Over the Christmas period a lot of work went into the preparation of doll figures, indeed I got a bit carried away and produced nineteen dolls, rather than the projected fourteen. However careful work on the dolls is essential and the more there are the greater choice it gives me as the sculptor in the later stages when masters are being prepared. The dolls went off for casting up and came out quite nicely, though a few had flaws and are being recast. In any batch of dolls some flaws are unavoidable, that's just the nature of the casting process.
Our basic approach with the Swedish foot is to produce three types of pose; Marching, Standing and Charging. The last in particular being indispensable for portraying the aggressive tactical doctrine of Charles' army. When we get on to the Russians they will likely be Marching, Standing and Firing, the latter to illustrate the Russian answer to the Swedish charge. Within the three poses we are providing figures in karpus and tricorn. I have decided to alter the style of the karpus slightly between the poses, but the different packs within that pose type will have the same style to make the units consistent.
Below are some Work In Progress pictures of figures currently on the workbench, but soon to be sent off for casting. Please bear in mind that there are certain bits that aren't quite finished on these figures, but they give a decent impression of what the eventual figures will look like.
Pikemen in tricorn charging
Command in tricorn charging
Pikemen in karpus charging
Command in tricorn standing.
The green coloured figure may be recognisable as one of the original sample figures sculpted back in October. He is green because procreate putty turns a sickly green hue after having been through the vulcanisation process. Beforehand it is a light grey as visible on all the other figures.
Pikemen in tricorn standing
You can observe in these figures some of the same dolls used in the command pack. Uniforms in the Swedish army differed little in cut between the officers and the rank and file. This makes the dolls wearing only waist belts potentially convertible into any infantry role.
Musketeers in tricorn marching
Musketeers in karpus marching.
As may be recalled from the preview it was decided that the best way of tackling the marching figures was to make the musket arms plug-in. Hence the lack of a musket arm in these masters. This allows a more dynamic pose and avoids certain casting issues that can make consistent good casting problematic, or in some instances, problems that render some poses un-castable altogether: see this previous post for discussion of this issue.
A happy accident of this choice is that I realised a slightly different pose from the originally intended one was possible by changing the plug-in arm, giving a more casual pose, and a more serious one with bayonets fixed advancing to contact. In both cases the arm can be rotated at the shoulder to alter the slant of the musket..
Note that these karpus wearing figures have a slightly different style of karpus than the charging figures..
The issue of headgear for Swedish grenadiers is a perplexing one. Few mitres have survived intact, regimental records rarely mention them, some of those that are known are for foreign regiments in Swedish pay, etc. It is quite likely that most just wore the tricorn. At the dollying stage I sculpted up some of the known examples. However when you think about the practicalities of how to produce the different varieties the numbers begin to add up. With five different mitres a single pose of standing grenadiers adopting all five would need twenty five sculpts to produce five packs, and then the other two types of pose would require another fifty. Never mind the sculpting, the inventory is getting out of control at that point.
A potential solution is to make the headgear plug-in, somewhat like Perry plastics. Its not ideal as there may be a slight gap between the head and the hat, though generally whatever glue is used to attach the hat will fill in the gap. Of course if you want your grenadiers in tricorns you can stick those on instead of mitres. Unless there are serious objections its likely this is the solution we'll pursue, but we'll have to see how the casts come out before we decide.
Hatless grenadier. Options below.
I hope you like the figures in prospect. Its a relief of sorts to finally be able to show pictures of work that's been going on for a few months now. At the moment there's quite a lot of other figures on the workbench but they aren't quite ready to be shown yet. There should be more to come in the next few weeks, then on to the horse.