Hat Industries British Zulu War Command, Artillery and Gatling Guns.
The rear of the boxes showing poses and construction where appropriate. The small box contains the ‘red’ contingent from the board game sans the gun model.
As mentioned previously I had decided to source some extra figures to go with the pose available from the War in the Age of Imperialism board game. It is safe to say that for those gamers that choose to use 1:72nd scale plastic figures - either by chance (in my case) or by design - enjoy an availability of such that is a quantum leap from what is was way back when I first started out in the hobby! One of the most prominent companies producing plastic figures is Hat Industries and so it was to them that I first turned for some additional bits and pieces.
I had checked out the figures on the really useful Plastic Soldier Review website so I had a pretty good idea of what I was getting in terms of how they looked but until I could physically place one of them alongside the standing firing infantry figure that was gong to be the rank and file for my planned forces I simply had no clue as to how they would look together.
The acid test. On the left are a brace of Hat British commanders and on the right are the infantry from the board game with the ruler to illustrate the respective heights.
As I expected the Hat figures are obviously far more detailed and anatomically better built (probably not on a diet of ‘Horse meat in axle grease’ as served to the rank and file….) but height wise are not too far apart, certainly not enough to cause any difficulties that is. The infantryman is scrawny by comparison with the command figure and has a noticeably smaller head and a shorter firearm although in the case of the latter the bayonet is not fixed. As the infantry will be on multiple figure bases and the number of command figures will be limited it should not be too much of a visual issue.
Artillery (including the rather splendid Gatling Gun) does not present any such problem as there are no gun crew contained in the board game - there is a nice engineer figure though - and in any event are usually ‘distanced’ from the infantry.
For cavalry I shall be using exclusively the figures from the board game - there is one with a sabre and one with a carbine - although Hat do produce a Zulu War lancer. Given the small number of mounted figures I envisage for the set up it would be difficult to justify buying a box of lancers - which undoubtedly means I will do at some point! I did note from the Plastic Soldier Review website that a box of Chasseurs D’Afrique are available which would be very difficult for me to resist for the French force!
I will be able to use the full range of Hat (and others) Colonial figures for the various opposition types but for now have more than sufficient to build the main bulk of the European contingents.
Summing it all up
Overall I can live with the discrepancies between the Hat figures and those from the board game and so I am hoping that once they have been painted the differences will be less obvious to the eye - especially when in the heat of battle. This will be a while away though as the ACW need finishing and in truth, there is probably more likelihood of the naval component of this project seeing the light of day first but we shall see.