I have a degree of personal history in respect of Tradition 25mm Napoleonic figures. Way back in the early 1970s myself and two gaming friends from back on the Isle of Sheppey had a day out in London courtesy of one of my friends elder brother. Neil, the friend in question, had an elder brother who was, as I recall, an architect that drove to his office from the island to Holborn on a daily basis. Neil’s brother was large scale figure painter par excellence, specialising in the British Army, and so he knew of the Tradition shop (at that time at 188 Piccadilly) and indeed, often shopped there for his models. As it was the school summer holiday he agreed to take us into London and then to bring us back when he finished work. The date was arranged and so the three of us immediately began to make plans for what we would be doing with the day.
At the time I had a paper round and I remember saving up for around three weeks before we went so my spending money was, for me at least, a very healthy £5! We all took packed lunches and the only issue was that we had to be at Neil’s brother’s house for around 6 in the morning!
The day came and we were duly dropped off in High Holborn to spend the day in the West End of London.
At the time our armies were largely Airfix based and metal figures were new and exotic and also used by ‘proper’ wargamers. I was thinking about starting a Napoleonic Russian army and so when we arrived at the shop they would be my first port of call. I remember buying a unit of 20 Russian grenadiers in their distinctive ‘Kiwer’ shako and 10 gunners - enough for two crews. By the time I had tacked on some tins of paint (Humbrol Rifle Green as I recall) my budget for the day were virtually blown but it was worth it. We also visited Under Two Flags at St. Christopher’s Place just off Oxford Street which was another splendid shop for the model soldier enthusiast.
It was a grand day out but sadly the Russians are no more - I sold them to Eric when I moved to London along with some Hinchliffe Cuirassiers (HUGE figures), some Moscow Militia, greatcoat wearing infantry and some Hussars - the latter painted by Chris Hardman. I know Bill has a load of Eric’s Napoleonic figures to sort out so it would funny if these figures saw the light of day again.
Tradition figures from their 25mm range are elegant sculpts and are stylistically a really good match for the Del Prado collection as you can see from the picture above. The British contingent (and I am referring to the line troops) has two standards - the regimental colours and the Union flag - and a drummer (not in reversed colours though) but no foot officers per se. I plan to use the Tradition range to address this shortfall and as luck would have it the figures do not look too out of place alongside the Guards and Highlanders.
The three British infantry officer figures that came with the collection are pictured below.