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So with our club Crimean War project getting under way, two boxes of Ural Cossacks made it through the snow and arrived in the mail today; I've washed them and starting to cut them off the sprue when I notice one horse was broken. Well maybe I can glue that one, but working through the others, found the same issue, always with the two first/top horses on each sprue, broken legs in exactly the same way :cry: maybe it's old stock, but the plastic doesn't feel brittle or crumble the way some really old Airfix figures do so I wonder what is going on here; has anyone else encountered this problem?
Interestingly, some years ago I invested in a fair number of Strelets Crimean War figures. I did notice some brittleness in the horses legs, although I don't think they were actually broken when I took them out of the boxes. I have had to reinforce the horses with a thin wire which 'supports' the horse body and goes through the plastic base, to strengthen the whole structure, although this is only required with some sets. The wire is hidden against one of the the back legs and is not really noticeable when painted or landscaped as a tuft of long grass.
Nonetheless, it took a bit of time to effect this modification.
I have no idea why this is, but the Crimean horses with the wire support seem to be holding up reasonably well.
I have never bought this set but the ones I have bought, I can honestly say that is something i have never had with Strelets figures. Worse thing ive had from them is just some bent over figures/muskets due to being a tad snug in the box (think boxes could do with being a few mm bigger ideally).
So if anything that just shows that the plastic usually isnt at all brittle as they would of snapped if in the box like that.
Im guessing its part of a bad batch, or the place of retail has had it stored in a way that has compromised the plastic..extremes of heat/cold maybe?
Either way i think you can be rest assured that this is not typical of Strelets products on the whole.
Least they snapped before you painted them up. I have (sorry had!!) a load of Hat 1808-1812 French Line Infantry & Hat French Caissons and Limbers disintergrate on me a little while after painting them. The horses did in fact snap exactly where yours have but also, could be ridiculously crushed very easily in the palm of a hand. I was not a happy chappy!!!
Over the years I have purchased hundreds of sets and painted them, the only one that has had a problem, was the Hat set mentioned French 1808/12, but that is it. No major issue with Strelets stuff ever.
It was indeed extreme! I couldnt believe it. Even old Airfix stuff I had hadnt suffered such a catastrophic decline.
Months of work gone in an instant. I dread to think how many 1000s of figures were affected, or how much money was wasted, to say I was livid is being very diplomatic!!!!
If it had just been some horses snapped off at the legs, i could of lived with that, annoying yes, but repairable.
Cant do anything with something that turns to dust the moment you so much as look at it!!!
On the whole im very happy with the plastic Strelets use, if anything as I say, perhaps the boxes could do with being a bit bigger so the contents has a bit more room.
could you, please, contact us with your address over the e-mail?
There is a technical explanation for this issue of breaking of figures always at the same point (Allow me to put on my uniform of a plastics expert)
When the sprues are molded the molten plastic is pressed with high pressure into the mold - it flows from the injection point filling the cavities and the air is expelled through the slits between the two mold halves. For an ideal molding process both the molten plastic and the mold itself must have a specific temperature (depends on type of plastic, size of mold and channel diameters). Mostly this is determined empirically when starting a molding process.
In each mold the melt advances inside the channels and sometimes two melt front meet at certain points. If the melt at that stage has too low temperature the welding of the two front is inefficient and the resultant sprue (or the figure) will always break at this point.You can check this by observing the "break point" and estimating whether this is linked to the melt paths from the injection point. Just observe the geometry pf the whole thing.
Personally, I have encountered this phenomenon on some sets in the past. Not too often fortunately.
It really is a molding process quality issue.
Hope I didn't club you with this explanation
I've had one set where some of the horses had "torn" legs "Sarmartians" 020...
I suspected this had something to do with the large horse bodies, but whatever the reason their easy too fix by welded them using a temperature controlled soldering iron and trimming off any excess.
I've used this method a lot for alterations, conversions and repairs and it pretty permanent...
practice a bit on scrap sprue/figures to get the hang of it, its best to use small shavings of the same plastic as welding material... pick them up with the tip of the iron and make sure the temp is not so high that the plastic starts to burn... it should just be melting..