Thursday, March 17, 2011

Review: AB Broken Cannon Sets

In this review, we'll see AB Mexican-American War broken cannons. Why? Because they are basically British and French artillery. I'm not familiar with that war to any great extent, but I know the Mexican army was strongly influenced by the Napoleonic French army. I assume then the double tailed carriage is Mexican and the single tail gun is British.

The guns are a little large to scale, more closer to 20mm than 18mm that AB is known for. They work fine though since they're broken and not manned. The "British" guns have ramrods that are comically too large even for 20mm. I used a pair of clippers and clipped most of it away and left just a piece of it as debris.

All the guns for each side are in the same pose. Since these aren't used too often, no one will really notice this fact. The cannons are three pieces, one wheel needing to be glued on, the barrel needing to be glued to the carriage or could be put on the ground (which didn't occur to me until after it was painted!). The "British" guns also come with a half broken wheel, which adds detail because you can choose to add it or leave it.

A good solid set. I'm unaware of any company that makes shattered guns for using as markers. In retrospect, since these guns were $3 a piece, buying actual guns at $2.50 each might have been cheaper, but lacked the debris to add some detail. This set wouldn't work too well with the true 15mm scale, but if you're using larger figures such as AB and Old Glory, they fit nicely.

Continue reading other posts in March for more reviews of AB casualty sets for French and British figures.

Review: AB French Chasseur a Cheval Casualties

AB has come out with 3 different cavalry casualty sets. This review is for the only light cavalry one they produce. What isn't present on the left is the horse isn't dead, but wounded and flailing. One of the horse's rear legs is up in the air, which was a nice touch compared to just laying there dead. More puzzling is the rider which appears to have given up and is walking with his sabre at his side. The other set on the right is holding the reins as his horse appears to be getting back up slowly. Good figures, details and equipment were done correctly.

Here we have a dead chasseur and his horse. I rather like this one as it does convey a real sense of a casualty. The dead horse on the right could in a pinch be used as a cavalry casualty for my British or Spanish, whom AB does not yet have sets for.

Again, two more figures that I liked. The chasseur on the left seems to be recovering himself next to his horse. The wounded man on the right is clinching his chest. I think having him thrown back on his horse or completely hunched over would have been a better idea, but the figure is well sculpted and was a good idea in a cavalry casualty set because not everyone would be off their horse.

Over all, a good solid set with dynamic poses. One thing done here correctly that most manufacturers seem to forget is that covered shakos were common on campaign. Here we have some mixed in so everyone doesn't appear to be in parade dress on every occasion. I could have painted overalls or leather reinforcement to their pants, but didn't do so here. I used Games Workshop washes on the horses and Devlan Mud wash on the flesh. I would strongly recommend this set to anyone considering it.

Review: AB French Napoleonic Infantry Casualties

This review is of the 10 piece French Napoleonic infantry casualty set from AB. The casualties in this set seem to be a bit less dynamic than the British set and was disappointing in that respect only.

Here in this one we see two figures wounded and on their knees and a French voltiguer using his Charleville musket as a crutch. Fine figures. We have an Italian from the 5th line on the left, a line voltiguer in center and a Tirailleur Corse on the left. Since I have more exotic units in my army, I wanted casualty figures to represent them.

Here we have a dead line grenadier and a light infantry chasseur both on the ground. Of the set, the chasseur seemed to be my favorite.

Here we see a duplicate shot of the Coriscan, but also a voltigeur and line infantryman. The voltigeur is very much in the same pose as the subtle pose of the British infantryman with his hat falling off at the moment of impact from a round. The line infantryman I painted to match up with my 4th Polish line regiment.

Here we have another voltigeur and two dead fusiliers. All details are crisp and gear is present.

The set itself is excellent when compared to other companies. When compared to the British set, it is a clear second in dynamic poses. Still recommended over beads and tokens. I would have liked to have seen a couple of wounded officers and maybe a vivandiere distributing a drink of brandy to a wounded man. In any event, a great set that will suffice for their purpose.

Review: AB British Napoleonic Infantry Casualties

Too often people ignore less popular figures such as specialty or casualty figures because you cannot make units out of them. I wanted them for the purposes of displaying disorder or disruption. Some people use simply beads, tokens or whatever else is handy, but it does detract a little from the table. What I'm doing in this 4 part segment is show the various casualty and broken cannon produced by AB miniatures.

Since the Eureka website has photos of most of their figures except these, I figured I would save others the wonder of what these figures look like exactly. First up are the British infantry. The 3 man one to the right is my favorite here. Anthony Barton was creative in using what appears to be a private and NCO carry a wounded officer on a musket. The other two figures to the left I put together because they really did appear to work together. The wounded man is using his Brown Bess as a crutch and his buddy is carrying his equipment. All well sculpted and appear realistic.

Both figures here are walking wounded.

Here we have one man with what appears to be a leg injury and the other is more subtle in what is wrong with him. What isn't apparent in my amateur photography is that his hat has been knocked back on his head and he's leaning backwards a bit. It appears the sculptor wanted to capture the moment of impact when a bullet rips into someone.

Here we see more common types of casualties: the ones who probably aren't going to make it. The dead Highlander was a nice jewel to the 10 figure set by AB.

This set lived up to all the standards AB has established over the years. Flash around the edges of the figures were typically nonexistent and detail clear. I used Games Workshop's Devland Mud wash on the flesh to give some shading and it worked well. The same effect would be given by watering down Dark Flesh or Snakebite Leather paints as well.