Verlinden 120mm Trumpeter, 7th Cuirassiers
By Erik Fedde
|Date of Review||September 2011||Manufacturer||Verlinden|
|Subject||Trumpeter, 7th Cuirassiers||Scale||120mm|
|Kit Number||1468||Primary Media||Resin|
|Pros||An outstanding diorama piece||Cons||Some parts don't fit correctly. No instructions|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$65.77|
Cuirassiers were considered heavy cavalry in Napoleon's Grande Armee. The typical trooper wore a breastplate (French: cuirasses, thus the name cuirassier) over a dark uniform tunic with white riding breeches. In this case, however, we have a trumpeter. Officers and trumpeters rode horses that were either gray or white, so that they could easily be picked out as rallying points in a charge. In this case, I stood by regulation and made the trumpeter's horse white, instead of the black portrayed on the box top.
The kit is primarily made up of resin pieces, with a small sheet of lead foil to make up the bridles, sword straps, and stirrup straps. It's all wrapped up in the trademark camouflaged Verlinden box. It includes a highly detailed stand. If you intend to use the figure solely by itself, the stand is outstanding for keeping the figure upright.
As usual, I washed all parts in hot, soapy water to clean them. I dried them off and began work. I always start off with the figure itself, which was molded in a greenish resin. I primed the figure parts in gray, waited for them to dry, and then started painting. This was where I discovered (and it's really handy, too) how to make a small paint stand. You are going to sink a pin into the figure to strengthen it structurally, so before you paint, use your pin vise and sink the pin in now. Then raid your wife's tea candle collection and sink the other end of the pin into the candle. Voila! You have a painting stand.
The helmet of the cuirassier is complex and has a wide variety of plumes. I used CA glue to put these on. The force of gravity overcame the initial sticking power of the glue, and so I had to pin the large plume into position.
The face of the figure is mostly hidden in final assembly, but that didn't stop me from painting it with light and dark flesh tones. The uniform tunic is yellow, with blue striping across the front. Verlinden is super with detail; don't miss the buttons, which I painted gold. I painted the belt white, with a gold Napoleonic buckle.
The legs are separate, so I painted them flat white. The tall riding boots were painted gloss black, with the spur straps leather colored.
Arms were painted yellow, with riding gauntlets painted white.
Once all of the figure details were painted and dried, I assembled the cuirassier and set him aside.
On to the horse. The horse was a bit of a disappointment in that some parts did not fit right. For example, the ears of the horse stood above the rest of the head by a couple of millimeters. The fit between body halves required a lot of filling. (I used a combination of CA glue and baking soda, which fills up seams really well.) Once I managed to get the horse together, I painted it gloss white with patches of flat white. Nice details included the saddle, horse shoes, and molded bridles.
However, the bridles were only hints of what was needed to finish the model. There is a lead sheet provided to cut out the straps of the bridle. Unfortunately, Verlinden didn't provided instruction, other than the cover of the box, and my horse riding skills and knowledge are pretty much out of date. So I took an educated guess of what went where.
I drilled pinholes into the saddle and matched up the figure pins to the saddle, then used CA glue to finish the matchup.
One of the tricky parts of getting the model to stay still is to use the stand provided (it's very well detailed, too) with subtle pins and CA glue. That's common sense, and I suspect the good folks at Verlinden would recommend it. I'm not known for my common sense, and since this figure is really meant for a diorama, I pinned and glued "the guy who is too pretty to die" (my wife's words) on to my diorama stand.
Painting and Finishing
As above. With a Verlinden figure, the details stand out well enough that with patience and a fine paint brush, you can make a masterpiece.
I think Verlinden figures are generally outstanding, and this model was no exception. It is definitely a diorama piece; all the good stuff is facing down for immediate impact with the ground.