Welcome to the Strelets Forum.
Please feel free to discuss any aspect of 1/72 scale plastic figures, not simply Strelets.
If you have any questions about our products then we will answer them here.
Thoughts so far on your excellent WWS British Infantry.
The fine quality of the sculpts and the poses is evident and it's a great period to move into, so thanks and congratulations. So far as I can tell, these capture the appearance of British troops well and will score highly in accuracy terms.
I suppose the first observation to make is that we have relatively scant primary source information concerning the uniforms of the period compared with later in the Century. The second is that military dress tended to be more generic across the combatant nations than was later generally the case.
Turning to the infantry, the basic items of dress - the hat or grenadier cap, the long coat with turned up cuffs, the thigh length (often sleeved) waistcoat, breaches and buckled shoes - were near universal.
That is not to say, however, only need the British sets. So far, my reading suggests that there are three characteristic ways to wear the coat:
(I) Fastened, e.g. British (technically English and Scots prior to 1707)and the Dutch, with the waist belt therefore over the coat;
(II) Open, displaying the waistcoat in a 'v', as becomes more common later in the Century, which means the waist belt is worn under the coat, e.g. Prussia; and,
(III) à la française, by which I mean that the French infantry appears to wear its coats unbuttoned, but with the belt over the coat, thus closing the coat and exposing only a narrow vertical strip of waistcoat as opposed to the wide 'v' of the Prussians.
For this reason alone, I reckon that France, as a principal opponent of the Grand Alliance, will need its own dedicated infantry sets.
Details: Grenadier caps appear to vary even within the British forces and I seem to discern at least a couple of types in Strelets's sets, which is excellent. Laced button holes are relatively rare at this date. Some nations have them for Guards units. For the British the Guards and some line (e.g. Erle's Foot) seem to have had lace for grenadiers, but grenadiers only, probably even for the Guards.
Turning to mounted troops, I suggest that we ought really to be able to represent (I) Horse and (II) Dragoons.
The complicating factor for Horse is that British Horse had cuirasses (worn under the coat) from 1707. Thus, if you produce them without the breast plate (my own preference), you get Blenheim and Ramilles, and, if with armour, you get Oudenarde and Malplaquet.
In terms of consistency, I would add that author Michael Barthorp seems to be of the view that Marlborough's troops would have increasingly have adopted gaiters as the conflict went on. if he is right, English Horse without breastplates is probably a better match to the infantry in stockings that Strelets are producing.
Again, it's worth bearing in mind the degree of uncertainty that prevails in such matters (so let's not get dogmatic here). Further, these comments apply to Marlborough's forces and the same changes at the same times are not necessarily seen in Lord Peterborough's forces in Spain.
Artillery. For the Brits, long coats fastened like infantry, but with laced button holes for gunners. I don't know that matrosses, whose uniform differed, had lace. The options for guns seem to be light 3-pounders for use by the infantry, various field pieces and siege guns.
Finally, generally I find a dearth of staff officers for most periods. Here we could usefully have a mounted set of 12 comprising (I) Marlborough (II) Eugene (III) Marlborough's state trumpeter (IV) 3 Generals (with cuirass worn under coat) and (V) 6 staff/regimental officers, who could also be used as mounted officers for infantry and artillery units.
With Horse, Dragoons, Artillery and Staff/Mounted Officers, I believe I have identified 4 further sets that would largely complete British forces. That would be a huge ask for any figure company other than Strelets, but I continue to be amazed and impressed by the quality and variety of output and the thorough way in which Strelets covers each period.
I hope the above may be of some interest, perhaps even use, to Strelets, and I again commend Strelets for releasing these exquisite sets.
... over the hills and far away.
Excellent post. I would dearly love to see a set of firing poses for the British, plus staff,
horse and artillery. And, of course, the same sets for the French!
Already bought some boxes...excellent sets, superb sculture, now waiting for the french and maybe some generals like Marlborough too😀
Yes, great post!
I am so happy strelets have started this range. I have ordered 4 of the new released set of advancing infantry. It is the first time I have ever bought 4 examples of the same set (I don't play wargames, only dioramas), which might give a clue how special this is for me.
And I want lots of french too! :)
I have three boxes on the way to me, plus some GNW figures from Zvezda to make up some generic cavalry.
Currently swearing at the Zvezda Russian artillery - fiddly as feck! The artillery will be set dressing and objectives.
Excellent posting, indeed.
Thanks for sharing your comprehensive thoughts with the forum, some valid aspects adequately summarised. :+1:
I really wish this new range to be a commercial success for Strelets.
Their dedication to the hobby and willingness to venture into a whole new area will hopefully be rewarded. :+1:
Thank you all for the replies and the positive feedback.
I've been considering how British wargames units might be formed. For Napoleonics I have used a generous 1:20 figure ratio, as I like the 'big battalions' to look reasonably well populated.
I wondered how I might apply that here.
While it won't suit many, I'm motivated most by the look of the thing.
Nine troops were grouped in threes to form three squadrons. As a troop strength is given as 47-68, it may conveniently be represented using 3 figures in a line. A squadron becomes 9 figures in a line and a regiment three such squadrons, making it 27-figures strong. The figures could be conveniently based in 3s, i.e. as a troop.
Dragoons differed in having 8 troops deployed in two squadrons. We assume the same troop size. This results in two squadrons of 12 figures. Again, the figures could be conveniently based in 3s.
The infantry battalion comprised 13 companies, one of which was grenadiers, and had an establishment of circa 900.
However, effective strength in the field is likely to have been significantly below this and in the field the battalions were deployed as 18 platoons.
The battalion generally deployed in a 3-deep line. Grenadiers could be deployed on the right of the line or split between the flanks. Basing can be by sixes, 2-deep, each representing 3 platoons. This would result in a battalion with a strength of 36 figures, i.e. of 720 officers and men. A mounted command figure can be added.
Just noticed the Plastic Soldier review of the WWS Brits in advance.
"Sculpting is simply excellent"
They mention that the sergeant is sans sash, and they don't like the haversacks, but otherwise they find them accurate (9/10) and they really love the sculpts and praise the production quality.
On the question of the haversacks, this feature is illustrated on an infantryman in the Osprey volume on Marlborough's Army.
I note that the reviewers see the set as best representing the earlier part of the conflict, Blenheim and Ramilles, which they consider to be a good choice.
My own view of the figures, based on the photographs of them, is that they deserve such critical acclaim and, so, I'm really pleased to see them gain the support of the reviewers.
Mr Strelets - I can only hope that you will now go on to produce Horse (no cuirass), Dragoons, Artillery and Staff/Mounted Officers, as per my earlier post.
If these are to the same standard as the infantry sets, we are set for Happy Times indeed.
Of course, equivalent sets for the French would be necessary to field opponents and I feel would form the core of a fantastic range, with many paint and sculpting conversions possible to expand their utility still further.
Brilliant work, Mr Strelets, please, please keep it up.
Some excellent post M. Edwardian. I agree with your ideas and I hope Strelets will do these other sets.
Thank you Strelets for these wonderful sets