Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Perry French Infantry

Well, I've signed up to host a Sharp Practice game for Enfilade in May, so I figured I needed more troops. Just opened the box of Perry plastic French Infantry I picked up earlier this month. These are simpler than the Victrix sets. Most are in marching poses with just the backpack needing to be added. Only the skirmish poses and one other marching pose needs a little work. The two skirmisher poses have separate arm choices, which is good for variety. The one marching pose needs to be glued to a base (besides the backpack) - probably because of where he is on the sprue - next to the skirmish poses. All the heads are in shakos and one-piece with the body. You'll need to cut off the heads to swap them out with the optional ones.

There are three sprues - two of one type, and one which is basically the same, except it has the three command figures - the officer, standard bearer, and drummer. There are actually pieces for three drums, but only one drummer figure - again, probably due to the layout of the sprue. I have spare cornets from the Victrix set, but didn't use them. Also, there are a bunch of spare heads - mostly in pokalems - you know that French stocking cap. You'll note that the eagle standard is missing - I used it for the unit of mounted Carabiniers because it has the tasseled tri-color under the eagle like the Cuirassiers' standard. However, I have yet another spare eagle standard from the Victrix box.

Here are the two types of sprues - two of  type A (my term) and one of type B; the note at the bottom should actually say, "...packs with greatcoats rolled on top for figures 'not' wearing greatcoats" - that's what I get for deleting pictures before proof reading captions:
Detail of the figures from sprue tyupe A:
Detail of the figures from sprue type B:
Here are the skirmish poses. To add more variety I used some spare arms and a head from the Victrix set. The two makes match-up really well - even the muskets and backpacks are almost identical in size and shape.
The plastic is reminiscent of the old Airfix 54mm plastics, if I remember correctly. A bit pliable, but not so bad as to have paint flake off like their 1/72nd scale stuff. The plastic seems a bit sturdier than the type Victrix uses. In fact, I just found a broken off bayonet on one of the Victrix French. Not bad, considering I've played about 5 games with them and their British counterparts (over 100 figures). It's the only broken piece I've noticed - so far. That was the one thing I had concerns about when they were initially announced. I had posted a question on TMP about their bayonets being fragile or not. Well, I guess they are somewhat. I fixed it using a method I recently discovered on another blog. Basically to glue on the replacement piece - which I have a lot of from the spare/left-over parts - at a point where there is a joint. In this case the start of the bayonet where it slides onto the barrel.

Here's a photo that serves two purposes - 1) It shows the bayonet fix on the Victrix figure, and 2) A comparison shot of the Victrix and Perry - looks like a perfect match to me.
I plan to paint the Perry figures up as Light Infantry. This should make them easily identifiable as a different unit on the table. Because of the break of the Victrix bayonet, I'll hold off on getting their Highlanders right now. This is purely based on the type of plastic they're currently using, and has nothing to do about their poses, nor the gluing together of separate parts (which I don't find a problem like some do). I believe their sculpting is at least equal to the Perry's Napoleonics, and I also like the variety of poses. Maybe they can switch to the the same type of plastic the Perrys use - or something similar.

Addendum: I found another broken part - a pompom from a French Fusilier. I did an inspection of all the British and French Victrix figures and this was the only broken item I found - besides the broken bayonet found earlier. Hmmm, maybe the guys who play the French are more aggressive?


  1. I agree with your taking the Perry over the Victrix. I've built both and found the Perry's to be much easier to build and paint. They are also very durable. Given your high painting skills, the painting advantage may not be that big of a factor.

    The only downside of the Perrys is with skirmish gaming given their relatively uniform pose set.

    I would recommend you get two boxes so you can 1 unit with and one unit without greatcoats - In my opinion the units look better when they're a bit more uniform

    Good luck!

  2. Thanks again. For handling purposes I've decided it's best to use more marching poses - easier for folks to pick up stands and move them. The voltigeurs will be two to a base (again magnetic) - at least while I use Sharp Practice. I need to peruse your recent posts on your blog of Napoleonic games especially. Regards, Dean