Wednesday, January 5, 2022

28mm French Napoleonic Infantry From Ebay

This is a collection of three separate units of 28mm French Napoleonic infantry that I purchased from three separate Ebay auctions. This post could also be titled, "the good, the bad and the ugly", or "caveat emptor". More about that below.

This first unit in greatcoats I purchased about 15 months ago just as I was moving into my new home. They are the 'good' part of the story. They were based individually for Sharpe's Practice or some similar skirmish rule set. The figures are mostly plastic figures and were well painted and arrived well packaged and in good shape. All I had to do was re-base for my preferred basing, and do some minor touch-ups and a little bit of washing to give the great coats better shading. A nice unit for a good value.

These two units were purchased from the same seller on Ebay. While I usually consider myself a savvy Ebay purchaser, I definitely did not review the photos of these figures carefully enough. They were only partially painted. Many of the details on the rear of the figures were still in white primer: cartridge boxes, bayonet scabbards, canteens, powder flasks, packs, etc. Also most of the minor straps and pack straps were unpainted. The backs of the figures were in short - an incomplete mess. This is the bad.

The figures were plastic, and packaged four to a small bubble-wrapped pouch. These pouches for 48 figures were over-stuffed into a USPS Priority Mail small flat-rate box. While I cannot prove they were damaged when stuffed in, by the time I received them the figures were destroyed. To the left, a typical selection of four figures from a pouch. Every musket is broken, some in up to three places. Heads decapitated, ankles broken, pom-poms ripped off. Three of the 48 figures were a complete write-off. Many more ended up not having bayonets after repairing them. Of the 48 figures, only 13 had no major damage, of these 4 were lead figures that required some re-bending to straighten them out.

One I had completed the figure repairs using plastic cement, the re-painting, or in many cases the initial painting of everything began. I put another nine or ten hours into touch-ups, re-paints, painting details and finally putting some heavy washes on the figures to hide the myriad of sins. 

In the end, I have a couple of 'OK' units for my collection, not the 'very good' ones I had thought I had purchased. In contrast to the great coat unit above these were far inferior in all ways: more expensive, damaged, un-paited and even after re-working them they're much less eye-catching on the tabletop. Still, they're now done and will see at least a few battles on the tabletop before I consider replacing them. I want to get my time investment back before I consider trying to recoup a portion of my monetary losses. 

Here's a small gallery below of the completed units based up. I'm counting this entire project as 32 stands re-based and 12 figures 'painted' based on the approximate amount of work re-painting.


Ed M said...

I think we all touch up painted acquisitions to some extent--rebasing in particular--but it's still vexing when they present a major repair/redo, which is not about style and cosmetics but basics. At least you can take pride of ownership with these given the work you've done. And they look fine on the table!

rross said...

Thats a pretty annoying outcome of your ebay purchasing - I guess the seller charged post on top, so he could have just charged you for the next carton size up and not damaged the figures the way he did.....