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One super happy camper

Dear Strelets,

Today I collected the sets that I had ordered from your most recent release (plus a few others) and I am d@mned impressed. Not a hint of buyers regret here!

The Napoleonic cavalry are all I expected and more. Such excellent sculpting. Loads of fine detail that will come out a treat when painted and zero flashing (as with all the figures, actually). My congratulations to the sculptor. I am so pleased that I ordered multiple sets. The Russian infantry are tops, just like the previous, similar boxes of their countrymen. The British firing line are lovely figures, interesting poses and the anatomy is really good—far better in the 'flesh' than on the webpage. A box of these will be useful to slip in with other figures or for special uses/poses.

Then there are the First World War figures. French Field Kitchen is so well done with top figures (plus I had not realised that it contains two kitchens per box, so a bonus there). I also got some that I had not purchased previously: Turkish Infantry In Tropical Uniform, Arabs in Skirmish and Arabs in Retreat. These blew me away. Simply brilliant figures. Especially the Turks. 'Like' wow.

Most of them are currently soaking in detergent so as to be brought into the loooong painting queue.

Thank you so much for what you do and the joy that you bring.

Regards, James

Re: and one camper with mixed feelings!!

I too have some of the new Napoleonic sets now & here is my opinion on them in the flesh so to speak.

The Russian Infantry in overcoats are really nice figures & will form waiting battalions really well. Nice figures all round. Top marks!

The French Guard Chasseurs have some nice figures to add to Napoleons personal guard, & some I plan to mix in with guard horse artillery. Only needed the 1 box though as they have limited use. But still a helpful addition for at least creating Napoleons personal escort.

The Austrian Uhlans are wonderful!! Very happy with these troopers. Some I plan to paint as normal, some I am thinking of trying to convert to Brunswick Uhlans. I have some from the HaT set, but need bulk them out a bit more and these Austrians might just help in doing that.....unless there is a dedicated Brunswick cavalry set on the horizon?!!
The Austrians all look like they are in reserve, but ready for action....for me thats perfect!! Your Uhlans have definitely been some of your better Napoleonic cavalry....troopers wise anyway.

However the horses in these cavalry sets are still some of the ugliest I have seen in plastic, & detract from the nicely sculpted human forms of the troopers. Hopefully future sets may eventually get better horses, the WSS ones are certainly far superior. Maybe getting some of the WSS horse masters & tweaking them to have more suitable Napoleonic era equipment is a future possibility?

But the real disappointment is the British firing line. I bought 1 box......and thats the way it will stay.
Nowhere near as good as the other British infantry sets you have made.
Dont get me wrong....the human form of the firing line figures is good, as is the uniform (apart from too many forage caps), but its the "muskets" that are just plain dreadful & as mentioned bayonets. The poses provided also do not convey the basis of a well drilled & disciplined British firing line.
There is almost too much variation in this set when I really look at it, when just like the other infantry sets, they would practically all be doing the same thing. So one whole row of men with muskets levelled, all barrels presented at more or less the same angle, firing or about to fire. Then another row in the midst of reloading...& then they would of all mostly been at the same stage of reloading. It was all about operating in unison. Like one great big living, well oiled machine. So really all that was needed was maybe very slight variations among 3 or 4 different types of pose. So firing, & maybe two types of reloading. My preference would be pouring the powder/ball down barrel & priming the pan and then of course poses using ramrod. That lot set up in 2 rows would of looked spot on, especially when adding in the casualty poses.
And if anyone says "oh but that would be a boring set if they were all basically doing the same thing".....what do you think the other infantry sets are doing??!!!! I thought that was the whole point of these new Napoleonic infantry sets....a focus on one part of drill/manouver?!
But anyway, this all fades into insignificance due to the very poor weaponry.

So on the whole, 1 set i'm very happy with, 2 cavalry sets where I like the troopers, especially the Austrians, but definitely not the horses & 1 set that is a massive let down.

Re: and one camper with mixed feelings!!

Well I have purchased none of the nappy sets, but may get the British firing line later. I have purchased the WSS British artillery, Africa Korps, FFL , and Goumiers. Little to no flash , fine mould lines ,all very nice figures that are exactly like the masters we were shown. At some point I will go back for at least two of the new sets I have yet to purchase ,probably three. But having made a start on painting the Artillery and getting very frustrated at the paint drying so quickly I have put them down to await either cooler weather or my patience to return.

Re: and one camper with mixed feelings!!

I too have a box of uhlans - don't really need many - my biggest quibble is how the placed on the sprue - Having cut them off as carefully as possible I am left with a noticeable crater on the rump of each and every one of them - I have tried filling it but to be honest it made it worse - just hope you can't see it when I've painted them.

Re: and one camper with mixed feelings!!

The rump problem on the horses was also there on Prussian horses that came out last year.
its not ideal but if you are careful you pare the plastic bit by bit they come out ok
I think I left plenty of sprue on the rear of the horse to start with.

Re: and one camper with mixed feelings!!

Dear Phil,

At the risk of 'telling my grandmother how to suck eggs'...

Do you twist or cut? I generally try a twist and if a weak point does not appear then cut. Like Steve, I leave a bit on the horse and then pare it back to nothing, rounding it off a bit in the process. It's all a bit of a fiddle, but barely visible pre-painting and unnoticeable afterwards.

Regards, James

Re: and one camper with mixed feelings!!

James - I always cut - perhaps I need to revise that for Strelets figures - not a problem if the gutters are on;y under the bases.

Re: and one camper with mixed feelings!!

"At the Risk of teaching my Granny to suck eggs"

For removing soft plastic figures from sprues, I use a pair of small side cutters as this will leave a stub on the figure which can then be carefully removed, if the figure is too close to the sprue I will cut the sprue either side of the stub connecting the figure to the sprue and then remove plastic as necesary with said cutters.
Finish with a robust sharp knife, often a small steel razor sharp kitchen knife, that I sharpen myself for the purpose using fine wet n dry on a flat surface, this should have a triangular cross section rather then a flat blade.

This is exactly the type of cutter:

The Knife any good brand will do but no flat blades:

I use this type of knife for a Lot of general craft work as well...


Re: One super happy camper

Thanks for the Buyer-reviews James, Roger and Alan. Always useful to hear what Forum members think of the new releases.

I'm just back from holiday (not camping!) and have an order on its way and hopefully due here tomorrow. Needless to say, the new WoSS releases are the main buys on my part - I have several sets of the dismounted dragoons, and then have also bought some of the artillery...mainly on the strength of the gunner figures, and despite the fact that I don't think 2 small guns is great value...but hey. I have also ordered the Russian Hussars, and will be going back for more of the Napoleonic sets: Uhlans and Chasseurs certainly, but not the British Firing Line...Roger has confirmed my reservations about this set. The order also includes the DAK set, which looks very good. I'll be buying some Goumiers in the near future, so thanks to Alan for views on that set.

It is only a 'dip check', but watching the likes of Hannants and Drum and Flag in the days/weeks immediately following a batch of Strelets new releases does give some idea of what is selling and how quickly. Current 'faves' seem to include the WW2 items, and the other deserty items, and the WoSS British artillery set. Also the Napoleonic Chasseurs set.

Anyway, more figures to add to the painting queue tomorrow, all being well!

Re: One super happy camper

I just put my order in. Looking forward to seeing them; I hope to get back to painting again soon. Been so many things getting in the way lately. I bought one box of the British Firing Line. When I see how well they blend with my other figures I might buy more and distribute them among the troops. As far as the forage caps go, I might have a use for them - even more of them if my research proves out.

Re: One super happy camper

What have you got in mind Wayne for the forage caps?
I did wonder about if redcoats in India during the period, would have had a much more relaxed stance on uniform....what with the climate. Especially those redcoats who were aligned to the East India company, rather than the regular army. Can't imagine a big leather thing on their heads would of been popular!!!

Then of course what about the non-kilted highland regiments? At Waterloo it seems the shako was worn (73rd had Belgic shakoes), but in terms of the Peninsular campaign...??

Re: One super happy camper

Non-kilted Highlanders is what I was thinking about; been digging through my old books to double check. I might do it anyway, what the heck - it's MY Army. Of course, I could always paint some in green and make them "Chosen Men." I already know who my Sharpe will be. LOL

Re: One super happy camper

Sounds good Wayne!!
Yes I think you would get away with using them for non-kilted highlanders. I'm sure I have seen somewhere some dressed as such for during the war of 1812.

Re: One super happy camper

Nice post, James.

The set I am looking forward to buy is the WW1 field kitchen. Lovely sculpts and lots of conversion possibilities (dressing station, artillery crew, engineers...).

Re: One super happy camper

My new sets arrived this morning and they are impressive in terms of quality of figures and production. Detail is crisp and there is very little flash on any of the figures. The two WoSS artillery sets are very good, and the guns are in fact somewhat better than the pictures here suggest, although lacking in some of the detail on the gun carriages; but the gunners are excellent. I'm impressed also by the dismounted dragoons, all very good figures and now at the top of the painting queue once they emerge from their soapy-water bath.

Well done Strelets!