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Re: PSR Napoleonic British Firing Line Review

Meat and poison Roger.

It is most of those negatives for you that are positives for me. The caps open them up as Scots. The variety of poses I'll enjoy making a line of troops who look like they are firing by platoons or companies. I'd have preferred bayonets on. They exist, I have a box, I like the figures, will likely get one or two more, I'll use them.

I do not expect you or anyone else to agree with this assessment.

Hopefully the next lot of Napoleonics will meet with more general approval, as the Bavarians did.

Cheers, James

Re: PSR Napoleonic British Firing Line Review

Thats fair enough James, if you can get some use out of them.
Had they been done more sensibly I would of had need of many boxes, but they wern't, I bought one just to see them up close & I only intend on utilising a few of the poses & the casualties. The rest will be utilised as "spare parts". Chopped up for the bits that may prove useful in future, like the heads with belgic shakos, perhaps for changing the cap wearing poses in the order arms/shoulder arms sets I have hiding somewhere!

The idea of using the cap wearing poses as non-kilted Scots is an interesting one which I also thought about before this set appeared.
However, i'm not so sure they would of more widely worn forage caps just because they were Scots. After all, the kilted highland regiments maintained a feather bonnet rather than just wearing forage caps, & the whole point of many of the highland regiments being "de-kilted" was to bring them more in line with standard uniform anyway. To take away the highland distictions. Even the 71st light had a shako with only the diced band around it to indicate any connection to its Scottish origins.
Many highland regiments by 1812 had suffered being de-kilted.
So as I say, i'm still not sure if caps would of been worn simply due to them being Scots regiments.
But its definitely worth looking into & trying as you say. Besides, it's your army, its up to you how accurate you want to represent your own units. We are all generals of our very own little armys!

As I say some will be more relaxed about the set, but those of us who were hoping and will now have to continue to hope for a definitive set of British firing, have been disappointed.

I agree, hopefully future sets will be given more careful thought before being released, & Strelets hopefully start knuckling down on the issues that crop up, whether its the design of the set itself or the sculpt.
Poor efforts like this one or the new Crimean Highlanders, needs to be prevented. As I say, someone can forgive the odd mistake or poor figure, but when certain issues become more consistant across a range, and are not seemingly being addressed, it begins to affect how a potential customer regards the brand.
Apart from the older Napoleonic releases, which I continue to enjoy, (apart from the French infantry sets, which were not that good really), I can count on one hand how many newer Strelets Napoleonic sets I have bought. The disappointment began with the Prussian cavalry sets, (although the Uhlan troopers were very good) & has continued for a while now. The range has started to make me feel "flat" towards it. Nothing has excited me until the recent Highlander masters seemingly for a set in square.
Hopefully there is more like that to come.

Re: PSR Napoleonic British Firing Line Review

Re: PSR Napoleonic British Firing Line Review

Nice atmospheric painting there!

The problems with paintings have been discussed before, & as PSR pointed out, we need be careful copying reenactors at times.
I know some say that supply issues meant shakos were not readily available, but I have thought that surely those same supply issues would affect caps & other uniform/equipment?

Either way, I still think its something different to try from the norm, & having seen your work before, I know they will look fab!

Re: PSR Napoleonic British Firing Line Review

Still going buy two boxes of this set I like the figures
I know they have problems but have seen a lot worse than than these.:stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Re: PSR Napoleonic British Firing Line Review

Steve H
Still going buy two boxes of this set I like the figures
I know they have problems but have seen a lot worse than than these.:stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:
Great idea to use these figures as 1812/North American campaign British and Scottish infantry, James. Ingenious. It's not a campaign that I collect figures for, but I'm sure this is a very good use for this good-but-flawed set.

Well done Steve, I also have seen much (very much) worse sets of British infantry than this...well actually, one in particular, which is the truly awful Esci/Italeri 'British and Scots infantry': best forgotten altogether.

Despite all these good wishes, I'll not be parting with cash for this British Firing Line set. I'll be sticking with my tried-and-tested Airfix Waterloo infantry for my Line Brigades in my Hundred Days Allied Army, and a Guards Brigade of the very fine (and now very rare) Revell British Infantry. Now.... that is how to 'make' British late Napoleonic Infantry in 1/72 scale.

Re: PSR Napoleonic British Firing Line Review

In my honnest oppinion they got exactly what they deserved. If strelets had listened to everyone it could have been the best set ever. Instead of a medioca set.

Re: PSR Napoleonic British Firing Line Review

Just to clarify one point; I don't think James is talking about using these figures as Highlanders wearing forage caps, I believe he means to use them as Highlanders wearing the Highland bonnet without the feathers. Which is a perfectly reasonable thing to do in the forests of North America, and, if I remember correctly, was reported to be absolutely correct by forum members who know a bit about the War of 1812. Presumably there was no problem with supply for the highland bonnets that highlanders had already been issued with.

Those forage caps will make a good representation of Highland bonnets without feathers. It's a good idea, I might just do the same thing.

As for the set in general, it has some issues.

The body proportions seem a bit off to me, most obvious in the standing firing figures. Maybe it's the torso is a bit too long for the width, they look a bit boxy. This might paint out, I felt the same about the Emhar figures but some painted examples I've seen look very good.

The muskets don't look right, again, paint might hide this. It wont be the first set with dodgy looking muskets, we all started our Napoleonic collections with Airfix figures armed with plastic sticks, and we still love them.

Too many forage caps, I blame "Sharpe". But it means I've got 'em if I need 'em and sending them to the Colonies is a good idea.

Having the loading figures in various stages of loading is not necessarily inaccurate, British infantry were drilled in firing by company. But I prefer to have the loading figures in the same pose so I can have a rank firing in front with a rank loading behind. Buying a few boxes would allow for making several battalions with loaders in the same, but different poses.

Some of the firing figures are firing too high or too low, that happened, but it's not desirable.
This is fixable, I'll get my drill sergeant, and perhaps an exacto knife onto them.

I prefer to have figures with bayonets attached, and, anyway, they are easier to cut off than they are to stick on so not fitting the bayonets was a mistake, but I'm not convinced that it's incorrect. Until recently the collective wisdom on the subject was that bayonets were only fixed immediately prior to use because they impeded loading. That was the "Everybody knows that!" thing as I recall.

Now it seems that "Everybody knows' that British troops left their bayonets fixed so they could charge after firing, well I'm not convinced. Yes, British troops were famous for firing a volley and charging through the smoke; But British troops were equally famous for priding themselves in being able to load and fire considerably faster than their enemies. They were also equally famous for continuous rolling volleys of company fire; which were unsettling to an enemy who, having fired was completely impotent while reloading, but was still being punished by an unnatural British fire that never seemed to end.

After several minutes off rolling volleys the British could still have fixed bayonets and charged though the smoke. Any delay caused by the fixing of bayonets would just build the anxiety of those who are about to receive; and the smoke wasn't going anywhere, I've heard that an odd effect of artillery fire is that it can kill the wind.

But, as I said I prefer fixed bayonets; I can use the tines from a cheap plastic comb ( I got a pack of 12 as a joke Christmas present one year), but it would have been easier if they were already on the figures.

Otherwise; nicely sculpted, correctly uniformed, British infantry in usable poses, and there's no need to shave off flank company wings.

I bought most of the British infantry sets on the market. some are very good and some are a bit ordinary. Some of the ESCI ones needed extensive surgery to be any use at all.

This set could easily have been excellent but the various niggles make it just O.K. I suspect a bit of paint might elevate them towards quite good, they might not be my favourite set but I think they will be perfectly usable.

Re: PSR Napoleonic British Firing Line Review

But, as I said I prefer fixed bayonets; I can use the tines from a cheap plastic comb

That is brilliant.


Re: PSR Napoleonic British Firing Line Review

Yes I believe he means a highland regiment like that of the 93rd "Sutherland" Highlanders around the time of the Battle of New Orleans. Which yes the cap wearers could be utilised for them which is what I considered too. I still don't think they were armed with shotguns though!!

But the thing is, we are not talking about another set of highlanders for this set, this was meant to be a set of normal belgic shako British/KGL line. Yeah someone could use the cap wearers for that highland regiment....but how many people realistically will want to do that everytime they want to buy a set of these British? Its the same issue with any set with mixed troop types in a box.
How many de-kilted highland regiments actually looked like that anyway? The 73rd didn't. They looked just the same as other line regiments at Waterloo. The 72nd also lost its highland uniform in 1809 as did the 74th & 75th. The 78th I believe kept highland dress along with the 42nd, 79th & 92nd. So that doesn't leave many non-kilted regiments for utilising these figures with the bonnet.
But yes, for the 93rd, it works.

I actually quite like the Emhar set. Now for a set which is firing more independently as companys, I would say that set is better than this set, albeit they are wearing stovepipes not belgic shakos. The guy biting the cartridge is a personal favourite. Only poses I didnt like were the marching pose (as just looks a bit "stiff" & lifeless), & I didnt think we needed 5 of the pose lunging forward. Might of been useful as a man bayonetting a poor Frenchman, but his musket is a little low....unless he intends on making himself a "sausage kebab"!!!😂

Paint won't hide the poor muskets. Detail can be made better but it won't make them gain any length! They are just way too short & look ridiculous. Yes the Airfix Waterloo British figures muskets were bland as anything least they had a more realistic length to them. As it stands my Airfix Brits will have to continue their long service for a while longer yet. No retirement for them now it seems. Luckily I do have a few Revell figures too.

As for the "Sharpe" TV series, yes it has a lot to answer for, however I think it was still only some of the riflemen who were guilty of wearing the forage caps (such as Harris), not so much the redcoats.

The business of conversions is certainly a possibility, such as fixing the angle of the muskets or gluing on bayonets. But I tend to look at the bigger picture.....not every customer wants to do that.
I too personally would rather concentrate my efforts of conversion on something that really needs it, say, making Dutch Carabiniers. Or more unique individual poses. I don't want to be chopping, doing fiddly gluing or even sourcing better horses everytime a new Strelets Napoleonic set comes out. As I say, I look at the bigger picture. A customer shouldn't have to pay £8+ (here in the UK), and then do half of Strelets work for them just to make a set "useable".
Apart from one French Musketeer set, (which funnily enough had a very similar problem to this one), the WSS sets don't seem to be suffering from all the same issues as Napoleonics, so Strelets are still capable of producing excellent figures. This should not be limited to one era, but any era taken on. If there isn't enough capacity to allow that, you just have to be honest & realise that you are doing more than you can realistically manage.

I am fully convinced Napoleonic infantry (or the British infantry, at the very least), upon coming into sight of the enemy, very much fixed bayonets. I think I remember reading that the Prussian Landwehr even had their bayonets practically fixed all the time, due to lack of a sheath?
This business of not fixing them until when really needed comes, as PSR eluded to, from re-enactors. We have to remember, certain aspects effect just how real these re-enactments can be. After all, there was no health & safety in the Napoleonic era like that of today!! And I believe its that same H&S that controls just what the re-enactor can feasably do.

I am reminded of a phrase well used here in the UK...."trying to make a silk purse out of a pigs ear", which is basically what is being mentioned often in terms of sets such as this.
What worries me, is how many more new sets must be sacrificed before it is clear that there is a research/design, or at times, a sculpting issue with some of the newer 1800 sets? Look what happened with the new Crimean Highlanders.....a total cluster "f". Could such a problem have been prevented if people hadn't just brushed under the carpet some of that particular designer(s)/sculptors mistakes before?
The more people just accept below average sets, the more they will appear, & then, like the Crimean highlanders, it will spread to other era's. Only when people say "enough" & start displaying their displeasure here or spending their money elsewhere will something be done. Otherwise the status quo will continue.....& that for me is worrying.

Don't get me wrong, I am fully capable of doing a lot of work to make these figures "useable". But I won't because enough is enough & I look at the bigger picture. I try to speak up for those out there who are not as skilled at messing about with scalpels or fiddly jobs.
So as PSR ended their review, it's not a set I can recommend.

Re:British Firing Line Review - and another use

Hi James
It's been a while since I posted but wanted to also mention apart from the well documented 93rd highlanders in North America in trews and cap, another unit was similarly dressed.
The 1st battalion 91st highlanders officially lost their kilts at the beginning of the Peninsular war, but as the order came through after receiving their tartan cloth they received permission to make it up into trews, and wore this together with the forage cap (not sure what the Scots called this - apologies to Scots from this Sassenach).
They definitely wore this at Walcheren in 1809. They had previously fought at Rolica and Vimiera but I'm not sure if they wore it, although in a book I have has an illustration of it being worn by their light company in 1808.

Re: Re:British Firing Line Review - and another use

The 91st lost their highland status in 1809 along with many others. They only regained it in 1820.

For Napoleonic service, you would get away with the hybrid highland dress for the very early Peninsular war under Sir John Moore, assuming they did indeed wear tartan trews and a bonnet, but when they returned to the Peninsular under Wellingtons command, they would have looked like a regular line regiment.
In fact at Corunna, they probably looked in quite a poor, scruffy state along with much of the army. As with the other regiments, those trews may of thus had to be substituted for locally procured cloth instead.

But again, they wouldn't of been using some carbine/shotgun hybrid & very much would of followed the drill of having bayonets fixed.

Re: Re:British Firing Line Review - and another use

Roger W: "Luckily I do have a few Revell figures too."

The best british infantry was made by the Germans :laughing: :joy:

Roger W: "As I say, I look at the bigger picture. A customer shouldn't have to pay £8+ (here in the UK), and then do half of Strelets work for them just to make a set "useable". "

Yes, i absolutly agree with you...thats the point...and therfore i only bought one box of the Firing Line-Set, to have more different poses for my Hougoumont Defenders...
They are useful for me, if standing behind a wall or a firing from an window... and thats it.. :wink:

Re: Re:British Firing Line Review - and another use

I'm debating on whether to make them a separate unit or mix them with my other regiments and battalions firing where they're differences won't be so glaring. A couple guys without bayonets won't be so out of reason mixed with a regiment. I know from experience even today there's always ONE guy who'd lose his head if it wasn't attached (in combat even that doesn't help sometimes). So a missing bayonet or two wouldn't be unrealistic if you're a stickler.

As I've said before, I'm tolerant to a point; particularly at this scale. Nothing that can't be fixed. If the figures weren't so well-sculpted or wearing Soup-bowl helmets or the officers firing revolvers I might be more upset.

Hopefully, Strelets is reading the critiques (they seem to have a habit of that) and future sets will be corrected before it's too late.

Re: Re:British Firing Line Review - and another use

Un petit bonjour de la France ! Je suis très déçu de cette boîte car il manque les baïonnettes aux fusils et des private à genoux dommage car la sculpture respecte très bien l anatomie,c'est un très bon sculpteur
Je constate une baisse côté Napoléonien il y a deux voir trois sculpteurs exemple les premières boîte britanic avec maintenant les chasseurs à chevals de la garde et enfin la ligne de feu ? Et en effet le premier sculpteur est passé sur la WSS .

Re: Re:British Firing Line Review - and another use

Roger W: "Luckily I do have a few Revell figures too."

The best british infantry was made by the Germans :laughing: :joy:

Roger W: "As I say, I look at the bigger picture. A customer shouldn't have to pay £8+ (here in the UK), and then do half of Strelets work for them just to make a set "useable". "

Yes, i absolutly agree with you...thats the point...and therfore i only bought one box of the Firing Line-Set, to have more different poses for my Hougoumont Defenders...
They are useful for me, if standing behind a wall or a firing from an window... and thats it.. :wink:

Yep as it still stands to this day, the best British infantry set made, was in fact made by a German company!
But then, why not?! Plenty of Germans wore the redcoat of the British army too, not to mention King George III was of the house of Hannover!!

Always puzzles me as to why Revell don't start up production & re-release their Napoleonics again. A quick look on ebay often shows their old sets going for silly money. They would prove popular sellers again I'm sure.