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"Are You Satisfied With The Same Pose" Topic


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995 hits since 22 Jan 2013
©1994-2014 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

nevinsrip Supporting Member of TMP22 Jan 2013 7:45 p.m. PST

As someone who has commissioned sculpts for the AWI, I am wondering about a recent release from a well known 28 mm figure company.
All of the figures are exactly the same except for the faces. One body and one piece of headgear was sculpted and a mold made of these parts. From that, 6 figures were made.

For me, I want as many different poses as possible. I don't really consider a different face on a 28 mm figure a different pose. I doubt that anyone could tell the difference from 3 feet away in any event.

So, are you happy with this? I understand that certain poses
need to be similar. Firing for instance. There are only so many ways that you can portray firing a musket. However, you can place the rifle at different angles or perhaps in a different hand. Marching figures can have a different foot forward or a tilt to the body.

I am curious to hear what TMP'ers think about this.


In my own line of figures, I try to provide as many different poses as possible. Am I wrong in thinking that this is what collectors want?

This is not a jab at the company. I did not name them on purpose and don't want a flame war started. I own hundreds, perhaps thousands, of this company's figures, so I am absolutely not bashing their work. I love their figures, but I am a bit disappointed by this release.

I intend to continue my line of figures, so I would really appreciate feedback on this.

scomac22 Jan 2013 8:07 p.m. PST

It depends, really. For horse and musket armies, yes, I enjoy having my line infantry look the same.

I like to base my line infantry in two ranks with as small a frontage as possible. I like marching poses, so I can fit the figures shoulder to shoulder. Soldiers marching in formation SHOULD look the same. Soldiers marching SHOULD all be stepping forward with the same foot.

I really do not mind using Front Rank, for example, where you get ONE marching pose. I can add variety through hair color, slight changes in uniform color, and so on.

Now for skirmishing infantry, sure. The more poses the better. For less uniform armies, like Continentals or Confederates, I like to see some variety in kit and dress, even among the marching poses.

Liberators22 Jan 2013 8:10 p.m. PST

For me, I want as many different poses as possible

You answered your own question. It all comes down to personal preference. For example, all of the things you mentioned that you like another person might find horrifying in a range of Age of Muskets figures as drill was tightly controlled and you didn't march out of step or hold the musket in whichever hand you wanted. Sure way to earn a few lashes. That person might want that exact same pose with different faces. That person may not want to have to buy umpteen different packs to assemble a unit that is "properly marching"…

A skirmish gamer would then recoil at this boring range of automatons with no character whatsoever. That gamer wants variety and individually identifiable figures.

Etc etc.

Then there's the question of what kind of troops are being portrayed. Are they peasant rabble or King's Guards? Were they historically highly regimented or did they fight in loose formation. Should your range be mixed to match the character of the troops involved?

To me the key is just having a philosophy for your range; some kind of rationale that works for you as a producer and that you can sell to your customer.

Best of luck and I love Perry figures too.

Justin Penwith22 Jan 2013 8:11 p.m. PST

I like different poses, too, but they'd need to make sense for me to appreciate them.

Restricting the scope of figures to post-SYW, because you have done AWI, the number of left-handed firing muskets would be small, if not zero. The off hand soldier would be in the way of the others adjacent to him.

So, this MIGHT work for a skirmishing bloke, but not a soldier of the line.

Marching poses, a little more open to more poses, but by this time, the line units were to march in unison, with the same foot forward, unless route marching. So, again, a unit based as marching would need to all have the same foot forward, for me at least.

With cavalry, there's a lot more possibilities, pistol in hand, saber, pistol in one and saber in other, carbine at the ready, carbine firing, loading pistol, loading carbine, etc., and that is just some weapon swaps.

What I want to see more of is more than one or two poses for foot officers and NCOs. The line troops are supposed to look virtually the same, but with officers, there's a lot of individuality that is generally ignored.

As far as heads go, yes, having two or three heads looking the same is odd to me. This makes more sense if the troops all wore long mustaches, but then there's still room to have variations of open mouthed and close mouthed faces.

RudyNelson22 Jan 2013 8:12 p.m. PST

For large units in the 18th and 19th century, the same pose is OK. For skirmishing levels I prefer different poses.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP22 Jan 2013 8:56 p.m. PST

I don't have a problem with a unit (other than the command stand) all being the same pose. I actually prefer it.

Bandolier Supporting Member of TMP22 Jan 2013 9:26 p.m. PST

Marching or march attack poses being all the same is fine for me. Variety is best in charging and firing line figures.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP22 Jan 2013 9:28 p.m. PST

When I broke into The Hobby™, that was what we got. So, I am used to it.

For marching grenadiers, certainly.
I don't want to have some pointing at the birdies and another one munching on a sandwich.

Personal logo Ogdenlulimus Supporting Member of TMP22 Jan 2013 9:43 p.m. PST

I like the one pose for formed 18th cent. Units.

If playing a skirmish game, well then….."Hey Steve!"

Sloppypainter22 Jan 2013 10:34 p.m. PST

As many different poses as I can get. I am a small action/skirmish gamer mostly, so the more active the poses and the more variety of poses is better.

nevinsrip Supporting Member of TMP22 Jan 2013 10:41 p.m. PST

I am specifically referring to the AWI here, not the SYW. It would be my guess that most of America was wilderness at the time. There were few roads and even those were nothing more than trails. I'm thinking that most of the war was fought over awful terrain, especially down South. Or at Saratoga, for instance. So, I have a hard time picturing lockstep troops moving in perfect order through any of the fields of battle. Fields are full of rocks, roots, grass clumps, loose dirt and all kinds of stuff to trip over or have to move around. It was no better marching down what passed for roads at the time. And that's just in dry season.

I understand that not everyone has the same picture in their mind of how something should be portrayed.
Just a matter of personal taste.

Thanks for the opinions.

COL Scott0again Inactive Member22 Jan 2013 11:30 p.m. PST

Horse and Musket eras the same pose is what I look for. If I have to buy a mixed set then I need to have enough that I can limit number of poses in each battalion.

basileus66 Supporting Member of TMP22 Jan 2013 11:41 p.m. PST

It depends. For artillery crews I like some variety (4 poses), as I do for troops in skirmish (2-4 poses), cavalry charging/trot (2 poses for horsemen, 2 poses for horses) and fire lines (2 poses works fine for me: one shooting, one charging the musket). However for troops in march attack I prefer all of them in the same pose, perhaps with some variety in the actual position of the heads. Charging foot soldiers could have a couple of poses, but I am not too fancy of charging units to start with.

Keraunos Inactive Member23 Jan 2013 12:25 a.m. PST

if they marched in formation, and they used cadence marching, then apart from the heads and some arm position, they should all be the same or a sensible variant within that basic pose.

as nevins says, you can get excited about trips and ovesteps of small rocks, but they did not run when others walked, they did not lower bayonets until the very end, they did not walk around with leveled muskets – until the very very end of an actual charge to contact (and almost all opponents not defending a major obsticle had fled by then anyway)

Exception for separate skirmishers of course.

I am far more annoyed when you cannot get the same marching pose – why anyone would want a batallion in line all in firing pose is beyond me, they only look appropriate if they are actually at 50 yards in a firefight after the attack has failed, the rest of the time they look stupid.

And as for supposedly regular infantry all higgledipiggildy on the same base, bah, I gave up boxes of arifix figures to get away from that when I left school.

if you are a manufacturer, you need a basic march pose, you need some appropriate skirmish pair poses, and after that you should consider whether you are selling to battle gamers or diorama painters before casting anything else, but without those two you do not have a range.

same with cavalry, stationary at the ready or slow walking as the basic, and a final gallop (with, therefore, swords outstretched forward) option second, then maybe heroic sword wiggling array of dioramatic poses and rearing horses and whatnot afterwards.

and I don't care how nice the Knotel image you want to copy is.

it might sound a bit boring if you are used to super character figures, but this is the 18th century, it was all about drill and formation and control and restraint.

your irregulrs, of course, should be in commando skirmish style poses for commando comic style skirmishing. but there are not many of those which you need for an army, even in north america

Renaud S23 Jan 2013 12:42 a.m. PST

I am with you. Hate the single poses, even for the Seven Years War. Uniformity in campaign or battle is a myth, even when troops were supposed to be well drilled. There would have been short, tall soldiers, slight differences in the way to carry the musket, variants in the equipment, tired, wounded people, etc. I'd love to see as much variation in the Seven Years War or American Revolution as you can find for instance in the nice lines of Ebor Miniatures for the War of Spanish Succession or Warfare Miniatures for League of Augsburg.

Renaud S23 Jan 2013 12:46 a.m. PST

And there were plenty of skirmishes worth playing, even in the Seven Years War (and not only in America or only involving Grenzers or Jägers), where single pose figures really look silly. I'd love that Tom Meier 1/48th line was more complete, their poses are just lovely.

SJDonovan23 Jan 2013 2:42 a.m. PST

For the horse and musket era I want one pose (and that goes for the cavalry as well as the infantry). The only exception I make is for my ACW armies where I like a lot of variation.

I have left the building23 Jan 2013 3:21 a.m. PST

for close order units then I do like the figures to be in the same pose but for skirmishers then I prefer lots of different types of poses

however the people calling for lots of different poses in their figures may not of considered the cost implications.

a manufacturer doing a classic style of army in metal will usually pay a sculptor to produce a limited amount of base figures (I believe they are called dollies) with each of them costing x, then these are moulded up and sent back to the sculptor to do conversions like changing heads etc. these conversions are usually easy to do and therefore cheap, also it means the figure count for a pack is low which means they can be fitted into fewer moulds

if a sculptor has to create a lot more dollies or do more intensive conversion work on all these extra dollies then that will cost a manufacture a lot more money, plus more moulds will need to be made to accommodate all the extra figures produced. This all costs more money and so the cost of the figures will go up, after all we can't expect a manufacturer to absorb the extra costs can we?

One way around this is to take the middle ground and have a lot of similar figures in a unit and maybe 1 or 2 character figures which can be dropped into a unit. I have a few units of Macedonian pike men made by Foundry in these units I have 20+ figures which are nearly the same (different heads etc) but 1 or 2 figures per unit are slightly different (looking at the birdies or scratching his nose) and this just catches the eye without making the unit look untidy.

I know we are talking about AWI units but I think the principal is the same

Personal logo Martin Rapier Supporting Member of TMP23 Jan 2013 4:16 a.m. PST

For close order eighteenth century units I am also of the 'one pose' school, within a particular unit anyway.

As mentioned above, skirmishers are different.

Musketier Supporting Member of TMP23 Jan 2013 4:41 a.m. PST

I'd love to see as much variation in the Seven Years War or American Revolution as you can find for instance in the nice lines of Ebor Miniatures for the War of Spanish Succession or Warfare Miniatures for League of Augsburg.

Renaud, as a personal preference, that's your privilege of course. In terms of historical drill however, there's a world of difference between the two periods, due to the introduction of close order drill and cadenced marching. When your elbows are touching those of your neighbour, and the man behind you follows at less than three feet, there aren't many ways you can carry yourself or your musket. Route marches with files opened up are something else obviously, but once formed for battle the serjeants would strictly enforce drill movements, lest the whole unit fall into disarray.

Admiral Yi Sun Sin is my Homie23 Jan 2013 5:10 a.m. PST

For close order 18th century units I also am of the one pose preference. No backpacks or kit for me if I can help it. But I understand that makes the miniatures even more boring to sculpt/paint for many.

Miniatures used for skirmish gaming; of course I like lots of variety including kit, etc.

I buy much fewer skirmish miniatures than close order infantry. wink

Virginia Tory23 Jan 2013 5:15 a.m. PST

I don't mind some variation, but if I'm painting a battalion marching in line, I want them either at the shoulder or trail arms (like they actually did).

Some of the odder poses I've seen in the last 20-30 years include "march attack." Just what is that? Or some of the Minifigs in their musket aerobic poses.

So far, I'm happy with what has been on offer, especially via Blue Moon (as I'm a 15mm guy).

warwell Supporting Member of TMP23 Jan 2013 5:37 a.m. PST

I prefer the same pose.

Renaud S23 Jan 2013 5:47 a.m. PST

Close order in a plain for drill exercise or during the first volley is something, close order in battle with a real landscape, dead and wounded, musket malfunction is something else. I wouldn't mind having some variety in the poses to reflect this, even though it would be nice to have poses keeping the idea of an order more closed than for the earlier periods for instance.

altfritz Supporting Member of TMP23 Jan 2013 5:57 a.m. PST

For 18th century Regulars same or similar poses are a must, as is March Attack pose.

For Irregulars then I would want additional poses, and probably not March Attack. The Crusader croats have a series in marching pose which don't look right to me for Croats, whereas the loading and firing ones are perfect.

I have no use for SYW Prussian Regulars in firing and loading poses.

Supercilius Maximus23 Jan 2013 6:05 a.m. PST

Bill,

Are we talking about completely different poses, or specific poses with multiple variants? The first suggests a more detailed modelling of a complex activity that required considerable individual input (eg loading and firing a musket), and/or that perhaps characterised that particular unit's role (eg skirmishers); the second is better for depicting a more simple group activity that would normally be performed in unison with little scope for individuality (eg marching), and/or which characterises the "feel" of the period (in this case, linear warfare).

In general, for AWI units I try to model every unit marching as I feel it is a sufficiently "neutral" pose to look good on the table whatever formation the unit is adopting and whatever it is doing – firing figures in "column of march" just don't look right. Hence, I'm looking for the same basic "drill book" pose with 3-4 slight variations (more is nice). As most AWI units were small, I then try to duplicate specialist units "doing their thing" in an appropriate way, whether it is a firing line of light troops, or the more "dashing" behaviour of elite corps (as these units tend to be rare and/or small, this is not a huge imposition).

I think I know the manufacturer and the specific figures you are referring to. If they are the ones I am thinking of, I suspect the over-riding element in their design was that their unit was never very large, was unique in terms of uniform (so not useable elsewhere), and only engaged in a few actions historically. Hence, these are not figures that are going to "fly off the shelves" in huge numbers, and I suspect that economics dictated how much work went into this particular pack. Certainly the more "mainstream" figures in that range show far more variations, even in the "vanilla" packs of marching R&F. Equally, there is pressure on the sculptor to ensure that all packs in the range have a common style or theme linking them, so that buyers are attracted to obtaining all of their figures from that range.

Your sterling efforts on the 71st (and the project you are doing now) had a number of advantages over the figures you refer to above. In fact, you've hit the jackpot in terms of meeting customer need:
* the 71st was a big unit – 2 (at one point 3) battalions – and had flank companies, which often served as distinct units;
* the uniform is generic – not just 71st, but 42nd, 74th, 76th, RHE/84th, and possibly others I've forgotten;
* between them, these units served in all theatres and at all times in the war; and there's one extra benefit…
* no other manufacturer has covered the subject in any great detail (or as much detail as other units in their ranges).

My tuppence worth.

Disco Joe23 Jan 2013 6:35 a.m. PST

I am a fan of as many different poses as possible. It is from this that I make my units up. Having just one pose with a different face on it just doesn't cut it. Why even change the face if the pose is going to be the same.

Ken Portner23 Jan 2013 7:12 a.m. PST

One pose for 18th century is fine with me.

And like another said, no backpacks or blankets please!
I find them annoying to paint and wouldn't they have dropped all that gear in the rear under a guard when going into battle anyway?

Personal logo richarDISNEY of the RDGC Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member23 Jan 2013 8:18 a.m. PST

For marching, all the same.

For skirmishing or shooting or fighting, different as possible please!
beer

Jeff777723 Jan 2013 8:34 a.m. PST

I'm definitely in favor of variation. I agree that eighteenth century armies would be marching in-step, but the reality is that between debris on the ground, inability to hear the cadence or the fact that every unit has one or two knuckle-heads there would be variation. I can tell you that from marching around twenty plus years on a flat parade ground there was plenty of people not quite with the program. Of course I would expect this variation to be far less than earlier armies that didn't march to cadence. I think you can provide the best of both worlds though. Keep the variation like you did with the 71st, but you can offer battalion packs of like figures to the Martinets.
Just about done with my first two Highlanders, I hope I did them justice (intend to post pictures within week if real world stops interfering). After this little group I'll start working on some bigger batches. AWESOME figures. So what's the next project that was alluded to above???

Brooklyn Wargamer23 Jan 2013 10:38 a.m. PST

Hello:

Seconding what scomac said:
"I like to base my line infantry in two ranks with as small a frontage as possible. I like marching poses, so I can fit the figures shoulder to shoulder. Soldiers marching in formation SHOULD look the same. Soldiers marching SHOULD all be stepping forward with the same foot."

This has annoyed the heck out of me; I've bought blister packs with some of the figures wih a different foot forward, which in turn forces me to buy more unncessary pack to complete the look I want.

My two cents worth,
Jorge

Personal logo Miniatureships Sponsoring Member of TMP23 Jan 2013 10:54 a.m. PST

I think that the hobby has come around in another circle. First, there was the three various troops types, marching, advancing, firing all coming as just one pose. Then companies started to offer variations of one the pose within the three troop types thanks to photos of conversions found in Miniature Wargames and Wargames Illustrated.

I think specifically of the work done by Doug Mason on Gilder figures for the Wargames Holiday center. Mason created the "still" photo look of Connoisseur figures marching, or advancing. His firing figures caught the movement or groups of men in the process of firing, loading and such. I still remember well his work on group of Bavarian soldiers standing in formation, but the formation was of a group soldiers not yet ready to come to attention.

Then Old Glory came out with figures in already in dramatic poses, saving the wargamer from having to do all the conversion work or wishing they could do the same conversion work that was demonstrated in the magazines.

But, then the dramatic poses came under fire, with just a few individuals poking fun at the "hey, Steve" pose – which was only really limited to officers and NCO's encouraging the troops to do their job.

What I find now is that gamers still want variants, but don't make the variants too dramatic. Thus, we are down to different faces, heads turned slightly different, arms front or back, and a little different kit detail.

The circle in a sense, made it's way back towards the single pose in the area of advancing and marching. With the need for variants, the total single pose couldn't really make it.

But, I have found it interesting that newer companies are again doing what Old Glory did years ago, advance the dramatic pose. At least, none of the those companies have been hit with the "hey Steve" comment, and when you look closely, their Officers and NCO's are doing just the same as the Old Glory one's.

What do you have? Basically two circles that proved troops for whatever your idea of troops on a battlefield might look like. I should also add, you now have a third circle called plastics, which makes it easier to do what Doug for Connoisseur figures nearly 20 years ago.

Rallynow23 Jan 2013 10:58 a.m. PST

In 28mm AWI infantry I like my British all Charging with slope bayonets. I like my Continentals firing. I like my militia all different.

I have also made some exceptions, I have some Continental regiments all marching. I have one or two British marching. I have a couple of Continental regiments all standing. Some Continentals with bayonet sloped. All are a little different but all doing the same thing.

In 15mm like the ACW and FPW, I have the poses completely mixed per base. It gives the illusion of motion. I have experimented with doing 28mm AWI the same way and I have found through trial and error that I prefer all having a similar pose. Dosen't look as well in 28mm as it does in 15mm.

However I do 28mm Boer War three to a base with different poses which looks great to me for that period, 1898-1901.

Supercilius Maximus23 Jan 2013 11:51 a.m. PST

Some further comments:-

1) The concept of "dropping packs" before going into action actually started in this war; in previous conflicts, the packhad been the school satchel type worn over one shoulder and onto the opposite hip. Fred the Great had experimented with making his men drop these "tournisters" before going into battle, but had found it did nothing to enhance their performance in firing and movement.

The satchel was slowly replaced by British troops in the FIW (possibly also the French) to replicate an Indian method of carrying heavy loads. By the time of the AWI, the conventional backpack was the norm in the Crown forces and there are numerous accounts of British troops dropping packs before going into action (Princeton and Monmouth both spring instantly to mind). Some Continental and State units retained the older style, but only because of lack of supplies; both sides used the tumpline (wrappng just essentials in a blanket and slinging it diagonally across the back).

2) Neither side, nor the French and Germans, had blankets issued to the R&F; a few men were given watch-coats for sentry duty, but these were kept in the regimental baggage.

3) Bear in mind that, during the AWI, Regulars on both sides began to use "doubling" (often with trailed arms) as a more common method of moving around once they were in action.

4) I can say quite categorically from examples i'm looking at right now, that the "hey, Steve" pose is NOT exclusive to officers and NCOs, but is often a R&F pose as well – one of the reasons it became a bit of a joke was that bags of figures would contain several of these and they just did not look right (a bit like a whole rank of French soldiers holding shakos aloft on raised muskets). I can appreciate that the "grab bag" system occasionally produces anomalous numbers of "character" poses, but these were quite common (conversely, I've never found more than one – and quite often none – of the guy carrying his helmet in the Bavarian Napoleonic 15mm line infantry bags, which must have been quite common it was so top-heavy; very frustrating as it is a great little figure).

Personal logo Who asked this joker Supporting Member of TMP23 Jan 2013 12:33 p.m. PST

Same pose for anything that is "drilled" (Horse and Musket, imperial Romans etc) works fine. If they are irregulars, I want different poses. Perhaps 5 rank and file poses and 1 each of an officer, musician and standard bearer.

von Winterfeldt23 Jan 2013 12:56 p.m. PST

As for line infantry, fighting in rank and file, I like similar poses – or "identical" ones – the closed ranks restriced movement and you had to go as much according to the drill manuals to maintain cohesion.

The poses should make sense as well – like firing and loading in rank and file – close order had to be conducted differently to skirmishing.

A pose usually sculpted not well in my opinion is when ramrods are drawn – the sculpts we usually get are wrong and seemingly one poses once stared is copied without reflection.

nevinsrip Supporting Member of TMP23 Jan 2013 12:59 p.m. PST

Thanks to all who offered opinions. It seems to be evenly split between the two options.
Yes, I do understand the dynamics of figure sculpting, mold making and casting figures.
The poster above whom described how "dollies" are made and used is correct. My sculptor Alan Marsh used "dollies" to create the Highlanders. However, he extensively converted the dollies into totally different figures.


One thing I don't wish to do is to be critical of someone else's work. That's why I asked the original question "if YOU were satisfied with the single pose." Not me, you. I already know what I like.

Perhaps more figures for this particular unit will be forthcoming. As someone mentioned, the unit was not very engaged and maybe the sculptors felt that this was all that they could sell. Perhaps it's a test to see if the figures sell enough to require additional sculpts. I know that the sculptors read TMP, so we may hear from them exactly what they had in mind.

Again, this is not a criticism. I just wanted to feel the pulse of what collectors expect in a new figure line.
It's expensive to do this and there is no point in producing figures that collectors don't want.

As soon as I finish discussions with Alan, I'll let you guy know what the next venture will be. The Highlanders were a huge hit for all the reasons listed by Super Max.
That and a terrific sculptor and outstanding mold making/casting tradesmen who produced the actual castings.

I will also be announcing that I have reached an agreement with a well known trader to carry Kings Mountain Miniatures at the various shows and conventions. This will allow customers to see the figures in person and to judge for themselves.

Tricorne197123 Jan 2013 2:44 p.m. PST

For 18th line troops I much prefer one marching pose with the occaisional head variant. American Militia were also instructed to march and fight in imitation of regulars.
American troops look best with the same march pose, but wide variation in clothing.
Troops would have left knap sacks behind.
Although I still prefer the marching pose, British troops fought in a more open formation so a leveled musket advance could also be appropriate.

cavcrazy23 Jan 2013 4:58 p.m. PST

It makes no difference to me, once the game starts so does my imagination and all of my troops are suddenly animated!

Rallynow24 Jan 2013 2:08 p.m. PST

I favor firing for Americans because I see that as the American long suit.

I favor bayonet sloped and charging for the British and Germans because I see that as their long suit.

I think Americans would rather shoot it out with the British instead of crossing bayonets and that is why the British wanted to get into melee as quickly as possible.

Not necessarily all the time particularly in the late war but generally speaking.

spontoon24 Jan 2013 4:48 p.m. PST

I prefer all the same pose for my Line troops. Different faces, sure. Differences in equipment, sure. I like the march attack pose for most units since it packs well. For skirmishers, a few poses are preferable.

Supercilius Maximus25 Jan 2013 9:44 a.m. PST

Another factor in favour of marching, as opposed to firing or charging, is that they are easier to base in multiple ranks, and easier to store (whether upright or horizontal).

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