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Part 7

Heads and headgear - Part 2 - Page 7of 9

As I am not quite satisfied with the bearskin for the French Imperial Guard, I have decided to convert it to the bearskin from Tradition of London's French Imperial Guard. It is big, round and bushy and corresponds perfectly to the paintings from this time. It also to a high degree increases the appearance of the figures. For collectors and manufacturers the head, for obvious reasons, is an important part of the figure. Instead I have made a mould with the bearskin from Prince August after filing a few millimetres from the top of the bearskin and the feather. This head I use for the manufacture of an Imperial Guard in 40mm figures from Nürnberger Meisterzinn.

In mould set 80-05 and 80-06, consisting of the French Imperial Guard, the designer has really performed a rather clever trick. Some of the detachable heads with bearskin have been equipped with a grenade on top instead of the usual cross like the rest of the moulds. People with some knowledge of uniforms know that the grenade on top was introduced in 1807. However the idea is not reflected at all in the brochure material or the painting instructions which refer to 1805 and 1804, respectively. This solution gives the collector the opportunity to expand the use of the soldiers to the time of the battle of Waterloo.

Swedish yellow hussars make sortie supported by a Swedish cannon battery. Swedish yellow hussars make sortie supported by a Swedish cannon battery.

Table No. 3, Overview of the contents in 20 Prince August mould set with 54 mm model soldiers from the Napoleonic wars.

Mould set No. Contents Mould A Mould B Mould C Number of Parts
80-01 French Imperial Guard on Parade, 1805. Painting instruction 1804 Infantry soldier, marching, 6 parts Drummer, marching, 6 parts Officer, marching, 5 parts 17
80-02 French Imperial Guard in Combat, 1805. Painting instruction 1804 Infantry soldier, standing firing, 5 parts Infantry man, advancing, 6 parts Officer, 5 parts 16
80-03 French Imperial Guard, Chasseur à Cheval, 1805 Painting instruction 1805 Trooper, 3 parts, fixed head Right horse half-part , 3 parts Left horse half-part, 3 parts 9
80-04 French Imperial Guard, Empress Dragoon 1805. Painting instruction 1805 Trooper, 3 parts, fixed head Right horse half-part, 4 parts Left horse half- part, 3 parts 10
80-05 French Imperial Guard attacking, 1805. Infantry soldier using bayonet, 4 parts Infantry man, kneeling firing, 5 parts Infantry man, running, 4 parts 13
80-06 French Imperial Guard, Reloading and Sapper, Painting instruction 1804 Sapper, marching, 5 parts Infantry man, loading cartridge, 5 parts Infantry man ramming musket, 4 parts 14
80-07 French Imperial Guard, Massed Band, 1805 Drum-Major , marching, 5 parts Serpent player, marching, 4 parts Standard bearer, marching, 5 parts 14
80-08 French 8-PDR Gribeauval Cannon, 1805 Barrel and ammunition chest 5 parts Field carriage, 2 parts Wheel and axle, 3 parts 10
80-09 French foot Artillery of the Line, 1805 N.C.O. directing, 4 parts Gunner with port fire, 5 parts Gunner carrying round, 3 parts 12
80-10 French Imperial Guard, mounted Mameluk , 1805 Mameluk, 3 parts Right horse half-part, 4 parts Left horse half-part, 5 parts 12
80-11 French Imperial Guard, Massed band, 1805 Tambour maitre, marching, 6 parts Cymbalist, marching, 5 parts Sapper, marching, 7 parts 18
80-12 French foot Artillery of the Line, 1805 Artillery officer, 4 parts Gunner with ramrod, 5 parts Gunner with bucket, 5 parts 14
80-13 British 95th Rifles, Peninsular Wars 1808 Officer, advancing, 5 parts Infantry man, advancing, 4 parts Horn player, advancing, 5 parts 14
80-14 French Line Infantry, Peninsular Wars, 1808 Officer, advancing, 3 parts Infantry man advancing, 6 parts Drummer, advancing, 4 parts 13
80-15 British 27th Regiment of Foot, Peninsular Wars, 1808-1813 Officer, advancing, 5 parts Infantry man, advancing, 5 parts Drummer, advancing, 4 parts 14
80-16 French Foot Dragoons, 2. Regiment Officer, advancing, 3 parts Infantry man, advancing, 5 parts Drummer, advancing, 5 parts 13
80-17 French Imperial Guard, Massed Band, 1805 Musician, 3 parts Clarinet and basoon, 6 parts Trumpet and horn, 6 parts 15
80-18 Napoleon Bonaparte on horse back Napoleon, 4 parts fixed head Right horse half-part, 3 parts Left horse half-part, 3 parts 10
80-19 French Infantry of the Line, 88th half brigade, Egyptian campaign, 1798-1801 Officer, advancing, 5 parts Infantry man advancing, 5 parts Drummer, advancing, 5 parts 16
80-20 French Legion Nautique, Egyptian campaign, 1799-1801 Officer advancing, 6 parts, fixed head Infantry man, standing firing, 3 parts, fixed head Drummer advancing, 4 parts, fixed head 13

 

Lacking accordance between packing and contents

In mould set 80-02c the left arm of the officer has been put in a position on the picture of the packing which deviates considerably from the real position of the arm in the mould. It is of course natural that the designer is thorough a process in order to find his final version of the figure. But it is unfortunate when the packing is printed and you subsequently decide to change the figure without also changing the packing.

 

Identical figures and variation

The two officers in the two mould sets with British soldiers No. 80-13 and 80-15 are really nice figures, but apart from the uniform the two officers are almost identical. You can of course make changes to that. Drummers and trumpeters are a festive element in a group of figures, no doubt about that. But to equip the almost 6 consecutive mould sets (80-13 to 80-16 and 80-19 to 80-20) consisting of three figures from different regiments with a musician and an officer each in my opinion signifies too little variation. Many different figures expand the possibility for converting. As apparent from Table 2 there is a considerable majority of musicians and officers. You can of course adjust for this in the number of castings. The designer should, however, be commended for the considerably varied marching French Massed Band, the "tête de colonne" and all the instruments from mould set 80-17. And if you lack further instruments you can copy from the range of Tradition of London. One can discuss the need for two almost identical sappers more or less only deviating on the beard in mould set 80-6 and 80-11. I would imagine that many would also find that 3 advancing grenadiers in mould Nos. 80-2c, 80-5a and 80-5c are on the high side. I would find a fine figure like 80-2c enough. The same applies to 80-6b and 80-6c. One loading soldier should be enough. My comments to the modest variation, the majority of certain types as well as almost identical figures should be seen in the light that I have absolutely no idea (information) of what the future will bring, and the fact that I would really have preferred figures from the adversaries.