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French Fusiliers (Early War) PSR review

Plastic Soldier Review have posted their fairly long and fairly thorough review of the WoSS French Fusiliers set. The review makes good reading, and scores the set quite highly, which I think is fair. There are no scores of 10, but several 9s.

The reference list that PSR refer to indicates that they have accessed some of the most useful recent material on the army of Louis XIV in preparing this review. I agree with the following comments that are made as part of the PSR piece:

- There is nothing really in this set which defines it as being 'early war' in the context of the War of Spanish Succession. This does not detract from the set itself, but does raise the questions previously raised in this Forum about what pre-dates 1701-1704 in terms of French infantry weaponry (pikes, matchlocks) and uniforms (particularly hats). What, therefore, would an 'early' set consist of?

- There is a good case for some (not all, but some) French infantry being equipped in an older style for the major battles of the WoSS ie: Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenarde, Malplaquet, ie: with large cartridge boxes carried on the hip and possibly with broad-brimmed hats rather than fully-fledged tricornes. Possibly even, in very few cases, provincial run-of-the-mill line infantry battalions still partly armed with long-barrelled matchlocks???

- The flag being too small and the lack of a drummer in this set is noted, although the sculpting of the fifer is praised.

- Poses are generally judged favourably, although the 'stiff' marching pose of one of the two marching figures is noted. I am currently working on ways to modify this figure through conversion to make it look a bit more natural. Incidentally, as an 'old timer' with many hundreds of old Spencer Smith 30mm plastics in my collection (these being the figures in Charles Grant's wonderful book 'The Wargame; published in the early 1970s) there is a distinct similarity between the new Strelets figure and the old 'standard' marching infantry man of the Spencer Smith range!!

- The sculpting is noted as being a little 'chunkier'; than the corresponding English/British sets...raising an interesting question about whether the same sculptor at Strelets created this set as the other WoSS sets?

Lots of good stuff still to come in this range, I hope. Let's wait and see what comes next.

Re: French Fusiliers (Early War) PSR review

It was a fair review of a great set.

It seems only to have been issues with the flag and the gorgets that cost it a 10 for accuracy.

It emphasised the need for a drummer with this troop-type, so, surely a priority for any second set.

I would be genuinely interested in learning of any research indicating that matchlocks remained in front-line service, as PSR has it. In his 2020 volume on Louis XIV's infantry, Chartrand seems pretty clear that flintlock production had re-equipped the French army by the WSS, and was even able to re-equip the Spanish. Given PSR's view, we might expect a review of Set 234 to accept them as WSS troops. It will be interesting to see if PSR supports the consensus here that the short barrels are inaccurate.

A great set, the main fault of which is its title!

Re: French Fusiliers (Early War) PSR review

It´s a great set whose highscore in PSR is absolutly right.

Dear Edwardian, I appreciate normally very high your comments and profound knowledge, but please don´t become hypercritical with many articles of same content! Your focus more and more to possible negative aspects weaken your position and has a very rigid, unpleasant sound.

Enjoy the new line of sets and appreciate more what we receive: wonderful figures of an important period which was totally ignored from all plastic figure-producers. The title of a box has personally for me third degree importance, if its figures are well done. And not every set has to have all desired possible poses, if more sets will follow to the theme - see the former british sets!

Constructive and well balanced critic can be helpful, but sermon-like critics with similar content can turn very soon in unpleasant vinegar, sorry.

Re: French Fusiliers (Early War) PSR review

I tend to come here infrequently, and then answer all topics of interest at once. Sorry if that over faces some, but just think of all those pleasant days of respite when you do not hear from me at all!

I think you have misunderstood me concerning the naming of the sets. What the naming of the sets suggests is that Strelets are a bit wobbly on their history here. It's not an issue affecting the content of the sets; set 236 is a superb set, with really very minor inaccuracies, and so, it doesn't really matter what it's called, it's a very good set for WSS French infantry. And quite beautifully done.

Overall, I would be resistant to the idea that I am being negative, I've praised, very highly, both the introduction of this range and 3 out of the 4 sets so far released. I've bought a good deal of these sets already, and anticipate continuing to invest very heavily in this range. On the other hand Strelets, IMHO, are a little bit out of their depth with a slippery subject and seem to need to be a little more thorough and cautious; this period is less certain and it's easier to get things wrong. That said, most of what I've see in their WSS range is first rate. Have I not heaped sufficient praise where it is due?