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"Austrians or Prussians for first plastics? " Topic

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1,512 hits since 13 Feb 2017
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IronMaidenheader Inactive Member13 Feb 2017 6:05 p.m. PST

I've been investigating the viability of SYW in plastic sprues for some time now. There are many issues with how to do this in a way that reduces the financial risk. Much like the original Perry ACW, the Warlord ECW, and the Wargames Factory WSS (now re-released by Warlord) there are gives and takes to make a suitably generic set that is up to snuff enough to appeal to the majority.

Cuffs are a concern. Separate heads can help extend the reach of the sprues. But the button counters will not love an SYW set that is financially viable. There are just too many uniform variations.

Rhino Co Supporting Member of TMP13 Feb 2017 6:18 p.m. PST

Depending on how wrapped up in the details one gets. For Prussian: with lapels or not, collar or not, Prussian cuff or swedish. Then the head gear: grenadier miter, fusilier miter or tricorn.

The Austrians I think had Les variation and you could go even simpler with Hungarians and Germans.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP13 Feb 2017 6:22 p.m. PST

I think you're right. A pity, but there it is.

Perhaps given the AWI "Hessian" sets, which are close to Prussian, you might get away with an Austrian set suitable for line and grenadiers--and some smaller states and freikorps. You might also be able to produce cavalry sets which could be widely used.

You might consider producing an Austrian set cut just a little tight with a note that it could be used for the following Prussian regiments--but I suspect the project is not financially viable.

Of course, I think AWI cavalry IS viable, and no one does it.

Wargamer Dave13 Feb 2017 8:20 p.m. PST

Having just brought this up after being intrigued by the period, I wonder how hard it would be to get Austrian fusiliers and grenadiers out of the same set with a head swap

EnemyAce13 Feb 2017 9:58 p.m. PST

Excuse me, as I don't know the period, but how many poses of each would need to have a nice selection of 'line' troops?

If your box had 16 poses, you could do 4 nations with 4 sculpts per nation, or 5 sculpts per nation in a box of 20 poses. This could let gamers bulk up their forces quickly and cheaply, while reserving the metal for heroic/leader/officer poses. Or why not just an Austrian/Prussian combo box, with 10 sculpts each with a mix of the various most common fusiliers/grenadiers, etc?

TheGiantTribble14 Feb 2017 3:22 a.m. PST

Personally I wonder if the majority of people who would like to see this happen, actually want it for imaginations rather than strictly historical. Thereby giving a bit of scope for 'historical inaccuracy's'

Personal logo Dye4minis Supporting Member of TMP14 Feb 2017 10:15 a.m. PST

With Prussians, the main difference between the infantry troop types is the headgear. (only 3: Musketeer= Tricorne; Fusilier= Small Mitre; Grenadier= Large Mitre)

I would love to see some 28mm Austrians, in plastic, for SYW! Cav and arty too! Cav is so expensive in metal (cost of the raw material being the main culprit!)

Musketier Supporting Member of TMP14 Feb 2017 12:30 p.m. PST

Well, Hat seem to have thought Prussians the better bet – and found a way to solve the headgear issue, although interchangeable heads may be even better?
As for uniform details, since plastic is easy to cut, how hard would it be to remove cuff flaps if one absolutely wanted Swedish cuffs? The Perrys suggest just that for converting their Napoleonic French infantry to Légère.
Lapels and possibly even collars could perhaps be kept shallow enough to overpaint?
On the other hand, CAD may allow you to optimise sprue use, and include various details to stick on.

JCBJCB14 Feb 2017 8:21 p.m. PST

I'm with Tribble – I would purchase ANY plastics 18th century set with a pulse, and purely for Imaginations ("pulse" meaning NOT Warlord [nee Wargames Factory], which are horrible). I can't but think that three boxes – infantry (with 3/4 head options), artillery and cavalry (a bog standard dragoon or horse regiment) wouldn't be a hit.

All that's going to happen with anyone trying to make a "generic" Prussian/Austrian plastics set is a general disapproval.

Wargamer Dave14 Feb 2017 8:24 p.m. PST

JCBJCB I'm confused – it sounds like your first paragraph is about wanting an 18th century set and your second is that any of those sets would meet with disapproval?

thehawk15 Feb 2017 3:46 a.m. PST

All that's going to happen with anyone trying to make a "generic" Prussian/Austrian plastics set is a general disapproval.

Based on the Warlord WSS experience I agree. Too many conflicting views about pose, uniforms etc. End result was the wargame figure equivalent of the camel.

A colleague and I design and make 35mm WAS generics. I prefer the old school "Karoliner tennsoldaten" look over historical. Generics mean that uniform research isn't needed.

Griefbringer15 Feb 2017 4:32 a.m. PST

Excuse me, as I don't know the period, but how many poses of each would need to have a nice selection of 'line' troops?

My understanding is that a lot of 18th century gamers (big battle sorts) are happy to have most of their units marching forward in step, musket held at left shoulder. Thus, to form the rank and file of a unit, relatively small number of body variants would do. (Catering to skirmish gamers would require much more variety.)

However, there would also be a need to cater to command models, like officers, colours and drummers. Tooling these in plastic would add a fair bit to the cost – the command sprue might end up costing as much as a rank-and-file sprue to design, while selling in significantly smaller numbers. Warlord has solved this with some of their Napoleonics by doing the rank-and-file in plastic and command models in metal.

As for combining figures from several different countries on same sprue/set, that is probably something that customers will not appreciate, and is not likely to reduce tooling costs either.

As for Imaginations players, I have doubts about them forming a large enough market audience on their own to make a product aimed specifically at them financially viable.

Marc at work15 Feb 2017 5:37 a.m. PST

The hats on the HaT plastics are separate, rather than heads, as it enables the mould to be top down, rather than face on, so the tricorne detail is preserved.

Doing that with a face attached might be a technical challenge, as faces are normally done (excuse me) face on

A "generic" set would be interesting, and I cannot tell if the WF/Warlord are a disappointment because they are generic, or because they were poorly detailed.

Sadly, the 28mm purchaser these days is not the Charles Grant of the 1960's, so the market for loosely detailed, generic figures may not e as big as some of us making noises on forums would have a manufacturer believe.

My heart says, if the 7YW was a profitable period, the big boys may well have jumped in already. Look how they struggle to produce cavalry for other nations – even the Brits have taken a while to get heavy cavalry. So the 7YW market may be smaller than economically feasible to pay for plastic moulding.

There are some in 1/72 (my preferred scale) but even that is incomplete. And the manufacturers in that period have struggled to make money from it. just saying

Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP15 Feb 2017 5:39 a.m. PST

For infantry you can get away with 2 boxes for the Austrians.

1 German: 3 hat types
2. Hungerian 2 types of hats.

Griefbringer15 Feb 2017 8:47 a.m. PST

The hats on the HaT plastics are separate, rather than heads, as it enables the mould to be top down, rather than face on, so the tricorne detail is preserved.

Doing that with a face attached might be a technical challenge, as faces are normally done (excuse me) face on

Perrys have also succesfully done a few ranges (ACW and WWII) of plastics where the figures have their heads moulded to the body but with separate hats or helmets. While this limits poseability to some extent, I have not so far heard any major complaints about it from the people who have actually bought those sets.

One could of course make the heads and hats separate items on the sprue, though this might add to the tooling cost and add to the assembly work for the end customer. But it could then provide some more variation in the posing of the heads and in facial features – for example providing heads with a variety of different styles of moustache.

Wargamer Dave15 Feb 2017 10:09 a.m. PST

Griefbringer that brings up an interesting point – facial hair. Would all Prussians for example wear the same type? Or would there be variation among say grenadiers and musketeers?

Griefbringer15 Feb 2017 10:20 a.m. PST

I am not really familiar with infantry moustache regulations in the SYW, though my understanding is that hussars in many countries tended to favour them in imitation of the Hungarians, to the extent that at some point men joining such regiments could be required to wear false moustache if they did not naturally sport sufficient facial hair.

Then there is the issue of engineers with their beards, aprons and tools, though that may also be more of a Napoleonic thing…

That said, those with steady painting hand might find it feasible to paint reasonable looking moustache on models that have none, though readily sculpted moustache could be welcome by others.

Rhino Co Supporting Member of TMP20 Feb 2017 10:47 a.m. PST

So get this going and I'm in!

Costanzo123 Feb 2017 10:31 a.m. PST

Austrians. The goal is a sprue with 3 bodies walking, separade heads and separade arms with double offer of the left arm, one for march attack other for rifle on shoulder pose. Other sprue for commands. I had another idea of tour bodies, two germans and two hungarians, two heads offer, one germ. one hung. same as above for arms. The limit is the command sprue with six bodies plus heads and arms.

daler240D Supporting Member of TMP23 Feb 2017 1:42 p.m. PST

Austrians please.

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