Confederate Cavalry, 1861–1865

Italeri 1:72 Scale Figure Review

Confederate Cavalry of the American Civil War

This set of miniatures qualifies as a study of Confederate cavalry dress, from regulation shell jackets, frock coats, and greatcoats, to hussar uniforms, and campaign dress featuring civilian items of clothing. It is the most accurate set of 1:72 scale cavalry on the market today, and it may be the only box of figures which portrays men actually riding correctly. Not only do the horses have reins, 30 % of the riders are sculpted holding the reins in their left hand, like any sane man would. These are not circus riders, the men are definitely in the cavalry.

There are a number of noticeable improvements relating to horse poses, riding style, and the way equipment is carried. Many of the changes point in a new qualitative direction of figure design, and, if they are carried forward, Italeri will advance the historic miniatures hobby into a new era. It is the first Italeri cavalry set with a full complement of command figures, including two officer types, the guidon-bearer, and trumpeter. The company must be commended for setting the standard against which other cavalry must be judged.

Contents

16 riders in 10 poses – 25 mm equal 5'-11" height

  • J.E.B. Stuart & Officer, Frock Coat
  • Guidon-bearer & Trumpeter
  • 3 Regulation Dress, 3 Hussar Style
  • 2 Shell Jacket, 2 Campaign Dress
  • 2 Greatcoat (Adjutant Types)
  • Unhorsed Trooper, Regulation Dress

17 horses in 5 poses – 22 mm equal 15.2 hands

  • Walking Horse (8)
  • Charging Horse (8)
  • Fallen Horse (1)

Evaluation

Excellent detail. Buttons, belt buckles, badges, weapons and accoutrements are clearly visible and easy to paint.

Useful historic poses. These figures will be very popular with wargamers, collectors and diorama builders.

Striking faces, each figure is a character. These heads can be used for many interesting conversion projects.

The selection of horses is very good, it includes standing, walking, and charging poses, even a fallen animal with the unhorsed trooper taking cover behind it. The standing horses make perfect mounts for the trooper firing from horseback.

Excellent casting quality, very little flash.

Cast in dark grey/silver plastic.

The galloping horses look static in the hind quarters, and strangely dynamic in the front. One would expect these horses to be torn apart immediately behind the Girth. The problem arises, because the gait is wrong. Designers, and sculptors need to study horses in nature or in books. Riding literature is abundant, and there is absolutely no excuse for the ridiculous galloping poses we routinely see. Italeri is not alone in botching the charging horses, the problem is almost universal. One advice to manufacturers would be to concentrate on standing or walking horses, because there is less potential for mistakes the more legs are on the ground. Anyone venturing into the realm of trotting, cantering, or galloping horses should first take design lessons from Revell. Thirty Years War Swedish Cavalry produced by Revell features the most accurate galloping poses on the market, they should be an inspiration to designers everywhere.

Some standard equipment is missing or carried incorrectly: The unhorsed trooper has his cap pouch on the left instead of on the right side of his waist-belt. Some of the men who carry carbines have no cap pouch at all, and some of the others are missing the ammunition pouch.

The guidon-bearer carries no carbine, in which case he should have discarded the carbine belt as well. Sadly, the figure wears the carbine belt like a cross-belt, attached to the front and rear of the waist-belt. The problem may be fixed by attaching an ammunition pouch to the rear of the carbine belt, and scrounging a suitable carbine from another cavalry figure. The trumpeter also wears his carbine belt incorrectly, though he has a carbine at his side. This, too, may be fixed by hiding the inaccuracy with an ammunition pouch.

Something is wrong with the guidon, it appears like a multi-pose item. The top of the staff shows the guidon rolled up and tied together in three places, a common practise on the march, meant to protect the guidon. In addition, there is an unfurled guidon attached to the same staff. Clearly, it would be very unusual to find two guidons on the same staff. The correct procedure would be to remove the unfurled guidon, leaving the furled guidon in place. In fact, that's the best thing to do with this cavalry battle flag, because it's all wrong anyway, carrying 17 stars instead of the 13 or fewer which would have been appropriate.

Historical Employment

  • Confederate Cavalry, 1861–1865
  • 1st Virginia Cavalry, 1861–1865
  • Hampton's Legion Cavalry, 1861

Possible Conversion

  • Figures in regulation cavalry uniforms may be painted to represent Union Cavalry.

These new Italeri cavalry figures show a significant improvement over earlier sets. The mixture of standing, walking, charging, and fallen horse poses is very useful, every rider now finds the correct mount.

Bibliography

Italeri Miniatures

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Confederate Cavalry of the American Civil War, 1861–1865