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…
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.
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.
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.