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Re: Austrian Uhlans—todels or moys

Hi James.
Not to worry, I know you are well meaning and thanks for your concern.

In hindsight, I normally wouldn't of reacted to Norgri's post, but having had some bad news yesterday, my mood wasn't the best & his comment just got me. Yeah to some he is right, they are just plastic soldiers, but to others they are scale models that the more detailed & accurate they are....the better. It wasn't the "doll" word that got me, rather the tone and seeming lack of respect to those of us who dont "play" with our soldiers, & view the hobby differently.

I agree some could call them toys, some could call them models, I personally call them models and stick them in the same genre as model kit aircraft, tanks, ships etc. To me whether they are a box of soldiers at £8.99 to a wooden ship model kit costing over £200, its the same thing. Yeah some kids play with their models (as did I!), so yes, they are kind of toys. But I have also seen people, including yourself, put so much time & effort into figures, kits & dioramas, that not only make them so much more than toys, but works of art within themselves. They can tell a story, while also making someone go "wow" at the visual aspect.

As for being less worried about mistakes etc. Again, it depends on ones point of view. Now for me, and a good many others, quality sculpting & historical accuracy is very important.....its the whole reason for buying the figures in the 1st place to us.
Now if figures are made as best as possible, everyone benefits, whether you want a scale model or a toy. If however, you only cater for those who just want figures to use & are not worried about accuracy or quality, then that means the rest of us are left out.

Now here is the main issue of occaisional mistake or one or two poorly designed sets is forgivable. But we are seeing more mistakes with increasing frequency, some of which have been quite silly & very easily avoidable. Plus some very odd design decisions. Now while Napoleonics seems to bear the brunt of it, there is the odd sign that it is spreading to other era's. The recent DAK set hints at some disquiet among that era's fans.
The frustration comes from, (regardless if you feel they are models or toys), that Strelets can & indeed has done better. Whether that be horses, firearms, making sure little details are correct like fixed bayonets, or even the general layout of a set. We know there has been better.
But of recent the standards have is undeniable. For me the "Crimean Highlanders" really did take the p**s!! Many are hoping they are actually Napoleonic & theres been an admin mess up. But even if thats the case, why stick sporrans on suddenly when you havent done that for any of the previous highlanders??!!! It makes no sense. It was a set that in one go, displayed all the problems going on at the moment.

So that is why some of us are being more vocal about stuff. Add to that its something we have seen before with other manufacturers....& where are many of them now?? Toys, models or impacts it the same eventually.

All the best to everyone, & stay safe.

Re: Austrian Uhlans Big Deal?

I don't collect Napoleonic War figures as such. But I do use some of them as the basis for conversions. I like the flag, it looks great. I suspect it is hard to paint. One of the reasons I don't do Napoleonics is I don't paint much. All those little bits and bobs and buttons and such are more than I care to do, so I don't see painting the flag being any harder than painting the rest of the figures. Also, I have cut flags and spears and swords and rifles off of similar figures, then drill out the hand and install a new flagpole, or sword, or whatever. That does not seem hard to do. It seems the flag problem is more of a non-problem if the size is about right.

The horses look okay to me, but I am not a horse guy. So don't take my opinion on what horses look like.

I doubt I will get this set. I don't see any conversion potential to make them into Americans for the 19th Century. I have been trying to make various US Army, State Militia and local militia troops for the 1866 to 1910 period. Sometimes I have found Napoleonic troops that make the basis for some of them. Maybe a head swap and a totally different paint job is in order. But these guys don't seem to have any potential for me.

The two bonus civilian figures are wonderful. A half a dozen of each would be terrific. The various new sets with bonus civilian figures have all been great but not good enough to get me to buy a set for two figures. My budget is too small for that I am sorry to say.

Mike Bunkermeister Creek
Bunker Talk blog

Re: Austrian Uhlans Big Deal?

For those of us who like to do conversions, yes it may come easy, but that does not go for everyone & it really does need to be remembered that not every buyer of figures is capable or even wants to do all that kind of thing.
Its the same as painting. You have just said that certain amounts of painting is beyond what you can tolerate, yet there are many of us who can paint well & enjoy doing it....even the tiny little buttons, as illustrated by some of the fine contributions here & elsewhere.
Make a set suitable for everyone, not just a few....being accurate, well sculpted & avoiding odd poses for a set helps achieve that. If someone then wants to be "Dr Frankenstein" then fair enough!

As for the flag, the Austrian one does look about the right size.
But the thing about all these standards being put in cavalry sets is, they can sometimes be a waste of a pose depending on the nation & the type of cavalry.
I could be wrong but i'm sure I read somewhere that in the Napoleonic Austrian cavalry, the "heavies" were permitted to carry theirs if they wished to, but the lighter units, including Uhlans, were not, due to their use as scouts & skirmishers thus often being detached from the main army & thus vunerable. So in this set, the standard bearer is a redundant pose.
Alternatively,I believe that in the Russian army, regardless of what sort of cavalry the regiment was, it was quite common for cavalry to charge into the thick of the action with their standards....even the cossacks took their own versions.

Some cavalry regiments of certain nations carried more than one standard among the squadrons, so the threat of losing one, & thus bringing dishonour to the regiment, was diminished.

So it depends on what sort of cavalry the set is, & for what Nation they belong to, as to whether a standard is a good pose to include.

Re: Austrian Uhlans Big Deal?

Roger W

I could be wrong but I'm sure I read somewhere that in the Napoleonic Austrian cavalry, the "heavies" were permitted to carry theirs if they wished to, but the lighter units, including Uhlans, were not, due to their use as scouts & skirmishers thus often being detached from the main army & thus vunerable. So in this set, the standard bearer is a redundant pose. .

I think that most engaged nations in the Napoleonic Wars learnt early that cavalry standards, particularly those of light regiments were at risk & were not usually hazarded.
Strict accuracy would say they are not needed in 1/72 can of course leave that particular figure out.

My opinion: I'm often glad to get a set - any set - that covers a unit not otherwise available. I will, therefore turn a blind eye to some egregious mistakes.

However, Roger is correct that manufacturers should strive for 100% accuracy. This often takes quite a bit of research but possibly Strelets should remember there are several knowledgeable people on the forum who can direct them in the right direction?

The issue of "toy" versus "military model" is more than semantics. I wargame but I don't think of it as a childish pursuit. It reflects my genuine love of history. And I believe unless you count chess as a footling pastime, you can't dismiss the intellectual challenges of wargaming.

However, if someone talks of my "toy soldiers" in a belittling way, I don't care. BTW I think Nogri was making a point & not belittling the hobby.

It is healthy to have such robust discussion as this, but I hope we no longer stoop to the levels of abuse we saw recently? Now that would be childish.


Re: Austrian Uhlans Big Deal?

Good points there Donald.

I dare say that was indeed the case for cavalry standards.
I guess it goes to the idea that to lose the colours, was seen as a major dishonour, basically a symbol of utter defeat for that regiment. Alternatively, capturing one was a huge prize & honour to whoever captured it & to the regiment as a whole.

Yeah on reflection I probably shouldn't of reacted to Norgri's comment the way I did. As I mentioned before, I had some bad news that day & it just caught me off-guard. It was the "some people forget" bit I think, that got me. Of course nobody forgets they are simply little plastic men!!! But that isn't an excuse to produce a poor product, that money is being charged for. Toy or not.
If its dirt cheap then thats different. But the majority of figure sets are not dirt cheap anymore, including those from Strelets. Of course nobody is forced to buy, but if its a set you were looking forward to, or really needed, its annoying when it isnt good enough. It can really disrupt your plans. For example I was looking forward to HaTs Peninsular Dragoons, especially the Heavies. Then what appeared, (after so many years of waiting & the 1st release being the wrong scale), was a disaster!! Only half the heavy set was the right scale and some of the moulding was dreadful...swords looking more like daggers in some cases. Then the Lights were bigger than the heavies...just a mess for such long awaited sets, one that was even crowdfunded!! This in one move, made me drop plans for working on a Peninsular battle.

As for stooping to abuse like we have indeed seen not long ago, you yourself Donald being on the receiving end of it, I agree we dont want to see that. I try to remain civil & if I do engage, its within sensible debate. I hope my response to Norgri was not seen as abuse, it certainly wasn't posted as such, it was rather just exasperation felt at that post, at that particular time.

However, either way I shouldn't of reacted the way I did so I apologise, especially to Norgri.

Re: Austrian Uhlans Big Deal?

I think the little soldiers should be accurate as possible. Still it is often difficult to determine what is accurate and what is not. Many wargamers might want a standard in their set, to help identify a unit, and just becauuse it was not usually carried into combat does not make it wrong to include it. Also there is the difference between parade ground perfect and three months of campaign scruffy.

Mike Bunkermeister Creek
Bunker Talk blog