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Review All in the Valley of Death - Semper Fidelis

Discussion in 'Reviews , Video Reviews and Open Book' started by Renato, Sep 15, 2021.

  1. Renato PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    Italy
    All,
    as soon as I saw the presentation of the latest Semper Fidelis Miniatures kit on this forum, I just could not resist and bought it!

    And it just arrived today. A bit late compared to order data (end of July), but with summer vacations in the middle it is understandable, and the email communication with José was excellent, so no issues.

    Here is the box:
    IMG_6490.JPG

    which, on the backside, shows the beautiful piece of poetry from Lord Alfred Tennyson, which so much glory brought to the sacrifice of the Light Brigade in the controversial episode happened during the Battle of Balaklava in 1854.

    IMG_6498.JPG

    Opening the box, all parts are separate in plastic bags, and here are the components of the vignette.

    The fallen standard bearer:
    IMG_6491.JPG
    All neat as most of the recent resin castings. The flagpole looks twarthed already and I am not sure it will support the flag.......will probably require replacement with a brass rod (there is one included in the kit, not sure it is the right fit).

    The charging horse:
    IMG_6495.JPG
    The horse is very dynamic, as it should be. Being a resin figure, I would not be too concerned by the few standing point that would collapse under the weight of a metal figure. Still I would pin it to the base for higher security, especially if you plan to bring it to exhibitions.

    I have to say though that the horse is the piece of the kit with the worst fitting: head moves and leaves a gap either left or right, underbelly is not connecting too well and horse tail will never stay glued......it will require some putty and pins work to make this perfect, which is a bit disappointing considering modern resin quality and the price of the vignette!

    IMG_6493.JPG IMG_6494.JPG IMG_6496.JPG

    The charging horseman:
    IMG_6497.JPG

    Lots of details, very good fit.....will require some assembly work for all the upholstery and accoutrements, but expected in a horseman figure.

    All in all I am extremely satisfied: I love dynamic scenes, Crimean war is getting more and more at me even if I am more of an American Civil War fan and this was the perfect figure to start this new period.

    And now some references for the uniforms.......
  2. Renato PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    Italy
    The scene is taken from the 1936 movie "The Charge of the Light Brigade", starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland.

    Although the movie dedicates less than 10 minutes to the Crimean War (the fully fictional story happens mostly in a fictional India) and the regiment involved is called 27th Lancers rather than 17th Lancers, the scene of the charge is quite emotional and well put together.

    Me being me, I immediately purchased the movie on DVD (and also another movie shot in 1968 which is way more coherent with historical facts) so I can show the frame that inspired the sculptor:

    Frame + Locandina.JPG

    As you can see a perfect fit!

    In terms of uniformology, I have to say that I am a bit at a loss. 17th Lancers is a regiment that dates mid 18th Century, changing name and uniform quite often.

    I found several references and while the jacket is undaoubtedly of a very dark shade of blue, almost black-ish, I have seen several version of the trousers color: same dark blue as the jacket, with golden bands, dark gray or light grey or light blue-grey with white bands, and even red with golden bands (taken from the uniforms worn by the actors in the 1968 movie).

    Here are a few illustrations that I gathered:

    17th Lancers Crimean War Uniform.JPG 17th Lancers Crimean War Uniform 2.JPG 17th Lancers Simkin.jpg
    I also found a photograph of soldiers in the regiment, whose trousers would move the judgement call to dark blue or dark grey......
    Men of the 17th Lancers.JPG

    But some representation of the Charge in art is still misleading:

    Charge of the Light Brigade Woodville.JPG Stormed At With Shot and Shell.JPG

    and even looking at reenactors is not helping much:
    CotLB Reenactment.JPG

    I could not find any real life uniform to get some historical evidence, but only one I found is a parade uniform and probably dating later than the Crimean War (more in the Zulu war period in the '70s of the 19th Century):

    17th Lancers Parade Uniform.JPG

    Is anyone in this forum an expert of the Crimean War and share his view on the real 17th Lancers uniform in Crimea??
    Scotty likes this.
  3. ukali1066 Member

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Here is a reenactor from Military Illustrated magazine from 1991 showing the 17th Lancers campaign uniform in 1854

    17th.jpg
  4. Osebor PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    Spain
    Sure here are people with more expertise than mine, but I bought some years ago Mollo brothers' book "Into the Valley of Death", when I built Maurice Corry's Light Dragoon, so, if you like, I can send you some scans: there are three illustrations in plate G about 17th Lancers, and explanations and pictures about equipment, accoutrements, clothing and all that.
  5. ukali1066 Member

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    An illustration by the excellent Pierre Turner
    cava.jpg
    Scotty, Nap and Osebor like this.
  6. Renato PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    Italy
    Thks for all the valuable feedback!!!!!

    So I think it is a definite Medium Grey, maybe with a touch of blue-ish!
  7. Renato PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    Italy
    Wow that would be amazing if it is not a major disturbance.....hope I am not taking too much advantage of your courtesy........
  8. gerryj199 PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    United-States
    I have this kit as well and Renato is spot on. The casting is exceptional quality!
  9. Nap A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Hi Renato

    Thanks for the good look at the release , good honest comments , I have books on the Crimean so happy to have a look if needed

    Look forward to seeing this being on your bench

    Nap
  10. Osebor PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    Spain
    17th Lancers Mollo & Mollo.jpg
    Not at all, Renato. There it is. The book has also an entire chapter dedicated to Lancers (9 pages), full of pictures of paintings, illustrations and photos of authentic items (B&W, though). If you wish it, let me know.
    Scotty, Nap, Renato and 1 other person like this.
  11. Renato PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    Italy
    Thks Martin, I think this really clarifies the matter, together with all the other good replies I received.

    Thks to all!!!
    Nap likes this.
  12. Renato PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    Italy
    All,

    I received a piece of feedback from Captain Mick Holtby, curator of the Royal Lancers & Nottingham Yeomanry Museum at Thoresby.

    He confirmed that "At the Charge the 17th wore dark blue jackets and grey trousers with double white stripes", adding this picture to reinforce the concept, which makes me add "dark grey".

    charge_of_the_light_brigade_2.jpeg


    I think this closes the thread,

    Thks to all for contribution and rgrds
    Scotty, Osebor and Nap like this.
  13. Bigbear miniatures Member

    Country:
    Hungary
    I see the painted boxart, very impressive. A the uniform 100% ok. :)
    Nap likes this.
  14. Nap A Fixture

    Country:
    England

    Do share if possible

    Nap
    citrico likes this.
  15. SEMPERFIDELIS68 Well-Known Member

    Country:
    Spain
  16. citrico Active Member

    Country:
    Chile

    Hi!, what a wonderful plate. What book is that from?.

    Andrés
  17. Osebor PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    Spain
    Aquí tienes, Andrés:

    Into the valley of death.jpg
    DaddyO and Nap like this.
  18. citrico Active Member

    Country:
    Chile
    Muchas gracias!!
    Osebor likes this.
  19. Redcap A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    It's a very nice piece but the horse's rump / tail area looks all wrong and just seems too 'square' in profile as though a lump has been taken out; this is most noticeable in the side profile colour box art views (see above).....?

    Gary
    Babelfish likes this.
  20. Sylvanus Member

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Excellent.

    At Tapely House near INSTOW, ther are some interestin itemms. Why? Cornet Cleveland, only son of the previious owneres the Clevelands, was one only 3 Officers who survived the charge. Sadly he was killed 3 days later by a stray russsin artillery shell as he stood with other surving Lancers over looking another battle in a valley below.

    He is well commemorated her with memorials in both Insto and Westleigh Churches and at the House. This is now part of the Christie Trust, local chatelaine is Hector Christie. His brother is in charge of Glyndebourne!

    Having enlisted in the 17/21L in 1954, for basic training with the lads at Catterick, as all of us were, prior to going to RMA Sandhurst so I have a small connection. Unable to afford to run a string of ponies, I was regrettable denied a commission into the Cavalry. I alreaday knew that would be the case!However I was commissioned int the RASC which had cavalry tranitions .. Overalls, Dark Blue with 2 white stripes, and booted with spurs!. Descendants of the Military Train, formed AFTER the Crimean War with many ex cavalrymen ! They were used as light cavalry in the Indian Mutiny. and 2 VCs were won at Azimghur, win the rescue of an unhorsed Infantry Officer. On commissioning we were , amongst other thing taught to ride, every morning before breakfast .. as well as get our licences to drive, truck, cars and ride motorbikes. Four month later we were dispatched to our first Transport Units .. one actually going into horse transport! Even in the display team at the Royal Tournement!

    I have two copies of the Mollo Book which IS excellent.I commend it to the House.

    I collected Britains in my early youth and assembled a small unit of 17th Lancers, with minor conversions. Still around here somewhere.

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