I've often wished that Prince August could have done better of creating a French infantryman than the Battle of Rossbach mold PA58. Of course, there is also the "French Regiments of 1750" and "Wild Geese" series of molds. But they are very much a case of old wine in new bottles, Karoliners sold with painting guides as French troops. Of course, I painted a regiment of these years ago.
And a Swiss battalion Courten made from GNW molds. A little better, but still essentially Danes or Russians in disguise.
In any case, following up on the previous post, it was time to try something more ambitious. My objective was two-fold. First, I wanted a more convincing French infantry figure for my 40mm armies. Secondly, I wanted it in the always useful "march attack" pose. Did I have the sculpting talent to make one ? Who knows, and what were the chances of creating a tolerably good figure the first time out ?
Hedging my bets, I decided to use a PA casting as the base figure upon which to add green stuff to build up a suitable master. For this, I chose the advancing musketeer PA14, the hat company counterpart to the previously featured grenadier figure.
Again, this is one of the older, flatter Eriksson molds without precise detail. The idea was to substantially rework the figure, but take advantage of the good proportions and aggressive advancing stance. I cut off the weapons, amputated his arms and filed down the coat to a bare outline. I then started to rebuild the figure with green stuff. And here and there, I used existing bits from other figures such as the musket and scabbards.
My main worry was getting the arms to appear natural, hoping to hit a happy medium between T.rex and orangutan. That and just getting the general "look" right. And the new master.
It looked pretty good to me, but the proof would be in the casting. My 1st mold went wrong when the master must have slipped somehow, resulting in an ugly seam down the middle of the figure. The 2nd mold worked better but once I got castings out of it, I saw that there were a few things which needed to be tidied up on the master. The 3rd mold works the best except the bayonet scabbard casting short. But by no means a deal breaker. In any case, this flow pattern is effective and the bayonet at the extremity casts fully every time.
And more painted figures. It would have been preferable to finish more but I was eager to share it.
How did it turn out ? Once done with something like this, after the initial delight of creation wears off you tend to see all the flaws. I'm looking forward to reading any and all constructive criticism but I have to say I'm pleased with the result.