Wednesday, 29 January 2014

AB Miniatures 1798 Hungarian Line Infantry Out-the-bag Review

While reading Marengo and Hohenlinden: Napoleon's Rise to Power by James R Arnold I got the impression that the Austrian Army of that period was still in transition between the pre-1798 uniform and the post-1798 with the casquet hat still being worn. There is a picture in the book that quite clearly shows this earlier uniform being worn (though I am only assuming the artist got it right).

Then I noticed a picture in the Fields of Glory Napoleonic wargames rulebook that again features that earlier uniform still in use, but with officers wearing the new helmet. I'm sure the picture is from another Osprey publication.

So, with sources suggesting the earlier uniform I decided that some of my army should reflect this.

I already have the bulk of my German battalions started, with a few figures ordered to complete them, but I still hadn't started the Hungarian regiments yet, mostly due to the fact that only one producer of the larger scale 15mm figures makes Hungarian line infantry in helmets, that being AB.

AB are more expensive that the other ranges, this being acceptable due to the fantastic quality of the figures, so I had been holding off in the hope that Blue Moon, or another company, would release these (hint, hint!!!) at a more affordable price.

It eventually made sense that if I needed Austro-Hungarians, and if I was going to have to go with AB, then why not order the earlier French Revolutionary Wars era Austrian Hungarians? So that's what I did, only with a pack of Hungarian command in helmets to finish the 32 man battalion.

The order arrived today, so here is an Out-the-bag review of what I got...

The order had been for Hungarian Fusilier in Casquet Marching (AB-RKK07) x4 and Hungarian Fusilier Command 1798-1806 in Helmet (AB-KK91/93). The delivery was well packaged, as is always the case from Fighting 15's, the UK supplier of AB Miniatures. The figures were well protected with ample bubble wrap.

Rather than come in individual packs, the bulk order of 4 packs of fusiliers were in one zip lock bag, and the command in another.

So what did you get in the bags? The mix of Fusiliers consisted of three poses. These are packed randomly so I assumed it would be an equal amount of each. I had a minor gripe with the fact that there were far more of one pose than of the others, as you can see, but that's only a minor issue. The command set consists of six figures - one each of the three poses; officer, standard, and drummer.

I think it goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway. AB figures are the TOP when it comes to quality. They really do set the standard. The only flash issue is an easily removed bit at the very tip of the bayonet (though you need to carefully snip this off to avoid losing your tips). The features on the miniatures are well detailed and very realistic. The poses are natural, and the uniforms are accurate. The muskets are well defined and look like muskets and not just sticks with pointy bits. Just perfect figures. I hope I can paint these guys to the standard they deserve.

I think you need to see these beside other ranges to see how good they are, so here is a comparison shot. Sorry its a little fuzzy.

From left to right, these are: Blue Moon, AB, Old Glory, Warmodelling, and Warmodelling. Yes, the last two are both from the same manufacturer, from the same code, and out the same packet! I know not every person is the same height, but that guy is HUGE!!

I now have another battalion in the queue, so less typing and more painting is required. Here is what will be the first battalion of IR52 Erzherzhog Anton Victor Regiment, which will have bright pink facings. That along with the blue trousers should make a change from all the white.

The 32 man Battalion cost a total of £28 including postage, so that makes it about 0.87p per figure to build the unit, with a couple of spare figures leftover.

AB are available from Fighting 15s here.


Jonathan Freitag said...

I have a number of the AB FRW Austrians in casquet and, to me, they are smashing! I love them in casquest. Interesting note that you propose officers in helmet. I may try that with my next battalion.

LittleArmies said...

Hi Colin,
I have a dozen or so of the old AB Austrian sculpts if you woul like to mix them in.


Vive l'Empereur said...

Looks good. I have some unpainted AB Austrians in helmets that I bought as well as some French in bicornes. Marengo is a battle I like, just daunting to paint all the figures up for it. Keep painting!