Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Review: Trent Miniatures' "Lombardy Legion Hussars"

Guidon bearer from Trent LL09
After a few months of indecision, I recently decided to take the plunge and buy a few sample packs of Trent Miniatures' late C18 figures.  Trent offers a strange selection of Revolutionary War types with none of the armies being completed.   For example they have Austrian Dragoons (nice figures) with no command.  For those of us creating fictitious formations this is not so much of a problem (I have spare command types around) but if you are depicting an historical unit - it is a real turn-off!

In addition Trent's different packs are of greatly varying quality.  Some have really iffy proportions (even for a 28) and others look pretty good.  The only constant in the 6 blisters I ordered was that each and every pack had at least one miscast figure!   These ranged from minor gripes such as parts that hadn't joined together properly (see trumpeter below) to some rather major problems such as an Austrian Infantryman missing a foot!  All in all this suggests some really sloppy casting and non-existent quality control.  

As I said I purchased a few packs - but I will deal with them separately as the findings are so varied!  Let's start with the Hussars.  I went for pack LL09 Lombardy Legion Hussars Command as they looked much better than the rank and file chaps.  

The Officer and his strange anatomy.
The figures are big and chunky - though not as enormous as I had been led to believe by some TMPers.  For example I see no reason why they could not be used with Front Rank troops.  As a general rule, I would say that both horses and riders are very nicely detailed.  Faces display a good deal of character and the sculptor certainly made some effort depicting the braiding on the dolman/pelisse and getting the "Hungarian knots" shown on the breeches.

The nags are cast with furniture in situ and look rather good.  It was disappointing that there was just one pose in my pack but that one pose is attractive.

Note:  One of the horses was missing most of an ear - another miscast.

When it comes to authenticity I must admit ignorance of the Lombardy Legion's particulars.  These fellows look like fairly generic mid/late C18 Hussars.  The trumpeter in early bicorne is about the only thing that may work against people wanting to use these in a later "Lace Wars" context.

Guidon bearer - character packed face!
Sadly I must now make a couple of less than positive observations.  Whilst nicely detailed these figures have a very odd - almost dwarfish - look to them.  Strangely this is far more marked when you have them in your hand!  The Guidon bearer and especially the Officer both look plain wrong!  They appear barrel-chested and without necks.  In addition, either the distance between the shoulders and backside or the length of the legs is insufficient - I am not really sure which it is.  Peculiarly, the trumpeter seems to be free of this distortion - but the rank and file Hussars (Code LL11) are afflicted to an even greater degree.  This is a real shame as these could have been a great alternative for those seeking Hussars.

Further to the sculpting problems*, I must comment upon the very high number of miscasts.  Regular readers will be aware that poor quality castings are a real bugbear of mine (see here) and these figures really annoyed me.  I purposely obtained them from a third party vendor (Ebay seller) rather than ordering directly as I wished to avoid any delays.   The gentleman was efficient and polite and they were at my door less than 36 hours after I pressed "buy it now" - so I have nothing but praise for Steve Wood's operation.  However, it really galls that Trent would supply a vendor and therefore a customer with such substandard product.

Musician with miscast trumpet.
To summarise, the level of detail is good, the subjects are interesting and the horses perfectly acceptable.  However in my opinion the figures are compromised by some bad anatomy and sloppy casting.  For my Hussars I will be going elsewhere.

Incidentally, apologies for the worn "photo booth" - I will be fabricating a replacement in the near future.

*I have passed over the freakishly large hands as the great majority of miniatures are thus afflicted.


  1. Beimbach-Schoenau *needs* an enemy -in some future at least: use these hussars -and any samples you dislike- for such 'bad guys'.

  2. Very true Mr A.

    As has been stated the main enemy is the Vile Turk but there are colonial troubles also.

    I doubt the enemies will be "modelled" by myself but perhaps I will find an opponent somewhere!

    I will not rule out conflict with my Slavic neigbours to the East either...

  3. I know why the horse is missing its ear, it was shot off by a skirmisher!

  4. Spend the money and order yourself some Prussian or Austrian hussars and horses from Frank Hammond at Minden Miniatures. They are simply the very best available and worth the extra expense: realistic, correct human and equine proportions, high quality castings that fit together easily.

    Best Regards,