I have wanted a small group of reasonably detailed looking French Voltigeur figures in 54mm for a while now, and last posted on the subject in 2010. I tried picking up HaT Voltigeurs but didn’t like either the detailing, the busby, or the style of plastic HaT uses. It’s too soft. The sculpts are also small and too thin compared to the figures I’m using for British Riflemen.
Victrix Ltd. has been active in expanding their line greatly in the last few years, and have been primarily producing 28mm hard plastic figures in the Napoleonic era. In recent years, their 54mm line has increased swiftly. They still haven’t made a pack of purpose built 95th Riflemen yet, but they have made British Peninsular Flank Infantry Companies which I might find useful.
Victrix also recently released a package of Napoleonic Voltigeurs good for conflicts from 1805 to 1812. This is essentially a set of pieces– bodies without arms or heads, but molded with jackets and trousers. A selection of arms in a multitude of poses. Usually a left arm holding a musket. Separate backpacks and bayonet frogs. A variety of right hand poses, allowing an extensive level of customization for the finished figures. Each box has 16 possible figures, with the possibility of 10 figure groups– there are two shako types– one with the tall pom pom, the other with the short, and two bare heads. There are two “officer” bodies with a nicer uniform and a coat over one shoulder at a jaunty angle.
Voltigeurs were Imperial light skirmishing style troops, and I am painting up the high-pom pom variant shakos for individual bases for the skirmish game I’ve been planning in a desultory fashion over the years. So I have created the 2 bare headed chaps as leaders (a veteran sergeant and an officer) and all the high pompom Voltigeurs into a 8 figure skirmishing band, which should match my rifleman figures nicely.
As for quality, I’m very much impressed.. each Victrix figure I construct is significantly different from the other. My only complaint being that I could only make TWO firing positions from this package! However, there are many other possibilities from the arms and musket poses that are left, and since the loading of a musket is a series of steps, it actually works to have multiple custom poses of the Voltigeurs fiddling with their muskets. Indeed, the game design I’m working with will be focusing on the firing and loading process as a multistep action, so it’s all entirely appropriate.
Last night, I assembled what I had left, which was six extra figures with the smaller pompom shako types. I like these so much, I’m going to paint them up too, just with a slightly different Voltigeur uniform.
I’m VERY pleased with Victrix 54mm figures, and I expect I’m going to buy some English and other nationalities as they become available. Keep up the good work, Victrix!