Dragoon Show

Now that those tricky Red Lancers have finally been completed, I fancied doing something a little easier. A simpler uniform would provide a breather from all that intricate lancer braid and detail. So I elected to do some (post-1806) Prussian Dragoons. Nice blue simple uniform featuring a long blue coat (a Litewka) and light grey trousers. Even the dragoon shako was covered in a plain black oilskin.

But there really aren’t that many good plastic, 1/72 scale Prussian Dragoon figures out there. Even Italeri’s otherwise high standards fell tragically down with their own Prussian Dragoon set.

Yet I was up for the challenge of making them look as good as I possibly could, so I bought the set anyway. But I do have some standards and the horses just weren’t acceptable! The sculpting isn’t terrible on the figures themselves, which have some character and merit – but the sculptor just doesn’t do limbs very well on either horses or humans. On the horses, they can look almost comical…

Check out my Waterloo mug! Italeri Prussian Light Cavalry horses. Like drunk Bambi's on roller skates...
Check out my Waterloo mug! Italeri Prussian Light Cavalry horses. Like drunk Bambi’s on roller skates…

See what I mean? Limbs all over the place, like an intoxicated Bambi on roller skates. So unless I was going to ditch the Prussian dragoons completely, I needed something else for them to ride. I was going to use some spare lancer horses of the type I’ve just finished. But their saddle cloths would have been totally wrong, and the carbines weren’t really a feature of most of these dragoons. They were also a little small for these larger Italeri dragoon figures. At the eleventh hour (i.e. today), I suddenly realised that I had lying around a unused box of Prussian Cuirassiers and a possible solution presented itself.

To the rescue - Italeri 1806 Prussian Cuirassier horse.
To the rescue – an Italeri 1806 Prussian Cuirassier horse.

Those saddle cloths are much more suitable but the horses are missing the pack on the back of the saddle and also have a couple of other features that I wanted to remove. And so it was that I started my first proper ‘conversion’ process.

Add a little modelling clay (I think it's what those in the hobby call 'a conversion')
Add a little modelling clay…

I’m no expert sculptor, for sure, but with a bit of paint I might be able to make the additions look acceptable. I’ve also taken a scalpel to a small feature of horse equipment that I didn’t want. Now that I have decent horses for the dragoons to ride, I’m well under way with what will be my 6th regiment in the Nappy Cavalry Project – namely the 5th Regiment of Prussian Dragoons circa 1815 (also known in German as the Brandenburgisches Dragoner-Regiment). Base coats and shading have already been applied to the figures, lots more to do though. Proper pics will follow as they develop further, until then I very coyly present a small and distant taster image of one of them below.

Quick preview of one of the dragoons with some paint already applied.
A distant little preview of one of my dragoons with some paint already applied.
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