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.
*Now* you have me really interested!
I could use these for the Great Northern War (to compliment your existing beaut figures), not to mention the temptation of the Grand Alliance, which has some appeal for mine...
Whatever the case, more gorgeous, novel and useful figures.
Thanks a Lot
I Will Like James Fisher use them for Great Northern War and For Leauge Of Augburg ( with other Hats )
Thanks Strelets , i am Happy
Great regards from Denmark
These figures are quite lovely and I am looking forwards to getting hold of some.
I do have a problem with the figures at the Charge posture (left foot back, pike at an angle and sword drawn).
When given the command 'Charge for Horse and draw your sword', the soldier takes the pike in the left hand, steps forwards with the left foot, lowering the pike so it makes an angle of about 45 degrees, with the butt of the pike grounded by the soldier's right foot. He then draws his sword by reaching over his left arm, and holds it point down on his right side.
The masters for these figures have stepped back with their left foot which means the weight balance is wrong.
I don't know that the French did it differently, but most European drill books were a variation on Jacob de Gheyn's Wapenhandlingen van roers, musquetten ende spiessen(1607), the ergonomics of handling a pike mean that pike postures didn't really change that much through the 17thC even as late as the 1680s, so I am assuming that they did, though I would be happy to be corrected.
However this isn't an issue for me, I generally don't regard it as a pose that I would use a lot anyway and the quality of the pikemen with their pike at the Order position - pikes upright, butt by the right foot - makes up for the Charge posture figures.
Nice one Strelets.
As a re-enactor, perhaps you could advise me on a question I always had about pikemen opposing cavalry. What would be the point of drawing swords against horsemen when it would make the pikes themselves less stable in the single hand of the front-rank man? I understand that, in theory, a sword-armed pikeman could rush to finish off a downed cavalryman with his sword, but couldn't he do that equally well with a knife or dagger? In the meantime, the pikes would be unwieldy and thus less likely to actually deter a charge by sword- or pistol-wielding cavalry. Your expert thoughts are much appreciated.
... sadly a fantasy set and a waste of talent and time which will achieve an equivalent rating from PSR ..
... it would have been eventually useful with other hats or set title
[...explained that drawing the sword in this position was against the eventuality in action of the pike shaft breaking - or the pike head being cut off ie: the sword was the immediate back-up weapon. I accepted this at the time but have also sometimes wondered since then why the sword needed to be drawn when two hands on the pike-shaft would have been steadier. Maybe this is one lost in the mists of time....or the smoke of past battles?}
By the 17thC the pike was reaching its ultimate evolution. It was seen to be THE weapon, the puissant pike, 'queen of battles'. Where possible the biggest and strongest men were chosen to be pikemen, but it was still just a long stick with a point on the end, the pointed ferrule on the butt of the pike was gone, the idea of dragoon pikemen had gone, and to most military thinkers the musket was deemed to be the future.
Looked at from the outside many people assume that a pike is an unwieldy object, needing bags of room to manouevre, but that would not have been very useful and if it had been the pike as a weapon would have died out quickly.
Pike movements were designed to enable it to be used effectively and in large numbers without too much trouble. When drilling with a pike you use the balance and weight of the pike. Moving about in close order is done at the Order - the pike is upright, the butt is held in the right hand, the shaft is locked in between the arm and the body and it's really no big deal to move around like this. If you're marching you open the space between the ranks and shoulder the pike - 45 degree angle resting on the shoulder. If you change shoulders every so often you can go all day like that. You can even take the pike by the head, and trail it along the floor behind you - just don't try any sharp turms.
Each part of a pike posture is done to a drumbeat and that avoids the pike division looking like a pile of spilled matchsticks, because all of the pikes are going in the same direction at the same time.
Manouevering a pike body calls for thought, and timing but if it's done right - the end result looks magnificent. For an example of what I mean look at Gerard Depardieu's film Cyrano de Bergerac and the advance of the Spanish tercio during the battle at the mill.
To illustrate what I mean about balance - in the charge posture - the pikeman holds the pike at shoulder level, turns his body sideways and can advance or stand with the pike point levelled with his opponent's face. The left arm is bent up and the left hand holding the pike just below the pikeman's chin. The right arm exends back down the pike with the right hand holding the butt. This balances the pike at the point of the left hand. The right hand can then move the point about and actually fence with the pike. If the pikeman is receiving an attack, by shifting his weight onto his left foot, and extending his right foot slightly he can balance himself in almost a judo like stance, he is pretty much set, able to cope with an impact at the end of the pike.
So with the charge for horse posture it's all about balance - the pike's and the pikeman's. In one of the versions of the charge posture, the pikeman leans forwards, left knee bent and right leg lying along the pike - putting his weight onto the pike, which is anchored by his right foot. This is a tireing position to be in, you'd probably only do it if you had to for a short time. But there's no need to use two hands because the pike is balanced and braced, you can if you need to but because of leverage you probably wouldn't need to.
Pikes were generally made with langets, steel straps that extended 18 inches down the shaft from the head, to stop it being lopped off, but probably a lot didn't have them. The mistake, I think, is to think of a pikeman working in isolation. Pikes are designed to be in a body, it's not just lopping off one pike head and running down the the man behind it, you've got to deal him and all of his mates, and the musketeers in front of him.
Very helpful insight, Mr Pickstock. This is clearly one of your special subjects!! I sense that pikemen would need to be pretty fit, and would 'earn their beer' at the end of a long day....as is no doubt still the case. I'll observe the pike divisions extra-closely next time the ECW Society 'do' Newbury I or II, looking for that 'poetry in motion' that you describe :relaxed: .
Thank you, noted! Maybe it will be Cheriton then...I first witnessed a Cheriton re-enactment as a teenager and in those days The (late and great) Brigadier Peter Young was in charge..and from the spectator sidelines I remember him being very much in charge as well!
All good wishes to pikemen everywhere, be they Sealed Knot, EWCS, or even the The 1st Tennessee Regiment of Pike which Paintdog may still be wishing to raise (circa 1862).
Personally, I am not convinced of the use of pikes during the Spanish War of Succession. Earlier, during the long reign of Louis XIV, pikes were used. But towards the end of this reign I doubt it. I'd buy but for another conflict. If the subject seems doubtful to me for the conflict, I still want to congratulate the engraver and his level of work. Excellent.
"However shortage of flintlocks prevented the full elimination of pikes until 1708."
I'm always prepared to learn, so please inform me about the contemporary source from which Noseworthy gained his insights. Thank you.
Anyway, I hope everybody agrees that, in the French army of the WSS, pikes would have been ephemeral, to say the least. And whether or not pikemen (if there were any) would still have been armoured with cuirasses is questionable as well, isn't it? (in the Swedish army of the GNW they were not, BTW: http://www.hhogman.se/uniforms-army-sweden-1600s.htm)
these are superb sculpts , very impressed, endless possibilities for their use, with a little conversion skills could be used for many nations and as mentioned for 1680s to 1690s, there are a couple of prints by Lucien Roulessout showing the pikemen, great one on Regiment Picardie 1690 showing a large central pike block, think sculptor got the idea from these,
again Strelets are to be commended for bringing out these marvelous sets, again my total appreciation for them
keep on bringing out more of these for WSS
cheers Old John
We all know your meaning about this set,but can you please tell me / us what we can use this figures for,if they are cant be used for anything !!.I was thinking of cutting their hats of ,and give them the hats from Mars French infantry around 1680 !!!!!!!!!! or use them for swedish pikemen in great northern war !!!!!!
Have a nice day everyone
These are lovely figures, again with some nice command figures. Definitely also a novel subject.
Unfortunately however, I am unable to use these for either WoSS or the Great Northern War, although I fully accept that they might be ideal for League of Augsburg armies (1690s). All of the sources that I have come across indicate that the French (and other) major armies involved in the WoSS had abandoned the pike as a battlefield weapon by, at the latest, 1703. Even before this date pikemen would be a dwindling proportion of any infantry unit.
Were pikes still a significant part of any first line unit in battle in the early part of the WoSS, surely one or more of the first hand accounts of action at The Schellenberg, Blenheim and Ramillies would mention them?? I have not so far come across any such account.
For the Great Northern War, this set is unfortunately unsuitable because of the breastplates, not worn by either Swedes or Russians. The figures also do not look 'right' for Swedes to my mind. I do accept however that a little judicious trimming with a sharp knife and a suitable paint job might make them quite good as Russian pikemen....without body armour.
Now...if only this set had been modelled as the first of a new/additional range of GNW figures from Strelets, modelled as Swedish infantry without body armour and with half the figures wearing karpus caps...and with poses modified slightly to take account of the informed knowledge of the likes of Mr Pickstock…….if only.
I may not be offering to buy this set, but will be interested to see how it turns out, not least the way the pikes are moulded. If these are well executed then perhaps the same technology will allow Strelets to mould longer poles for colours/standards on their infantry command figures?
Apologies for one pedantic point also, but I am simply reflecting comments made in PSR on previous French sets in this excellent series... the spontoons of the officers are too short, despite the length of the pikes held by the troops they are commanding.
I am thinking Russians for sure to compliment those few that you get in the Guard of Peter the Great set. The cuffs and coats will work well. Cuirasses are an easy in or out at the stroke of a brush (as is done with that hugely flexible and useful Reitars set which I am using for Swedes, Poles, Danes).
Perhaps Strelets are going to go backwards from the War of Spanish Succession? I know that Donald would prefer that they went forwards. Why not both directions Strelets, give us the "Strelets touch" of marvellous figures and an amazing rate of production?!
No date or period on the box, so that should keep everyone happy, except those that don`t read what is written on the box. Nice figures and these will be great fun to paint and may tempt me, just for the joy of painting a few of them.
A few isolated opinions on the topic:
Falkner 2014 Marlborough's War Machine, 1702-1711: "By the time William III had come to the throne in London, the ratio of pikemen to musketeers in his army had dropped to 1 in 5, and over the next few years they faded away almost entirely, the last pikes in English use reportedly going into store in June 1702, although some soldiers continued to regret their passing." Naturally this is for the English forces, but thought it was worth passing along.
Tincey 2004 Blenheim 1704: "By the beginning of 1704, the third year of the War of Spanish Succession, all infantrymen served as musketeers [in the British and French armies]." Osprey is always hit or miss in terms of accuracy, but Tincey implies via his sources that from 1701-1703 there were a few remaining pikemen. Lynn 1999's The Wars of Louis XIV 1667-1714 suggests that in the French army the ratio was down to 4.5 musketeers for one pointy boy by the preceding Nine Years War, and it may have been even lower than that for the WoSS.
You guys might also be interested in this discussion as well: http://theminiaturespage.com/boards/msg.mv?id=189234 I am currently looking for the 1721 "Histoire de la milice francaise" book by Gabriel Daniel that apparently refers to an Ordinance from King Louis himself that ordered the removal of all pikes in the French army as of 1703, which would be primary source proof. This is not really in my area of expertise though (ancient/medieval/Seven Years' War/AWI), so my library is not very well calibrated toward it.
Cannot find the original French book, but Parlby 1827 The British Indian Military Repository Vol. V (last place I would expect to see Louis XIV info!) pg. 88-89 speaks of the 1703 French Ordinance, which he states that "the final abolition of the pike received the sanction of the authority, in compliance with the strong representations of Marshal Vauban, and much against the wish of Monsieur D'Artagan… who was very clamorous for their preservation."
Thanks for all the historical references by several Forumers in this debate. I am as certain as can be that front line (ie: regiments in the field) units in the War of the Spanish Succession in Western Europe (and almost certainly in Italy and Spain as well) did not use the pike. I am basing this simply on the lack of any battlefield reference in my reading of any account of pikes in use.
Accounts of Marlborough's army on the march to the Danube in the summer of 1704 and prior to Blenheim would surely have mentioned the encumbrance of pikes - but do not (because they were not part of the armoury). And so far as the French were concerned, a King as powerful as Louis XIV would be obeyed the moment he issued a directive. So if he said "no more pikes by 1703" that would be an order put into practice.
I completely agree that the master figures might look nice, be worth buying to paint up with their great uniforms and gleaming breastplates, be good for modest conversion to perfectly acceptable GNW Russians etc...but I'm afraid that my WoSS French army will have no pikemen !:relaxed:
During the Spanish War of Succession, the army of Louis XIV, is the most powerful in Europe. The coalition formed against the Sun King will achieve important victories. These victories will undermine the French army and finances. I think a few pikemen will take their places in this French army. But this is not representative. The same goes for musketeers. At the end of the war, there will be some reformations of units of pikemen and musketeers, but this is not the bulk of the army. As far as the English army is concerned, I think that pikemen and musketeers disappeared from the armies long before that time. Some pikes are still relevant in poorer countries such as Sweden, Russia, etc. In any case, I did not find any mention of the units of pike, during the descriptions of battles of that time. And again without this kind of armour. I'd buy this box, but mainly to get the drum and the officers back.
I still think that there is an imbalance of representation between a backward, under-equipped French army and the representation of the normally equipped English army. Of the four boxes representing the French army, three represent obsolete weapons (pikes and muskets). I look forward to seeing the French cavalry.
I'm still admiring about the engraving even if the options of the subjects are questionable.
Strelets determinedly doing its own thing again.
Beautiful figures, so I will buy a box, and, after carefully extracting the drummer for the sake of my WOSS French infantry, convert the remainder to Ankh-Morpork City Watchmen.
I am thinking of buying a box just so I can have a scene where King Louis XIV angrily confronts D'Artagan and says "WHAT ARE THEY DOING HERE!?!??!" :smile:
Désolé Sansovino, mais D'artagnan et ses trois camarades mousquetaires ne vécurent leurs aventures à l'époque de Louis XIII... qu'uniquement dans le roman d'Alexandre Dumas ! En réalité, le D'artagnan historique fit la quasi totalité de sa carrière sous Louis XIV et mourut le 25 juin 1673 au siège de Maastricht, pendant la guerre de Hollande.
Sorry Sansovino, but the true D'Artagnan (not Alexandre Dumas' character) spent all his career after Louis XIII's death and under the Sun King's reign. He died during the War of Holland, at the siege of Maastricht, on the 25th june 1673
Zouave72 probably speaks about this d'Artagnan ...
... who in fact championed the preservation of pikemen while Vauban strongly argued in favour of abolishing them. As we all know, it was Vauban who bore the palm.
But, perhaps, Zouave wants to comment himself on what exactly he meant ...