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Re: French inf marching

Wondering if these are supposed to be troops marching in battle or troops marching to battle (or anywhere else). Would this determin how precisely they ahd to carry their muskets?

Re: Re: French inf marching

I was thinking the same thing. One would assume someone carrying a heavy musket over a long distance would shift it from left to right occasionally to save strength. Unless regulations were strictly enforced on the road.

Re: Re: Re: French inf marching

I agree Andy, on long marches we were ordered to change the arms.No big deal which shoulder weapon is on.i like the figures they look CAMPAIGN, more lifelike then many other manufacturers well done strelets....but where are the ...never mind tomorrow is a better day(sigh).

To change arms is drill practiced in most forces even today. It helps break up the monotony and gives blood back in the numb veins of the other arm.

usually someone would break the step and cause the ripple out of marching step,which always had a few funnie comments of humor within the ranks.

Re: Re: Re: Re: French inf marching

These marchers will be very useful for things other than dressed ranks. In pictures of a big mass of moving troops you often see arms carried every which-way, so the shoulder doesn't matter to me. Great sculpts, and I'm looking forward to several boxes.

Re: French inf marching

Dear Pieter,

actually there are a lot of figures marching in battle already that can be used for this purpose only. When we were making this set we were thinking more about march on/from Moscow rather than about on which shoulder a soldier carried his weapon. You may regard this set as an equivalent of the Legoin on the March for the Napoleonic period.

Best regards,


Re: Re: French inf marching

Of course on the march it was allowed to shoulder the musket on the other shoulder.

But when this is a marching on the way set, why are two of the guys ready to fire their musket?


Re: Re: Re: French inf marching

If it is 1812 I assume the answer is cossacks.

Re: French inf marching

Dear Strelets.

Ah yes, of course. We still have Napoleons invasion of Russia to come, and I am getting the impression that you see this set as part of that theme.

Dare we believe there is a equivalent set for the Russian forces in the pipe line ??

Still plenty of tricks left in the old dog yet!!!

regards Mike McA

Re: Re: French inf marching

Dear Strelets,

Many thanks for explaining the "philosophy" behind the sets, this puts things in another perspective.
I like the figures and will buy several boxes.
And please remind that these men, even when they change shoulders still need to stop and rest for a while. Perhaps another set might cover that ;-)
Keep up the good work and great ideas

Many regards


I must admit that I was wrong

A while back I poked fun at this set by calling for french infantry reading mail, taking a **** and lounging around, however, I am pleased with this set. The figures look very realistic and not so static as many other marching poses. I'm very pleased that SR is continuing the Mowcow 1812 campaign. Keep up the good work SR!

Wrong shouldered

As much as I agree that the French marchers are authentic for the 'Moscow' series, I feel that our good friend at Strelets could miss out on potential sales. i.e. If the majority of the marchers had their muskets 'at shoulder arms' on the left side many sets would be purchased for 'March attack' formations.
I need six hundred figures in such a pose.
Just a suggestion.
I look forward to getting sets of the 'THin Red Line' with the 'not to mention Turkish Infantry/artillery.
I have every Crimean set that Strelets have produced and in most cases several of each set. I have just ordered some more Crimean War Russian Dragoons because they are so good.
Best regards

Re: Wrong shouldered

I agree with Murat. The difference between infantry marching to and marching on the battlefield is, essentially, the placement of the muskets on the right or left shoulder. If Strelets would put the muskets on the left shoulder, the series could be used for both purposes. While I would gladly buy a box or two for a diorama picturing soldiers marching TO, I would buy many more if these would picture infantry marching ON. For sales-purposes I suggest Strelets refashion some of the poses.
Otherwise, the poses look great. Keep up the good work.

Re: Re: Wrong shouldered

In essence, a great set for diorama builders not so good for wargamers.

Re: Re: Re: French inf marching

Dear Pieter,

did you mean like this?

You will surely recognize that inspiration for some of our figures is from here:



Re: French inf marching

I think it makes A LOT of sense, for Strelets to change 1 or 2 poses to make the set better.


Based on past experience, I dont believe Strelets will change any pose in this set despite all the opinions/suggestions forum.

This is probably due to the fact that when masters are posted, molds making are already under way. Changing poses will be costly for production.

So, people, get ready for this set AS IS.

Sorry, the message above was posted by me..

...and I really hope I am wrong, i.e. Strelets will change 1 or 2 poses.


Dear All

Most if not all muskets came with a wide leather sling. A broken sling could be repaired with string but it was essential. For long distances the musket would be slung, so the bottom right figure, if I am not mistaken is accurate. Right or left would be irrelevant. Wearing a sling on or over the shoulder for too long could cause sores and chafing which could turn into boils or abscesses so swapping around makes sense.
I don't have the rationale for it but I presume the left shoulder was used for drills in changing from line to column and other formations. The right hand free to pick the nose . Does anybody know the rationale as all customs to do with arms usually have a logical explanation?

think outside the toy soldier box.

Traditionally world over soldiers will adapt and did use what is comfortable attitude for them on campaign .its nature ,thats a bigger rock then mine, i want it. That knife has a better handle gripp than mine i want me tobacco for parma ham.etc

Availability, impprovisation and military fashion.If enemy boots fitted hey...officers did not stick to the book but used rig de jour.It is easier to march in bonet de polis than shako.Left shoulder is perhaps more authentique to include.paade ground stuff goes to waste in the field.horses bolt soldiers miss orders due ot cannon fire .c'est la guerre.

WHo would have thought us soldiers wear shamals, but it helps keep cool indesert.Look again no webbing set is the same = comfort,exta water bottle. ETC

think outside the toy soldier box.

Re: think outside the toy soldier box.

Hi, Hank,
I see your point. But.
If this was a box of battlefield infantry though, they would have to shoulder arms on the "correct" shoulder though.
Line infantry were packed shoulder to shoulder in battle in Napoleonic warfare as I'm sure you know.
To take your musket off your shoulder to the march attack position would be a disater if everyone had them on different shoulders as they would interfere with each other & the unit might dissolve in disorder..
I understand that on route march it doesn't matter but on a battlefield poor drill could spell death.
regards, donald

Re: Re: think outside the toy soldier box.

Dear strelets, I think your explanation is very poor. You did a very bad historical research. I always thought the old italeri and esci times were over...

Re: Re: think outside the toy soldier box.

Those tactics in that era were really only executed reasonably well with guard units or 1st battalions, the rest mere militias would just try and emulate .Alot would depend on the nco cadre to kick azz.

The level of education and intelligence of soldiers was not as good as armies of latter years /Paralell to that is the level of physical fitness and health levels which would perhaps cause increasing gaps in conmpanies and battalions as the pace quickened.Add field obstackles such as haystacks fencing and marsh and we have an interesting cue for nco's to voice their opinions..ahem.

Re: Re: Re: think outside the toy soldier box.

Interesting, Hank.
I forget in which battle but sight of the Old Guard, simply advancing in perfect order, caused the Prussians to retreat.
So you may well be correct about the difficulty in keeping order.
You are a military man I think? You don't reckon though that an NCO could get even the slowest farm boy to tell left from right?
regards, donald

Re: Re: Re: Re: think outside the toy soldier box.

Donald You can practice this at home with a pushbroom in your back yard chuckle.Try advancing as if it were a bayonette .How long did it take to get uncomfortable?

did your neighbors call teh cops chuckle

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: think outside the toy soldier box.

There is a very simple answer. Donald described it - regulations were made for a better movement. You can bring the musket from your left arm better into firing position than from the right one.

I could write a long text about the handling of a musket, but it would be waste of time I fear.


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: think outside the toy soldier box.

Feel free to join in, Uwe.
Hank is a stubborn customer & I need help.
regards, donald

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: think outside the toy soldier box.

Considering tehre were very few people who could even read or write in those days prior to 1840's printing expansionism ,especially soldiers(excluding officers) .

i doubt many soldiers could even read drill instruction manuals.Most enlisted men were from heavy industrial manual labor background, farming lumber mining factory backgrounds

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: think outside the toy soldier box.

"doubt many soldiers could even read drill instruction manuals"

Granted but I think this applies all the way through the colonial era particularly with native troops..

In 1964 the German parliement voted to pay the backlog of unpaid pensions to Askaris still alive who had fought in german colonial units during WW1... suprisingly 350 individuals were identified however only a few had the original certificate issued to them in 1918, the problem was how to prove that the rest had been German soldiers... one official came up with the idea to give each man a broomstick and ordered him in german to perform the manual of arms...
None Failed the much for written manuals...


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: think outside the toy soldier box.

"did your neighbors call teh cops chuckle"
Do you mean "again", Hank?
Unlike you, I've never been in the military so to tell the truth I haven't experienced anything like what we're writing about. I acknowledge your advantage.
I do know they can knock Napoleonic re-enactors into some sort of shape in a fairly short time. Basic drill.
In wargaming terms I think every troop type should be able to do nearly every manoeuvre but the poorer ones should take a lot longer.
I'm enjoying this discussion BTW.
regards, donald

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: think outside the toy soldier box.

Hah, What i'm also getting at is its really pretty tiring even just walking about with a musket, and equipment giving one back ,feet sores and fairy heavyequipment on ones back.maybe a kettle also.There would have been alot of requirement to be comfortable.Weapons slung or carried at teh trail would be common sight until approaching a town village everyone would look smart(try to impress the ladies ).The fitness level of soldiers then was nothing like our modern day health and food maintained standards.

Drills load unload weapon and when to fire under pre modern open battle(non trench) conditions must have been very testing for company commanders Quite an apocalyptic event.Noise much smoke from powder(hah wet for the europs chuckle).ripple volleys and nervous discharges and people forgetting to load or unload properly.Weapon jams etc faling comrades and
a few cannon balls thrown in...mayhem.Sergeants pyhsidcally grabbing men to fill gaps.Men from second line companies moving forward to help fill teh gaps such commotion.

imagine try running with the equipment on farm land with swinging and rubbing into back sores from teh leather friction rubs from webbing. High porte across teh body is most comfortable wayy of running woth a weapon.But When you move teh weapon to a bayonetting position it is twisting your body and feels unnatural starts a yaw.almost feels like you run sidewards.See you can tell i do this often in my garden too.

Consider The uniforms which were made of a much much thicker density of wool than they make today.More stitches per square inch etc.much itchy uncomfort.Add a little(okay maybe alot then.. of rain to make european readers comfortbale chuckle).

Now throw all that into the thought bag, jump out the toy soldier box and start trying to stab someone with your bayonette.Its exhausting work .very quickly lose breath then stagger to teh next fight.adernalin floods in you become hoarse from tyelling and screaming.Deafened by someone discharging there musket
near your head .you look for the flag and see the familiar silhouettes in teh smokey field run a certain direction and follOw.Trip over a body or wounded combatant. I think i got carried away with the tide of the battle.Now its all quiet and the smoke is clearing.Carnage presents itslef,yelling wounded and horses screaming. Hooves thundering past and shadows waving swords in teh most.The trumpeter blares in the distance and fatigued silhouettes of soldiers are seen walking at all speeds through the smoke towards the sound to regroup. Some cuts and bruises throb sweat on the eyebrow which has dripped from your shako band, stained black from teh leather dye. Knuckles are skinend and bleeeding. The wind catches something and.......

Now i'm back looking at the wargame table.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: think outside the toy soldier box.

Hi, Hank,
a very graphic description: well worth reading thank you.
You raise a lot of good points.
I would like to talk about fitness levels one day for example. (you don't think people back then were mentally tougher? I've read accounts of the retreat from Moscow. I don't think modern people could do it).
However back to topic.
If you used the Strelets' set on a wargaming battlefield, the figures are not looking that stressed (yet) but are still mostly carrying their muskets contrary to the drill regulations which (as they cannot read) were "drilled" into them (sorry for the pun) by loudmouthed & aggressive NCOs.
I don't say it never happened but it must have been very rare & only the greenest troops who were essentially untrained, may have looked like this.
cheers, donald

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: think outside the toy soldier box.

Yes Donald , I think there should be more emphasis on NCO's postures/poses and seen to be going "monster raving bonkers" at their men in teh ranks .

NCO's(hard flat nosed ugly looking b'stards (think thats in teh Oxford english Australian,west edition) in battle then would be competing like semaphore flags for aggrssive verbal and hand signals.An NCO would not just point...(hahaha ..pardon cant hear what he is saying said the rookie) he'd really look like having the hernia to get the job done. Shoving pushing kicking wounded out the way grabbing shell shocked stunned rookies pushing into the gaps.For the love of the job of course...

My training team kicked the living kraap out of us in the 70's as that was before tree hugging and verbal abuse etc was invented.


The musket is on the left side to allow the lock to not ride against the body.
Last weekend in Virginia at 104 degrees I must admit we changed arms on the march quite a bit from the "shoulder" to the "support" and to the "advance" (in the right hand) to help the troops survive.
David M

Re: Drill

dave, i know the feeling got the callouses, I always seemed to get teh er..."honor"(too heavy for teh buddies) of carrying the team machine gun .Then when i eventually knew what i was doing, and understood everything else that was going on, a few thousand foot mile patrol ops and 2 years later, i got the (look up that western australian oxford english dictionary i mentioned above )back breaking korean war reject "mike fox" frequency dial radio set.chuckel .

Re: Re: Drill

Hi Hank:
Once with a Cdn Forces 25 set (Korean War vintage)straped to my back, I went through the ice on snowshoes. It is hard to swim with one of those on your back. I can fully understand your feelings about carrying kit.
David M

Re: Re: Re: Drill

hah thats are a "Polar Bear Club" member then.I did very simialr on a survival course.That put me off ice cube in my drinks for life.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Drill

Having shared that experience training in Arctic Norway, I have to say it didn't put me off ice cubes in drinks. It just put me off falling into freezing water while carrying my own weight in military kit.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Drill

Ian another polar bear club member, Funny i thought you guys like your beer warm.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Drill

That's our southern neighbours, the English, you're thinking about. Scots prefer their lager cold. And plentiful.