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14th Brooklyn03 Jul 2012 10:38 p.m. PST

I just posted a in depth review of the Perry Miniatures plastic Napoleonic Russians on my blog:


Also includes comparisons with Foundry and Warlord.



Chortle Fezian04 Jul 2012 4:17 a.m. PST

Thanks for the review. I thought the 1812+ was the Kiwer, the earlier was the Shako?

Sir Sidney Ruff Diamond04 Jul 2012 4:31 a.m. PST

Thanks for the review.

Like you I bought loads of Foundry Russians in sales and army deals but may consider the Perrys if I need more as they should fit in nicely.

14th Brooklyn04 Jul 2012 4:52 a.m. PST

You are welcome!

@Chortle: I always thought Kiwer was the Russian word for Shako, so I used the word for both models!

Personal logo Artilleryman Supporting Member of TMP04 Jul 2012 5:14 a.m. PST

Brooklyn, you are correct as far as I am aware. 'Kiwer' is simply what the Russians called a shako.

Esquire04 Jul 2012 5:17 a.m. PST

Thanks for the review. Just got 3 boxes -- but also got boxes of French etc. So lots to put together and paint. As an old "metals guy," I was surprised by how much I enjoyed putting them together. Opportunities to convert and vary the look of each figure is appealing. I might try Warlord, but Perry is giving me everything I want. Now, when and how can I get all of these wonder figures assembled and painted!

Seroga04 Jul 2012 6:41 a.m. PST

Dear Chortle & 14th Brooklyn,

You are really correct. Shakos were at first just шапки/shapki, and then were called (from about 1808) киверов/kiverov. The first is really just a generic term for hats or caps and might be best translated in context as "covers" (a regulation headcover, part of a military uniform). The second would be clearly translated as "shakos".
But, using "shako" and "kiver" in English to differentiate the two styles is both common and useful. Russians now generally call both styles кивер/kiver and then indicate which by reference to the model year.


That was a super great review – very helpful. Many thanks!

The painting instructions could use some corrections/editing. For examples ….

The pompoms are partially wrong:
1st battalion is shown correctly
2nd battalion
grenadier platoon and marksmen platoon : OK as shown
center platoons : green with yellow center [correction]. However, the green with white center shown was correct per the prior regulation of 1809 and would again be correct from late 1816 or early 1817. It is possible that some units did not correctly follow the change to green with yellow center in 1811.
3nd battalion
grenadier platoon : red over yellow [correction]
marksmen platoon : yellow over red [correction]
center platoons : red with yellow center [correction]
Note : 1st and 3rd battalions typically served together as "the regiment", with the 2nd battalion typically serving elsewhere in various "combined" formations.
Note : The NCO's pompom is shown as quartered orange and white, but the orange part was really a mix of black and orange and would likely appear darker than shown.

The shoulder straps have 2 errors and 2 omissions:
- The division number should be in yellow [correction] for the green piped red shoulder straps.
- The division number should be in yellow [correction] for the blue shoulder straps.
- Grenadier regiments all had the red shoulder straps, with a letter (in vintage Russian cursive style) from their name instead of a number. [omission]
- If there were more than the usual 4 Infantry regiments in a division, the fifth Infantry regiment of the division by seniority had the blue shoulder straps, like the junior Jäger regiment, and the sixth Infantry regiment had drab tan-grey shoulder straps. [omission]
Note : The numbers also should be vintage Russian cursive style, although you would have to be a great painter to really capture this – see link for a sample.

Rankers in the center platoons of Jäger regiments were not equipped with infantry short swords. If musket-armed (as they were supposed to be), they had only the bayonet. So, you might want to slice off the short sword for them, if all the sprues have included it. [possible correction] If someone in the lower number Jäger regiments was using a left-over rifle, it would be shorter than the musket and would have a longer sword-bayonet. Some higher-number Jäger regiments were recently converted Infantry regiments. They could still have white belts, and even "incorrectly" could have kept their short swords for rankers in the center companies.

All elite companies were called Grenadier, including for Jâgers. [correction]
Center companies were called "Fusilier" in Grenadier and Marine regiments, except in the Life-Grenadier regiment, where all companies were callled Grenadier. [omission]

The company numbering shown is correct only for the 1st battalion. The 2nd battalion had the 2nd Grenadier and 4th, 5th and 6th center companies. The 3rd battalion had the 3rd Grenadier and 7th, 8th and 9th center companies. [omission]
The forage cap bands for Grenadier companies did not have any letter or number per regulations [correction]. This likely included all the companies in the Life-Grenadier regiment. Center companies had the company number followed two dots, then the Russian cursive letter for "R" (for "rota" or company) and two more dots. Something like " 1 : Р : " " 2 : Р : " " 3 : Р : " – if you can paint this, that is. Also, the number should be yellow per regulations. [correction]

OK …. if anyone wants it, I could report some other corrections. Swordknots, forage caps, winter dress, etc.

14th Brooklyn04 Jul 2012 7:09 a.m. PST

@Esquire: I came from a plastic scale modeling background, so it was a joy for me to return to plastics a couple of years ago.
How did your Perry plastic Russians come out quality wise? Did you have sinkholes / flash as well?

@Seroga: That information is really appreciated! Would you mind copying it and posting it as a comment to the review?



Seroga04 Jul 2012 7:32 a.m. PST


It's yours to take …. if you agree with me. I have no pride of authorship. Most of these are "errors" started from Viskovatov (the central work on Russian organiation and uniforms, published in the mid-1800's). The modern corrections are pretty well known among Russians interested in such things (gamers, re-enactors, figure painters, etc.)

Do you want more of the corrections ?

Other examples:
Jäger Grenadier company cartridge boxes had the regiment number, like center companies (and there were no Carabinier companies or platoons …. there were Karabinier regiments, but only after 1815).

Jäger musket slings are black, others had "red" (vermillion based dye/paint)

FreemanL04 Jul 2012 7:35 a.m. PST

I'm sort of confused on the flags. I get the First carrying the colonel's flag and one of the regimental colors. But what exactly does the 3rd battalion (or 2nd active battalion) carry? I too have the Perry box of Russians, but the text makes it sound like they carry two of the same flag. Is this correct?

Oh, and I second the thanks for information Seroga! It is priceless for the beginning Russian player!

And thanks Burkhard for a great review.

Seroga04 Jul 2012 7:39 a.m. PST

This goes to the sculpts ….

The rolled greatcoat lower end, where it is tied together, should correctly lie to the front of the leg, so that the right hand holding the weapon at "attention" is behind the greatcoat and its tie, close to the leg.
However, images drawn from life show that putting the tie of the greatcoat at the side of the leg, behind the right hand at attention, was tolerated in some units (we assume more easy-going company sergeant-majors).
It is actually easier to get the cartidges from the box if you wear the tied greatcoat correctly (I have tried it).

Seroga04 Jul 2012 7:45 a.m. PST

Flags …,

For Infantry, Grenadier and Marine regiments :
1st battalion : 2 different flags, which are often called in English "colonel's" and "regimental"
2nd battalion : 2 identical, "regimental" – used with the center companies, which typically took the field with smaller 3-company organization
3rd battalion : 2 identical, "regimental"

Combined Grenadier battalions : composed of three 2nd Grenadier companies taken from the 2nd battalion of three regiments : no flags
Jäger battalions : no flags

Seroga04 Jul 2012 7:59 a.m. PST

Forage caps ….

This is more of a clarification than correction.
Note that the were two bands of piping : one around the top edge of the band – "lower", one around the crown – "upper".

For all center companies (including the Life-Grenadier regiment) :
1st battalion : both white
2nd battalion : both green (easiest to paint – it is the same color as the crown, not lighter)
3rd battalion : both blue

For Grenadier platoons in Grenadier companies :
1st battalion : both red (although I am sure some regiments did upper white, lower red)
2nd battalion : upper green, lower red
3rd battalion : upper blue, lower red

For Marksmen platoons in Grenadier companies :
1st battalion : both yellow (although I am sure some regiments did upper white, lower yellow)
2nd battalion : upper green, lower yellow
3rd battalion : upper blue, lower yellow

In general, as forage caps were a fatigue/undress item, and were made locally from scaps and worn-out uniforms, greater than normal variation vs. the regulations was possible.

Seroga04 Jul 2012 8:11 a.m. PST

Swordknots ….

If you look at the painting instructions, the sword knot is shown as an upper-knot, a mid-section, a lower-knot, and the fringe. The fringe was white, as shown. That's was easy.

The upper- and lower-knots were the same, and were supposed to be colored by the company :
Grenadier company : red (both platoons)
1st, 4th, 7th center company : white
2nd, 5th, 8th center company : blue
3rd, 6th, 9th center company : yellow
NCO swordknots, by regulation, should have had only the lower-knot in mixed orange and black. However, it appears that they had botht he lower-knot and upper-knot in the rank distinctive orange and black.

The middle-section was colored by the battalion:
1st battalion : white
2nd battalion : yellow
3rd battalion : red


The tassles (only) of the shako cords for NCO's were a mix of white and orange and black.

Seroga04 Jul 2012 8:34 a.m. PST

Pants ….

For other ranks, the pants or trousers for Grenadier, Infantry and Marine regiments were white wool in winter and white Flemish linen in summer. The black items called gaiters are actually sewn-on leather leggings for the winter pants. If you do them with paint, as suggested, it will take a couple of coats to get the correct effect.

For fatigues, undress and often when on campaign, gray-ish or off-white loose pants (stuffed into the shank or top of the short boots used as footwear) were worn, sometimes called "bloomers". The sculpts are actually a little tight for the regular pants (Russian pants had looser fit than French breeches), and you would need to add some milliput or similar to get the baggy look of the bloomers.

For officers, the white pants were reserved for parades and mess-dress occasions. They wore gray "riding trousers" (wherher or not mounted) or dark green pants for most occasions. On campaign, company grade officers might also were the "bloomers".

For Jägers, the winter wool pants were dark-green.

Seroga04 Jul 2012 8:42 a.m. PST

I think this is it, unless there are questions …

Final clarifications :

The tall thin plume was in use from 1811, even with the older (1809) shako. Only the Grenadier platoon had them – not the Marksmen platoon.

The top-band around the top of the 1809 shako is sculpted very heavy. You might thin it a bit, or be careful in paining to not high-light it too much.

The scupts are really early war, summer 1812 looking to me.

Especially after Borodino, and through the long march to Paris, it became rather common for Jäger rankers, without the infantry short sword, to just fix their bayonets and "lose" the shoulder-belt and frog for the bayonet.

The French "furry" knapsacks were much prized (and with lots of dead French, it was easy to get one). French muskets and low shoes were not much prized. With their non-combatants, regiments could make-up boots locally if they found some leather. Similarly, they could make-up ammunition from raw materials or captures.

The pre-war shakos were pretty much used-up by late 1812. Forage caps were pretty common unless a unit got re-supplied. The uniform coats had turned to rags by Spring 1813, but the greatcoats lasted quite well. Some captured cloth of some dark color could be made-up into new uniform coats.

The men that made it to Paris barely looked like uniformed solders by the time they got there. Everyone was in bloomers. Scandals resulted, when they had to parade after the peace. Richer officers ran to the Parisian tailors. But I doubt that the parades mattered too much to the veteran rankers.

Hugh Johns04 Jul 2012 10:45 a.m. PST

Your information about the pompons is contrary to every description I have ever seen. Can you cite a reference?

Hugh Johns05 Jul 2012 10:19 a.m. PST

Nevermind, I have now.

huevans01105 Jul 2012 3:26 p.m. PST


Was the 1812 kiwer actually issued and worn in 1812? Or was it only issued in 1813, after the stocks of the older shakos had been used up?

Ashenduke07 Jul 2012 3:17 p.m. PST

Thanks for the review. I imagine the collars, or lack thereof, being problematic to switching perry and warlord heads, that shako cords would be tricky.

AuvergneWargamer09 Jul 2012 8:15 a.m. PST


Thanks for the great review!

The Perry plastic Russians are very appealing but I'm still going to stick to metal.

Good to see how compatible they are with Foundry as they're also Perry sculpts and very nice, especially the infantry in fatigue caps in firing poses which make excellent Jaegers.

A Bientot,


Seroga09 Jul 2012 10:37 a.m. PST


Both head covers were in use – you have to go unit by unit (usually with archive doscuments) to know when they were re-equipped with the new model. I would just pick what you like (I like the "kiver" myself) as only about 10 people in the world have specific info on this for more than the unit they re-enact or game (and they are all 10 not in the UK or US).

@Hew Johns
Was the "nevermind" for me? If yes, you know the following, but others might not.

The problem with the Vislovatov (basis for almost everything about sub-unit distinctives until recently) was initially surfaced about 12 years ago by the authors of the 300-years History of the Russian Marines.
The had found something "non-standard" for the Marines in 1811 – not according to Viskovatov. Upon further research, they found that Viskovatov was really quoting a proposal that was not formally adopted until early 1817. And the correct distinctives were as I have given them (very slight modifications from the 1809 order, to accomodate the new organization).

Their work was publicized first in a symposium in Kaluga (maybe about 2002) and then publihed in Tseykhaus – and also appeared in Vol. 1 of the work on the Marines. As a sidenote, one of the authors was the very same guy who had, in the early years of Tseik, publsihed the Viskovatov version.

Other reasearchers, for example Ilya Ulyanov, author of the 3-volume Russian Infantry series and his more recent Russian Infantry at War, have agreed.

That said, you can see 3rd battalion blue colored pompoms, just as per the Viskovatov, on some of the Klein drawings done from life during the occupation (late 1815, early 1816). For this, we can note (i) the colored versions were actually done ~1817 not from life and it may be an accident to have the blue, and (ii) Russian regulations (imperial zakony or laws, imperial ukases or orders) sometimes post-date actual changes, which were initially implemented via circulars from the ministry (military orders), and it is only the former that we have in complete publication.

But for 1812, I think I have given the correct distinctive.

Ligniere Sponsoring Member of TMP09 Jul 2012 10:55 a.m. PST

Thank you for that clarification on the 3rd battalion pompom colors….. looks like I may have to repaint a bunch…. d'oh


14th Brooklyn09 Jul 2012 11:22 p.m. PST

Thanks for all the info… I will go and incorporate that into the post now.

14th Brooklyn10 Jul 2012 2:17 a.m. PST

OK… it became a post in its own right:


Greystreak12 Jul 2012 4:07 p.m. PST

I believe the pompon and swordknot 'corrections' mentioned by Seroga are captured in the following graphical summary:


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