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Ratch

Ratch's 54mm figures

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Over the years I've built all of the Airfix 54mm Collector Series except for the Bengal Lancer. I'm now looking at conversions to add variety to my collection and decided to build a few more, including the missing lancer.
First up, Sergeant, 11th Hussars 1854. Uniforms had changed little by the time of the Crimean War (1840 – 1854). I chose to model this figure, dressed in home service marching order of full dress with certain modifications. His pelisse is absent, having been left on board the transports and not retrieved until after Balaclava. A cap pouch for the Victoria percussion carbine was worn on the right of the sword belt. Only Hussars wore the sabretache in the Crimea.
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In the illustration he wears the red overalls.

Officer, elite squadron (Gard du Corps) German Light Horse 1807 - 1809. The original uniform consisted of a Polish lancer-style cream kurtka, faced in amaranth (a form of pink), with white wool epaulettes and pewter buttons. The czapska was of the usual style, covered in amaranth cloth and bedecked with a white plume with amaranth tip. The elite company was distinguished by white loops about the lapel buttons and a white aiguillette. This uniform was short-lived with white cloth re-placing the cream.
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My subject is carrying his czapska.

Trooper 13th Cuirassiers, 1811 - 1813. The 13th Cuirassiers were formed in 1808 from the 1er Régiment Provisoire de Grosse Cavalerie and saw lengthy service in the Peninsula. It was there that this fellow acquired his brown trousers, manufactured like so many overalls and jackets in this theatre of war, from confiscated monks’ habit fabric.
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The saddle cloth should be square.

Trooper, 7th Hussars, 1809.
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The shako and head are probably Historex. The torso is from an Airfix British Hussar and the legs from the Coldstream Guardsman.

Bengal Lancer 1901.
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I've swapped his horse, but otherwise, this will be OOB.

Town People.
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This is really just a bag of parts, three men’s and three ladies’ bodies, one man’s head and two ladies’ heads, one male and one female arm. There are also two parasols, two bags and an assortment of bows and bustles. From these I made two men and their lady partners with the remainder going into my spares boxes.

I airbrushed the horses with Vallejo Model Air 71026 US Flat Brown / 71029 Dark Earth / 71032 Golden Brown / 71035 Camouflage Light Brown / 71037 Mud Brown / 71038 Camouflage Medium Brown / 71057 Black & 71001 White
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The Crimean Hussar.
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I spread PVA over the base and added Javis Countryside Scenics JS17 Scatter Heath Green.
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The Cuirassier.
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I cut the peak to the helmet from plastic card. The horse’s tack was cut from lead foil. I spread PVA over the base and added Expo Landscape Scenics 591-32 Autumn Flock and Javis Countryside Scenics JHG1 Static Grass Spring Mix.
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The Bengal Lancer.
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The horse’s tack was cut from lead foil. I spread PVA over the base and added sandy scatter.
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The bases for the Townies had PVA spread over the bases and added Javis Countryside Scenics JS17 Scatter Heath Green on one base
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and Javis Countryside Scenics JS32 Scatter Dark Brown and dried plants to the other.
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Hussars enjoyed great popularity, particularly in the French army. Their name means corsairs, pirates or raiders, derived from the Mongol hoards. These excellent horsemen scoured ahead of the main army, striking terror into the enemy populous. They wore a wolf’s skin across their left shoulder as a light shield. This was replaced by the pelisse – itself a corruption of pelz or animal skin. They wore long moustaches and their hair was worn in cadanettes; three plaits, one at the rear and one in front of each ear. I spread PVA over the base and added Javis Countryside Scenics JS70 Scatter Summer Mixture.
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I spread PVA over the base of the GLH officer and added Expo Landscape Scenics 591-83 Mid Green Scatter.
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Three more...

Sergeant, 93rd Foot 1815.
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The cap is probably Historex and the head is 1/35. The torso, equipment, legs and arms are from an Airfix Coldstream Guardsman and the spontoon is from the AWI British.

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Please excuse the poor shots, I bought a new camera this week and I'm still working it out.

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Gunners of the Royal Artillery 1815. The uniform worn by the Royal Artillery was based on regulations laid down in 1799. The men wore a blue, short-tailed, single-breasted coat with red collar and cuffs, edged in yellow worsted tape. Red cord button loops were woven on the cuffs. Shoulder straps were red with yellow tape edging and worsted tufts. The front of the coat was decorated with rows of yellow bastion ended tape. Four gold lace button loops were added to the cuffs in 1812. The Belgic shako with tall front plate was adopted on 24th December 1811. Lines were of white cord and the plate was a crowned oval with the GR cypher within it and a mortar and two flaming grenades below it. White breeches with black gaiters and boots. The cartridge pouch was white with regimental badge.
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Maréchal-Ferrant, 5th Lancers 1811 - 1815. His profession is indicated by the red horse-shoe patch on the right upper sleeve of his plain stable jacket. He wears the Pokalem fatigue cap.
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This figure was compiled from various components. I think that the Pokalem fatigue cap is Historex. The head was taken from my 1/35 spares. The torso and arms are from the Airfix French Line Infantryman. The kneeling legs from the British 95th Rifleman and his hammer-type tool was scratchbuilt.

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With these its mainly painting...
11th Hussar
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German Light Horse
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The colour is described as Amarantha Red, and this is Vallejo's answer to Amarantha, but to me its too orange

So I re-painted in Old Rose
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13th Cuirassier
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Great stuff Ratch, these 54mm figures are really interesting aren't they. They look like they're pretty good quality too, might be tempted to have a go at a few of these...although I know I'd end up trying to get all of them.

The painting of the horses looks very good with the blend of all those different browns.

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Thanks very much Doug. Yes they're nice builds straight from the box and there's great fun cross-kitting, trying to match up a particular uniform too.

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The Cuirassier
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The Hussar
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And the Lancer
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The officer is complete
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What book is that Ratch, looks interesting?

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Cheers Doug,

That one's Napoleon’s Cavalry, I also have...

BRITISH MILITARY UNIFORMS From Contemporary Pictures
The English Civil War 1642 – 1651
BRITISH INFANTRY UNIFORMS Since 1660
BRITISH CAVALRY UNIFORMS Since 1660
AN ILLUSTRATED ENCYCLOPEDIA OF UNIFORMS OF THE NAPOLEONIC WARS
WELLINGTON’S ARMY
Brassey’s History of Uniforms Napoleonic Wars Wellington’s Army
Brassey’s History of Uniforms Napoleonic Wars Napoleon’s Army
Uniforms of the TERRITORIAL ARMY
Army Uniforms of World War 2
The ARMED FORCES Of WORLD WAR II

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Hi Ratch,

very impressive project and collection. It is a shame Airfix stopped their 54 mm figures and who knows: one day they'll resume with some 'new tool' ones!

Painting pink uniforms is indeed a risky business, as finding the right hue of pink is often tricky. One mistake and you end up with a rifle-toting lollipop!!! or worse!

I am suitably impressed with your result. With minimum scratch building, these figures could be varied ad nauseam. I know I had great fun with them.

The stocky horses, the movements of animals and men in the thick of action, the facial expressions, all were the real things, as opposed to the skinny horses and stiff poses of the Historex figures. The latter only won as far as the wealth of details and spare parts were concerned.

God I hate nostalgia!

Well done.

JR

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Thanks Jean, I know exactly where you're coming from. I lobbied Airfix to re-issue the 54mms in 2015 but was told that the kybosh had been put on it by the bean counters. I still pick them up when I can get them for reasonable prices, and maybe I'll get back on them later in the year.

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wow - this is brilliant stuff Ratch - I take my hat off to all that take on the challenge of figures and painting them as nicely as you have here

very nice

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Thanks Jean, I know exactly where you're coming from. I lobbied Airfix to re-issue the 54mms in 2015 but was told that the kybosh had been put on it by the bean counters. I still pick them up when I can get them for reasonable prices, and maybe I'll get back on them later in the year.

Hi Ratch,

now you are touching a raw nerve, as far as I am concerned...

I have always despised and fought bean counters when they think they can run a company dealing in a business they know nothing about! Believe me, in the mining world it appears to have been the norm for ever... with the expected cortege of frustrations and occasional disasters.

So to hear that this nonsense is happening as well with our hobby, really tickles me!!!

Bean counters are unfortunately a necessary evil (no offence intended to any BMers who spend their days using an abacus for a living) but they should leave the running of the companies to people who know all about the business they are involved in.

OK, I have had my rant. Thanks Ratch!!!

Having said that, it is still a shame that these great figures may never produced again.

Great collection.

JR

Edited by jean

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I've started on these Historex figures...

Peasant Couple with Child
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The goose is from the Tamiya 1/35 Livestock Set

Garde Impériale Genie (Engineers)
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Infanterie Légère de Ligne converting to French Horse Artillery
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The peasants are revolting

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Painting is just about done, next some weathering

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Historex Peasant Couple with Child (HX3360)

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The goose is from Tamiya

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Thanks, I remembered that I'd acquired this French gun and decided to make a small vignette
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Just playing around with ideas

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Historex 54mm Garde Impériale Genie [Engineers] (715105)

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Historex 54mm Infanterie Légère de Ligne (HX3112 conversion to Horse Artillery Gunner, 1806-14)

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