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I note that PSR have now had a look at the Highlanders in Square set, and the reviewer seems to like it except for the selection of poses - which score a lowly 6.
I have to say that I agree with this score, much though I like (most of) this set. In my view it combines well with a box of the Highland Firing Line set to make a square, albeit with not enough kneeling poses if you are creating a diorama. On the other hand, creating a couple of battalions of Scots for a table-top wargames army is perfectly feasible using this set and the Firing line set....although to be honest I now more than enough 1/72 Highlanders from various sources to create many more kilted battalions for the '100 Days' than actually fought under Wellington.
However: The poses showing men holding their muskets in the horizontal, shoulder height 'press your musket' pose (ironically, characteristic of the C18th century British infantry drill book, and therefore employed by British infantry fighting Highlanders at Culloden..) are a bit strange, and the three figures showing a man bayonetting downwards are arguably not that useful. And why include a man using his musket as a club? And, especially, what is the point of a seated Highland Piper...is he tired having run out of 'puff'? If anyone was left standing in a hard-pressed Highland battalion in the midst of the battlefield, it would be the colour-bearing ensign and the piper!!
Maybe a case for a little more care and attention at the design concept stage?
Agree with both your observations Mark, and those of PSR.
Instead of those poor pose choices (the ones you and PSR mention), that could of been more room for more kneeling poses....something the set really needed.
I also notice some of the poses reappearing in the recent Bavarians in square masters (the "Culloden" type pose for example).
Such poses can have their uses in a wider context, but really when designing certain types of sets/formations, Strelets need to pay more close attention as you say.
The in square highlanders was a set which left me with mixed opinions overall. However the highlanders firing line is much better and a very fine set.
I intend on painting them up soon......once I have plucked up the enthusiasm to do tartan again!!
I agree Roger. There does seem to be some degree of 'pose creep' happening with some of these Strelets Napoleonic sets, perhaps using the same basic armature and simply changing the uniform??
For us collectors/diorama builders/modellers/wargamers, there are certain poses that are fundamental to the 'look' of a unit on the field of battle. So, for Napoleonic infantry, especially French but for that matter most continental European armies, masses of infantry in 'march attack' or similar are a basic and much-needed pose. Massed columns of infantry can be built up using this pose. Meanwhile, because of their prowess with the musket, British infantry have certainly to be seen as a Firing line (less so perhaps as 'march attack??). Skirmishers of any nation need to be firing, loading, advancing, kneeling etc. And any Napoleonic army would train its soldiers to receive cavalry in square.
Strelets are, I think, on the right path with their Napoleonic sets. Just a little more care is required on pose selection.
Since I don't collect Napoleonic figures as a rule I don't have a dog in this fight.
Strelets does way over 100 Napoleonic Scots figure poses. I counted them up on PSR just yesterday. I am hoping to obtains some Scottish figures to get the command figures, for a US police project I am doing. No idea what to do with the remaining 40 guys in the unit, and pretty pricey for four to six figures. But I digress.
I would not put too much stock in the box title for Strelets figures. Scots in Square, Scots Standing, Scots Marching are, in my view, a general view of the majority of the figures in the box, but not necessarily the only figures in the box. So a couple of the figures may be doing something that would be unlikely in the context of being in square or marching, but when grouped together with the other Strelets Scots figures, they bring additional poses that don't necessarily fit in any particular box but are still useful or serviceable.
So the guy seated on a rock playing bagpipes is an odd choice but since Strelets does make a number of standing and walking pipers, having one that is very different seems to me to be okay. Just like the one dead piper is not the best choice if Strelets only made one set of Scots but since they make several different bagpipers already, it's a useful figure.
Why are they bayoneting down? Enemy guy gets shot, falls off the horse, he is on the ground, so the Scot must bayonet him in a downward position. Guy in the Culloden pose? There is a chance to have a slightly different pose in a group of otherwise similar figures.
Again, this is not my era. But I do apply these same principles when I am buying ACW figures or WWII figures, or FFL from Strelets.
Mike Bunkermeister Creek
Bunker Talk blog
The seated piper is, I think, intended to be one of the casualty figures; wounded, unable to stay on his feet, but still bravely playing his pipes. It fits in with the popular romantic view of the highland Piper so O.K. Slightly more worrisome for me is the fact that he doesn't seem to know the difference between his right hand and his left, he must be heavily concussed.
I'm not a fan of the odd poses and the C18 bayonet drill pose is just wrong but I can perhaps see some sense in the others. A while back Italeri made a set of Highlanders with some figures in square. It seemed to me that the figures did not work for a neatly formed square but looked like they were part of a 'rally square' hastily formed by infantry suprised by enemy cavalry e.g. The 42nd at Quatre Bras. This Strelets set has some figures that will work for a properly formed square but the odder poses might fit in the more desperate fight of a rally square.
The kneeling figures are wonderful sculpts, the best in the box, they look really good, but they are GIANTS (not uncommon with kneeling figures).
Your right about the kneeling poses, I hadn't noticed that before!
They look especially large when compared to the misplaced "culloden" pose next to the 1st kneeling figure, as shown on PSR. Oh dear, I hope that issue is rectified for a British infantry in square set, if one is being planned (hope so). Same if Strelets decide to include kneeling poses in a Brunswick or French in square set.
I wonder if these figures would match up with the Waterloo1815 set in square? The kneeling figures definitely. But the standing poses I am not sure about. Between the two sets however, they may just offer a way of building a nice square. The Waterloo1815 set had some standing poses that could of been better. So this set could at least help replace those.....dependent on compatability.
Mike I get what you are saying about set titles etc, however what has made Strelets new Napoleonic range so appealing I think is the decision of concentrating on a specific drill of the day. Now yes some of the more exotic poses have their uses, but taking them from the standpoint of there being as many in a box as the other poses, they then take away from poses that are more essential. As I have mentioned before, we ideally needed at the least 1 more kneeling pose. So the "Culloden" pose for example has thus "got in the way".
As for bayonetting a guy who fell off his horse, if he fell outside the square, he would likely of been left to his fate, as under no terms was it a good idea to leave the square during an attack. If he fell into the square, maybe, but there would be no need to hold the musket so high to bayonet him. The musket would still be held more or less at waist height but just angled downwards, brought back & then thrusted down into the unfortunate individual. As it has been created, its a pose that looks more like someone defending a wall than being part of a square.
A poor quality version (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2saolpwN4A) but forward to 4:19
"When you meet a cuirassier, you'll be lucky to bring away your life. Never mind his helmet..."
So, fend 'em off any way you can!! :)
Just a bit of fun, of course, like the film, with it's script composed almost entirely of historical and purported quotes and one-liners.
Just to add my fourpennyworth to the discussion on highlanders in square. Having recently purchased this and the firing line set, I had put them into the to do cupboard patiently awaiting there turn. However following the review from PSR and the subsequent forum discussion, I have prematurely sprung them from there enforced at rest state.
Largely I feel that they fulfill as stated on the box. Where they veer away from the standard fare, well as previously stated there are plenty of others in the Strelets and others back catalogue. Also the variety of poses allows for a bit more realism and modification opportunities. I realise this maybe not quite what a wargamer requires but in trying to satisfy everyone it ends up with very few being fully happy. My major issue with both sets is that the heads seem small. Anyway hopefully they will get painted and at some point arranged in some kind of square. I will say that despite the quality of the detail , I'm with Roger, I hate painting tartan