Thursday, July 21, 2011

Now it's also hussars...

At FIGZ (the 1/72 figure specific meeting in Goor, the Netherlands) I bought a set of 1806 Prussian hussars. I needed them for a little project with Peter (he mentioned it), but as I only needed one single mounted rider, I asked myself what to do with the rest.

Well - I made some recherche and found out that these hussars are dressed in a way that was very common in European armies throughout Europe in a period from around 1790 to 1806. It was astonishing to see that in many different countries, hussars just used exactly the same uniform! Differences were marginal - plumes worn on top or left instead of the right side and such things. So what about that set? You can see it here:

Okay. So far so good. I painted my contribution for this special project of mine and for the first time I was somewhat angry about the figure. Now I took two others and watched out for nice examples of exotic uniforms. For the first of these two I decided for French death heads' hussars of 1792. Here's the result, of which I'm not too pleased:

What mostly upsets me are two things. First, the horse looks absolutely ugly. There's nothing elegant about it - it's a bloody plowhorse, not a warhorse!
Second: the hussar figures are absolutely disgusting, if you ask me. I really don't understand why plasticsoldierreview gave them such good grades. They have no face at all (the nose is almost not existing, the mustache looks like the man has a plank under his nose - and the rest of the details are missing. Maybe it's because this figure is small like a pygmy in comparizon to other 1/72 cavalrymen.

Having a look over the figures, I see that none of the sabres looks right. They're all bend in strange angles and directions. The cords are not straight in every case which might be realistic, but looks stupid on a miniature - and is also terrible when you try to paint straight lines. Honestly, I think that the result is more ugly then nice, but as I've already started to paint a swedish hussar as well, I guess I will paint a handful of others, just to display a bit the bandwith of varieties possible with this set of figures.

On Bennos' chat I recently argued about that set of figures and during the conversation, I said that I wondered if the chunky-style French hussars from Strelets wouldn't even look better than those HäT figures. I bought a handful of them back at the Figurenbörse in Herne in November 2010. So I just took one in order to paint it in the colours of the French Imperial 7th hussar regiment. And now look at this:

Well - the shading is not sufficiently visible on these photos. Maybe I make some other pictures when I have daylight conditions. But I guess everyone gets the point: this figure, although looking like a Napoleonic Gimli on the back of a shrunken horse (it's really an original, but for some strange reason, the horses look as being slightly smaller in scale than the riders...), has more expression in face, pose and everything then the HäT hussars. I don't know why I like this cartoony look so much, but this figure was a pleasure to paint.

Edit: August 13, 2011
I found it that the other figures from that Strelets set are really nice to paint as well. So I decided to paint the other ones also. I suppose that you've already seen the forthcoming two on the workbench - so where's number 2? The answer is here:

This nice guy represents a cavalryman from the ordinary company of the Westphalian guard hussars. The kingdom of Westphalia was a part of the Confederation of the Rhine states and consisted of territitories that were taken away from Prussia after their defeat in 1806. 

Well. With all the other possible uniforms paintable with this nice comic-style set, I'll definitely soon buy a complete set of these Strelets hussars.

Update August 16, 2011:

Here we go again, this time with a hussar from Poland. Representing the 13th regiment of hussars, Duchy of Warsaw, here comes a regular hussar:
Splendid, unusual colours again. A real goodie, I think. Regarding the Duchy of Warsaw, there's some other varieties left to paint: the 10th hussar regiment and the reunited hussar regiment. I also found a nice polish ADC uniform in hussar style.

Oh - I recently had some visitors from Sweden, didn't I? This one is dedicated for you, a Bla regiment hussar:
Yellow and blue, very nice colours. I can't wait to show you the other Scandinavian hussar variation which already stands on my desk, but it cannot be shown for a reason... ;-)

Update August 24:

So here we go again. Today it's time to present you the fourth and final Strelets hussar figure. Well - at least the final one for the next few months. I'll surely continue with figures of this set after visiting the forthcoming figure trade show in Herne this years' November. Here we have an officer of the hussars of the grand duchy of Baden, another member of the Confederation of the Rhine:

The next example derived from HaTs' set of Prussian 1806 hussars is again a scandinavian hussar, this time from the kingdom of Denmark. This figure has a story. A while ago, we had one of these disputes about the historical accuracy of a painted Napoleonic figure at Bennos' forum. It was one of these discussions that tend to become very sarcastic at the end. Finally, someone stated that if he likes so, he would paint his hussars in pink, no matter if it's historically correct or not. I confess that I had a good laugh about this sentence, especially because I heared a similar statement somewhere else a while ago. This led me to the idea to make a recherche if any hussar regiment was really wearing pink uniforms, then buy myself some hussars and paint one in pink just to present it to the guys at the forum.

The recherche took me a while, but finally I found this splendid Danish hussar dressed in pink and light blue - just as if he had dropped out of a Pampers commercial! So I started to research for an adequate set, which brought me to the Prussian 1806 hussars that looked most suitable for this mission. I asked at the board if anyone possibly owned a set of them and wanted to swap one with me - but noone had one. Instead of that, my forum comrade Peter from Belgium told me that he found this idea of mine very funny and that he wanted to do a painting duel with me at Bennos'. So I bought a set of these HaT hussars at FIGZ 2010 and gave one sprue to Peter. And that's the story to which I referred with the very first sentence of this thread.

So here he is, the pink hussar!

It was a little bit difficult to have this figure similar to the one on the Knoetel page. At first, the Knoetel page shows the hussar equipped with a carbine. This was the easiest task - I took one of the spare arms and carved off the carbine, glued it onto the hussars side, done. The second detail was a bit more tricky. As you can see at the black French hussar from the start of this thread, they have some sort of roll at the backside of the saddle. The Knoetel page shows no such item - so I had to carve a saddle backside out of that stupid roll, which was a really annoying thing to do. The horse that I used for first practising if my idea worked ended up as a swedish hussar horse later.

The third and most difficult task was the fact that the hussar on the Knoetel page rode a grey horse. Oh my god. I never painted a horse like that. I prepainted it with and ivory colour (GW Bleached Bone), then added thin layers of off-white and finally put accents with thinned light grey (GW Fortress Grey). I corrected the result for several times, but to be honest I think that it still looks terrible. Whatever - here we finally have a pink hussar and that alone is enough for me to laugh a lot.

Update November 2011:

No, I've not been lazy, I simply hadn't got much time to put my focus on this matter again, but after so much time I have completed another hussar from the HaT 1806 set. This time, it's a Saxon hussar in the pre-1808 uniform. The white uniform with the light blue pelisse looks really gorgeous - unfortunately, the subtle light grey shading doesn't come through on the pictures. I must definitely find a better way to make my photos.
I hope you like this figure anyway. I still have some of them left - at the moment, I'm not quite sure how to paint them. I currently favour the Russian Zeltiy regiment, Chasseurs de Fischer and the French navy volunteer hussars. We'll see, won't we? ;-)


  1. Do you mean that those ponies suppose to be horses. Thanks for that information. :-D They are chunky indeed.
    Never the less you did a good paintjob on the figure.


  2. Thank you, Peter. I posted that as a warning about what is awaiting you. ;-)

  3. I like the strlets one. If don´t like the horse, use the HAT´s one.

  4. very very nice like the cav a lot

  5. Hi Zed good luck with your Naps quest. Sounds like a big challenge doing all the French uniforms pre 1812!