by: Andy Brazier [ ]
Originally published on:
The first French Eagle to be captured by the British was taken by the 87th Foot from the French 8e Ligne at the Battle of Barrosa on March 5th, 1811. The first British soldier to touch the battle standard was a young officer, Ensign Edward Keogh, although as his hand grasped it, he was immediately shot through the heart and killed. He was followed by Sergeant Patrick Masterson who grabbed the eagle from the French ensign carrying it, reputedly with the cry "By Jaysus, boys, I have the Cuckoo".
Excerpt from Wiki.
The resin figure is sculpted by Maurice Corry and comes in a white lidded box with a painted picture of the completed model adorning the top. Inside the box the kit is well protected in bubble-wrap and securely held in place with foam peanuts. A written instruction sheet for the painting guide comes with the kit, with each piece of clothing and equipment given its correct colour name and not a set of paint manufacturers numbers.
The kit is in fourteen parts of which nine parts make up the figure. The kit the whole is very cleanly cast but does have a few pour plugs. Cleanup of the figure looks to be fairly easy with the help of a razor saw, a scalpel and some sandpaper. A few of the parts are fairly delicate, so care must be taken when cleaning up. The parts that make up the figure consist of, the torso with legs, right and left arms, right and left hands, backpack, the sword with scabbard and the head complete with Shacko (helmet). There is probably one more piece, the plume for the Shacko, but its not to be found in my kit. The rest of the parts are two brass rods for the pike pole and the Eagle pole, the pike and Eagle heads and a very nice base for the figure.
Head: The Shacko worn is a tall, cylindrical military cap, with a plume and was covered in black felt. The texture of the shacko is pretty good with a couple of light indents for creases defined. The cap badge has raised detail but does look a little blurry, but should look OK when painted. The plume as I mentioned, is missing from my kit, but I should be able to scratch one using a Q-Tip. The face is well defined with the hair well represented. A high neck collar for the jacket completes this part. Attaching the head to the torso should be easy and the fit looks to be excellent.
Torso and legs: Not being familiar with the uniforms of this era, I can't tell you whether these are accurate clothes or not. The scarlet jacket is beautifully cast with the buttons, lacing and creases really adding to the detail. The webbing and belts and moulded onto the figure and do look very good, with even the belt holes represented. A water bottle and a satchel complete the upper body detail. The trousers have a nice seam down the side with the buttons spaced evenly apart. The boots have gaiters which are just visible coming underneath the trouser bottoms. The soles of the boots are devoid of any tread, and care will have to be taken removing the two large pour plugs from the soles.
Arms and hands: The arms; The folds and creases of the uniform, shoulder board details, the buttons on the sleeves and the Sergeant stripes on the right arm are well represented. The hands are both posed clasping the poles. The right hand holds the pike, and the fit is very tight, so glue will not be needed to hold the pole. The left hand holds the captured Eagle, and there is a little play in the grip, so glue will be needed to secure the pole.
Backpack and sword: The backpack looks to be nicely shaped to fit the figures back, but there are a few pour plugs to remove, which could be a pain to clean up. The top of the backpack has a bedroll. The backpack has to be fitted to figure as the back of the figure is pretty much devoid of any detail. This is a shame in a way as in most battles the backpack was not carried into combat. One drawing of Sgt Masterson I have found has shown him not carrying the backpack. The sword is a 1796 Pattern Infantry sword, which is in a black scabbard with brass and white leather fittings.
Pike and Eagle: The pike and Eagle poles are brass rods, which is a great idea as resin in that length is easily broken or bent. The pike head looks very good with a fine detailed shank, but the point does have a pour plug which will need to be removed. The eagle is beautifully cast with raised and recessed detail.
The base: The base for the figure is stunning with moulded on groundwork and a upper half torso of a dead French soldier. A couple of footprints in the base make for easy placement of the main figure. I wish all companies put this much effort into the base, as this will really set the figure off.