Sunday, March 25, 2012

Redoubt Enterprises Figure Review: SYW British Grenadiers


INTRODUCTION
This is a new review for an older product but a product which remains very competitive. I have already done a size comparison review against most other ranges in 28mm; namely Blue Moon, Front Rank, Old Glory and Crusader Miniatures. As I have almost finished painting up my Louisberg Grenadiers (composite grenadier battalion at Quebec 1858) which for me is modelled mostly with Redoubt figures, it may prove of some use to people considering building armies using this range.

More specifically, this review will cover the British Infantry: Grenadiers Standing Command pack (F&I 230) and the Standing Firing pack (F&I 231).

PRODUCT AVAILABILITY SALES AND SERVICE
Redoubt Enterprises offers their infantry packs for this range in six (6) figure packs currently retailing for GBP7.00 representing a unit price of GBP1.16 per figure (before deals) which in the 28mm scale represents a very competitively priced product - notwithstanding the quality of the sculpt.

I found and am sure I will continue to find business with Redoubt Enterprises easy and they were truly accommodating. They were flexible and highly efficient in meeting my order and I have no reservations in recommending them to anyone on that score.

F&I 230 STANDING COMMAND
The Redoubt Enterprises website contains no image for this pack as of the date of this posting and that is something which may put off some would be buyers. In this day and age of Internet shopping a high quality image for each and every product on sale is a must. Hopefully this posting will in part cover that gap and I regret not having the forethought of photographing my purchase before painting. My paint job obscures the casting detail but this is the only Grenadier Command pack I require for my project.

The Standing Command pack comes with six (6) figures in four (4) variants: an Officer, Sergeant (2), Ensign (2) and Drummer.

Officer in the command pack
The Officer is a solid casting with one arm raised ready to give an order and he wears a sash across his right shoulder. The face is neutral in expression. The officer's mitre cap is detailed on the front face with a generic-style relief not particularly representing any design known to me. Having said that, when painting, it lends itself reasonably well to those units with the King's Cypher (GR) which for me was fine as all Lousiberg Grenadier companies had that Cypher.

In general; however, I think that across the variations in all British grenadier cap designs, the cap would have been better sculpted with only the top crown detail which features in all units. This was certainly the option preferred by Front Rank Miniatures which the figure painter is free to detail as they wish. As with all of the mitres in this range, the piping detail stands out clearly and is easy to paint. The front flap detail is nevertheless confused and ill defined.
 

NOT REDOUBT
Front Rank converted to Sergeant
The inner and outer piping merges just above the Hanoverian white horse relief (centre of the flap) and allows for no detailing between the piping. Again, this is in contrast to the broad flat surface offered by Front Rank. Then again, you'd need more than an eye for detail to bother - requiring a mania to attempt it with a 00000 brush and a microscope.

Incomplete Ensign
The Ensign(s) is advancing and looking slightly upwards. There is nothing particular to remark on with this figure pose or sculpt except to say it is entirely consistent within this particular range and is a solid, competent sculpt. It also made for an easy conversion to an additional sergeant which I required, handier still because I only needed one ensign.



Sergeant converted to officer
Similarly, the Sergeant(s) is a broad figure with open coat and turnbacks un-buttoned, falling fully at the hem. The only remarkable thing about this figure pose is that it is quite unremarkable. The Sergeant stands in a neutral, 'at ease' pose looking a little vacant if anything.



The drummer in this set would have to be the worst detailed figure and markedly so. This is where you are reminded of the age of these castings falling squarely in the period when Essex and Dixon Miniatures ruled the world in 25mm. In a standing-playing pose, the lace detail and even limb definition disappears in the depths under the arms which are just 'filled in'.

Again, in contrast to my plain Front Rank fifer, this musician has the lace detail shown which is cut into the casting which I find a bit old school when compared to the raised piping featuring in the modern and more superior castings on offer in newer ranges. If you hadn't gathered, if ever I needed another grenadier drummer ...

PACK SELECTION
The six (6) figure range in this pack is fairly reasonable for my composite grenadier battalion but I even had to make a few conversions to maximise it's utility. I converted one ensign to a sergeant and one sergeant to an officer and I could have done with another officer. This is the dilemma when the product is not readily available for individual figure sales.

This is a figure pack largely suitable for gamers collecting in the older 1/50 representative troop scale of the Wargames Research Group era and is only really efficient for a composite grenadier battalion. Even for this size battalion, is of little use for grenadier companies attached to their parent line battalion given the wastefulness of the ensigns or standard bearers.

ACCURACY
Anyone who knows anything about the Seven Years War period and the uniforms which went with it will tell you that the range of variations within armies of all nations presents enormous problems in figure manufacture. In fact, thus far there hasn't been any real attempt to tackle even one national army near to comprehensively.

It logically follows that in both sculpting and in painting those figures, compromises have been and are continued to be made - some more palatable than others. In this matter, Redoubt Enterprises are no exception. These figures do; however, present a very adequate representation. They were my preferred choice when purchasing British Grenadiers and whilst not my only purchase, they remain my favourite.

F&I 231 STANDING FIRING
I'm not going to mince words on this figure - I really like it. I say it because this pack is simply a pack of six of the same sculpt, a British Grenadier standing and firing. The depth of detail is good, the sculpting lines are clear and crisp and it takes painting well. I have enjoyed painting this miniature which is as well because I have and will be painting quite a few of them. The detail of the mitre cap is the same as with F&I 230 as is the rest of the figure from its well defined gaiters to the turned-back coat. The lapel lace is in single 'loops' or rather no loop at all. The musket is superb if not possible a trifle too short? To sum up, these figures looked good to me on-line, they looked better in my hand and even better once painted up.

FOOTNOTE
To my mind there remains plenty of room in the Seven Years War period for a new company or two to really take on an army properly. Old Glory and Redoubt Enterprises are probably the only two companies which have made any real effort to cover in any depth the armies they have chosen to represent and have done so quite a while ago. Until that happens, it looks to be Redoubt Enterprises who will be the core supplier for my 400+ Quebec build and I look forward to seeing how their line infantry compare.

As a group, F&I 230 is a competent selection but if I had my time over I'd have opted for a different drummer.

1 comment:

  1. Great review, love the Grenadier officer figure, its a great pose.

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