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RedBox

Set 72073

Battlefield Accessory Set

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 2015
Contents 18 pieces
Poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Grey

Review

To match their increasingly impressive range of 16th century artillery and other sets, RedBox produced this set of assorted battlefield accessories. Armies have always brought equipment to assist them on the battlefield, but with the development of truly mobile field artillery in the 15th and 16th centuries there was a greater need for equipment to allow the guns to be well-sited and protected, while protection of miners and others in a siege had always been important.

Compared to many this is a modest selection of pieces – just six different items to consider here. The top row begins with a flat section which is perhaps sticks or reeds bound together as fascines and laid side-by-side. This piece is 29mm wide and 58mm long, and seems well-suited as a platform for a gun. It is only detailed on one side, so is not suitable or likely as a sort of barrier.

Next to the platform are two types of gabions. Gabions were generally wicker baskets filled with earth and intended to provide a sturdy defence which bullets and arrows could not penetrate, and would even offer some protection from enemy shot. Generally used as protection for artillery, they were cheap and light (when not filled with earth of course) and widely used. At the end of this row we find a typical example, although at about 30mm tall this is a particularly large one. In the middle is something similar, but this time it is a wooden box of similar height and about 15 by 17 mm round the sides. This sort of heavier and more formal device would have been less mobile than the basket gabion, but still useful.

The second row starts with a palisade or fence of stakes, which is about 17 mm high (plus the base) and 37 mm long. As it is not as high as a man it would offer much less protection than the gabions, which are also much thicker, but would still make a significant obstacle to attacking infantry and have many other uses on the battlefield. Items five and six in this set are perhaps meant to be together, since the sixth piece is a wooden shield so perhaps the small item is a support for it. The shield is 29 by 23 mm in size, and engraved on one side as shown, while the other has a fairly smooth texture looking like wicker. If it is indeed meant to be supported by the other piece then this will need gluing, but as a protection for enemy small-arms fire or a means of hiding movements from the enemy this would work well.

All this is very low-tech of course, and has a pretty wide range of uses for much longer than the two centuries mentioned on the box. Such natural items are by their nature fairly rough, but the sculpting is perfectly good nonetheless. However the sprue does have a great deal of flash, which may not matter nearly as much as it would on figures, but is still annoying. Although the pieces are quite large, and there is almost no assembly required (in sharp contrast to the Esci set, for example), this does not feel like a set that delivers a great deal. If you want a row of very tall gabions then the three of each you get here is a fair start, but really this is predominantly about field fortifications for artillery rather than battlefield accessories in general, though as such it provides some useful elements.

Further Reading
Books
"English Civil War Fortifications 1642-51" - Osprey (Fortress Series No.9) - Peter Harrington - 9781841766041
"European Weapons and Warfare 1618-1648" - Octopus - Eduard Wagner - 9780706410723

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