A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that


Sunday, 25 August 2013

Sappers & Miners


I’ve been having another good rummage in the spares boxes, to see what I should be doing when the ECW calms down a bit. I found the plastic box labeled Sappers & Engineers, and this reminded me of some holes in my Peninsular OOB. [I’ve already sounded out a few friends on this topic already, so if this post looks familiar you must be one of these friends…]


For the French, I have a natty little provisional unit of infantry sapeurs, who are a mixture of Falcata and Kennington, and some interesting little companies of fellows in full siege gear, with cuirasses and helmets and wheelbarrows and all sorts. This latter group is a mixture of LW and Strelets plastics, very kindly painted and donated by Clive when he came up here to try out my siege game a couple of years ago. You will notice that my engineering figures are individually based, and based on a handsome shade of two-tone mud, which seemed a good idea at the time.

[I had a look, and found Clive's excellent slideshow of that siege play test here - really enjoyed the nostalgia trip. Recommended.] 





I also have a team of pontonniers, from the mysterious Finescale Factory (also given to me by Clive), but I have never got around to assembling and painting them yet – I will, though…

The British are not in good shape, in comparison. I have a number of half naked labourers in plastic, who started life as British sailors, and I have collected enough infantry pioneers to make a unit similar to the French sappers, though they need painting and finishing. My original plan was to use the Minifigs S-Range BN55s for the pioneers, but that is such a weedy figure that, though I have enough, I have decided instead to use the later, intermediate-range Minifig, who is appropriately burly and rather more pleasing.

That’s it. I have no diggers or tunnellers or anything for the Brits. No-one, as far as I know, makes suitable RSM figures in 1/72 or 20mm scale. Old John has suggested a uniformed British infantryman without weapons which he can supply, which could be converted to carry picks, axes, shovels etc, and I have some packs of HO model railway workmen’s tools which could provide a barrow, so that is very interesting, but proper RSM chaps in short-tail jackets and silly hats would be a real find. I’m surprised that there is nothing of the sort available in plastic.

Anyone been down this road before? Are there 20mm engineering figures for a different period which would fit the bill, or which could be converted?

I know that the current Minifigs range includes a nice little working party of British engineers, but they are well out of scale, and I understand the S-Range never had an equivalent set.

Not a problem, but an interesting little itch that needs scratching. I am also reminded that I really must dust off the siege game and have another bash at it.

4 comments:

  1. Revell Confederate Engineers spring to mind, check out Plastic Soldier Review for pic of set, thinking just head swops might solve your engineering problem

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    1. Thanks for this, John - interesting. This is my second attempt to respond to this comment - the first response evaporated...

      Never seen this set before. The boys with suspenders/braces are anachronistic - these were invented 1830 (I hope you are taking notes). The ones with short jacket are possible - head swap would have to be big enough to include a standing-up collar. Headgear? - don't know of anything that looks like RSM cap, but forage caps might be a possibility.

      Very interesting.

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  2. The HaT Napoleonic British command set has a pioneer figure included in the set. He even has a choice of headgear: bearskin or shako.

    http://www.plasticsoldierreview.com/Review.aspx?id=2271

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    1. Cher Monsieur Rosbif - I've never seen this set either, though I knew it existed. The pioneer is nice, but I have Minifigs pioneers - it's the Sappers & Miners (Artificers?) I'm short of.

      Thanks - cheers - MSF

      Delete

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