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Just finished painting my first batch of Strelets WoSS British cavalry and tried to fix the riders to the horses. Which is a sad experience as nearly half of them don't fit well or at all. Especially when the coat is very wide it interferes with the rolled cloak behind the saddle and it's near impossible to fit the rider to the horse. Most legs are too narrow for the broad animals so putting them on the horses results in the paint flacking off in the process. In consequence I have put the officers on the slimmer Zvezda horses but this is of course not how it should be. Strelets has in the past often produced nice cavalry figures with a very tight fit and the problem seems to persist. What is your experience?
Plastic Soldier Review often remind us that riders that fit on the horses they come with is a sign of quality. And so it should be.
Sadly, the fit of some of the Strelets WoSS riders on their horses is not great, and I spend quite a lot of time carving away at inner thighs and horse furniture to get a snug fit. I do this as the first task after removing the figures from their sprues. With some of the recent horse-and-rider sculpts I then spend some time trying to get as near-as-vertical a pose, as some of the recent horses are a bit 'sideways' orientated.
I join rider and horse together before painting. All of my cavalry have a wire spigot which holds the rider in the saddle. Once joined, then they have a good soapy bath, a rinse and then I glue the joint prior to putting the figures into the painting queue. I find that doing this 'solves' the problem of being unable to fit painted riders onto painted horses. And besides, gluing a painted rider onto a painted horse means that you are gluing paint to paint. I have found in the past that this is a less-than-secure 'seat' for my cavalrymen.
But coming back to your point, Flambeau: Yes, Strelets could do better. Redbox have managed to do it fairly well with their recent 1745 sets (which are on Strelets horse sculpts).
Right, thanks! I SHOULD have made a preliminary test if they fit the horses - which I didn't do as lazy me decided to paint them while on the sprue. I definitely should have known better as the French horse Grenadiers had the same problem. Carving away pieces of the/saddle is certainly one way to tackle the issue and should be done your way - before painting - otherwise it's either too late or ruins everything. Now that it's too late I'm going to remount some on Zvezda horses - and I'm slowly running out of these ...😟. I can understand why Strelets does economize with the horse sculpts, but it's a less than ideal approach - to put it politely.
I found the recent Red Box Jacobite cavalry shared a similar challenge - I think they may have exactly the same horses as the Strelets' WSS?
It seems to me that at least some riders suited specific horses - almost as if made for them? A good tip was after the cleaning process (soaking in hot, soap-filled water), I stretched the temporarily pliant legs further apart before "fixing" them with a plunge in cold water.
Some carving was still needed but not a lot.
Hope this helps.
All good and sound advice. Should have known better beforehand, my bad. It's an all to common problem, had it with Strelets' French Cuirassiers in winter dress and others. Tbh I often remount my cavalry, Waterloo 1815 French lancers and Italeri's French Chasseurs got remounted on Italeri French hussars horses etc. Sad actually but it happens that many producers have nice men and very mediocre or not suitable horses. Seems to be a real problem for some sculptors ... .
I always try the riders on the horses before painting. I’ve found all the WSS cavalry sets have required at least a little saddle trimming. Once they are painted and the riders are on, you can’t really tell that the saddles/horses have been altered.
It is remarkable. The fit of the latest cavalry batches for the Napoleonic age have produced horses that looked a little odd, but the fit of the rider was perfect. The horses of the WSS look very nice but apparently have a problem with the fit. Combine the two with the appropriate saddlegear and you have whatever you could wish for.
Funny how the Strelets cavalry has worked out isn't it?!! If only it was as easy as swapping horses!
If the fit between the WSS horses masters did work with the Napoleonic troopers, Strelets could then just adjust the equipment/saddle/shabraque etc to be more suitable for the Napoleonic regiment.
However, if the WSS troopers were to fit the Napoleonic horse masters better....they would then be cursed with the ugly horses instead!!
Why didn't Strelets just test the fit between rider/horse properly before going into full production??!
Sometimes it feels like there is a bit of lazyness that creeps in or a lack of care among some of the sets.
The Napoleonic horses clearly didnt look great so why not say to the sculptor "sorry but these need to be better", especially when they were going to be reused for multiple sets, meaning all such sets were tarnished with the poor horses. Surely someone examines them before moving to the next production stage??
Then the same goes for the WSS cavalry. Test the fit. If you know its going to be really tight (or on the "flipside"- too loose), dont just go full steam ahead regardless, adjust it so that it works.
Such issues can make the difference in sets being very popular or not selling very well. If its a timing/deadline issue for cranking out so many sets, I personally think getting the sets right & of a high quality is much better than quantity. Strelets could take an extra month or two on working on a set & still release sets quicker than their competitors!!
I don't really know what's the problem here with the production. Italeri (before the overall quality deteriorated), Revell and Zvezda always produced cavalry sets that provided an almost perfect fit between horse and rider. So it can't be that difficult. And to force the customer to cut away excess plastic be it flash or whatever to get a satisfactory product isn't exactly a very good idea. Fumbling with a sharp knife or a razor on a 20mm figure get's a little risky with old age and there's a good chance that someone get's hurt - usually the miniature 😜 - so it's not one of my favorite steps in modelling.