Here it is - my review of the Perrys' plastic American Civil War Confederate Infantry box!
I've had this review in the pipeline for a while now, but never quite got to doing the write-up. I finished a unit for 2016's Austrian Salute's big ACW game, and lateron never quite got to do the review.
|In the centre you can see the chaps partaking in the battle of Chaplin Hills|
Anyway, let's not waste any more time and get to the review!
This boxed set was released in late 2012, several years after the initial American Civil War plastic infantry by the Perrys. Now those figures are perfectly fine and serviceable.
However, by today's standards they may be a little stiff (especially the marching pose ones) and details aren't as crisp as they could be. I think they are really fine miniatures, especially if you want to set up proper armies, but much rejoicing was had when the dedicated Confederates box was released.
It's a typical Perrys box. Great art by Peter Dennis, neat, clear appearance, picture of a single 'life-size' mini in the lower right corner.
In the back we get some useful infos on what we get in the box, what these can be used for, along with a simple assembly guide and some colour suggestions.
We also learn that there's a whopping 44 figures in the box. The older generic ACW infantry box had 36 figures for the same price.
What's in the Box?
In the box we find: 8 Troops Sprues, 2 Command Sprues, 1 Bases Sprue, and the usual Perrys leaflet.
Let's get straight to the goods:
This is the Troops Sprue. Five full models to a sprue, with pose options for either bayonet charging (probably rebel yelling while at it) poses or hastily marching poses with muskets/rifles shouldered.
There are enough arms to have all of the models in either pose. On top of that we get a choice of either caps or a variety of broad brimmed hats.
That's the 40 guys sorted and leaves us with the four command figures on two command sprues:
These contain one officer and a drummer/color sergeant each. The officer wears the usual coat and comes with just one arms option: holding a revolver in one hand and the sabre scabbard in the other. I like that especially, because these things (as far as I know) tend to dangle around and I'm sure throughout the history of mankind a LOT of head honchos tripped over their own scabbards.
Again, we get either a nice, broad-brimmed hat or a cap for the officer (officer variety each).
The other figure is either a drummer or a color sergeant. The problem is that he comes with a sash to carry the drum cast onto the body, so you should use this one as a drummer and if you want a flag bearer (and you know you want one) you should use one of the regular dudes from the troops sprues for that.
For this second figure we also get the hat/cap option. On top of that there's also another pair of arms with musket/rifle in advancing pose in case we want our officer armed with that or don't need another drummer/flag bearer and instead want another infantryman. Good thinking, because the Perrys of course sell very pretty command figure sets in metal.
Then there's the usual bases sprue:
I have quite a few of these lying around by now and never really use them due to the unusual sizes they come in. I base my infantry on 40x40mm and cavalry on 50x50mm bases (and I know that I'm not the only one), so these are of little use to me. Still, nice to have.
Much more useful - the sheet:
Thick, glossy paper, as usual full of nice information. In this case mostly colour schemes for various regiments. Along with that we get eight different flags to cut out. I don't think I ever used flags from Perrys sheets on miniatures. The paper is just too thick, too glossy and the colours 'pop' a bit too much for my tastes. Great to have, but I don't use them. The colour plates on the other hand are always handy.
Assembly was a breeze. Of course plastics are always much work to clean, but the parts go together really well and the poses (despite the 'multi-part' character of the sculpts) work very well and look natural.
I really like the Perrys' system of hats/caps going onto the round heads rather than having cut-off heads with fully cast hats to put on.
In terms of organization I used my usual 4-to-a-base, 6-bases-to-a-unit setup and I smuggled in a single mini from the older infantry box I had painted already earlier. On the command base I used a metal drummer I had left and of all things a cavalryman on foot for an officer.
The way I assembled them is with the first rank bayonet charging while the second rank has the muskets shouldered. Out of all the options this probably is the one that makes the least sense, but I like the look of it.
In my little ACW brigade I already have a variety of uniforms, but still lacked a unit wearing all (or mostly) 'butternut' coloured uniforms. For commission work I had painted this fabled colour before, but only on very few of my own figures.
Once you get yourself into painting ACW figures you will sooner or later stumble across the term 'butternut' to describe some Confederate uniforms. In short 'butternut' is what happens to some grey uniforms due to weather and wear on campaign, depending on what dyes were used. Uniforms would turn brown-ish/brown/ochre/khaki/almost cream-coloured.
The inevitable question that follows is "what did it look like?". And this is where you can start having heated debates. And once you 'won' those, you can go tell people what Feldgrau, Dunkelgelb, Polish Crimson and the correct red for British troops in the 19th century look like. ;-) Yeah, it's one of those. Nobody knows what it has to look like, nobody will be able to tell you what colours to use.
I went with various shades of browns and that's it really.
The officer is looking slightly out of place with his huge cavalry boots, revolver in one hand, carbine in the other, but if you read any account of the civil war if anything it's ripe with characters. And this guy looks like a character. He also fits the charging pose of the unit, firing his gun, advancing in a ducked pose.
In the end I snipped off the plastic flag pole (not a fan of those) and replaced it with a wire one, along with a flag I printed and repainted a little so the colours pop out a bit better.
These are really good miniatures. The detail is much crisper than on their predecessors, they are wearing the short jackets which are much more common for the confederate army and the poses are really dynamic.
The figures are also a bit taller than the original ACW infantry. Due to this and the difference in poses I don't think the models will mix with the ACW infantry plastics within the same unit. However, in different units they will work perfectly well alongside each other.
Will these work for the Union as well? If you research I'm sure you will find units which would fit with these models. Of course there may not be a need with the dedicated Union Infantry plastics having been released in late 2016 (by which I may hint at an upcoming review on here ;-) ).
At a price point of GBP 20.00 for 44 figures these models will be your first stop if you want to get your 28mm Confederates colleciton going. With the more dynamic poses these will also work well with skirmish games. With the usual Perrys level of excellence there is no reason not to get this box.
I hope that you enjoyed this review, found it interesting, enjoyed the painting and so on. If you have any questions, comments or indeed commission inquiries, feel free to let me know via the comments section, the Battle Brush Studios Facebook page or via e-mail.