Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Stadden 18th Century Artillery Crew

Stadden AWI artillery crew painted as SYW Prussians, manning Elite Miniatures French 12 pdr. (click on picture to enlarge).

As someone who paints and collects a 30mm Seven Years War Prussian army, I have been bemoaning the fact that nobody made suitable artillery crew to use with my 30mm Staddens, Surens and my own Potsdam Miniatures Prussians. I have been using Foundry Prussian artillery crew as a stop gap measure. The Foundry figures have the "chunkiness" that deceives the eye and makes it think that the figures fit in with the taller 30mm figures (which in fact are closer to 34mm in height).

The ideal solution would be to make my own figures, but I do not have the talent to sculpt my own artillery crew, nor can I seem to find a sculptor who has the time to work with me right now. As it turns out, a good solution may be found in the Stadden range itself. I few months ago, I bought some sample AWI Staddens to see how they compare with other figures, and I have to say that they should work fairly well. Stadden made six different artillery crew poses for its AWI 30mm range (also known as the Tradition 30mm range) that are suitable for use as either American Continental artillery or British Royal Artillery. Samples are shown below:

Stadden AWI figures (left to right) XA4 "match", XA5 "lever" and XA3 "ramming" figures painted by Der Alte Fritz.

Stadden AWI figures (left to right) XA2 "standing with rammer", XA6 "ball", and XA1 "officer" figures, painted by Der Alte Fritz.

I painted them as "Prussians" with the straw breeches and waistcoat, blue coat and red turnbacks. The SYW version should be wearing gaiters (easy enough to "convert with paint", i.e. just paint over the stockings as gaiters) instead of the knee breeches and stockings with short "spats" at the ankles. Prussian artillerymen also don't have collars and lapels, but guess what, Hesse Seewald artillery crew do have these features. And they also don't wear the gaiters, apparently. So in my opinion, these figures will work for me, even without any conversion work.

Here are some photos that compare the Stadden, Foundry and RSM artillery crew:

(left to right) Stadden, Foundry and RSM artillery crew

The Stadden crewman measures in at 35mm from the sole of the foot to the top of his head. In comparison, the Foundry Prussian crewman has a height of 31mm and the RSM crewman measures in at 30mm. You can see that while the Stadden and the RSM figures are similar in style, there is an appreciable difference in their respective heights, so I don't think that the two ranges would work together. The Foundry figure is closer to the Stadden, and is definitely shorter and stoughter in stature, but somehow they seem to work together. I guess that chunkiness fools the eye into thinking that the figure is larger than it actually is.

The whole Stadden team in action, with an Elite Miniatures French 12 pdr.

The Stadden AWI range has a lot of interesting figures that are worth the extra look when it comes to finding a figure here or there for SYW usage. Another thought is that anyone creating fictional 18th Century armies could easily use the British, French and Americans in their campaigns. The French uniform had a tighter, almost Prussian-style to its cut and might be suitable as a Prussian stand-in for the SYW. The British light dragoon figures could stand in for the light dragoons at the battle of Emsdorf during the SYW. The French Lauzan Legion hussars could be, well, French SYW or Prussian SYW figures. So grab a Stadden catalog, or click on the link that I have provided on the left hand side of this page, and go visit their web site and see for yourself. There are lots of little surprises in the AWI range.

In all likelihood, I will start replacing my Foundry gun crews with these Stadden AWI crews and just call them Hesse Seewald artillery crew. Who is to say that the uniforms are not correct? Afterall, it is my own fictional country so that gives me a lot of leaway in my uniform and figure selection.


  1. This is a hot topic for me so thanks for the info. I'll be mulling things over: stuff like gaiters and lapels can't be too hard to remodel with milliput and a file if I decide to be pedantic about these things: the essential thing for the figures to give me is decent anatomy and pose.

  2. I'm wondering how Frank's Minden Miniatures artillery crew would fit in.

    -- Jeff

  3. Frank's Minden figures should be similar in size to the RSM figure in the comparison photo. This should be OK for most wargamers since few of them are using the larger Staddens.

  4. Thanks for posting the picture with the RSM gunner. A recent e-Bay purchase of mine included a number of gunners that I thought were Hinchliffe but your picture shows they are really RSM. I am pleased with the proper identity.

    And like you, I'll use whatever figures I can that seem to "fit the bill" rather than trying to match things exactly. After all, it's our own imaginary world and we can people it as we see fit.

  5. Wow! the very first Hesse Seewald original uniforms! Champagne!

    Best regards,

  6. Nice work as usual!

    I'm using some AWI and other types for my own imagi-nations (such as some Russians for Batrachians).

  7. The Stadden figures are absolutely lovely - the paint job is brilliant - but for the first time I see what some have been saying on the OSW group about proportion as well. The Foundry figure looks almost Quasimodo'like when compared with the Stadden and the RSM - despite being a fine figure in its own right!

  8. Steve: yes, the veil is lifted for you. I really liked the Foundry figures at one time, at least until someone started this whole Old School Wargaming thing and then I saw the Staddens for the first time. It changed the way that I think about figures. No more "heroic" looking figures with "strong faces" etc. I appreciate the breadth and depth of the Foundry SYW range and even use some of their figures. The more different brands of SYW figures, the better for all. But still, side by side, the difference is startling.