Army Builder but for Imperial Conquests

  • I think the army builder kits that Wargames Atlantic does for the Napoleonic period would work pretty well for the earlier part of this century. I think they could even release some miniatures in the latter half of the century of just iconic uniforms on the march, like French Legionnaires on patrol in Algeria and Morocco in the early 1900s. What do you guys think?

    In my opinion, I think they could expand on this theme and make a "parade" series where the soldiers are wearing their ceremonial uniforms. They don't necessarily have to be marching. Personally, I would love to see the British Guards wearing Slade-Wallace equipment holding a Lee-Metford or Lee-Enfield while trooping the color. One sprue could also contain the figures for officers and a color party. I am well aware there would be limited options to wargame these figure but I think there would still be an interest. This specific Guards uniform on parade seems to be popular in 54mm. I think it would translate well into 28mm because it would be a lot cheaper to recreate these scenes and on a larger scale than before.

  • "Age of Conquests" takes in the Crimean War and American Civil War, where massed ranks of musketry were still in use. There's certainly a post-Napoleonic niche for simple posed figures to bulk out the ranks. The large battles in India at various times also fall into this, as does the Taiping Rebellion.

    Otherwise, colonial warfare mostly has smaller regular forces and larger irregular ones, so army filler boxes are probably less useful. By the time you get to breechloading rifles being the standard weapon (c. 1870s) you aren't likely to want parade ground marching figures as much; an option to pose some figures like that in a standard box is probably enough.

    (This line also takes in The Boer War, the Russo-Japanese War and the Boxer Rebellion, but those are very much NOT musket block wars. You definitely want multipose.)

  • @Mark Dewis I totally agree that's why I mentioned it would be more practical for the beginning half of the century. Although, I still stand by the parade idea because I think that would be cool but I know there are VERY few people that would buy those lol. 

  • @Mold as it happens, the bearskin look is around for the Crimean war. What you're asking for are army fillers for the British foot guards (Grenadier, Coldstream and Scots).

    Battle of Inkerman


  • @Mark Dewis Yes thes only time the Guards ever went into combat with bearskins was during the Crimean War. Although, my favorite uniform from that conflict has to be the rifle brigade which again defeats the purpose of having them in ranks because of their skirmishing role. 

    However if they were to make food guards, I would hope it would be their ceremonial unifrom when they used Slade-Wallace equipment the late 1880s up until the 1930s because I think that was the best looking uniform ever created. I know that this "parade" series is more of a dream in my head than the reality of Wargames Atlantic producing it. I've seen plenty of companies produce them in 54mm and I think it would work great in 28mm because you would get more on the tabletop but who knows if there's that much interest in something like that. Although, there is little room for wargaming these figures besidse hypotheticals like a Very British Civil War which fit perfectly into that game. At the very least it would make a cool display. 

  • @Mark Dewis Hmm, I don't know about the Taiping Rebellion you might want that as multipart and multipose, since it was sort of like a cross between pike and shot and middle ages combat with 19th century guns thrown into the mix. It also had lots of heavy messy street fighting (it was genocidal total war with whole people groups getting wiped out not a "lets take turns shooting each other" gentlemen's war😆).

    @Mold Actually if they were done with VSF as an addition in mind, with a swappable VSF energy gun swap and head swaps, a ceremonial uniform with Slade-Wallace equipment troop might actually be a good army builder for those guard players wanting the "1000 points of infantry".  The  Slade-Wallace equipped guards  was sort of the original idea behind the Death Fields bulldogs (some of the first test shots where bearskins), but that idea sort of sank away. 

  • War of the triple alliance.

  • @Brian Van De Walker well, it's always a problematic war to research, but the Taipings were apparently fairly well equipped with musketry (much of it smuggled in from the West), were known for their discipline and the battles could be absolutely huge. 

    But it's not just musket troops that can benefit from the army builder idea. Rear echelon spearmen, archers, marching ranked troops of any sort. Any soldier where them being in the same pose will not look out of place and you need to bulk out the formations.

    (*cough* Late Roman Army Builder *cough* Germanic Warrior Army Builder...)

  • These could be sold as STL files, a "parade" soldier is surely a waste of money for a producer, I remember the (very) old trooping the colors parade sets from Airfix, these were the most boring box I ever bought, the market is more interested in active poses. The beautiful thing about 3D printers is that you can do every type of mini you like, without the problems with the market.

  • @Alessio De Carolis See that was my favorite Airfix box but yeah some people prefer action. However, people like their miniatures on the march too as that dominates the way Napoleonic to the American Civil War miniatures are sculpted. Although they are sculpted like that for authenticity and necessity, I don't think it's a stretch to apply that logic to a parade square. It's just a matter of how much interest there is. The Guards seem to be a pretty popular subject and have been sculpted in variety of scales from 1/72 to 1/32 but I haven't seen this done in 28mm. Making this in a plastic kit or STL file could be fun for that scale. 

  • Pike and musket blocks are another good candidate for simple pose models. Conquistadores - especially that style of soldier in a European context - only need about three poses for each weapon style. Pikes shouldered vertically, pikes at 45 degrees and pikes horizontal. For muskets, aiming and one or two loading stages. 

    The Warhammer 6th edition box set Empire models went with exactly this.

    Doppelhanders and Halberdiers are best done with mutipose though, since those were specialist pike breakers and didn't fight in such regimented formations. 

  • I would also love some orcs or goblins with pikes, marching in formation, but that's probably just me.

  • @Brian Van De Walker It would be cool to have that bearskin for hypotheticals like the image below lol. 

  • @Mold Cool? Yes, but highly impratical, with such an headgear a soldier would became the biggest target on a battlefield, expecially against a SMLE or a Mauser!

  • @Alessio De Carolis I think most soldiers are FINE if someone shoots them in the tall hat, as long as they miss the actual head.

    But these styles only became impractical with the breech loading rifle in the mid-late 19th C. For ranked musketry in mass formations uniforms can be colourful and fancy without having much effect on fighting ability. They might even help morale, espirit de corps, and recruitment. The bearskin was the mark of an elite unit, like the mitre before it. 

  • @Mark Dewis Exactly, think only about 18th century grenadiers' mitre, then replaced in Napoleonic's age by the bearskin, but I was speaking about the uniforms of that picture, with an early 20th centuryweapon.

  • Dress uniforms can be useful in some non-battlefield scenarios. The Foot Guards DO guard the monarch in dress uniform with current issue (non-ceremonial) weapons, so a terrorist or other urban crisis scenario could see them fighting in bearskins.

    It's niche enough that you'll probably not find it bespoke. Crimean war heads would do, on appropriate era bodies and weapon arms. Some conversion might be needed - the current Guards' uniform is of similar cut to late 19th C, but they don't carry pack or other campaign equipment on guard duty, just their rifle.

    Buckingham Palace Guards

    Most of the figures that would be suitable for this have puttees as well, so you'd need to convert those to trouser cuffs (not a difficult job). Note: NO POCKETS. WW1 and WW2 field uniforms are not the best to work from.

    Your best bet might be a Zulu War era officer body. That's likely to be as stripped back on equipment as you can get, and maybe in cuffs and shoes (though boots are as likely). Zulu War era arms will have the right sleeve cuffs.

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