"My name is Allen and I am a gamer of plastics..." there, I've said it! Yes, I'm one of the heathens out there. My entire SYW collection is in various plastics. The great Lagerburg and Slobbovian Army is composed of 9 line BN's, 3 grenadier BN's, 4 light BN's, one sapper platoon; 2 Dragoon RGT's, one of Horse Grenadiers one of Kurassiers, two of Hussars, one of Light Dragoons, and one of Uhlans; and eight field batteries, with two extra 24-pound siege guns and two howitzers in the artillery park. To accomplish this, I decided to utilize as many figues per box as possible, so I sat down and did some figuring. The numbers for, say, Revell Prussian infantry crunched out like this. In each box, then costing about $7.50 USD, you get:
st. firing, 8
grenadiers @ charge bayonets, 5
gren's @ run, back leg raised, 4
gren's @ run, front leg raised, 4
CO on horse, 1
Thus, if I wanted 48-figure line/grenadier battalions and 24-figure light/militia/engineer BN's, I would usually need six boxes of Revell figures. So, with 6 boxes, I got:
3 line BN's (firing, kneeling, loading),
1 grenadier BN (combining the running ones),
1 fusilier/Jager BN (the grenadiers at Chg. bayonets) and
a Light/Militia/Engineer BN (the marching hatmen).
I would allot one LT, two SGT's, one ENS, a drummer and a COL to each unit:
Average cost, about $7.50 USD per unit. Cavalry was a bit more, requiring two boxes per RGT of 24 sabres, plus officers. Average cost, about $15/unit. Artillery, depending on whose I used, was about a box per battery. I relaxed my authenticy needs a bit with regards to cavalry and artillery, as I am going the "fictitional nation-state" route in my gaming. This opens up the availability of using Napoleonic hussars (some SYW units had busbies anyway, true?), Italeri AWI light dragoons, some perhaps with RHA-supplied Tarletons, and a smattering of others, all this in keeping with my personal requirement for frugality. Now admittedly it was true that I was buying Revell Prussians when they were still pretty easy to get. Now only the Austrian infantry are priced reasonably at Tower Hobbies, at about $7.50 USD/box. To obtain specific SYW heavy cav, I resorted to "Frankenstein-ing" other figures, like SYW dragoons with head swaps (left-over grenadiers) to make Horse Grenadiers:
or Zvezda Napoleonic Saxon cuirassiers, with the heads previously removed from the Revell SYW dragoons:
I even modified unused dragoons, firing carbines from the saddle, to make extra staff officers (see my photo of the horse grenadiers, the CO is thus converted).The artillery is a mix of Revell Austrian artillerymen, ESCI AWI British infantrymen, and a few Napoleonic RHA (the Brigadier did that too once, as I recall from a certain book). All in all, I have kept the overall costs down to within reason.