When the Perry twins visited New Zealand last year, we had a beer or two with them, and they presented us with one of the very first boxes of their 28mm plastic cuiraissiers, hot off the press. Well, in the long time it has taken to get a paintbrush anywhere near these little chaps, many, many boxes will now have been bought and painted all over the world! However, I finally managed to put aside some time, and hope I have done justice to the amazing sculpting talents of the twins.
The figures are as beautiful as you would expect from the Perrys. The posing is dynamic and realistic. Two different arms allow you to have the figures either waving their swords in the air, or shouldering them – I’ve chosen the latter, except for my officer. There are two types of heads, which allows you to make either a unit of cuirassisers or of carabiniers in their more Grecian-looking helms.
Plastic allows finer detail than metal (the plastic scabbards, for instance, are very intricate indeed). On the other hand, the casting method used with plastic means some things can’t be done as well as in metal, the most obvious example on these figures being the in-fill between the reins. But overall the effect of the plastic is a much ‘finer’ look than metal, I feel.
The horses are very cleverly designed. They come in two halves, but any half can go with any other half, and still look right. So this gives a good range of possibilities. I’ll let someone who is better at maths than I am to work out the actual number of separate combinations you can come up with!
Assembly wasn’t all plain sailing, however. I’m not used to plastics, and had an awful time glueing them together (or, more accurately, getting the glue to stay glued). The horse halves were fine, as were the arms and heads. But the scabbards and carbines don’t have much surface to attach to, and throughout the painting process I was plagued by these bits falling off. In the end I got some super-glue, and so far (touch wood) these bits have remained stuck on.
I used my normal black undercoat method. The horses were all done with rubbed oils. And the figures were painted with the Foundry three-colour system.
The box includes painting instructions, so I went for the 4th Cuiraassiers in aurora facings. The Perrys have also included flags, which are very nicely done in an almost GMB-like style. The paper they are printed on is quite thick, however, and needed a bit of touching up where the folds broke into white creases.
I’ve had quite a few complimentary comments about the above dramatic photograph (don’t forget to click on the picture to see it full size). However, I have to admit it came out so well through no particular skill or effort on my part. It was entirely serendipity. One of those occasions where you get a lot of mediocre shots, but one stands out just by fluke.
I had pushed some of the figures out of the way so I could concentrate on the command group, but hadn’t pushed them far enough, so you still see them blurred. The end result, by chance, gives a real sense of distance.
The hill is my own back yard, as the models were just perched on a fence. Even the leaves and blurred trees weren’t planned, but seem to add to the effect.
I did do a little photoshopping to remove some base outlines. I probably should also have photoshopped the ugly in-fill between the reins (which I presume is because of casting limitations). But I decided to leave them as is, otherwise it would be cheating!
So there they are, looking as though they’ve just charged up the slope. Must have been the spirits of the real cuirassiers at Waterloo who guided this particular lucky shot!