Friday, May 27, 2011

Victrix Hanoverians

Victrix just posted some nice pics of their Hanoverians:

Just received back from one of our painters a great new unit of Hanoverians for 1815. These are made by using our metal Hanoverian head and backpack packs in conjunction with our British Waterloo centre companies boxed set. The painter used a couple of arms from a different manufacturer as well to show the versatility of plastics and how easily parts can be intermixed to create truly unique looking figures!

I thought it was worth taking a fresh look at the Hanoverians as in the past I have been a little critical of this set.

There are two sets:
Hanoverian heads 1 [VXP0006] - 36 Landwehr heads in Shakos
Hanoverian heads 2 [VXP0007] - 36 Landwehr heads in Peaked Cap

Both sets also include replacement backpacks and are priced at GBP15.00 but require the British Waterloo center company box priced at GBP19.95 for 60 for the bodies.

Combined it does I feel, make for an expensive 'plastic' set and the mismatch in the numbers means you are either going to have too many heads or too many bodies, so there will be some wastage. At best it is going to cost you around GBP27.00 to make up a set of 36 Hanoverians, though that compares to about GBP40.00 for the same amount of Perry metal Hanoverians (the only real alternative) and the Perry set consists of just 6 metal March Attack poses whereas you have the full range of possible poses from the Victrix set from firing line to marching.

So yes, maybe relatively expensive but unfortunately there is little real alternative currently available, and certainly if you want something other than a basic MarchAttack pose there is no other choice. They do paint up into a very nice set as well, so at the end of the day I think it's worth spending the money. Still, don't you think Victrix could have made enough heads to better utilise the 60 figure Centre company box, especially when there were an awful lot of Hanoverians at Waterloo (11 Landwehr Battalions for a start)?

However here's a thought, one advantage of the heads being in a set just by itself is that you could actually combine the heads with the Perry British Infantry, no I haven't tried it so don't blame me if they don't fit perfectly but it's an interesting 'alternative' idea if you already have the odd spare Perry box at hand.

Ok, so want to know more about the Hanoverians?
The latter period Hanoverian Army was formed in early 1813 when the north german states threw their lot in with the Allies against Napoleon. Initially 3 Field Battalions, one line and two light, were raised but it was expanded to 5 battalions by August, with 3 more to be added at the start of 1814, along with 30 Landwehr battalions. The Field Battalions were to be of 8 companies but in 1814 this was reduced to 6 companies and later to 4 companies. Landwehr battalions consisted of 4 companies, there were no light or grenadier companies.

There were a number of transitions and uniforms seem often to have been just 'left overs' from other units and armies, basically British or KGL and there was a lot of variance between regiments so you need to check each unit to be sure.

There was also a unit of jägers, the Feldjägerkorps Von Kielmannsegge, formed in Spring 1813. At first it consisted of only two companies, but expanded to four companies in October 1813. The unit was dissolved in September 1814 but then reformed in 1815 and fought at Waterloo with a strength of two companies. They were equipped with rifles.

In February 1815 the army was reorganised into 10 regiments, with each regiment consisting of one Field Battalion and three Landwehr Battalions, however, despite this organisation, on the battlefield battalions appear to have fought independently rather than as regiments. Although there were variances in very simple terms for 1815 you have Light Field Battalions in KGL uniforms, Line Field Battalions and Landwehr in British.

On this blog we have previously covered the Battle of Göhrde, the 1813 battle in North Germany involving the Hanoverians, so importantly these units are not just for Waterloo and this opens up a lot of possible scenarios, some hypothetical, some not.

There is not really that much detailed information available online and the most easily accessed quality information is the Osprey MAA 206 - The Hanoverian Army of the Napoleonic Wars by Peter Hofschroer, this is a must have I think if you want to try and make any sense out of it but getting an answer to exactly who wore what and when is not that easy. One of our old favorites sites Les Uniformes pendant la campagne des cents jours is the best source online for uniform plates for 1815.

Landwehr Battalion 1815
(facings vary)

Bremen Line Battalion 1815

Verden Line Battalion 1815

Jager Detachment 1815

The Napoleoen Series also has an article on the Light Battalions here also John de Terre Neuve has done some work on the Hanoverians on his blog, definitely read this, plus his blog is always nice to look at anyway as he paints so well.

The Perry's are probably the only source for the Hanoverian 1815 KGL styled uniformed Light Field Battalions if we are sticking strictly to the 'Perry's sized 28mm (and we are!).


Ray Rousell said...

I'm not really into 25mm Napoleonics, but they sure do look good, £27 to make 36 figures doesn't seem to bad, it would cost you nearly £40 if they were metal. The uniform images are very interesting as I'll be painting up some 15mm Hanoverians for a pal soon.

Rob Edgar said...

I agree they do look good don't they.

As I mentioned above I do think they are worth the price, they are really only 'relatively expensive' when compared to other plastic sets, as the metal heads effectively doubles the price.

It does make me wonder though whether it might have been viable for Victrix to do a plastic 'heads' box containing the Hanoverians, and the Lights in the one box.

It's an interesting idea, the mix in the box hopefully helping increase demand and plastic making them cheaper (and easier to fix together) also boosting demand together helping to justify the high initial molding cost.

There were certainly a lot more Lights and Hanoverians than Highlanders at Waterloo so the demand should be there, in theory LOL :)

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Dave said...

Really useful info thanks.

I just bought myself a pack (peaked hats) and I am putting them together....getting the bloody heads to stick on is a bit of a challenge - I am used to working with just plastics , so super glue is a bit of a pain.


Rob Edgar said...

Metal to plastic is always a bit of problem, whilst a contact epoxy works really well it leaves a thick layer which is not what you need between a neck and body, super glue is about all the choice left but it doesn't really that stick well.

Merci Beaucoup