Before reading my insanely complex review of this set, have a visit at BigLee's place. His blog just reached a million hits (which mine will do in a good hundred years perhaps) and to celebrate he is giving away some books and lead (see the 2nd link in the paragraph).
If you look at the pictures on PSR you wouldn't say these are nice figures. A few weeks back (just before my birthday) the owner of Drum&Flag (ebay miniatures retailer) shared some better photos on his facebook page and I became more convinced to grab a box of them.
You get 48 figures on 4 sprues, that means there are 12 poses which is good. Five poses are armed with arquebus, another four sport polearms, namely halberds and spears and one is waving his sabre - apparently this is the figure featured on the box art. There are four commanders and four trumpeters (one on each sprue again) which I found quite unnecessary. The rules I worked out for the era allow three commanders per side anyway. The trumpeters would be good to forward orders though.
- Lots of poses.
- Clothes fold nicely.
- Sabre grips and pommels are very well done (something most sculptors just don't find necessary).
- Easy to paint.
- Not at all easy to undercoat, it took a lot of time to cover everything but it could also be the fault of the Revell acrylic. I generally use a cheap hobby store acrylic for undercoating which adheres very well but I ran out of it while doing the winged hussars.
- Too many command figs. If you use a ruleset not with single bases it couldn't be a problem though.
- Polearms are ugly, faces too (nothing a little paint can't fix).
- Ugly box art and painted examples of the figures on the back - purely aesthetical but in the end most people just ends up buying things based on the box art. Bad advertising at its finest and still not as bad as Strelets box covers.
I am actually waiting for PSR's opinion on the lot. I found the scoring system used there a little bit unjust so I end my review here.
The Osprey book I consulted says for the early period Polish foot units (there weren't many of them) followed the Hungarian Haidu (hajdú) dressing style and these figures resemble that. I painted them in two batches, one in red/white and one in blue/yellow. If I would play a Deluge-era battle with loyalist and pro-Swede Poles on two sides, the blue/yellow would eventually work for the Swedes. I like using 12 men units because these are flexible and can form various formations (square, line, column) and the poses favor that. In the pictures the formations' front ranks are made of melee fighters and the rear ranks of shooters.
The painting treatment was the same as of late on all other works: black undercoat, block painting, Vallejo Umber wash, highlighting, varnishing, basing. I figured I'll have to wait about 12 hours before varnishing as the paint does not dry totally and results in a glossy finish. So that's no cold and no immediate varnishing as the golden rule.
Bases are painted with Revell Dark Earth, drybrushed with Dark Earth + Buff, just as usual.
Two commanders had green clothes for distinction.