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"Peninsular War British Heavy Cavalry" Topic

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spontoon09 Jan 2018 12:24 p.m. PST

Am I becoming delusional, or did I see a package of British early Peninsular War cavalry in 28mm offered somewhere?
Possibly Victrix; definitely plastic. Spotted it once in a related search, can't find it now.

Personal logo Artilleryman Supporting Member of TMP09 Jan 2018 12:38 p.m. PST

It comes from Warlord but they have options for pre and post 1812 in the box. This leads to a bit of a compromise so I personally would only buy them for the post 1812 option. In my opinion, the best early British heavy cavalry come from Brigade games but they are a bit expensive. Just to cover all the bases, the Perrys do cover the early light cavalry with their plastic hussar and light dragoon boxes.

spontoon09 Jan 2018 1:40 p.m. PST


The Brigade games are nice, but as you say, not cheap. I'd also promised myself anymore cavalry I purchased would be plastic; to save weight! I'm aware of the Perry's lt. dragoons. I had thought I'd seen a red box…

seneffe09 Jan 2018 2:36 p.m. PST

There aren't many British heavy regiments- so you might as well get the figures you really like whatever the cost- they will fight much better for you. Never economise on heavy cavalry…..

Marc at work09 Jan 2018 3:30 p.m. PST


HaT 28mm British heavy dragoons

Trajanus09 Jan 2018 3:44 p.m. PST

Yeah that's the box art, this what they really look like.


Lord Hill09 Jan 2018 4:03 p.m. PST

this what they really look like.

oh dear!

pbishop1209 Jan 2018 7:16 p.m. PST

MIne are Front Rank riders on Foremost mounts.

Footslogger10 Jan 2018 3:49 a.m. PST

You are NOT delusional.

I saw the HAT figures in my local shop. Glad I had the chance the look inside the box first. I put them back on the shelf.

Also another box of light cavalry in Tarletons. I did the same.

Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP10 Jan 2018 4:15 a.m. PST

Granted the HaT poses are a bit stiff, but they're not that bad, are they? They seem to have painted up quite well to me.

Marc at work10 Jan 2018 6:16 a.m. PST

That was my view 4th but (excuse the pun) horses for courses. I often find Front Rank etc to be not very nice, but tend not to comment as I think it is up to the individual. The HaT figures are more anatomically correct than most metal ranges (and Warlord) so that may influence people.

But as they say, YMMV

Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP10 Jan 2018 6:41 a.m. PST

@ Marc

They're a lot better than the first ever British heavy cavalry I had. Those were Airfix hussars in red rather than blue. There the resemblance to heavy cavalry ended.

davbenbak10 Jan 2018 7:49 a.m. PST

Oh Dear! I haven't been to the Hat site in a long time. I wasn't aware that they were making 28's as well. Only the mountain of unpainted 1/72's is keeping me from taking the 28mm plunge. According to pic's on the site they mix well with OG 2nd edition. How about Perry and Vitrix?

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP10 Jan 2018 10:48 a.m. PST

They are not THAT bad, or at least three of them pass muster.

The chap looking to his left is a disaster of anatomy and modelling. He might have a conversion potential if he loses his sword arm. It looks so deformed anyway, it may not survive much longer.

Interested in the Front Rank on Foremost mounts suggestion. Some cavalry in their range are quite reasonably modelled and the casting quality, even of the Hobbits, is superb.

Front Rank horses are truly awful. Some are little bigger than large dogs and the heavy cavalry swamp their steeds. I must check that out.

Thanks to pbishop12…..!

Marc at work10 Jan 2018 11:32 a.m. PST

Ahhh 4th. My first British heavies were French cuirassier painted red. At least we shared a colour choice


And having just seen a 28mm Pavlov grenadier on another thread, I can only say my view of what humans look like must be wildly different from others…

spontoon10 Jan 2018 11:32 a.m. PST

The Hat figs are a bit scrawny…

I'm sure the figs I saw were multipart types. Wish I'd bookmarked the page!

Duc de Brouilly10 Jan 2018 2:30 p.m. PST

Didn't know HaT did 28mm. Any trumpeters in the box?

Bicorne have some as well, with some figures in bicorne, others in watering cap.

Jabba Miles11 Jan 2018 8:07 a.m. PST

At least they are in the correct jacket for the Peninsular, take note Warlord :)

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP11 Jan 2018 9:42 a.m. PST

Warlord seem to think that the same jackets will do for Line Dragoons and Household Cavalry in 1815 as well as Peninsula. Just change the heads and "that will do".

It might for some I do accept……maybe I take such things too seriously.

But I agree with Seneffe. Do not economise on the figures if (stess IF) you are then going to "invest" many hours of your life painting and basing them. Spend a bit more…..

davbenbak11 Jan 2018 10:10 a.m. PST

So is the bicorn worn correctly on the Hat box art? If so, I think I may have identified some old Lamming figures I have that I thought might be Spanish Cav.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP11 Jan 2018 11:55 a.m. PST

They are mostly, but not exclusively, shown fore and aft as here. Must make it easier to wave one's sword around!

I get the impression looking at various figures, that makers strike a compromise with a "diagonal look" sometimes. Franklin casts the proverbial spanner in the works by saying side to side, but slightly rotated right wing forward!

Jabba Miles12 Jan 2018 5:06 a.m. PST

I believe they wore them fore and aft with either ribbons or chinscales attached, to what would otherwise be the front and back, to help keep them on when doing anything other than parading. Also as deadhead said bit hard to swing a sword I'd imagine with a bicorn sticking out the side.

Marc at work12 Jan 2018 5:50 a.m. PST

PSR hasa good view of this in their review of Prussian cuirassier – made me think when I read it, as before then I had assumed it was down to fashion.

And I sort of agree with DH re "invest" in quality – but sometimes it comes down to what one wants. If for display, then spending on the very finest figures makes sense. But if for gaming, and the intention is to play with a LOT of figures, then I have gradually come around to thinking quantity has its own quality.

I have painted ABs to very high standards, but on the table they are just dark blobs, so I imagine a balance can be struck.

So with these figures – I quite like the look of the HaT figures (my bias showing) and imagine they will look very good in a unit of 24 or so (bit like Elite figures – not so pretty individually, but on the table they look stunning). But if one wants the "28mm experience", with a unit of six, that includes an officer, standard and trumpeter a la Games Workshop, then something like Front Rank may enable the painter a bigger canvas.

Have fun

pbishop1213 Jan 2018 3:46 p.m. PST

The Foremost horses, particularly the heavy mounts, could be considered 'old school,' however the poses and sizes certainly accomodate the intent quite well. I typically mix all 4 of their charging heavy horses in my units, and mix the front rank riders (2), plus command. Certainly gives some varied poses for an active cavalry unit. The Front Rank figures fit quite well. IAN HInds provides an excellent service to the US, as does Front Rank. I game 28MM General de brigade, and units are 24 figures. Again, the mix of these 2 products is superb in my mind.

AdmiralHawke14 Jan 2018 3:37 a.m. PST

In general, I'm a big fan of plastics because of the wide variety of poses that well-designed plastic sets can offer. It was the superb Victrix and Perry Napoleonic 28mm plastics that persuaded me to try wargaming in the first place. The big gap in what was available in plastic for a British army was cavalry beyond the lovely Perry hussars.

So I was among many hoping for more plastic 28mm British cavalry. I have the new-ish Perry light dragoons and love them.

I really like Hat's 28mm French light infantry, but I'm not inspired by the new Hat 28mm British cavalry sets, much as I love the subject. Nor have I been tempted by the new Warlord set: the horses just don't look right somehow.

In the end I bought the Brigade Models (ex-Victrix) set. They are expensive (from the UK) but as I paint my own figures, I want to spend the time on figures that I think look good. They also have separate arms, which allows for the variety that I like in wargaming figures.

So I second the recommendation of the beautifully sculpted if expensive Brigade Games figures, despite being a fan of plastics in general and some other Hat figures.

HANS GRUBER14 Jan 2018 6:24 a.m. PST

Perry plastic releases seem few and far between these day. I think their last release was Zulu war British, but I haven't heard about any future planned releases. I thought British heavy cavalry and Agincourt mounted knights were planned, now I beginning to doubt that we will ever see them.

Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP15 Jan 2018 2:22 a.m. PST

Having got used to Hinchliffe 25mm and later Lamming 20mm in my youth, my standards of acceptable human proportions are lamentably low.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP15 Jan 2018 5:36 a.m. PST

Walk through Middlesbrough Town Centre on a Saturday afternoon and you will see much evidence of lamentably low standards of acceptable human proportions….trust me.

spontoon16 Jan 2018 11:03 a.m. PST

4th. Cuuirassier;

I can sympathise! At least they are not the behemoths that Front Rank offer!

spontoon16 Jan 2018 11:09 a.m. PST

SO, what would you use to make British Early Peninsular war heavy cavalry out of available plastic 28mm figures?

AdmiralHawke19 Jan 2018 5:06 a.m. PST


It's really a question of what compromises you are happy with. I've thought a bit about whether there's a way to create any Austrian, Russian or Prussian Napoleonic cavalry from the existing plastic Cavalry sets, but don't think there is -- mostly because the horse 'furniture' (saddles etc.) isn't right.

Assuming (a) that you wouldn't want to cannibalize more than one set and (b) that actual modelling work is out, here's what I'd try.

1) Horses. Start with the Perry light dragoon horses. I think they are almost exactly right, except for bridle lines over the nose that light cavalry had but heavy cavalry didn't. You could probably scrape or scratch them off.

2) Trousers and boots. Tricky. Neither of the trousers in the light dragoon set are right. The French dragoon boots would be great, but there are no spares in that set. So first major compromise is that you'd have to accept the smaller Hessian (?) boots rather than having the proper long dragoon boots.

3) Coat. Another compromise. None of the existing 28mm plastic cavalry sets has a coat that's anything much like the pre-1812 British dragoon coat. On the principle of not cannibalizing multiple sets, I'd go with the pre-1812 light dragoon jacket and try to scrape off much of the braid. (I think the officer might be OK, but I'm not uniform expert so very ready to be corrected). Details like cuffs will be wrong too.

4) Sword. The curved light cavalry sabres are obviously wrong. You could use the spare French dragoon arms from the (post-1812!) Perry plastic set. But there's two problems here. The 'French' sword arms have gauntlets, while the light dragoon arm holding the reins is bare or gloved. So you would have to find a way to either cut the gauntlets off the right hand or build them up on the left hand. The second problem is that there are spare sword arms but no spare scabbards in the French dragoon set. Not sure where to conjure those up from.

5) Headwear. Now you need some bicornes, preferably fore and aft. If you've got Peninsular British, you've probably got the Victrix plastic sets, in which case you should have plenty of bicornes as there's two for each officer figure. They aren't quite right, but they might do.

If the conversion proved a disaster, at least you'd still have the post-1812 uniform figures.

All in all, I'm not sure that gets you something that looks better than the HaT or Warlord sets, and it would be less accurate.

I hope that helps. I haven't tried it. British Peninsular dragoons are one of the only two units I have in metal.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP19 Jan 2018 7:30 a.m. PST

One thought. For (1) ACW cavalry horses from Perry are very close to any British Heavy cavalry look on campaign…..

I even wonder how much lace could be added to the torsos to get the right look. But amputate at waist and stick onto Perry French Dragoon below the waist

spontoon19 Jan 2018 12:06 p.m. PST

Admiral Hawke;

Thanks. Seems like an awful lot of work, doesn't it. I might just go with metal, too.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP19 Jan 2018 1:33 p.m. PST

In the end, much work, the price will be doubled for each figure reducing that benefit and you may not feel the most skilled with conversions and moulding work.

But the advantage of course, as pointed out above, is that the end result is yours and unique. That can be so satisfying, especially if you come up with some non standard poses.

Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP22 Jan 2018 7:36 a.m. PST

@ spontoon

That was my conclusion too when planning a nostalgia army of Airfix plastic Napoleonics. The hassle involved in converting (poor) cuirassiers into British heavies and French dragoons, or line infantry into rifles, simply isn't worth it for the results you get. I've bought Newline and Waterloo 1815 metals and HaT plastics instead. If they'd existed 40 years ago I'd never have gone to metals.

I'm up for conversions when a/ easy and b/ good results are possible. Airfix hussar bodies on British line infantry and RHA legs make passable Guard horse artillery, for example. French line heads on Airfix hussar bodies make passable French hussars.

What I have found, though, is that conversions you'd think would work, from looking at photos of the figures, don't work when you get your hands on the plastic. You can't use Airfix Old Guard as conversion fodder with any other Airfix figures because they're virtually a different scale.

It's not just that manufacturer in that scale, either. The Italeri plastics are larger than anyone else's and the Call To Arms 1/32 scale vary randomly from set to set in both quality and size. I chucked in 1/32 as a scale for that reason.

Tango0122 May 2021 9:15 p.m. PST

I like those one…




Widowson23 May 2021 12:19 p.m. PST

Deadhead, instead of using the British hussars, you should have converted from US Cavalry, and French cuirassiers for the dragoons. Worked for me back in the early 70s.

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