Friday, 5 May 2017

Swiss Infantry - Uri and Bern

Two sets this time..
Both sets are made by Ultima Ratio and are supposed to represent the Cantons of Uri and Bern
The Reviews on the sets are up at PSR (Uri HERE and Bern  HERE) so you can stop reading here and look at the pics or read my consideration on them.
Basically, a lot of conversions. Flags removed, in one or two cases, the embossed crosses removed and some have had halberds swopped for pikes.
Some have also decided to join the ranks of a (in Progress) Burgundian Pikeblock (Mk2)
Hornblower. Originally the pose has the bod carrying the flag, which is just wrong. Either he´s the horn blower or the Standard bearer, not both!! It´s not too  too difficult to remove but a pain nonetheless.

"Mancatcher". A great idea, especially as seeing there´s (as far as I know) never been one represented in 1/72nd but the pose is,  IMHO, as disaster. He´s Holding the Catcher the wrong way around, ie; Left handed! While  this isn´t impossible it seems highly unlikely and with  three  in the set, more than highly unlikely.
The fowl hanging from the bod on the right  is an Addition since the set came out in metal
The Crossbowman. Basically a poor pose as he Looks like he´s sneaking about trying not to get noticed,  so I haven´t bothered to paint him 
The rest are nice poses and the Halberds can be swopped quite easily for pikes, which means, after the flag has been removed, you end up with a possible 11 usefull poses.

The better of the two sets as every pose can be used . Three of the halbardiers can have the halberds swopped for pikes which gives a possible 11 usefull poses, the same as the set from Uri but a lot less work to get the numbers up.

The Standard bearer. Basically the lack of armour makes him not 100%  in his role but removing the flag and downgrading him to a pike man is a pain, but not  too difficult.

A total of 16 bods in both sets, with conversions you end up with 22. Not a bad Basis for a block of halbardiers and as the size and style fit well alongside the halbardier bods from the  RedBox sets,   the Continental Mercenaries,  or Hussite Infantry for example.

Interesting is that some of the poses turned up a few years back, around 2012, in metal.
The set originally contained a mix of the poses from both the new plastic sets.

Back then I painted them up as members of the Medieval Pike Block which,  embarrassingly, after nearly 4 years, still isn´t finished but now some of the above can join the ranks.

Both the Standard bearers, Left Bern, Right Uri, with the big lumps of plastic removed.
Basically, a plea too all bod manufacturers;

"Please Don´t add  flags, plain or otherwise, to the Standard bearers. Both Versions are pain to paint and if part of the bod, a pain to remove! Just give us the Standard bearer without the best with just the pole, we can add our own flags!!!!"

Some of the halbardiers converted to pikemen
The bod front left. Originally half his helmet and face were covered in plastic from the Halberd shaft. It was way easier to simply remove and replace his head along with the Halbard.


  1. They look great and colored, excellent job...

  2. I really like the fowl on that guy's belt...I can imagine him whacking it out of mid air with his halberd!

  3. Great review, and excellent painting ! I bought both sets too, what if I am lazy enough to paint the standard bearers as they are ? :) Oh by the way, I go to Switzerland this week-end, I will try to meet the expert in Uri-Canton-XVth century flagbearer :D

    1. Thanks Phil. The molded on flags is a Thing of mine along with them molding symbols on shields and clothes, IMHO, a pain because sets like These can be used for other european armies and it means lots of fiddly work to remove the molded marks. It also would make the sets a Little bit more appealing to collectors so they can add them to thier armies without spending time taking the moldings off.

  4. And Paul, if I may add an observation... it seems you have a problem with your photographic objective, some dust on the lens (not inside I hope)... ?

    1. The odd patch near the centre. Yep, that keeps coming and going, why I don´t know. It is an old camera but a new (good) one costs too much Money :-(

  5. Sorry to read that. I had that sort of trouble with my own camera after a trek under the Rain, I kept it a few weeks in a dry place and It was over.

  6. Great painted figs and very interesting informations.

    1. Thanks Bruno.
      The one Thing that really annoyed me with the sets is the left handed bod..why did they make him this way? Any evidence Shows left handedness was at least frowned upon in the middle Ages (and before and after9 ..Joan of arc for instance. There is no evidence of her being left or right handed but she is depicted as being left handed (sinister) most likely to Support the church´s Claim of her heresy. Would a highly religious army have follwed her if she had of been not only a woman but also a lefthanded one? Not likely.

  7. Splendig figures as always, Paul. Since this kit was released I took a fascination with the Burgundian wars, plus I started doing figures for it with the Perry 28mm figures, but 1:72 is my first and only love...

    I'll probably use the halberdiers as-is, because the MiniArt set gives me enough pikemen - and thankfully these two sets have lots of spare command figures to add to the pike blocks.

    1. Thanks Zirrian. Wait a couple of days. I´ve got a post showing some other possibilities for Burgundian pike...and in a week (or so) a new burgundian pikeblock using a mix of sets and manufacturers

  8. I am starting to see the attraction of 1/72 plastics and your wonderful conversions and painting have a big input in this.