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Part 8

Mould set with Napoleon on horse back - Page 8 of 9

Is mould 80-18 with Napoleon on horse back really a good idea? There is certainly nothing wrong with the figure, but most collectors will hardly need more than one Napoleon. Tradition of London also have a beautiful figure of Napoleon on foot as well as on horse back, as well as a beautiful figure of the Duke of Wellington on horse back. Some years ago Prince August opted for another solution, when a 40mm fully round figure of the Swedish king Charles the 12th was designed for the range of Karoliners. He was sold as a cast figure without an affiliated mould. Apart from above comment about Napoleon, the figure of Napoleon and the horse contains very fine detail, and the horse can be used for many other purposes. Horses constitute another area, where I should like to commend the designer. They are fully round and appear to have the right size as solid and heavy military horses, and actually tend to be more life-like than the horses from Tradition of London.

Close defence of bridge over a river by the Grenadiers of the Royal Danish Lifeguard supported by the Danish Artillery Corps. Close defence of bridge over a river by the Grenadiers of the Royal Danish Lifeguard supported by the Danish Artillery Corps.

 

The 8-PDR. Gribeauval-cannon from 1805

The cannon in mould set 80-08 is really a very fine cannon, only the barrel appears somewhat undersized, compared to the barrels of the range of cannons of Tradition of London as well as the 8-PDR. Gribeauval-cannon no. 643 from Historex. The latter is directly comparable and actually almost double the size of that of Prince August. It is thought-provoking that two designers in the same 54mm scale can design sizes with so much variation. One can apparently not assume that measures are certified. I am inclined to lean towards Historex, and the explanation to this issue from Prince August may be based upon a wish to retain the standard mould measure for all the moulds. A bigger barrel could possibly have necessitated a thicker mould than the 2.6 cm allocated for the standard mould. Instead Prince August could have termed the manufactured mould a 4-PDR Gribeauval-cannon. I have home-manufactured a mould of an adapted barrel from Historex No. 831 British 9 pounder, which matches the field carriage best. Instead I use the Prince August barrel as an 8 or 12 pound Barrel for the 40mm scale figures. It fits very well with the field carriage in Nürnberger Meisterzinn. If I've read the assembly guideline correctly, I am supposed to glue the wheels to the axle, if I want to avoid the wheels falling of when the field carriage is moved. However, this doesn't really facilitate wheels running freely. By gluing you also ensure that the cannon stands in upright position and refrains from leaning to one side, caused by the hole in the wheel being to big for the axle.

I like my guns to be able to move without wheels falling off at random, and likewise prefer upright guns to leaning ones. To alleviate the gun problem I have made a mould containing a new axle of 2.5mm in diameter. I file off the bulge on the outer side of the wheel and fill the hole with "milliput", before drilling a 2.5mm hole in the middle, matching the axle. Almost at the end of the axle I drill a small hole vertically through the axle. Then I fit the wheel and lock it in place on the axle with a thin split pin. This is, in actual fact, how wheels were fitted in those days. Now the wheels can move without falling off, and the guns can stand without leaning.

 

Conclusion

In spite of the minor inaccuracies and modest blemishes, I am continuously of the opinion that the 54mm range of the Napoleonic Wars represents a quite unique quality on the mould market. One could possibly find more inaccuracies, if one went into details. This may constitute a huge potential for experts on uniform buttons and other uniform details and weaponry from the Napoleonic Wars. Many figures are very fine and together with the many parts offer countless possibilities for converting. For persons in all ages taking an interest in model figures, here is a most reasonably priced possibility to get started with a number of interesting aspects, which forms part of the building of a collection of figures from one of the most exciting eras in military history. I hope that my comments in this article offer you the possibility to be selective in connection with purchase of the already 20 marketed mould sets.