Friday, 23 January 2009

Musketeer, Great War Miniatures and Renegade British

LtoR: Musketeer, GWM and Renegade

Here is a comparison picture of the Musketeer Miniatures, Great War Miniatures and Renegade WW1 early British. Both Musketeer and GWM have caught the hats perfectly whereas I am not so happy with the Renegade one.

The real issue for me is that the Musketeer figure is just too small to put with others whereas I would mix the GWM and Renegade figures (this will be especially useful to get varied officers).

28mm Bantam confronts 40mm policeman

Now, of course the British Army did recruit "Bantams" in the Great War, men between 5' and 5'3" tall (the previous lower height limit had been 5'4"), but not in the original Old Contemptibles period. The practice was started by the MP for Birkenhead Alfred Bigland (ironically) whose initial recruits in late 1914 formed the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the Cheshire Regiment. I once had a girlfriend from Cheshire who was 5'2" tall and she seemed tiny, I must say! The idea spread and other units were formed, such as the 20th Battalion of the Royal Lancashire Fusiliers, and eventually there was a whole Bantam division: the 35th. By the end of 1916 the standard of men volunteering for Bantam units had deteriorated as all the best men had already signed up. The Bantam units started to take taller men and they lost their Bantam status. Many bantams were miners and saw service in the underground war of mining and counter-mining along the Western Front.

It is easy to forget, however, that the men of this period were much smaller than today. Here is a picture of my little boy Guy, who is 11, in one of my pickelhauben (this one is a Bavarian officer's). The helmet is far too small for me but fits him perfectly!

So maybe my Musketeer figures may find themselves in a Bantam unit!

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