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.


  1. Stefan Wegmueller28 January 2023 at 21:16

    Excellent, that PA is willing to expand SYW range. Here my comments:

    cuirassiers: I agree, austrians are too big. It would be great, if PA can correct and make them fit with the normal size. Austrians cuirassiers are the only moulds, I have not bought just because of the size, although I would love to have a fitting set. Prussians would be good too: just remember, Germany is a big country (economic and population). I would buy the set too.

    Dragoons head: I agree.

    Artillery: I agree, especially as the existing set also is too big (42 mm instead of 40 mm with height on eye-level). I think we have some research work to do to establish a general figure somehow covering prussian, russian, french, austrian and british nation.

    british figures: as always your suggestion is perfect. If possible, PA should place the separated heads above the the torso in the figure. If I need only heady, I replace the cast torso in the mould in order to preserve the mould longer and also, the heating up process is much slower. Sure the new liquid metal for the head will unify with the base of the torso, but you can cut again and just take out the head. I know it will not always be possible to arrange the mould that way, but if there is a choice, heady above torso. Hope you understand my point.

    Out of this post: do you know a sculptor that is able and interested to create semiflat 40 mm toy soldiers fitting the PA SYW range?

    1. Stefan
      Thanks for your comments & suggestions.
      If you would like PA to do something with regards the cuirassiers, and dragons it would be worth getting in touch with them on their Facebook page to add weight to my requests.
      With respect to other 40mm soldiers to fit into the PA range, is it something which PA might want to do - you could always ask? What sort of thing are you thinking of producing?

    2. Stefan Wegmueller3 February 2023 at 09:21

      Hi Steve
      Yes, I will write on PA facebook page for correcting size as discussed. My wish list is long, but I also understand it takes time and most important, we customers need to focus, so PA get a direction what customers want. So I walk along with you. Other themes are in my opinion:

      a modern version of the standing horse with collar (PA 37 artillery limber horse). This horse is great, but sculpting is outdated now. Maybe two different horse heads. One looking up and one rather down. With that one or two figures who belong to the horses for ex. a standing figure that holds the horse at the rein.
      For the walking horse, there is the one from the Karoliner series, although a little small and not with the complete collar. Great if this horse would also be made, but we can also live with the existing Karoliner horse.

      Beside the existing infantery cannon, a bigger 12 or 24 pd cannon and a stronger limber than the Karoliner, that can be used for the big gun but also for building wagons.

      A next theme is the shooting batallion. As minimum, it would be good if PA makes for each army a standing and kneeling firing soldier. As for officers, standart bearer drummer etc. it would be great if they also exist in a standing postion, but it is ok, if this is too specific and costy for PA.

      Next a standing /waiting batallion. For that is also only needed one mould per army: 2 figures with different standing poses or a standing and running soldier like PA s902 Karoliner. Standing soldiers would be aside the heavy artillery for protection.

      2 Soldiers who load the gun.

      marching soldiers during marches (like the Karoliner)

      A mould with hurt or dead soldiers although I think is a difficult topic.

      A mould with soldiers with a pick and shovel that you can use for work at fortifications.

      Don't know if that is a demand of other people: bushes and trees - still semi flat (something like the old metal moulds of Schneider)

      Especially the firing soldiers could have a chance to be produced - there are already for Austrian Grenz and light infantery. So it would need 5 additional moulds: France, Russia, Prussia/German-Austria, Hungarian-Austria, British. These are figures that you need a lot: 12-18 per batallion, while an artillery horse you need less, but you can use one horse for all armies. Most important for us customers and PA is that PA continues to expand this range to keep it alive and interest high.

      So for my "private" mould, I would start with the horses with collar and soldiers for the horses - maybe also a sitting guy who would sit on a wagon. I suppose I could even sell a few casts as for a batallion it looks nice to have one or two new figures without spending much money for a big number of figures. Also I do not intend to make a concurrence to PA.

    3. Thanks for the useful suggestions.
      Rather than try and answer in these comments boxes, I will do a post in the next few days and try to to bring together the suggestions from this blog and the PA website.
      What has to be remembered in looking how to expand the range is that it has taken PA nearly 10 years to produce the current 34 moulds, so less than 4/year!

  2. Stefan Wegmueller28 January 2023 at 21:23

    Just forgot: If PA really is remaking Austrian cuirassiers and better dragoon heads, tell PA, that they announce the "new or modern" mould loudly, so we know. In the past PA resculpted moulds rather in silent like for example PA 40 mm Holger Erikson no 22 "walking drummer"

    1. If we can persuade PA to make the changes it will certainly be discussed on here!

  3. It sounds like it is not really on the radar, but I would really appreciate some SYW Brits who served in North America - rangers and light infantry. They'd be a good mix with the French and the Viking mold line of Skraelings.

    1. I think if PA can get the 'line' infantry and highlanders done, and they sell, then they might go for a few moulds for rangers/light infantry skirmishing.
      Let me know what you are thinking of, however even if they do them it will be quite some time in the future.

  4. Just finding your blog, and this scale/type of figure is something I am very much interested in. Your comments re. British at Minden are fascinating, and being a Volley & Bayonet fan, scale is something I can be variable with. Great to see black gaiters on the British, as all of a sudden, it makes the paint job easier. I also live within a few hours of PA, so must get a trip down soon.

    1. If you are planning to get started with PA 40mm SYW let me know and I will advise on best moulds to start with.
      I have visited the PA factory once when we went on holiday to Kerry, but that was before I got involved with the SYW range.

  5. I am not so concerned about the size of the cuirassiers partly because I have cast and painted a bunch and don't find it so distracting. Also, if size is a concern then the French need to be re-done too as they are much bigger than the rest of the infantry in the range. As Stefan mentioned, PA may just do this organically over time.

    My main desire would be new molds to fill out the continental armies so the British/Hanoverian are top of the list and I like your pose suggestions. As for other ideas, I would like to see an artillery limber set. I currently use the Nurnberger Meisterzinn which works well enough but metal molds are not always easy to use.

    1. The SYW range has suffered from 'scale creep' since the sculpting went digital, hopefully it now seems to be under control. The Austrian cuirassier and dragoon heads, are digital, and so should not be a lot of work to correct the size and reprint.

    2. There is a limber in the Karoliner range, I have used those with a head swap and they fit in reasonably well.

  6. Anyone building a Prussian army will want Prussian Cuirassiers. I think that they will sell. Prussians are my best sellers in the Minden range.