23 November 2002
It's no secret that I've been looking for some decent 20 mm SYW figures. We've reviewed a couple of brands on the site already. However they didn't offer what I wanted (made to AB standards, covering all the troops types I personally want and as cheap as plastic figures. Not much, really.). The Revell figures caught my eye and, with the help of some friends in Canada, Russia and the UK, I've been able to get some of these.
Physical Properties. The figures are moulded in a soft polyethylene, off-white for the Austrians and light blue-grey for the Prussians. Animation is a little "over the top" for some poses, a feature of plastic kits. Proportions are generally good, though the Prussians' heads seem a little small (for a change). There is some flash present and the restrictions of the moulding process mean that there is very good, sharp detail in some places and indistinct blobs in others.
The figures come in two sprues and there are 47 figures per box (not counting the colonels' mounts and the drum is a separate item for the Prussians). One sprue consists of five identical sub-sections while the other contains the officers and other "one off" poses. The figures are large at 23 mm sole to eye for the Austrians and 24 mm for the Prussians, so can't be mixed in the same unit with the metals I have.
Austrian officers sapper and drummer (above) and loading hatmen, below.
Detail. As can be seen above, there's some very good, fine detail on these figures. Buttons, belts and weapons are all nicely depicted. The Austrians shade the Prussians in this regard, as the cuff detail on the latter, for example, is a little ill-defined. For me that's a bonus, though, as it will make it easier to convert them to Hanoverian troops. I had a lot of problems scanning the Austrian figures and had to wash them with Tamiya Smoke to make them visible. On reflection I probably should have done the same with the Prussians. It's amazing how much extra detail was revealed by the wash.
Accuracy: I really don't know enough to comment on this. However they look like the figures in my references. Little details like the Austrians' sprig of oak leaves, hat pom-poms and gorgets are depicted. I'll let one of the experts sort this matter out, but I'm happy in my ignorance.
Poses. This is the big negative for plastic figures, as there's always a pose or three that you don't want. And the multiplicity of poses means that the gamer will generally need more than one box to field a complete unit, if he wants them in similar poses. Having said that, there's only a couple of poses that I would consider as unusable. The Prussian grenadiers charging, for example, probably won't be fielded. The animation is good, however, and I'd dearly love to see more of the very useful "march attack" pose in a box.
Each box contains a mounted colonel on a nicely done horse, a drummer, standard bearer and three officer or NCOs figures. The rest of the figures are a mix of hatmen and grenadiers. The proportions aren't good, though, with nearly half the figures being grenadiers.
Overall. I quite like these sets. The Master Scrounger in Canada, Roger Nilson, has some more on the way for me. The sets are hard to get at the moment, as they have been out of production for a while, but Roger assures me that they're being re-released soon. Other sets include artillery, Prussian Hussars and Austrian Dragoons. The similarity of uniforms for the nations of the period means that you can use these figures for most of the combatants.
Rating 8 out of 10. If there were fewer grenadiers and the figures were in a hard plastic (polystyrene) I'd give them a 9.