Monday, March 30, 2009

Crusader French Fusilier

I'm a big fan of Mark Sims's work, and the past year has probably seen me painting more Crusader figures than Old Glory.  The Rank and File line is, I think, and inspired idea, letting Mark concentrate on simple sculpts of the most common troops.  He started with ancients, went on to Seven Years' War, and added Napoleonic French and ACW late last year.

I picked up a pack of Napoleonic French command and spent an hour last night painting up the lone fusilier in the pack.

Mark always seems to sculpt exactly what I want in a wargaming figure.  The pose is perfect for building convincing units.  The figure is visually interesting without being overly busy.  The smaller detail, like lapel buttons and cuff trim, is exaggerated enough for me to paint, but not so much it becomes cartoonish.

L-R Old Glory, Foundry, Crusader, Perry, Front Rank

Here are my two trial fusiliers, one from Crusader and one from Perry, side by side with some other manufacturers.  The Crusader figure is not quite the shortest, edging the Foundry sculpt by a millimeter.  And surprisingly, the Perry figure is not the tallest!  I would feel perfectly comfortable mixing any of the four figures on the left.  Foundry and Crusader are a little chunkier, Perry and Old Glory are a little leaner, but all four are within the same ballpark.  The Front Rank figure doesn't fit well with any of the others.  He's not really tall.  Indeed, he might be the shortest of the figures.  But he's massive.

When I start my Napoleonic French up again, I'll have to decide on one of these manufacturers for the bulk of my infantry.  Foundry is out because of price, and Front Rank is out because of proportion.  My existing French are all Old Glory, and I would like to work with something else for a while.  So really the choice is between Perry and Crusader.

I'm finding that a difficult choice.  I expected to love the Perry figures and find the Crusader acceptable.  Now that I've painted them, it's reversed.  That Crusader figure has "it," whatever "it" is.


  1. I have to agree with you about the Crusader line.

    I have a large-ish F&IW collection, and I just picked up the Crusader French and British Rank and File 7YW infantry and commmand. They not only fit well with the rest of my collection, but that have a certain "look" to them.

    My favorite line overall is Perry, but I'm very satisfied with the Crusader miniatures.

    Great paint job as usual!


  2. Have you had a look at the Victrix plastic French for building up the line troops?

  3. I haven't looked very hard at the Victrix figures because I'm not anxious to spend so much time building figures. I like plastics, but I like the heft of metals better, and the metals are easier to prep.

  4. Scott,

    I love the look of the Perry miniatures, but I have always found them hard to paint. I don't know what it is about the Perry figs that make them so hard to paint! Am I wrong? Is it just me?


  5. No, it's not just you, Matt. I found the Perry figures a little understated for my painting style. They're very nice figures, and I can see how, in other hands, they would look great once painted.