Sunday, December 19, 2010

An Old School Attempt To Make Use Of Odd Figures

I literally have a few thousand of the 25-28mm plastic Marx recast of the Captain Gallant Figures. Some are fine as they are, but many are just strange and silly poses. Arms and weapons are akimbo, they don't stand up very well. So I decided to try something. I was reading "the Battle of Konnigratz" by Gordon A. Craig (C. Tinling & Co. Ltd., Great Battles of History series) and I was inspired by the images in Richard Holmes' "Epic Land Battles" (isbn 090740801x).

Waterloo miniatures makes the Austrians in 20mm plastic, but I didn't want to spend a lot. So I decided to use up those pesky Marx copies. I painted them white, with blue trousers, and made back packs from plasticene. I did the faces and guns and used a Sharpie marker to do some minor details. The only real trouble is that the poses are so odd that they do not stand well next to one another. There are too many bits sticking out for them to even stand next to each other on their bases. Oh well, I will forge on. I did 2 units of 48, the officers, drummers and flag bearers are coming. I made 1 unit of Airfix Hussars as Austrian Hussars, somewhat fanciful, and some artillery. I even threw in a supply unit from a Hong Kong toy. There is a great blog with images of the real soldiers here:
Also there is a good article in Miniature Wargames #47 by Luigi Casali. Incidently, this issue also has N. Henry Hyde's first article entitled "Ficticious Wars", introducing Prunkland in a very Grand Old School Manner.


  1. I don't know if you are still actively wargaming, Doug, but looking back at these I was struck by the manner in which you formed these none-too-inspring figures into units that are far from wanting in character. These guys seem to be made for the 1866 Austrian 'stosstaktik'!

    Airfix used to be guilty of adding odd poses into their packs. The ACW packs had guys similar to the infantry shown here. They made fine flag bearers, and NCOs or subaltern officers, but, having too much of a good thing, one needed to do something with the rest. So my Union army has a whole Brigade (4x24 figures) of these chaps.

    Worse still were the dudes looking for truffles, or maybe stabbing down with their non-existent bayonets. These, too, form a Brigade.

    The trouble with Airfix figures is that, individually full of 'character' they generally don't 'blend' well with each other in the manner that the less individualistic ESCI, and Italeri,(fine figures as they are) can. The latter figures are capable of being artfully arranged to create quite animated units.

    Having said that, the collective 'odd' pose gives your Austrian units an animated look that to my mind goes well with late 19th century warfare.

  2. Hello. I've been a fan of your blog for some time now! Love the Rasharn and Kiivar ships and planes!
    Thank you for your kind comments.
    I'm still painting figures, but I haven't gotten 'round to posting anything. I've grown my 1866 army considerably, and I'll do some updates to the existing posts.
    I've been into Napoleonic Russians for a while now, and recently I picked up a copy of the BBC's "War and Peace" from the 70's. Great stuff with Anthony Hopkins and dramatised by Jack Pullman who did "I, Claudius". David Chandler and Anthony Brett-James were consultants to the show.
    I haven't gamed for some time now, and in fact am contemplating a move to the country and a simpler life. The need for a hobby shed and a Wargame Room are paramount. A roof and front door are negotiable.