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Part 6

Missing adversaries - Page 6 of 9

What I particularly find lacking in the range of the Napoleonic Wars is adversaries to the many French soldiers. I can only imagine the collectors in France must feel the same way. Apart from the two mould sets with British soldiers (80-13 and 80-15) to cover the "The Peninsular Wars" the rest is French only. When the emphasis of the French soldiers is on the time of the battle of Austerlitz, the range ought to include at least one or two mould sets with Austrians and Russians, and a couple of sets with Prussians would also do nicely. Further, the two mould sets of French soldiers from the Egyptian Campaign (80-19 and 80-20) tend to stand out rather isolated. Here adversaries from the battle of the Pyramids would certainly do justice. Finally the modest British forces seem badly equipped compared to the overwhelming French forces. Mould sets with British artillery, troopers and Scotch soldiers would reduce this gap. In this field, information on the future marketing policy of Prince August tends to lack quite substantially.

Sjælland lancers advancing. The corps is from around 1820. Sjælland lancers advancing. The corps is from around 1820.

Table No. 2, Breakdown of 54mm Prince August moulds by various equipment and arms, nationality and period.

Types
French
British
Total
Period
1798-1801
1804-05
1808-13
1808-13
 
Cannon  
1
   
1
Cavalry incl. horses  
4
   
4
Musician incl. 2 tambour majors
2
8
1
2
13
Artillerists incl. 1 officer  
6
   
6
Infantry officers
2
4
1
2
9
Infantry
2
10
1
2
15
Sappers  
2
   
2
Eagle- and flag bearer  
1
   
1
Total infantry and cavalry
6
35
3
6
50

Twenty mould sets comprising 60 moulds broken down by 46 different foot soldiers, 4 troopers including horses and 1 field cannon. From the 20 mould sets are cast 268 parts, of which around 60 are the same. The stated information of periods is taken from the Prince August material.

 

Who are the competitors of Prince August?

It is increasingly manufacturers of model soldiers rather than other mould manufacturers, who constitute the biggest competitors of Prince August on the model soldier market. The alternative to buying moulds and manufacturing your own soldiers is of course to buy them ready made. The English Tradition of London in London sells 54mm model soldiers of the so-called range "toy style model soldiers for collectors" of quite high quality, which can be purchased painted or unpainted. The company has a considerable and constantly expanding range of model soldiers from the Napoleonic Wars and may consequently constitute one of the biggest competitors of Prince August. The range is more comprehensive than Prince August and contains a huge number of British and French figures. The range is also more focussed than that of Prince August as it to a high degree consists of soldiers from the battle of Waterloo. Of course there are exceptions to the rule. As stated it is not moulds but ready-made model soldiers, you buy. The prices for unpainted soldiers range from around £5 for foot soldiers and £10 for troopers, DKK 50 and DKK 100, respectively. But there is indeed a considerable difference between buying a foot soldier for DKK 50 per piece and producing one yourself in a purchased or home-manufactured mould at a price in the environs of DKK 1 per piece.

 

Heads and headgear - Part 1

The figures in 16 of the mould sets are marketed with detachable heads, which is indeed a good idea, as it facilitates converting. It is therefore quite annoying when the two troopers in mould set 80-3 "Chasseur à Cheval" and 80-4 "Empress Dragoons" are designed with fixed heads. Conversely the Mameluk in mould set 80-10 is designed with detachable head. The Napoleon figure in mould set 80-18 also has a fixed head, and most of us can live with that, I guess. But again it is unfortunate that the figures from the French "Legion Nautique" in mould set 80-20 are designed with fixed heads, as they are what could be termed standard figures offering many possibilities for converting.

The headgear for the French "Chasseur à Cheval" in mould set 80-03 I find somewhat undersized. I have copied the head from a comparable figure with considerably bigger headgear from Tradition of London in a home-manufactured mould, and it fits perfectly. The head from 80-03 conversely fits on 40mm troopers excellently, e.g. the three French hussars in the Prince August range "Battle of Rossbach" in order to update them to the Napoleonic Wars. (continued on page 7)