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I suppose that in an ideal world we'd inject an extra 'stage' around the stage 1 or 2 in the Linear A programme which would be titled 'Peer/Customer review of historical accuracy and poses'. However, I think any of us who have ever tried to design something by Committee' in the real world' knows what a futile exercise this would be; it ends up with a myriad of ideas, much wasted time and no-one being entirely happy with the end result.
HaT have tried this in the past and (may) still be attempting to do do this. Wasn't the farce of crowd-funding a few years ago something along these lines? If HaT still are, then the lack of new sets and the snails-pace of design of any future sets shows that this really, really does not work.
We need to trust our figure designers/manufacturers to make something that is at least 90% historically accurate, with useable poses and the 'right' mix of figures. We can do the rest via conversion/modification, or using a set for something which is not what it says on the box, but is actually a better application.
There is always the option of designing and casting our own figures: a few, a very few, manage to do this. But is takes a rare mix of skill, patience, resources and dedication that few have.
Let us simply be pleased that the likes of Strelets and Linear A are bringing out new sets, and lots of them.
Who does the reviewing? With different sources telling us different things about the units our figures portray I think the only useful review would be consensus of customer opinion, and that's a minefield.
One company offered their figures for customer review prior to production and, it seemed to me, it earned them a lot of, sometimes quite nasty, abuse. If other companies choose to avoid this I'm not surprised.
I suspect most of the manufacturers are much smaller operations than some people imagine them to be. Maybe one or two guys using soft moulds to spin off sprues in the back shed (all credit to them for what they manage to achieve).
If they outsource the production of masters to a sculptor or cad firm then presumably they have the right to say "yes that's what we asked for" or "no you stuffed it up, do it again".
If they make their own masters then there's no point in reviewing them, they already know what they look like.
In both cases there's no benefit in producing masters and then looking for some expert to tell them they're wrong. Better to do research beforehand and have a clear idea of what they want and that it's right. More diligence in step 1. would not be a handicap.
I agree with Graeme. I think its more a case of making sure the research is done properly in the beginning and then having excellent communication between the company/researchers and the sculptor/designer.
As mentioned its about showing due diligence, communicating what you require & insisting on quality control at each stage.
With CAD i imagine its not too awkward to alter any mistakes, a sculptor however would have more work to do, thus better to get communication right from day 1.
Of course if a sculptor or CAD designer makes glaring errors, then the company has a right to insist on the masters being redone, its their money & investment after all.
On the other hand, if the company hasnt done proper research or not said clearly what it wants, then they only have themselves to blame.
Thorough research and communication is all whats needed, no need for additional stages. Quality control should exist between each manufacturing stage anyway.
Interesting to read as always. Two points.
First, I am also not a fan of crowd review for the reasons mentioned above (it turns into a circus). When I mentioned the peer review process I was discussing what happens at universities between professors who specialize in a said topic, whom I believe are the ones who should do a hypothetical accuracy check. Unis are overflowing with PhD grads in most Arts & Humanities fields these days, so I don't think it would be that expensive to hire one of the young ones for an hour or two to quickly look over things before proceeding with the mold.
Second, I think maintaining historical accuracy throughout the sculpting process makes it difficult for the artisan. Art is a field unto itself and sometimes dimensions have to be reshaped, angles softened, different shades used, etc. I can sympathize with artisans who may, during the course of creating such pieces that are worthy of our money, become a little lost in the process and tweak something here or there that may alter their historical reality more than some of us may otherwise desire.
I do agree that all of these sets have their uses. The only one intended for a pre-French Revolution era that I would say is virtually impossible to have a non-fantasy role for is Lucky Toys' set of Attila Huns, I cannot find those armour styles anywhere outside of a movie set! :joy: :sunglasses:
I agree that there is a amount of artistic license in sculpting figures.
Thing is, the sculptor(s) are paid by the company to produce figures and if they ask for them to be historically accurate, then the sculptor really should do that. If they want to make artistic representations thats fine, so long as its in their own time.
However some companys may be happy to have some artistic license in their figures, not being so bothered with historical accuracy.
It then comes down to the customer. If we want accurate figures or dont care. Sales would then tell a company whether their philosophy is the right one.
Personally I would like figures to be as accurate as possible based on resources for the subject.
Any artistic license can go into pose designs, portraying drama such as like Linear-A's recent Waterloo sets, or Strelets Bavarian casualties in their Bavarians in attack.
Uniform & equipment wise however, I like them accurate. Not to the excess that each and every button is present, but the obvious details like, if a set is Napoleonic French flank companys, then the epaulettes are present or if they are fusiliers, they dont have 2 cross belts.
i looked it up also, but i'm not really convinced about the review. Too much "this is okay/good" in the text to have such point given at the end.
PSR does a really good job and helps us a lot, but sometimes they're a bit too american for me with the typical "this is the academic standard view and we believe there's nothing beside it" historical view.
Dismissing some gradual processes in development or just changement and also crazy stuff like cuirassiers in world war with such a stance.
I need these Hoplites and might buy more than good for me :sweat_smile: