With Terrible Sharp Sword being nearly ready it was nice to hear from Rapier Miniatures who asked me what size force they could put together for their games using the rules. As a result Rapier have decided to produce a starter pack for both the Union and Confederate force. Tese will both be made up of forty foot, six officers on foot, one mounted officer and three drummers. Along side these are eight cavalry troopers with a cavalry officer and one gun and crew. Apparently you can choose between a Parrott or a Napoleon with the latter. All that lot for fifty quid seemed like a great deal (in fact as I think about it now it is a steal at that price!).
Well, great as that may be I must admit that I have never knowingly seen any of Rapier Miniatures’ figures in the flesh, so in order to rectify this I got the lads to send me some and I was very impressed. The following photo shows six figuires. The two on the left are Foundry, in the middle are a couple of Perry plastics and then on the right are two from Rapier. Personally I would not be concerned in the slightest with the minimal height difference. Human being come in different shapes and sizes (on Lard Island I am tall and handsome, whereas Nick is short, fat and has a face like a squished tomato) and I like to see some variation in height a skirmish game.
I found that these figures were a joy to paint. The equipment carried is minimal, really nothing more than a cartridge pouch (exactly the same as the Foundry figures), which if you are looking to get a force on the table allows for some very fast painting indeed. For me the mark of a good figure is a well sculpted face. I need to see humanity in a figure if I am to relate to it (yes, I am clearly bloody insane!) and the face is where this comes from. I really like the faces on these chaps, the fellow charging forward has some very appropriate mutton chop moustaches whereas the marching bloke looks suitably defiant in the face of the enemy.
Faults? Well, to be honest I can’t find anything wrong with the figures that I received. They paint up very nicely indeed, the level of detail is good, the figures have character, they fit in perfectly well with my existing figure collection. The only negative comment that I could make would be to point out that whilst Rapier have their figures illustrated on their web site the photos there don’t really show off the figures as well as they could. Personally I’d rather see figures either painted to a very high standard to serve as inspiration or to see the figures simply washed with black ink in order to display the castings in the naked state.
Rapier’s offer can be found at the following link: http://www.rapierminiatures.co.uk/page/Range/TSS.html
As a starting point for collecting figures for Terrible Sharp Sword they represent excellent value.
When it comes to the Battle of the Bulge, much is made of the defence of Bastogne. However, US troops were preforming valiantly before then, defending the front line outposts along the Skyline Drive in Luxembourg in a heroic attempt to blunt the German spearheads in the very first days of the battle. Where some