Peter Pig Character Packs

Today's post takes a look at the latest expansion to the Peter Pig ECW range.

One of the more regular requests, on the PP/RfCM forum, has been for ECW personalities - and they are finally here. Fourteen personalities, the first wave of eight are featured here.

Each figure is packaged with a cornet, of which there are three different poses. The website states that each cornet pose has variants, and I have noticed the same pose with a floppy hat and also with a helmet. Each pack of two, one piece mounted figures currently retails for £3, so £1.50 a figure. Naturally Rupert comes with a dog. Expensive, but nowhere near the £2.40 a figure that Warlord charges for their resin character figures.

l-r: Cromwell, Fairfax, Ireton, Essex

I totally understand why character figures are more expensive than rank and file, you may buy hundreds of the rank and file figure, but you are probably only likely to buy one character figure. Figure manufacturers will take a lot longer to recoup the outlay of producing such figures. Each figure not only has to 'pay for itself', it also needs to turn a profit.

Each character is dressed for war rather than a portrait, for which PP should be applauded. But, I will always have the image of Charles I in black polished cuirassier armour (Van Duck's equestrian portrait at the National Gallery, London) as his outfit for war. The Airfix 1/12th scale model of King Charles I may well have had an influence here too. I don't recall any contemporary descriptions of what Charles wore to battle: the London and Oxford news sheets weren't very big on fashion commentary.

l-r: Essex, Ireton, Fairfax, Cromwell

I think, with very few exceptions (I can only really think of Napoleon to be honest) anyone who sculpts a personality in anything smaller than 28mm are on a hiding to nothing. The size of the figure, eyesight, and then throw in viewing distance and the figure could literally be anybody. Only those with very distinctive outfits or very obvious facial features, stand any real chance of being identified. 

During the Civil Wars everyone dressed and styled themselves in much the same way: Sir Thomas Fairfax famously got himself out of a pickle at Marston Moor by removing his coloured scarf - Royalist soldiers allowing him to freely pass through their lines.

l-r: Rupert, Hopton, Charles

Hold your hand up if you research, or know what colour a commander's hair colour was, other than Marshall Ney? Without looking it up, what colour was Sir William Waller's hair colour? Dark brown in case you are now wondering. Grand scale of things, does it really matter? 

l-r: Charles, Hopton, Rupert, Hopton's helmet is missing the three bar faceguard

However, give them a flag that is unique to them... which partly explains why the figures are packaged with a cornet: it's a wargamer thing. 'Generals' need a personal flag. I have some command stands like this myself. 

In reality, other than the King and Prince Rupert, nobody had a personal standard that they took into battle. Both Charles and Rupert had banners, Rupert's banner was 14 feet long and captured at Edgehill. Not sure if he ever replaced it. 

So those of you wondering what to use as personal standards, I'd have a look at the colonel's cornet from each individual's regiment of horse. A few had lifeguard troops, so their cornet would be ideal.

Nice to see that cornets are holding a lance rather than a straight pole.

With all that in mind, I can only apologise to PP as their lovingly crafted personalities are going to be repurposed and renamed in my armies. The cornets are surplus to requirements, and will be heading to a certain online auction house.

l-r: Waller, cornet from a personality pack, dragoon, cornet from command in helmet pack

My only real grumble with these figures is that they are slowly creeping up in size, only a couple of millimetres, but it is noticeable. I would have thought that PP with one eye on the Warlord Epic market might have kept strictly to the 'true 15mm' size, but they appear to have gone 'heroic', which is just another name for a bit bigger. Bases are thicker, probably to accommodate having their names detailed on them, which probably exaggerates the creep.

They are nicely posed (although I'm not so sure about the cornet reaching back and sideways), and are nice crisp sculpts.

The second wave of 'personalities' has recently been released, this time Haselrig, sadly not in the full cuirassier armour that he famously wore at Roundway Down; Manchester; Skipon (sic), sporting a faceguard free lobster pot like Hopton; Digby in a rather exaggerated secret; Goring; and Maurice.

Now to think who to repurpose them all as...

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