American Civil War Zouaves

HaT Industrie 1:72 Scale Figure Review

American Civil War Zouaves attacking, 1:72 HaT 8004
American Civil War Zouaves attacking
American Civil War Zouaves firing, 1:72 HäT 8004
American Civil War Zouaves firing

The box contains Zouaves in braided jackets, baggy trousers, gaiters, fez, and combat gear consisting of a cartridge box and bayonet scabbard. The men may be deployed in two different battlefield formations, firing or attacking. The miniatures look like they are right out of an American Civil War painting, and they will be very popular with collectors and wargamers. The soldiers shown here are from an unidentified unit of Union Zouaves.

Eight each of the running, standing firing, advancing, and kneeling firing Zouaves are in the box. The poses shown above are supplied in fours. The loading, and advancing soldiers may be converted to standard-bearers.

Officers are not included in the set, because they often wore a uniform which differed from that of the NCOs and men. Regulation frock coats were common, with red trousers, braided kepis, and Confederate style cuff lace indicating the officer's Zouave status. A regular infantry officer figure available from Airfix, ESCI, Italeri, or Revell may be painted to act as an officer of Zouaves.

Contents

48 Figures in 8 Poses – 22.5 mm equal 162 cm Height

  • Zouave NCO, pointing (4)
  • Zouave, standing, firing (8)
  • Zouave, kneeling, firing (8)
  • Zouave, loading, ramming the charge (4)
  • Zouave, advancing (8)
  • Zouave, charging (8)
  • Zouave, lunging with bayonet (4)
  • Zouave, bayonetting (4)

Evaluation

Excellent choice of subject. Zouaves were the most colourful troops of the American Civil War, they add a lot of period flavor to a diorama or simulation game. Wargamers and collectors of 1:72 scale American Civil War figures have been waiting more than two decades for this fascinating diversion from the blue and gray painting routine.

The sculpting style is reminiscent of period military painting, these soldiers capture the action and drama of Civil War battle very convincingly.

Nicely detailed figures. Zouave jackets, shirts, trousers, gaiters, tassled caps, and sashes are accurately modelled.

In-period facial features with big moustaches and goatees. These heads with the tassled cap may be used for a number of conversion, including 18th Century sailors and pirates.

The poses are nicely compatible with eachother. The advancing, charging, and bayonetting Zouaves form an attacking unit, whereas the loading and firing men are suitable for the defensive. The NCO can lead units in attack or defense, and one each of the attacking or defending poses may be converted to a standard-bearer.

This box offers many more Zouave poses than the recently released Italeri set of Union Infantry and Zouaves. Sadly, the two figure ranges are not immediately compatible with eachother, the HäT figures are slimmer, and their heads are noticeably smaller. If Italeri Zouave heads are mounted on the HäT figures, the other differences in sculpting may be less apparent.

Good casting quality, very little flash.

Cast in grey plastic; a departure from HäT's policy of producing figures in the historic uniform colour. Dark blue would have been more appropriate.

Canteens and haversacks are missing. It was common practise to discard heavy gear like backpacks and blankets prior to battle. However, the men would have carried water, and some personal items into battle with them.

Cap boxes are missing. Most Zouave units carried the cartridge box on the right rear of the waist-belt, and the cap box on the right front of the waist-belt. The cap box kept percussion caps dry and separate from the ammunition.

Standard-bearers are not included, but the loading and advancing Zouaves will be easy to convert. Flag staves cut from 0.6 mm piano wire should be 33 mm long in order to accomodate the regulation flag scaled down to 27.5 mm × 25.4 mm.

There are no marching poses in the set, despite the fact that marching infantry is by far the most useful figure type for massed formations on or off the battlefield. Running, charging, bayonetting, and pointing soldiers are immediately recognized as individuals, and they don't look right in any formation, because a unit of them appears like an unrealistically choreographed drill team. Massed columns, or lines of men with shouldered muskets are expected to be nearly in the same pose, they look very realistic together even if the same marching figure is used repeatedly. Wargamers, collectors, and diorama builders are much better served if the majority of figures in an American Civil War infantry set are made up of five or six compatible variations of the shouldered musket pose. Simple head-swap conversions would multiply this number to 30 or 40 noticeably different marching figures in the same unit. Manufacturers need to study the spectacular scenes in the movie GETTYSBURG to really appreciate what combat formations look like when they march, change formation, and advancing under fire, with muskets shouldered.

Historical Employment

Possible Conversion

  • ACW Zouaves in Kepis
  • 5th New York Zouaves, and 114th Pennsylvania Volunteers in full dress turbans, using appropriate heads from ESCI's Muslim Warriors set. The turban does look nice on these figures, even if it was not normally worn in battle.

HaT Industrie's ACW Zouaves add colourful variety to an increasingly popular period of simulation gaming. Wargame rules for the ACW period are readily available, and it is now possible to deploy the famous Zouave regiments which fought at Bull Run and other early war engagements. These figures are a must-have, and we do hope that HäT Industry may cover other ACW troop types in similar style.

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American Civil War Miniatures