Tuesday, March 25, 2014

GNW Swedish Infantry Preview

Clibinarium - It may have seemed for quite some time now that all has been quiet on the Warfare Miniatures front, without news of new releases or development. But things have been progressing steadily under the radar on the first part of our new venture into the Great Northern War; the army of Charles XII.

Over the Christmas period a lot of work went into the preparation of doll figures, indeed I got a bit carried away and produced nineteen dolls, rather than the projected fourteen. However careful work on the dolls is essential and the more there are the greater choice it gives me as the sculptor in the later stages when masters are being prepared. The dolls went off for casting up and came out quite nicely, though a few had flaws and are being recast. In any batch of dolls some flaws are unavoidable, that's just the nature of the casting process.

Our basic approach with the Swedish foot is to produce three types of pose; Marching, Standing and Charging. The last in particular being indispensable for portraying the aggressive tactical doctrine of Charles' army. When we get on to the Russians they will likely be Marching, Standing and Firing, the latter to illustrate the Russian answer to the Swedish charge. Within the three poses we are providing figures in karpus and tricorn. I have decided to alter the style of the karpus slightly between the poses, but the different packs within that pose type will have the same style to make the units consistent.

Below are some Work In Progress pictures of figures currently on the workbench, but soon to be sent off for casting. Please bear in mind that there are certain bits that aren't quite finished on these figures, but they give a decent impression of what the eventual figures will look like.


Pikemen in tricorn charging

Command in tricorn charging


Pikemen in karpus charging

Command in tricorn standing.

The green coloured figure may be recognisable as one of the original sample figures sculpted back in October. He is green because procreate putty turns a sickly green hue after having been through the vulcanisation process. Beforehand it is a light grey as visible on all the other figures.


Pikemen in tricorn standing

You can observe in these figures some of the same dolls used in the command pack. Uniforms in the Swedish army differed little in cut between the officers and the rank and file. This makes the dolls wearing only waist belts potentially convertible into any infantry role.



Musketeers in tricorn marching


Musketeers in karpus marching.

As may be recalled from the preview it was decided that the best way of tackling the marching figures was to make the musket arms plug-in. Hence the lack of a musket arm in these masters. This allows a more dynamic pose and avoids certain casting issues that can make consistent good casting problematic, or in some instances, problems that render some poses un-castable altogether: see this previous post for discussion of this issue.

A happy accident of this choice is that I realised a slightly different pose from the originally intended one was possible by changing the plug-in arm, giving a more casual pose, and a more serious one with bayonets fixed advancing to contact. In both cases the arm can be rotated at the shoulder to alter the slant of the musket..


Note that these karpus wearing figures have a slightly different style of karpus than the charging figures..
The issue of headgear for Swedish grenadiers is a perplexing one. Few mitres have survived intact, regimental records rarely mention them, some of those that are known are for foreign regiments in Swedish pay, etc. It is quite likely that most just wore the tricorn. At the dollying stage I sculpted up some of the known examples. However when you think about the practicalities of how to produce the different varieties the numbers begin to add up. With five different mitres a single pose of standing grenadiers adopting all five would need twenty five sculpts to produce five packs, and then the other two types of pose would require another fifty. Never mind the sculpting, the inventory is getting out of control at that point.

A potential solution is to make the headgear plug-in, somewhat like Perry plastics. Its not ideal as there may be a slight gap between the head and the hat, though generally whatever glue is used to attach the hat will fill in the gap. Of course if you want your grenadiers in tricorns you can stick those on instead of mitres. Unless there are serious objections its likely this is the solution we'll pursue, but we'll have to see how the casts come out  before we decide.



Hatless grenadier. Options below.




I hope you like the figures in prospect. Its a relief of sorts to finally be able to show pictures of work that's been going on for a few months now. At the moment there's quite a lot of other figures on the workbench but they aren't quite ready to be shown yet. There should be more to come in the next few weeks, then on to the horse.

15 comments:

  1. Wonderful animation and character in the range. Thanks for bringing these to the market, will be the joy of all interested in this period!

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  2. Really nice Clib. I have no problem adding arms or heads. Frankly, I was hoping for a decent assortment of headless figs with a large variety of heads to plug in-it would certainly cut down the number of masters needed.
    Grenadier

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. Brilliant dynamic sculpts.... full of animation and character.

    Darrell.

    PS. Last post removed because of poor spelling/typo's.

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  5. Excellent figures and it look's like I know what I'll be painting over the Summer, cheers Pete

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  6. We are pushing on rather in the Ga Pa! style of the Swedes themselves! The figures will not be ready for SALUTE as they have to be mastered then production moulded but I anticipate that by the end of April we should be able to offer 5-6 packs at least.

    There have been some questions about the commercial availability of the figures. Let me say that they WILL be on general release. There is a small but motivated private investment group behind the range. This is not a kickstarter initiative. The investors will have access to certain privileges and some limited edition figures which will not be available commercially. The plan is not to drip feed releases but to block release allowing gamers to obtain the models they need without long delays waiting for new sculpts. The Swedish infantry is likely to run to as many as 20 different packs which means around 100 different figures/hats/faces etc. Body poses are extensive and catered for by using over 15 different dolls.

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  7. I think Warfare miniatures set the standard for capturing movement in figures. These continue the trend, but I think the best example is the enthusiastic troopers pack you boys did. These are wonderful sculpts and I look forward to seeing the range develop.

    Are you still planning to eventually make some chaps in winter gear? That Swedish NCO you previewed a few months back was cracking

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  8. Thanks Adam. The Enthusiastic theme will definitely be reprised with the Swedish Horse for this range. Winter gear is a distinct possibility as for me personally I want those sculpts! I have been converting and adapting other figures from various ranges for over 20 years. Now that it is my decision what we do I am feeling very liberated!

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  9. Very well done! All are fine pieces! The only mistake I find is the lack of bayonet in the second pose of arm with musket

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  10. The bayonet is in a separate part with sword and frog which glues to the figure

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  11. I sincerely think you'll be setting a new standard with this range.
    The sculpting is superb and the figures paint up like a dream. And the variety is any true wargamers's dream!
    Mind you, I'll probably keep pestering you for even more variants and poses, but then again I'm one of those sad gits who wants 25 different figures in a 24 man unit. ;-)

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  12. Yes. These are the nicest looking, most realistically proportioned modern figures for this conflict that I've seen. Well done!

    Best Regards,

    Stokes Schwartz

    ReplyDelete

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