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I am with you Minuteman. Some high quality work has at times been spoiled by some shoddy & maybe lazy details at times
Horses for the cavalry. I know I go on about it but what is the point of going to all that trouble to make some really nice troopers, if their mounts look like they were not given even half the same effort?
Same with muskets & bayonets. These figures are soldiers. Their weaponry should be given the same care & attention as any other aspect of the figures.
The human form on the whole has been well executed & the uniforms (apart from the annoying persistance of forage caps!), have been brilliant too.
Napoleonic muskets were long, slender weapons. And that slenderness went all the way along its length.
And here is a Baker rifle....
I also fully understand what you are saying. But thing is, Strelets has managed before. Ok they may still not of been real slender shapes etc, but the past Napoleonic Infantry sets, marching, in attack, standing at..., all at least looked right when taking the overall sculpt/shape of the figures into account, plus the bayonets were fixed.
I don't believe it to be a manufacturing issue in terms of process used as then surely it would affect all the sets, including WSS etc.
Rather I believe it to more likely be simple human error, either i terms of how the poses are designed or indeed the sculptor. After all, the problems only started to appear once the sculptor was changed. Crimean highlanders who look more like Napoleonic ones?? Thats no mould issue.
Good images Roger, thanks!
I think Revell got it right all those years ago with their British Napoleonic infantry set: long slender muskets with bayonets. I appreciate that moulding such long items is a problem, but it can be done.
Incidentally, I handled a Baker Rifle (and also a Mk 1 SMLE) last time I was at the Rifles Museum in Winchester. The thing that impressed me with both weapons was how 'right' they felt in terms of balance and being able to hold and aim the rifle. Getting this reflected in a sculpt is quite a thing, and to give the sculptor credit they tried this with the British Firing Line poses...just the 'wrong' musket without a bayonet!! Better with the Highlanders though.
There is something special about holding old weapons isn't there? I can't quite put into words how it feels. Like we suddenly have a direct connection to the past.
I know it was meant to kill, but when I too examined the Baker rifle, it almost looked like a work of art in it's own way.
The grain in the wood, with the finish/polish given to it, the whole firing mechanism, the little bits of brass here and there. As Hagman would say "she was a beauty"!
The people who built those weapons back then were some very fine craftsmen/women.
As has been said in this discussion: Strelets has managed to do this better before and is even now doing it with other sets (WSS, perhaps with the exception of the French infantry firing set). So it's neither a problem of the mould nor that it's hard to do in this scale. Imho it's the same issue as with some horses, it's not (yet) a detail the sculptor is very good at. Maybe he should take a look at some old Strelets' masters, viz.:
Interesting, are they not? Perhaps that's one way to do the trick.