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Review – French Chasseurs d’Afrique, Crimea 1854 by Troop54

Discussion in 'Reviews , Video Reviews and Open Book' started by RossM, Sep 24, 2018.

  1. RossM Active Member

    [IMG]The Metal Modeles figure sculpted by Michael Saez.
    This is another figure that I have bought for sentimental reasons; however, unlike the FeR Miniatures figure that I reviewed here, I bought this one for a different reason. When I started painting figures in the late 1990s, Metal Modeles released a figure of the French Chasseurs d’Afrique that was one of the first figures that I painted. Michael Saez sculpted this figure, and it still ranks as one of my more enjoyable projects. Indeed, while the original figure has long been lost due to various moves, I do have an unpainted one in my grey army.

    This new figure from Troop54 is reminiscent of the Metal Modeles figure. Sculpted by Antonio Meseguer, the figure was announced in the run into Euro Miniature Expo, which was held last weekend. As soon as I saw this figure, I had to have it. I do not say that very often these days as I feel we have become inundated with releases and it takes a lot for me to be taken by something new. Do not take this to mean that what is being released is not well sculpted and produced, indeed, the reverse is generally true. However, my personal feeling is that living in the golden age of the hobby has made it harder for manufacturers to surprise us with new releases genuinely.

    The figure represents a trooper of the 1st Regiment, Chasseurs d’Afrique during the Crimean War, though it could easily represent the 4th Regiment, which also served during that conflict. Formed in the 1830s, the Chasseurs d’Afrique formed part of the French Armee d’Afrique that garrisoned France’s colonies in North Africa. The Chasseurs d’Afrique were recruited amongst the French settlers in the region, and during the Crimean War, they achieved a degree of fame during a charge against the Fedyukhin Heights during the Battle of Balaclava in 1854. In this charge, the Chasseurs d’Afrique helped extricate the remnants of the British Light Brigade during its ill-fated charge.

    The figure consists of seven resin parts plus some metal foil – pictures below except for the head and right arm. I am currently relying on my iPhone for photos as my DSLR is on the blink! The castings are very clean and will require minimal cleaning up before painting can begin. The legs, torso, and left arm form one part with the right arm and head as separate parts. The shako, displayed at a jaunty angle, forms part of the head, which has some nice character to it. The kit has been well packaged and given that this figure did the long journey from the UK to Australia it arrived with no breakages.

    [IMG] [IMG] [IMG] [IMG] [IMG] [IMG] [IMG] [IMG] [IMG] [IMG] [IMG] [IMG]
    As you can see from the images, the rifle with the hands attached has been fixed to a piece of cardboard, which helps in avoiding any damages when shipping the product. Similarly, the sword and rifle sling is fixed to the back of the base and held down well. It is good to see this degree of thought and care going into how the figure is packaged and shipped.

    To conclude, this is a lovely new release by Stuart Hale at Troop54. If you are interested in the 19th century French Army, the Crimean War, or just like a nicely presented and colourful figure then I can heartily recommend this piece. I would also like to add that the customer service from Stuart was excellent. For whatever reason PayPal and I do not get along; however, and even though he was preparing for Euro, Stuart helped facilitate purchasing this figure from down under. My only frustration is that it took so long to arrive, but that is more an issue with Australia Post rather than Stuart’s customer service!

    Header Image: The Chasseurs d’Afrique at the Battle of Balaclava, 1854 by Henri Félix Emmanuel Philippoteaux.

    Continue reading...
  2. clrsgt A Fixture

    This is a great figure. I had the same response as you when I saw the announcement for this figure. It is a must have figure for me as well. I hope my good wife was listening to my unsubtle hints about Xmas gifts.
    RossM likes this.

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