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Re: French musketeers firing? Just WOW

Very nice figures, which will mix very well with the first set of fusiliers....but only if the figures when in production have proper full-length muskets rather than the short carbines that these 'musketeers' seem to be equipped with!

Can Strelets re-assure us that these gentlemen will be properly equipped?

Just for clarity also: I am not aware that the French army at the time of the WoSS made a distinction between 'musketeers' and 'fusiliers', although the English army at the same time certainly did make this distinction. A fusil is simply a slightly shorter version of a musket. 'Light infantry' equipped with short muskets or fusils and organised in companies with their own tactical role do not make their appearance in European armies until much later in the 18th century.

In the case of the French army of the early 18th century, the situation is also complicated because of the presence of mounted elite troops titled 'Les Mousquetaires' (Musketeers!)!!

But hopefully, Strelets will be making a set of these splendid French cavalrymen soon, to go alongside the excellent infantry sets.

Re: French musketeers firing? Just WOW

love the command figures, great drummer, but as others have said firearms don't quite look right, but poses excellent, wondering which references sculptor used? hopefully Strelets will tell us
cheers Old John

Re: French musketeers firing? Just WOW

Unfortunately, Strelets sabotage themselves.

Indeed, these firearms look more like cavalry carbines or mousquetons. At the time, the overall length of French infantry flintlock muskets was about 160-162cm (c. 5 pieds-du-roi; 1 pied-du-roi [post-1668] = 32,484cm). Fusils were c. 155-156cm long.

Also, the drum is too small, and the ropes were usually tensioned differently.

The flag is much too small - again. Apparently, there were no regulations prescribing the size of the flags but extant samples are about two by two meters large. Some are square, others are slightly rectangular (Charrié, Drapeaux et Étendards du Roi).

Re: French musketeers firing? Just....not quite right

It would be better for Strelets to take their time and remodel this set rather than release it with the wrong and historically inaccurate firearms. The carbines shown on these figures might be OK for dismounted cavalry, but even then the weapons shown in the hands of these figures are too short as most cavalry and all dragoons had muskets, not short carbines. They are certainly not right for French infantry of the period, which need long-barrelled muskets with fixed bayonets as the first four sets in this series have.

The loading figure with ramrod is unfortunately not at all good, as his firearm needs to be grounded and the ramrod (and barrel of the weapon) need to be much longer. I am also not sure what the 'slings' on a couple of the firearms are meant to be?

Strelets have got it right with the first four WoSS sets, which are amongst the best sets to be made by any manufacturer in recent years. The British Firing Line set shows how it can be done, and this new French set should follow that example. Hopefully, once it has been re-modelled it will.

Re: French musketeers firing? Just WOW

Dear Sirs,

while we usually don't get ourselves involved into disputes about historical accuracy, leaving this bit of investigation fun to our customers, having seen here few blunt statements, we have to clarify, that these muskets shall depict early war French matchlock guns. We aren't quite sure if the term "lock" is entirely correct here, since in reality it was just a slowly burning cord, without "lock" per se. Drill routine with it, as well as the gun's length, can be assessed from pictures down below.

Best regards,


Re: French musketeers firing? Just WOW

Dear Strelets,

When this new set and the pikemen will be released?

Thank You!

Re: French musketeers firing? Just WOW

Dear Strelets,

Thank you for the clarification. If these are troops armed with matchlock muskets, then that explains the lack of bayonet. However, I'd suggest that the matchlock musket barrel on your master figures still needs to be longer. A matchlock musket is not shorter than a flintlock musket.

These figures might be appropriate for the period 1680-1700, perhaps to 1703, although by 1704 (Blenheim) it seems that the French infantry was almost all armed with flintlock muskets.

French troops for the 1680-1700 period could well include pikemen, perhaps even the pikeman figure with a breastplate that I think we saw some time ago?

Foot soldiers of the 1680-1700 period also tend to be with broad brimmed hats which are less 'tricorne' but on their way to becoming so.

Thank you for an excellent range of early 18th century figures. I am already buying lots of sets.

Re: French musketeers firing? Just WOW

All planned for 2020.

Re: French musketeers firing? Just WOW

@ Strelets

Dear Sirs,

First, infantry matchlock muskets were not shorter than flintlock muskets. Their overall length was 159-160cm (Jean Boudriot). Maybe, you have been confusing the length of the barrel - which was 119cm - with the overall length?

Second, by 1699, matchlock muskets were officially abolished , i.e., during the WSS, flintlock muskets were the norm.

Do you know French?

Read this (second entry: "Some pieces by Michel Petard on Louis XIV troops"):


"... La figure K nous illustre le mousquet des années 1680 à 1699, année qui voit sa disparation officielle au profit du fusil ..." (4th page of the article)

And please compare the relative heights of the matchlock musket and the soldier on the 3rd page of the article.

I would also like to add what Etienne Alexandre Bardin has to say about the French musket in his famous Dictionnaire de l'armée de terre, s.v. mousquet:

"Les mousquets d'infanterie du dix-septième siècle ne furent que de deux espèces, de rempart ou de campagne ou à serpentin; ... ceux de rempart avaient sept à huit pieds; ceux de campagne en avaient cinq, et servirent aussi dans l'origine aux dragons..."

Again, the overall length for infantry muskets (regardless of whether they were of the matchlock or flintstone type) is given as "cinq pieds", i.e. c. 160cm.

@ Minuteman

As you can see, the French even modified their matchlock muskets in order to fix bayonets (4th page, Ill. K: "... Au-dessous, nous voyons la modification du fût du mousquet, effectuée pour l'utilisation des premières baïonnettes à douilles qui sont imposées par Vauban dès 1689..." :wink:

Best regards

Re: French musketeers firing? Just WOW

Very nice looking figures, but I have to agree that the muskets seems far too short. Carbines rather than regular muskets, be they matchlocks or flintlocks.
And again no kneeling firing? Perhaps in a further set...

Re: French musketeers firing? Just WOW

Great looking figures! I have the Advancing British which are beautiful and am eagerly waiting for my order to arrive with the other three sets. Glad to see another French set to even the odds!

Thank you Strelets. Your WSS range is one of my dreams come true.


Re: French musketeers firing? Just WOW

i totally agree with comments about length of muskets, as after a lifetime of handling many types of black powder firearms from many periods have found with nearly all kinds that with the butt of weapon placed on ground the end of the barrel should reach just over the top of shoulder, hope that helps, otherwise the figures are great
cheers Old John

Re: French musketeers firing? Just WOW

Something that is good to see is that these musketeers have the large cartridge box on their hip with a hefty shoulder belt to support it. The Fusiliers set has the smaller belly cartridge box, which the French adopted during the first decade of the 18th century it seems.

With longer firearms this new musketeer set will be exceptionally good!

Re: French musketeers firing? Just WOW

Sadly I have to agree about the accuracy problem with this set. Those firearms were virtually obsolete and were practically fully replaced at the time of WSS. Also the length is incorrect.
Further, there is also contradiction between box art and the master figures.

I don't want to sound like some 'grumpy grognard', but there are definitely some confusing circumstances regarding these set. While I wish that this WSS line would become kind of a peak for Strelets, I can't stop wondering about some of their decisions.

Re: French musketeers firing? Just WOW

I have received yesterday the first french set: wonderful sculpted figures and poses.

So I have no doubts that Strelets will correct the mistakes with the fire arms and flag in the 2. set. Stelets is open for critic and suggestions in contrary to some other poducers.

So I hope that we will see a kneeling firing pose too - and not 2 kneeling loading poses.... and please not 8 sergeants in one set.

Re: French musketeers firing? Just WOW

I have received yesterday the first french set: wonderful sculpted figures and poses.

So I have no doubts that Strelets will correct the mistakes with the fire arms and flag in the 2. set. Stelets is open for critic and suggestions in contrary to some other poducers.

So I hope that we will see a kneeling firing pose too - and not 2 kneeling loading poses.... and please not 8 sergeants in one set.

Yes, both serjeant poses are good but the best in my view is the one who is pointing. This is an appropriate pose for a firing line ie: pointing at the target unit and giving orders. Four serjeants in a set of 44 figures is plenty.

Would it be possible to replace the standing serjeant figure with his spontoon horizontal with the ground, with either a kneeling firing figure; or otherwise a pose which is excellent and that appears in the Fusilier set, of a standing private with his musket at the ready (high angle position). This very useful pose makes him either ready to fire, or equally a second rank soldier behind an advancing figure.

The standing serjeant with spontoon horizontal to the ground would be excellent in a set of advancing French fusiliers or musketeers in the future ie: so the figure could be used in another set perhaps??

Re: French musketeers firing? Just WOW

Strelets continues to impress. I have some observations on the French sets, though would preface this with the caution that, relative to, say, the Napoleonic period, we are viewing the uniforms of the period through a glass darkly and it is hard to be dogmatic.

I refer to the newly published The Armies and Wars of the Sun King 1643-1715, Rene Chartrand, 2020.

The point has already been made that sets 236 and 234 do not represent different troop types, rather, they both represent ordinary French infantrymen at different stages of their development.

French Musketeers, set 234, look great, but present us with a bit of a poser, and I would agree with what Minuteman has already said.

What period do they represent?

Well, as matchlock men, that seems to make them pre-WSS. Again, referring to the Chartrand volume cited, on peace in 1699, the regular establishment was reduced sufficiently to allow, finally, for musket production to catch up and supply all the infantry with flintlocks. When war came again in 1702, Chartrand reckons that improvements in production allowed the expended infantry force to all be equipped with flintlocks, and the French were also able to re-equip the Spanish.

So, no matchlocks in WSS. I also do not believe there would have been pikemen taking the field in the WSS.

These figures are best seen as c.1690-1700. So, who are they going to fight?

OK, so they're pre-WSS, but are they accurate?

The point has been made that the fully-formed tricorn seems to be a thing of the Eighteenth Century, yet both these "musketeer" figures and the breast-plated pikemen masters wear tricorns.

Well, Rousselot shows both pikemen and (matchlock-armed) musketeers of the 1690s in tricorns. Evidence from the few contemporary pictures I can find is less clear. It might be that we have a rather romanticised and idealised view from the early 20th century and that a more modern interpretation would be to have depicted them without the fully turned up brims on all sides. I note, though, the illustrations posted by Strelets, which show a range of styles, up to and including fully-formed tricorns. I would be happy to accept what Strelets has done here.

The remaining issue is the barrel length. The illustrations tend to show that matchlocks were every bit as long as the flintlocks that replaced them.

Chartrand cites an order of 1670 specifying a barrel length of 3'8".

Re: French musketeers firing? Just WOW

The set 234 arrived unfortunatly today the first shops with the wrong firearms. It´s the first time that I don´t cheer a new set from Strelets.

I hope the next sets of Marlburians will been better - especially the austrians which shouldn´t been generic figures like some forum-members have proposed.

Re: French musketeers firing? Just WOW

I wish Strelets well with this set, but this is one that I will not be buying on grounds of historical inaccuracy...and that is despite the extremely good command sprue figures that come as part of this set. It's a shame, but there we are.

I certainly will be buying a lot of future WoSS/early 18th century sets if Strelets continue to release these; and assuming, of course, that they are historically accurate and are similarly great in terms of design and sculpting as the first four sets in this range. The first three British infantry sets, together with the French Fusiliers, are amongst the best figures produced by any manufacturer in recent years I think.

Re: French musketeers firing? Just WOW

"So I have no doubts that Strelets will correct the mistakes with the fire arms and flag in the 2. set. Stelets is open for critic and suggestions in contrary to some other poducers."

That's a good one. Keep it in mind ... :zipper_mouth_face:

Re: French musketeers firing? Just WOW

Comparing the picture of the figures with the masters, one could be forgiven for thinking that the barrel has been made longer on the standing firing figures. Looking at other figures, the short barrels appear to have been retained, so I suspect I was experiencing and optical illusion.

Sadly, I can see no circumstances in which I could use this set. Let's hope Strelets can get back on track.