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Re: Critique on sets

Good morning,
A good debate about this last set.
I see the positive part as Strelets delivers action set.
The headgear bonnet is great especially for Peninsular as the troops were often in poor conditions so the shakos must have suffered as well.
For the bayonet I keep thinking they will be on it as my impression at looking at the masters is that all of the figures muskets have something weird at the end. This suggests to me that the bayonet were there and snapped for whatever reasons. So I would wait to the figures and see.
As many said these chaps will bring a great variety in my firing line mixing them with the other brands. The firefighting Albuera must have looked very much random and this is what this troops represent apart from the 1812 Belgic shakos.
Let's see.
Have a great day.
CPN

Re: Critique on sets

Mmm well im not a button counter thats for sure, in my oppinion they are a resemalance of the real thing, so close for me is good enough. But saying that silly school boy errors (like no bayonets, and forage caps in action are un acceptable) useless posses are also a big waste of space and only ever remain in the box or in the trash pile. I do how ever like the crisp detail on Stretlets modern sculpts, makes painting easier to define.
Yes as collectors,painters,diorama buulders etc we all call for different standards, as a manufacturer they have to try and split the difference between us all, hench close enough is good enough for me. Im my honnest oppinion stretlets are wasteing realy good sculpts for silly errors on this set, if its not corrected then itll be one box of these for me to be dissapointed with, or more if the corrections are made.
Stretlets add the bayonets lose the forage caps adjust some posses add a flintlock musket(not carbines) and this set will be the best ever!!
End of rant (again)
Keep up the great work

Re: Critique on sets

Good points there Phillip.
I too am not a "button counter" but do insist at least the basics are correct....only a single crossbelt for the cartridge pouch/bayonet on Nap French Fusiliers, epaulettes for French flank etc etc.
Buttons can just be a little touch of a paint brush if they are not quite correct...at 1/72 scale anyway.
As some of us have mentioned before, I think because we have seen so many wonderfully well sculpted and well represented sets by Strelets, when something like the latest Nap Brit set came along, it was a disappointment for some of us.
Mainly with the weaponry issues and the poses being not what some of us were expecting. The forage caps are indeed a constant pest in a few Nap Brit sets.
In the main though, Strelets do wonderful work.
I just hope they make sure that issues such as with the aforementioned set, are corrected and not just accepted in future. If there is something they are not sure about....simply post on here & ask!!! Or of course use google. Tap into a wealth of information out there.
If a sculptor goes off on a artistic tangent....stop them!!!
Figures can & have been done properly and correct, and yet still be little works of art!

As for the latest Brit set, im afraid it may be now too late for it to be corrected. Release never seems far away once the pictures have been shown.

Re: Bayonets

Just a historical note: while some armies may have kept bayonets fixed at all times, the British army only fixed bayonets prior to initiating (or receiving) a charge, so a firing line should not have their bayonets fixed.

Re: Bayonets

Historical notes:
"Though hotly engaged at the time, I determined to watch their movements. The 88th Foot [Irish] next deployed into line, advancing all the time towards their opponents, who seemed to wait very coolly for them. When they had approached to within 300 or 400 yards, the French poured in a volley or I should say a running fire from right to left. As soon as the British regiment had recovered the first shock, and closed their files on the gap it had made, they commenced advancing at double time until within 50 yards nearer to the enemy, when they halted and in turn gave a running fire from their whole line, and without a moment's pause cheered and charged up the hill against them. The French meanwhile were attempting to reload. But being hard pressed by the British, who allowed them no time to give a second volley, came immediately to the right about, making the best of their way to the village." (Costello - "The Peninsular and Waterloo Campaigns" p 125)

....."without a moments pause".
No fix bayonets orders in that witness account. I think such an order would constitute a moments pause.
It was a well rehearsed British drill of firing off volleys and then launching into a charge, taking advantage of the French shocked/disorganised state.
To suddenly stop to fix bayonets would lose the opportunity to capitalise on the stunned enemy and thus also encourage them to even get off a volley themselves.

At Waterloo as is widely known, they also would of had to form square, some regiments even deployed in square for the majority of the battle. This formation needed bayonets fixed as a deterrent to the attacking cavalry. A wall of steel which again, once safe to do so, could then perhaps form back into line & fire.
Stopping to fix bayonets while trying to form square would of potentially resulted in the attacking cavalry gaining the upper hand and routing the battalion.

Re: Bayonets

Hear hear!! Ive been looking all day through my many books to find an account of a British regiment ordered to fix bayonets and then discard the sheaf! But i just cant find it. Its bugging me, has anyone else read about this or am i imageing it??(might just be me disbelief that the fireing line have none)

Re: Bayonets

Hi Phillip.
The bayonet scabbard/sheath was carried via a cross strap and hung from the left hip. They didnt need to discard it.

No you are not imagining things.
Everything I have read, as like you, has always indicated that when British Line Infantry were formed on a battlefield, bayonets were fixed from the start. Holding some sort of building or fort, may of then been the exception to the rule, but then, they wouldnt of been formed in line for that anyway.

British muskets like many of the time, were not the most accurate. The French had to get really close before massed musket fire would have any sort of impact. Therefore bayonets needed to be attached ready, as the French would be very close and you may either need to fend them off in a melee if they gained the upper hand (if you werent falling back or starting to break) or charge them if they were waivering, and press home the advantage. Thus breaking the French line.
Another noticable omission from this set ive just noticed....no kneeling figures. Front ranks would at times , such as being on a higher position to the advancing enemy such as a hill or ridge, kneel so as to allow rear ranks to fire lower with unrestricted view.
1 or 2 poses kneeling would of been useful.

Re: Bayonets

Hi Roger, your eye witness account underlines my point perfectly: the regiment was ordered to assault the enemy so would have commenced the movement by fixing bayonets. The fact that a quick volley was fired immediately before charging means every soldier with a musket fired one single shot - it is totally different to being deployed in a defensive firing line where the men are expected to fire and reload rapidly, when fifteen inches of steel attached achieves nothing except to impede and even endanger the men trying to do so.

A quick reference here from a War Office manual of 1859 (yes I know it's not Napoleonic)
"Likewise when ordered to form square, obviously bayonets would be fixed:
In light infantry movements company squares will be formed as laid down in Part II Section 32 except that the men when forming from close order will move into column with their arms advanced the second section fixing bayonets on the word March the remaining sections as they halt and front and when they run in from extended order they will order arms and fix bayonets independently as they halt and front in their places"

This from the Rules and Regulations for the Formations, Field Exercise, and Movements of His Majesty's Forces As Prescribed by the Following General Order, Dated 1st June, 1792

"The major advances to the front of the battalion, opens ranks unfixes bayonets, shoulders arms makes the officers and colours in the rear by facing to the right marching through the several intervals occupied by the serjeants and when 3 paces beyond beyond the rear rank they halt and then receive the word FRONT The commanding officer lieutënant colonel adjutant pioneers music supernumerary serjeants drummers fifers are at their posts in the rear as when the battalion is formed in close order"


In 1811 a soldier of the 71st Regiment of Foot, writing of fighting the French at Fuentes de Onõro, recorded: “… during our first advance a bayonet went through between my side and clothes, to my knapsack, which stopped its progress. The Frenchman to whom the bayonet belonged fell, pierced by a musket ball from my rear-rank man. Whilst freeing myself from the bayonet, a ball took off part of my right shoulder wing and killed the rear-rank man, who fell upon me. We kept up our fire until long after dark. My shoulder was black as coal from the recoil of my musket; for this day I had fired 107 round of ball cartridge.”

Maybe those two men lost theirs?

I read on PMT about a company who made some ACW firing line figures without bayonets and customers complained because regardless of historical accuracy, they "didn't look right".... ;)

IMHO Strelets have got it right with this set depicting a battle line engaged in a firefight. If the title was 'British infantry in attack' or something similar, I would agree with you.

Best regards
Stuart

Re: Bayonets

Interesting quotes there. Which I too believe I have read before.

Firstly, who said a firing line had to be defensive? As is in this case, it was offensive also. Yes they probably loaded the musket and attached the bayonet before advancing, thats just sensible, but you are assuming that they knew for certain the 1st volley and charge would work. What if it didnt? Are you saying they would have to stop, take off the bayonet to then reload, reattach bayonet and then fire & advance again? All the while the French are doing what?? Nah dont buy it. Just isnt common sense.
Typical British practice when in a defensive position, was to wait until the French were well within 100yards, (the smoothbore muskets of most if not all European powers had poor accuracy), fire off a few volleys and then charge with the bayonet. No pause for fixing them...moment last volley had been fired they were ready to charge. All part of the idea of breaking the French line and sending them fleeing. British troops had often fared better & stood fast against French columns than other nations had. A fact Marshal Soult tried to point out to Napoleon in 1815...to no avail. Soult knew only too well the quality of British troops and Wellingtons ability from his time in the Peninsular.

Secondly, yes as you have said, that is not a Napoleonic drill transcript. 1859. 44 years after Waterloo. Things change. Especially in warfare. It also mentions light infantry....not line. They had a slightly different drill, taking into account the ability to skirmish and provide a screen. Terrain may also play its part.

The next quote is simply about movement in general. This now also just insinuates that Strelets has messed up with the Shoulder arms set as bayonets are moulded on them. Not unfixed as that quote says. But I think the idea was for them to be portrayed on a battlefield, not a parade ground. I like those figures, maybe not the banjo guy though!

The next quote does not mention that they did not have bayonets attached either. It is refering to their advance upon the French. No advance would be made without bayonets fixed. You even hinted to this when referring to my quote. To do so would be ill prepared.

As for the ACW set....well thats not Napoleonic is it? What happened in European armys of the early 1800s and what happened in American ones in the mid 1800s is not much of a comparison. Look at the technology appearing in the ACW, the weaponry was changing. Rifled weapons with increased range, such as the sharps rifle. Weapons which could fire more than one round at a time. Even artillery was much changed. Look at the pistols the officers had. Im sure the British officers in the Peninsular War would of loved a army or navy Colt.

The socket bayonet used in the Napoleonic period was purposefully designed to allow muskets to be fired and reloaded whilst still attached. It was a redesign from the older plug bayonet which was placed inside the barrel meaning you could no longer fire.
Hence the new type that was offset to the side with the "flat side" facing the barrel. One to not interfere with firing and two not to interfere with reloading.
Also, when it comes to reloading, a ramrod was not inserted directly from above but at a slight angle away from the bayonet. It is how i have seen demonstrations done here in the UK, even when a bayonet wasnt even attached!!
So you would have to be really clumsy to stab through your own hand. Also bayonets of the period were not as sharp along the sides as one today might be. These days they are much more knife like. Back then it was more about the point rather than the edges.
Yes it is very possible that someone might just bump their hand against it and bruise or suffer cuts, these would simply be occupational hazards. From what I can tell of life in general back then, health & safety wasnt as big a thing!!!

Either way this is a discussion that could just go in circles. Fascinating as the topic is, it is irrelevent now as the set has been made. Those who didnt want bayonets will be happy, those who did will either have to ignore the set or somehow try and glue on some form of bayonet....not an easy task. I say always mould bayonets on, least then there is the easier option to keep them or trim them off.

No Bayonets but useful for Defense of Hougoumont ?

Hi Guys,

the discussion is very interesting.

I am of the opinion that the unfortunate name of the new STRELETS Set 278 has unfortunately aroused false expectations.

Because of this designation, many people had expected figures to build fire lines and squares. But what has now been created would have been better called "British Infantry Defending Buildings and Fortified Positions". Under this title, the figures are ideal for the defense of Hougoumont.

But they are not useful as a "firing line" in open field combat. Because mounted bayonets would be essential for this.

The unfortunate choice of the name led to false expectations ... and now some people are very disappointed (me too :disappointed: ) ...

But let's be honest; for Hougoumont (behind the walls) these figures are very useful. Because there the bayonets were only a hindrance when the rifle was pushed through the loopholes. That's why it was certainly not put on there ..

And if you look at it that way, then STRELETS has again created a set that is unique. :thinking_face:

Because there are quite a few real Fire Line Soldiers on the market ... right?

On the other hand, it wouldn't have been bad to make the muskets with the bayonets attached. Then you could still use them in Hougoumont and simply detach the bayonets (if required). That would have been the better solution. :confused:

Re: No Bayonets but useful for Defense of Hougoumont ?

Probably when firing through loopholes or windows. But I think they may of still used the bayonets when defending the wall from above. Would be a helpful weapon in getting rid of those that tried to scale the walls.
Some poses with flank company shoulder rolls would of certainly helped to paint up some foot guard light companys for Hougoumont, but there arent any moulded.

Yes it is possible to sort through other sets to obtain suitable figures, but then that is a expensive way of doing it, getting multiple sets for just a few poses. Same as it would of been if someone only wanted marching figures. Imagine trying to get enough marching poses out the newer Italeri British set where theres only 3 in a box!! Thankfully, Strelets made a set dedicated to just that. And I thought that was the whole point of the recent Nap sets....they are performing a singular maneuver or task. Thus a much more economically viable proposition for the customer.
Also if we are going to just say theres already suitable poses dotted around here and there, the project as a whole may as well be dropped. For all nations. As there are sets out there that may have a pose marching or at shoulder arms etc already.

Thing is even without the bayonet, there is something rather unsatisfactory about those muskets. They just look wrong. The poses are not the most convincing either. As someone else has said, a few of the poses look more like they are out shooting grouse!!
And we still come back to the same issue.....we asked for Napoleonic firing line sets. This set, as you have pointed out isnt really suited to that. Not for on a battlefield.
Yes some of us have had our expectations disappointed, but as I say, the request was for firing lines. This is what is ment to be the British set, hence being titled as such....and thus this effort is what Strelets gave us.....hence the disappointment among some.

I may buy 1 box to see if I cant use some of the poses. The wounded will find use. Their muskets look slightly better. The Sargent is a brilliant pose. But on the whole, its a set that i will pass on.
Hopefully other nations sets are better, but for proper British firing lines, I myself will look elsewhere among what plastic sets there are and of course metal...unless Strelets wants to do a true firing line as a part 2?!