The Purchase: One pack of Battle Honors BSP-1 Spanish Infantry Skirmishing. (Note: on the web site for Battle Honors this item is now described as Infantry Standing/Firing) I always enjoy painting and reviewing Battle Honors miniatures. Anthony Barton has left such a grand series of miniatures. I’m only sorry his AB’s are so much larger now (running up to nearly 20 mm in his latest releases). The figures in the bag of 50 I ordered are, for the most part, excellent as one would expect.
First Impressions: I first sort the bag, to break it up in to groups for painting. Right away I am struck by the fact that there are a lot of grenadiers. In fact, of the 41 soldiers, fully 16, or 36% are grenadiers. Other things being equal, until 1810 grenadiers would represent just 12% of a battalion’s strength (a battalion consisted of five companies, one grenadier and four fusilier, but fusilier companies numbered 206 men, compared to 112 for a grenadier company). I’m also disappointed that all three command sets are identical. Finally, expecting a “skirmishing” assortment, there are a lot of men just standing around, though the new description is accurate enough. Wish I’d known that before I ordered them....
The Thigh Bone’s Connected to the Hip Bone: The anatomical sensibility to Mr. Barton’s work is always outstanding. His faces are faces, with different expressions, different features and reward efforts to make them come alive (not that I can do that yet, but I’m working on it). Look at the example above. The curled fingers of the right hand are still the proper length, and the legs are the correct length and girth. The general size of the torso pleases as well. It is neither too portly nor too frail.
Beware of Scrambled Eggs: While a few of these figures have some minor issues (see my detailed comments below) overall every figure is quite nicely done.
God Is In. The Details: I have come to expect Mr. Barton’s work to be impeccable and I am not disappointed. The equipment is all in place, and I especially like the way he treats cuffs and turnbacks with very slight separations, if any. On some figures the cuffs especially can get out of hand, and they end up looking like gigantic bangles (who remembers those plastic ones from the 80’s the girls all wore out clubbing?).
The Verdict: Taken in whole, this is another very nice bag of infantry. While some poses (such as the one at the top of this page) rate an A, a few are only a C+, so overall I would have to rate this bag a solid B. One caveat: given the unusual assortment, you might find yourself having difficulty brigading the figures. Nothing worse than a lot of left over lead. I opted to make an entire battalion of grenadiers.
Paint By Numbers (My Paint Choices): White primer with a wash of brown ink (see photo above). Uniform jacket and pants - 50% Vallejo Ivory, 50% Flat White; Bedroll - Model Master Dark Gull Gray; Boots - Model Master flat black; Gaiters - Ceramcoat Charcoal; Facings, cuffs and collars - Polly S Cherry Red; Backpack - Howard Hues Military Leather with brown ink wash; musket stocks - Howard Hues Rifle Butt; muskets - Model Master Steel.
Note: The number in the corner of each photo below indicates how many of that figure were included in the bag of 50.
Click on a thumbnail to see an image full size.