the central and eastern theatres are pretty much covered by the moulds released so far. There are however still a few more things I would like to see done to tidy things up:

  • Prussian Cuirassiers. This would need to be a 3 or 4 set collection. PA are unsure if these are different enough to sell - thoughts? (I have used Rossbach figures with SYW heads).
  • Austrian Cuirassiers. I find these too big to use (so I have 3 x 8 man units just sitting in a box - does anyone want to buy them?). I have now replaced them with Karoliners converted with SYW heads. I personally think that PA should reprint them (they are digital) at the correct scale.
  • Dragoon Heads. I find these too small and poorly detailed so do not use them. They are digital so I have asked PA if they can reprint them larger and with more pronounced detail.
  • Artillery in Coats. Currently the artillery are in shirt sleeves to cover all armies (my idea - sorry); it would be nice to have a couple of moulds to produce a generic crew in coats.
Your thoughts would be appreciated.

British and Hanoverian Figures (British)

It has always been known that the lack of British figures left a big hole in the SYW range for western Europe; however the decision was made to have a range which would allow full armies to be produced by adding cavalry, artillery, light troops and staff officers before producing yet more infantry. 
With the release of the hussars, there have been requests on the PA Facebook page for British, and PA seem to be listening (it is always worth asking). I recently had a chat with the sculptor, and it seems PA are thinking of going ahead with some British - so keep commenting on their Facebook page - they do read it!

I think the following might be worth considering:
  • British Infantry in their distinctive coats - perhaps 4 moulds (see below).
  • Highlanders - I will do a separate post to discuss - I think 3 or 4 moulds.
  • Artillery Crew - 2 moulds in coats to to fill gap above.
  • Cavalry - not sure yet???
I will just cover the British Infantry in this post.

Hat Men, Fusiliers and Grenadiers

The illustrations show the typical differences between the hat men and grenadiers at the time of Minden, although there are a lot of variations (for example the hat man's green trousers and stiffened gaiters are an oddity).
The typical differences are:

  • Obviously the tricorn and mitre caps.
  • The grenadier carries a sword, which the line infantry had mostly abandoned.
  • Grenadier coats had shoulder wings (well most did).
  • Grenadiers had the match holder on the shoulder belt.

Some hat men are shown with belly pouches, however most illustrations seem to show them without them.

I think it might be worth having two moulds for the private soldiers, each with an advancing and marching figure as follows:
  • Hat Men, with tricorn, without wings, sword, belly box or match box.
  • Grenadiers with mitre cap, wings, sword, belly box and match box.

For the fusiliers use a grenadier mitre on a hat man torso.

Infantry Stance.

On Kronoskaf there is a sketch and description of the stance of the British infantry, which I have copied below. I would suggest that the 'standard' poses used on the other figures in the range are adopted, modified to 

When shouldering arms, the soldier was to keep his weapon nearly vertical, carried on the left shoulder, barrel facing outward, lock “turned up” and below breast level, with the butt flat against the hip, the weapon pressed against the body with the ball of the thumb. The musket was to be held with the index and thumb ahead of the corner of the stock, with the middle finger on the corner, the other fingers on the bottom of the stock. Soldiers were to stand with shoulders held back, stomach slightly tucked in, chest pressed out, chin up, and the right arm hanging down with the palms facing back. Finally, all but the rightmost man in the line was to have his head cocked to the right. The rightmost man kept his head straight forward. While not stated in any manual, the tricorne was generally worn cocked to one side—typically to the left. This was to allow the weapon to be shouldered, without hitting the hat.

Command Figures

As with the other ranges I suggest an officer,, standard bearer, drummer and NCO. From the illustrations above these are distinctive enough to not allow use of other nations.

Suggested Moulds...............

Mould 1:

  • Officer with  shoulder sash and hand to take partisan, musket or sword.
  • 1 x spontoon for officer
  • Drummer with hanging sleeves
  • 1 x tricorne head
  • 1 x grenadier mitre head

Mould 2

  • Standard Bearer 
  • NCO and hand to take pole arm or musket.
  • NCO musket
  • 1 x tricorne head
  • 1 x mitre cap head

Mould 3 - Hat Men (tricorne) - without sword, belly box, or shoulder wings.

  • Marching torso  
  • Arm for marching
  • Advancing torso
  • 2 x tricorne head

Mould 4 - Grenadiers (mitre cap)  - with sword, shoulder wings, belly box and match box.

  • Marching torso  
  • Arm for marching
  • Advancing torso
  • 2 x mitre cap head

As always feedback would be welcome to help try and get this right.