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A Call To Arms

Set 61

Royalist Infantry

Click for larger image
All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 2003
Contents 32 figures
Poses 8 poses
Material Plastic (Fairly Hard)
Colours Light Tan
Average Height 24 mm (= 1.73 m)

Review

Although the English Civil War is a popular subject for re-enactment in the UK, it took a long time for any 1/72 plastic figures to appear for this period. A Call To Arms began their range with several sets of English Civil War figures in 1/32 scale, and eventually these appeared in the 1/72.

This set contains scaled down copies of their 1/32 Royalist Musketeers set plus copies of four figures from their Pikemen set. The 'shot' (musketeers) are all reasonable poses, though strangely none of them are actually firing their piece. The 'pike' include both at rest and battle poses, and again all seem reasonable and authentic.

Many attempts were made at uniformity during this period, but this usually only extended to the unit or regiment, and often meant no more than all men wearing the same coloured coat. Particularly at the early stage of the war, supply was often a big problem, and many men wore their ordinary civilian clothes. The figures in this set could be described as fairly typical of the look of the soldiery. The shot do not wear armour but have the distinctive bandolier over the shoulder. One man wears a broad-brimmed hat, a useful but expensive item, but the rest have various styles of woolen caps which were very popular. The pike wear several different styles of armour, with some being more or less in vogue at different stages of the war. In all cases the costume is authentic and nicely done.

The shot all have matchlocks without rests which are well detailed. All the pikes are provided separately, and are 47 mm (3.4 metres) in length. The 1/32 scale equivalent of these figures had beautiful pikes done in a different kind of plastic, but this is unlikely to have been economic here. With the difficulties of moulding such a long thin device a compromise has been reached, and these pikes are much shorter than the average contemporary length of about 5 metres. Nonetheless the plastic has not always completely filled the point, leaving it as more of a knob. They are only attached to the sprue at the base, so they are straight and without kinks, but they are rather too thick, again to aid the flow of the plastic, but this makes them difficult to fit onto the figures. They do not fit well into the grooves for them on the hands.

These are good figures which exhibit a better and more realistic variety of costume than the Revell Thirty Years War soldiers. We found that no trimming was necessary, and the detail is all present and correct and nice and crisp. We would always have preferred more poses, and mixing pike and shot further reduces the potential of this set, but this can be mitigated by using the Parliamentary figures. It was great to finally see these figures in the smaller scale, and while the pikes were less than successful these are otherwise great figures.


Ratings

Historical Accuracy 9
Pose Quality 8
Pose Number 5
Sculpting 9
Mould 9

Further Reading
Books
"Arms & Armour of the English Civil Wars" - Royal Armouries - David Blackmore - 9780948092084
"English Civil War" - Brassey (History of Uniforms Series) - Philipp Elliot-Wright - 9781857532111
"Gunpowder Armies" - Concord (Fighting Men Series No.6010) - Tim Newark - 9789623610889
"Matchlock Musketeer 1588-1688" - Osprey (Warrior Series No.43) - Keith Roberts - 9781841762128
"New Model Army 1645-60" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.110) - Stuart Asquith - 9780850453850
"Soldiers of the English Civil War (1): Infantry" - Osprey (Elite Series No.25) - Keith Roberts - 9780850459036
"The English Civil War" - Blandford - Philip Haythornthwaite - 9781860198601
"The English Civil War" - Windrow & Greene (Europa Militaria Special No.4) - Chris Honeywell - 9781872004549

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