Post by Neilad on Jun 26, 2020 3:30:27 GMT
So I see on the post about "Action" sets naming that HaT have indicated that there would not be an Action set for ACW. That's fair enough and the be honest if you can get hold of other sets there is probably a load of these available anyway. The marching sets would be very welcomed as up until recently these were almost non existent apart from the odd pose in some of the other sets. This does bring me to the other main arm of service in the ACW, Artillery. Cavalry probably isn't much better but you could get away with whats available and hopefully the other active manufacturer comes through with a Confederate set at some point. Artillery though is very poorly represented in 1/72. I know this was a topic on the forum several years ago and the situation really hasn't changed even with the advent of a couple of newer sets. Yes there are sets, most not that readily available anymore, so lets take a closer look at this to see just how poor they are. We have the following.
Airfix - These are out of production. Can find on ebay occasionally. Artillerymen are not accurate with pant straps and lifeless poses. These are old and show their age. The carriage is basic but probably a little bigger than it should be. The barrel is probably the closest representation to the 3inch ordinance from my perspective. This set does include a limber but it is crudely assembled.
Accurate/Revell - These are currently out of production so while you can get them, its not easy. 3 of the 4 artillerymen are in shell jackets which is good, but 3 of the 4 are also in knee high boots which is odd and certainly not common. The artillery carriages are the correct length but should be a little thicker through the middle, there's no prolong rope and the prolong handles and trail handles virtually non existent except for some small raised bumps. The barrels are small and don't represent any of the major ones used at all. It is a source for limbers but like the Airfix version has a crude assembly, with an odd rider pose and the horses are not the best. It is however the only set that has wheels with the proper 14 spokes. So this set is semi useful if you can get it.
Italeri - There is two sets here. The artillerymen are next to useless unless you want all your artillerymen in winter coats. The gun carriages are way too big with the wheels extending way to wide of the main carriage. If you get just the normal artillery box you will get a limber which is a good representation. This box comes with 2 napoleons. The shape is accurate but they are way too big. About 4.5mm too long, which in this scale is about an extra 12 inches (1 ft). Some may be ok with that but proportionally it makes the barrel too wide as well. If the get the other larger set you will get a 10lb Parrot. That is probably more accurate, but there's no limber in this set, so a lot to purchase to get one accurate barrel.
Imex - I believe these are now out of production also. Some sets are still around but no new ones being made as far as I'm aware. There's a Confederate and Union set, yet you'll only find one artilleryman out of both sets in a shell jacket. Considering this was the most commonly used coat in the field artillery its hugely under represented. The carriages are similar in size to the Accurate/Revell and the barrels have the same issue being small and non-representative of ACW artillery. You will get limbers but with horses similar to the Accurate/Revell set, shortish legs and plump bodies, like they have been well feed.
Then we have the Strelets sets - One is a siege weapon (30lb Parrot) so not much use for field battles and the other uses a barrel (Whitworth) that is welcome but was rare in the field. The carriage is a replica of the Imex version. ie it is the Imex carriage with an elevation screw added so carries the same issues. The crew are ok, at least there isn't a sack coat to be seen. Most people would be hard pressed justifying purchasing more than one box of each unless you want the crew.
So from all these you could piece bits together from each of the sets to get one good artillery crew and gun carriage, but generally speaking none do a good job of providing appropriate crew, with a proper carriage and accurate barrels representative of the ACW. The average PSR score of about 5.5 is about right across the board. That's pretty low and would be lower if only focused on the guns. One could give up and go to metal, but I can tell you that even there most are inaccurate. I'm heading down the path to create my own barrels to use with modified plastic carriages because there really is little option without having to spend a small fortune on better metal or possibly the pieces from Speira, but even then most of these have carriages that are too long. It would be great to have a manufacturer like HaT to finally give us 1/72 ACW enthusiasts an artillery set to match the very well anticipated Marching and Command Infantry sets. I know that there are many other requests for other eras but the artillery for this conflict is seriously lacking in both decent crew (aiming or loading) and accurate guns and at this time HaT is probably the only 1/72 plastic manufacturer capable of executing such a set. There is a market for ACW and hopefully sales of the upcoming HaT sets will show that.