Last year when we moved south I checked which figures would need replacement. The Russians had a lengthy service record and were subsequently moved to the top of the refurbishment list.
I love the look of Connoisseur and Bicorne Miniatures ranges, (not forgetting Firing Line Miniatures, which are fantastic!)the flexibility of the figure lends a lot to the conversion process that’s needed to give the flair within a regiment of thirty plus figures. Elite also has a wide array of figures available and you know that the figures will always paint up well.
I chose Front Rank Miniatures for our Russian’s though, I liked the look of the faces and the solid feel of the figure. Our figures obviously get a lot of handling and it’s important that there’s a durability about the figure. I also had quite a few to hand!
The faces on Front Rank figures are quite exceptional in my opinion, the best looking figures for me are ones with a good face, good flag and good basing. They are the things you really see after all. The detail in the uniforms are clearly there to see, nothing has to be painted in. Well unless you’re painting in detail on a regiment that’s not already manufactured, such as the Russian Guard. There’s only subtle differences between the line Grenadiers and the Guard, lace to collar and cuff and the cartridge pouch badge etc. But there is a difference.
More detail of the faces and shako cords.
Note that the pom-pom and grenade badges had yet to be painted in, of course these are all done now.
So I sent the figures over to Reinforcements by post., I had seen good results from these guys in the past, I have featured some of the figures painted by them in earlier posts. I suppose that I was nervous of any hidden costs, transportation, import/export tax and the like. Fortunately they were very helpful, I got the figures over to them, gave them some details on what it was I actually wanted (finer detail and the like, as they already have an extensive knowledge for the painting of most figures.), then sat back and waited for them to come back in.
Well it was well worth the wait, the figures I got back were simply stunning! I eagerly sorted them out into their battalions, based them then flagged the lot. All that sounds easy in a very short sentence……I can assure you it is not! I deliberately asked them to leave the shako/kiwer badges black, the pom-pom’s were also left white. I perceived that it would make things easier for getting them into battalions if I could paint on the battalion distinction after basing them all. I need not have bothered, they were all painted as I wanted, no mistakes! Faaantsatic!
So several working days later I had the first lot done. I was planning on replacing the old figures for the Austerlitz game and needed to get them sorted out as the clock was ticking. So after sorting out the battalions for the Guard, combined Grenadiers and line ( I even threw in a marine regiment for variety) I was ready to go.
Finnials, flags were all varnished and stuck in the figures, when I say stuck in they really are! Front Rank have neat recesses left in the hands of the standard bearer which allows the placement of the pole, so it’s less likely to come out later on!
I have to also mention the flags, I purchased all the Russian replacement flags from GMB Designs. These are exceptionally good flags with a lot of time and effort having gone in to researching the history of each flag. The Guard flags and line are quite superb. The Russians have a fine array of colour to their earlier flags, the replacements weren’t on the dot so to speak so I felt a little poetic licence in mixing flags with the later uniforms!
I think the end result is very pleasing to the eye. I’ve added this image as it was the first battalion to be based and flagged.
The images of the Austerlitz game will include more of the variety of Front Rank miniature battalions.
All that later this month though!