Missing in Action

A little over a year ago, I moved to a new home. Along with the rest of my house contents, I, of course, transported all my miniature troops. During the move, one group of figures went AWOL and have remained missing ever since moving day. This is a problem as they were due to be called for duty at the end of the year.

The formation in question are the Carolling Hussars from my seasonal Army of Advent.

Carolling Hussars (currently missing…)

They must have numbered no more than a dozen in total and I vaguely remember they mere packed in a box completely separate from the rest of my figures, possibly due to space. Being packed in a box unrelated to my hobby has meant they have remained lost despite a number of searches. No doubt they’ll turn up one day, but in the meantime the regiment is due for a tour of duty this Christmas.

So, I’ve been busily raising a new troop of recruits for the Carolling Hussars…

The figures are from Revell’s classic Prussian Hussars of the Seven Years War. The sculpting of this set was, in my opinion, terrific, which makes them a pleasure to paint up.

The Carolling Hussars needed an officer (absent from the Revell set) and so I’ve used an officer of Prussian Hussars by Hagen Miniatures of Germany.

Introducing the regiment’s own commanding officer – the very dashing and debonair Lieutenant-Colonel Cranbury-Soarse.

The CO is based on a 2 penny piece and sports a red sash as well as a few plumes of gold tinsel in his mirliton headdress. The tinsel should be red but a search of the Christmas decorations failed to locate any (you may have noticed a theme of me losing things…). Henceforth, I now decree that the regiment will wear gold plumes.

Anyway, whilst the rank and file troopers in his regiment have white fur trim on their pelisses, as an officer, the Lieutenant-Colonel has expensive sable black fur surrounding his pelisse. In the tradition of naming the horses for all my Adventian army officers, Cranbury-Soarse rides Pio Quinto*, a lively, black Spanish Andalusian stallion.

*(Pio Quinto is a Nicaraguan Christmas dessert consisting of cake drenched in rum, topped with a custard, and dusted with cinnamon).

The rest of the regiment feature in a variety of poses. Some are suitably relaxed as befits troops intended to stand guard amongst the Christmas decorations:

Eventually, the aim is for the regiment to parade in these least dramatic poses, but for now I couldn’t resist also painting the more active figures too, the epitome of the dashing hussar.

The uniform is inspired by the Puttkamer Hussars, a regiment sometimes referred to as the “White Hussars” on account of their pelisses. Their namesake was Colonel Georg Ludwig von Puttkamer who met his end at the Battle of Kunersdorf.

In the Revell set, there are also some pleasing figures discharging their firearms:

The Carolling Hussars’ bugler is distinguished with some additional markings and his pelisse is edged in a light grey fur instead of white.

A flag bearer will need to be manufactured at some point but for now I at least have a regiment to parade come December. And, who knows, perhaps the rest of the regiment will even turn up by then?


A glance through some old school work turned up a project I thought appropriate to this blog. I think the choice of topic for me and my fellow pupils was entirely our own choice and so I went for the obvious.

The work was a surprisingly lengthy compendium of narrative, illustrations, maps, bibliography and index all on the Battle of Waterloo.

“An excellent project, very well researched and written. A+, Commendation” – it appears that all my hard work was rewarded!

My list of sources for my project included (amongst a number of other books) Aubrey Feist’s “The Field of Waterloo” and “Military Uniforms of the World in Colour” by Preben Kannik and W.Y. Carman. I also included some “Information sent by the Wellington Museum” at Apsley House in London. Aside from the general information sent by the museum, a glance at their list of books, postcards and transparencies (and jigsaws) available makes for interesting reading. There was a great range of photographic reproductions of famous paintings or other features within Apsley House.

It’s clear that I put a lot of energy, time and passion poured into my pet topic as an 11 year old.

These drawings appear to be ‘after’ Preben Kannik!

That enthusiasm understandably wasn’t always matched by total historical accuracy but did include some rather splendid illustrations, apparently carefully copied from other sources.

I spy a Polish Lancer cap, a Tarleton and a Carabinier helmet amongst my chosen headdress display.

Older, more knowledgeable, perhaps a little wiser, I still carry that same enthusiasm for the subject today and the project is a nice connection with the schoolboy who poured so much effort into that school work.

Stansell’s Bandsmen #13: The Clarionet

The 13th in a series on some of the roles of British army bandsmen as illustrated by Frederick Stansell c.1900 in the book “Bands of the British Army” by W.J. Gordon.

No.13: Clarionet (Clarinet)- The Suffolk Regiment

In the modern infantry band there is generally but one oboe, the rest of the wood being a piccolo, two bassoons and a dozen or so clarionets. The clarionet, or clarinet, is a substitute for the ancient brass clarion and was so named by (Johann) Denner, in 1690, who is often given the credit of its invention. Since his time it has been greatly improved and is now the best of the wood instruments. It is of considerable compass owing to its having what are known as two registers with an interval of a twelfth between them, and the lower register is called the chalumeau; in fact, Denner developed it out of the old chalumeau which we read of as the shawm. Unlike the bassoon it has but one reed, which is really a reed, being a slip from Arundo Sativa. In a band, there are generally two E flat clarionets, two bass ones in B flat and perhaps ten an octave higher.”

Stansell’s Bandsmen #12: The Bugle

The 12th in a series on some of the roles of British army bandsmen as illustrated by Frederick Stansell c.1900 in the book “Bands of the British Army” by W.J. Gordon.

No.12: The Bugle – Highland Light Infantry

“The bugle, which is in B flat, gives eight notes, but only five of them – C.G.C.E.G. – are used for calls. It is now adopted for what are known as military commands in all branches of the service, as well as in the navy by way of the Royal Marines… The calls are the same on both bugle and trumpet, those of the trumpet being lower. Many of these have been syllabised with some ingenuity, as the few following will show:

  • Drummers and buglers: “Drummers tall, buglers small, don’t you hear the bugle call?”
  • Guard: “Come and do your piquet, boys, come and do your guard”
  • Fall in: “Bugles sound, take your ground, fall in, fall in, don’t look around”
  • First Dinner Call: “Oh, come to the cookhouse door, boys, come to the cookhouse door”
  • Second Dinner Call: “Oh, pick’em up, pick’em up, hot potatoes, hot potatoes, pick’em up, pick’em up, hot potatoes. oh!”

W.J. Gordon

Lace Wars: British Cavalry…not doing much at all!

At the beginning of this year I painted some horses for my War of the Spanish Succession project. After a hiatus I have now – finally -got around to finishing off their riders too.

These British cavalrymen are all sitting around waiting for some orders or action, a fairly common experience for troops, mounted or unmounted, and it’s nice to see it represented by Strelets.

The regiment I’ve painted is Palmes’ Horse. Previously known as Wyndham’s Horse, it became Palmes’ Horse in 1706 with facings described in C.S. Grant’s “Armies and Uniforms of Marlborough’s Wars” as being Sea Green. Grant has it that the shabraque was red but I used artistic licence and preferred green. The regiment would later in the century become the 6th Dragoon Guards (being described at various times as ‘carabiniers’). Bob Marrion included an illustration of a trooper from this regiment in Grant’s book.

I’m going to review the range of indolent poses in the set.


The grazing horse pose is my favourite. Nothing for this rider to do here but allow his mount snatch some much-needed lunch.



Trooper with musket:


Loading a pistol:


Smoking a pipe:



There’s still a few things I intend to do with these figures. I need to source a flag for the standard bearer, add some foliage to the base, add some satin varnish the black cuirasses which can just be seen under their coats and maybe even a wisp of (cotton wool) smoke added to that pipe!

Stansell’s Bandsmen #11: The Side Drum

The 11th in a series on some of the roles of British army bandsmen as illustrated by Frederick Stansell c.1900 in the book “Bands of the British Army” by W.J. Gordon.

No.11: The Side Drum – Coldstream Guards

“Like the kettledrum [the side drum] came from the Arabs, who fitted it with the snares – that is the strings of gut across its lower head which cause it to rattle when struck… At funerals the drum is muffled by pads, or the rope, being inserted between the skin and the snares.

The drum is not in such request as it used to be. In the old days before it was replaced by the bugle it conveyed the signals of command, even the full platoon exercises being gone through to drum beats; and for this reason it was ‘put on the establishment’ as it is called, and remains there, the British infantry having sixteen drummers to each battalion.”

W.J. Gordon

The Roll Call

Further to my last post – a quick update. The egg rolling took place between the various painted competitors.

I am happy to report that my ‘Scotch egg’ of the Highland Light Lunch Infantry performed in the very best traditions of the regiment and won the competition! In fact, it took a large number of downhill charges before finally breaking apart.

Family egg designs: an abstract pattern, a roller coaster and a uniform of the HLI.

Easter Bunnies and a Scotch Egg

I confess that ‘Easter Bunnies’ is not the kind of title that I thought I’d be using at Suburban Militarism blog, but I realised that Easter was a perfect opportunity to paint a couple of critters which I recently received as a freebie with some other figures from Bad Squiddo Games.

These two tiny rabbits at 28mm scale are part of a range of animals provided by Bad Squiddo including such things as slugs, snails, guinea pigs, pigeons, rats, horses, pigs, tortoises and kittens. Also, the more exotic are catered for such as lions, giant chameleons, moose and even tardigrades!

I’m fairly sure they are the first bunnies I’ve painted at any scale and I really enjoyed doing them! They’ve joined a modest Easter display in the household.

I’ve based the little guys on a 2 pence piece and scattered some spring grass and flowers around.

I’m not sure why, but this crouching fellow looks like a hot, cross bunny!

I have some Christmas painting traditions practiced at Suburban Militarism, so perhaps Bad Squiddo bunnies could become an Easter one?

Meanwhile, another Easter tradition practiced here is the painting of an egg. I blogged about this tradition back in 2017 in a post titled “Shell Shock“…

An eggsample from 2017: The Duke of Omelette’s Own Yolkmanry

…and again in 2019 based on a Victorian cavalryman in the post “The Last Charge of the Yolkshire Hussars“.

An Oeuf-ficer of the Yolkshire Hussars (sorry…)

This year, I thought I’d daringly attempt a Scottish regiment based on an example of the Highland Light Infantry.

Highland Light Infantryman by Caton Woodville from my copy of his “Territorial Army Album of 1908.

Hard boiled egg at the ready, I set to work with some acrylic paints to recreate the Highland Light Lunch Infantry uniform of 1908; scarlet doublet with buff facings.

The tartan trews were created by mixing the base colour and then adding red and white lines. This is the Mackenzie tartan. This is a regimental tartan and has also been known as “MacLeod and Seaforth” from MacLeod’s Highlanders (a predecessor to the Highland Light Infantry) and the Seaforth Highlanders.

The ultimate fate of this ‘Scotch egg’ is to charge downhill to his doom but at least he’ll look smart whilst on his way.

US President Joe Biden has also announced the return of the presidential egg roll after suspension due to Covid-19. The article about the history of presidential egg rolling and painting is an interesting read, apparently there is even an International Egg Art Guild. Perhaps I could apply? Judging from the examples on display – probably not.

Stansell’s Bandsmen #10: The Saxhorn

The 10th in a series on some of the roles of British army bandsmen as illustrated by Frederick Stansell c.1900 in the book “Bands of the British Army” by W.J. Gordon. #MakeMusicNotWar.

No.10: Saxhorn – The Grenadier Guards

“All (saxhorns) have a cupped mouthpiece and consist of a conical brass tube of easy curves opening out into a wide graceful bell, three pistons providing the intermediate tones and semitones… a saxhorn band includes a soprano, a contralto, a tenor or althorn, and a contrabass.

W.J. Gordon

Stansell’s Bandsmen #9: The French Horn

The 9th in a series on some of the roles of British army bandsmen as illustrated by Frederick Stansell c.1900 in the book “Bands of the British Army” by W.J. Gordon.

No.9: French Horn – The Rifle Brigade

“Another instrument with a long pedigree is the French Horn which is a development of the old hunting-horn that had the tube curved widely enough to be carried over the shoulders. Throughout it has had a softer tone than any other brass instrument, this character being due to its mouthpiece being a funnel instead of a cup. In these days it has crooks for different keys and a tuning slide. About 1770, an ingenious player named Hampl put his hand into the bell and was able to complete the scale by thus lowering the pitch a semitone, but valves have now obviated the need of hand-stopping. The Horn is not easy to play and is seldom trusted alone, there being generally two or four in a band.”

W.J. Gordon