In a discussion on TMP, there was a general agreement that shore batteries and forts without some sort of crews around the guns just don't look right. At the same time though, there was some disagreement on the best way to make sure those guns are manned. A consensus seemed to form that most 1/1200 gun crew figures are, at best, lumps of lead.
One suggestion I found interesting came from Vol, the owner of a sailing ship blog located at: http://volsminiatures.blogspot.com/. He suggested using some 1/800 scale photo-etched brass naval crew figures from Eduard, a Czech company that specializes in accessories for plastic model ships. At first I was afraid they would be way too large; after all, 1/800
scale is 66.7 feet/inch while 1/1200 is 100 feet/inch. In metric, that
means that 1mm in 1/800 equals 2.62 feet while 1mm in 1/1200 scale
equals 4 feet. That still sounds too big. However, when you divide it
down some more, a 6 foot tall man is 2.28mm in 1/800 scale while that
same man is 1.5mm tall in 1/1200. That's a difference of less than 1mm, which meant I was willing to take a chance on them. I found a set on eBay, and they arrived while we were away on vacation.
One thing's for sure: They are small. They come pre-painted, and there are about 500 of them on a fret. This means that there are plenty of spares when you drop one after cutting it out (and you will drop a few; trust me on this). The main question though is, how do they look in a shore battery?
Well, they look pretty good actually. Below is the two-gun battery that I showed in a post about some ACW ships that I bought. As you can see, it does look pretty bare:
Now here's how it looks with some of those Eduard figures glued in:
Now that battery looks like it's open for business! So, a rousing "thank you" to Vol, who turned me on to these figures.