SP2 in 1/72

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MikeRC97
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jun 02, 2019 12:29 am

SP2 in 1/72

Post by MikeRC97 » Sun Jun 02, 2019 1:01 pm

Hello All,

Here is the first of my Napoleonic forces for Sharp Practice in 1/72 scale, a French light force comprised of three groups of Voltigeurs and two groups of Voltigeur Skirmishers.

I don't see many 1/72 scale figures on this message board. Many wargamers associate 1/72 figures with the soft plastic toy soldiers of their youth, but the quality in this scale has come a long way since the Airfix sets of the 1970s. Over the past two decades, companies such as Zvezda, Italeri, Caesar and HäT have produced many fine sets with quality well above those old 1/72 sets. There is a very large selection of Napoleonic figures available in this scale, and the cost is well below that of metal or hard plastic figures. There is a phenomenal website called Plastic Soldier Review (www.plasticsoldierreview.com), which is a great resource for anyone with an interest in this scale. Almost all of the figures in this force are from the Zvezda French Elite Infantry Voltigeurs set.

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Close up of a group of Voltigeur regulars. The uniforms are loosely based on the 10e Régiment d’Infanterie Léger, but I don’t enjoy painting every tiny little detail (for example the tricolor cockade on the shako) so I don’t aim for complete historical accuracy.

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Close up of a group of Voltigeur Skirmishers. This was my first time individually basing Napoleonic infantry. Prior to this, I had only painted infantry for wargame rules such as General d'Armee where each unit represents a battalion (approximately 1:20 figure scale); with multiple figures based on a single stand.

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As this was my first time painting Napoleonic infantry in 1:1 scale, I decided to paint figures you wouldn’t normally see in a unit representing a battalion. In the picture below, the figure on the right is a Corporal (Caporal). The figure is a conversion; the body is from a Zvezda French Napoleonic HQ Staff set with a head from the Voltigeur set.

French infantry Corporals were not NCOs, in battle Corporals were part of the line, they were stationed at the corners of each section (half-company). The rank distinction for a light infantry Corporal was two white stripes (galons) on both lower sleeves.

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Additional close ups. These are beautifully sculpted figures by Zvezda, who consistently produced some of the finest sets in this scale for many years before shifting their focus to board games and scale models.

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The only negative about this set is the mould lines on the faces of some of the figures which were difficult to remove without loss of detail. This is one of the hazards of 1/72 soft plastic figures. Conversely, it is very easy to convert 1/72 figures with little more than a hobby knife and super glue. Plastic cement does not work on the type of plastic usually used in this scale, although some manufacturers such as Plastic Soldier Company do make sets in hard plastic.

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For modeling purposes I equate the four levels of leaders in Sharp Practice to Sergeant (level I), Sergeant-Major (level II), Lieutenant (level III) and Captain (level IV). Left to right below is a Sergent, Sergent-major, a support list one musician (Cornet), and as force leader, an officer figure which could represent a Lieutenant or a Capitaine.

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Close up of the non-commissioned officers (sous-officiers). On the left is a Sergent Porte-Fanion whose role was to help maintain formation (to be used as the lower status leader attached to the formation of Voltiguers led by the Lieutenant), and a Sergent-major, the senior NCO in a French company (who will lead the Voltigeur Skirmishers). The rank distinction for a light infantry Sergeant was one silver stripe on both lower sleeves, two silver stripes for a Sergeant-Major.

These two figures have been sculpted with galons d'ancienneté (stripes indicating long service) on their upper left arms. The Sergent Porte-Fanion’s two chevrons indicate 15 years of service while the Sergent-major’s chevron indicates 10 years of service.

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That's all for now, still to come, more support options for the French force in the form of artillery and cavalry as well as Russian and British forces.

Any feedback or comments are appreciated.

Munin
Posts: 969
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2016 7:49 pm

Re: SP2 in 1/72

Post by Munin » Sun Jun 02, 2019 3:08 pm

I love that they have tiny moustacios. That kind of detail is awesome, and it's something I tried to do on my 15mm ACW figs as well.

Archdukek
Posts: 4568
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:49 pm
Location: Linlithgow, West Lothian, UK

Re: SP2 in 1/72

Post by Archdukek » Sun Jun 02, 2019 9:32 pm

Very pretty. Absolutely no reason why you can't play Sharp Practice in 1/72 scale, works in 15mm too.

One quick comment on your rank structure, I'd advise against routinely using Status Level 4 Leaders other than on a scenario basis. They are rather too powerful. For that reason I prefer to have my Captains as Level 3 with Level 4 reserved for field grade officers of Major and above. Accordingly both my Lieutenants and Sergeant Major's are Level 2, while I sometimes field a fresh faced Sous Lieutenant as Level 1 along with the Sergeants.

John

Contrarius
Posts: 303
Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2018 1:35 pm

Re: SP2 in 1/72

Post by Contrarius » Sat Jun 08, 2019 9:52 pm

Very nice! And proof, if proof were needed, that you can field an entire Sharp Practice force from under a tenner (£10 for the uninitiated).

I’m also a fan of 1/72 and find it’s a perfect all-round scale for gaming, which works well for big battalion games such as General d’Armee and large Skirmish systems like SP. Indeed, there’s really nothing stopping you from using the same figures for both systems.

I use sabot bases for my skirmishers, grouped in threes, which works perfectly in both systems, and for line troops simply have enough men in the rear rank on single or double bases for casualty removal.

The only problem with plastic is that the figures are very light and tend to get knocked around by strong breezes or passing cats, but this is easily solved by mounting your skirmishers on metal washers or coins and your larger units on heavy card or mdf and lining that with magnetic sheet, which helps for storage purposes.

mellett68
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2019 6:55 pm

Re: SP2 in 1/72

Post by mellett68 » Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:43 pm

Thank you for a brilliant post. I've been interested in sharp practice for a little while but the shopping list was getting a bit eye-watering in 28mm. I'd heard about 1/72 being cheaper but didn't know anything about the available ranges.

MikeRC97
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jun 02, 2019 12:29 am

Re: SP2 in 1/72

Post by MikeRC97 » Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:15 am

Thanks to all for the kind words.

@Archdukek: thanks for the input on the rank structure. Having the Sergeant-Major and Lieutenant as the same status leader (or higher) makes plenty of sense, the Sergeant-Majors were usually grizzled veterans.

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