Cossacks of the Tsar

“The Lifeguard Cossacks are going into fight
as if they were coming to a wedding.” – Tsar Alexander

So far, I’ve painted Napoleonic cavalry regiments from the nations of France, Prussia and Great Britain. I couldn’t tackle the final regiments in the project without covering at least one from Russia as well. I’ve got a box of Zvezda’s Russian hussars but I’ve elected to attempt their Lifeguard Cossacks first instead. With their red coats, blue trousers and armed with lances, I suppose it could be said that they closely resemble those Red Lancers that I’ve previously painted (the only other Zvezda set that I’ve tackled). I found a reference to the Lifeguard Cossacks capturing some red lancers during the Russian campaign – that must have been a confusing encounter!

Left: A Cossack. Right: A Red Lancer. Clearly totally and utterly different.
Left: A Cossack. Right: A Red Lancer. Clearly totally and utterly different in every way.

Once again, the Zvezda sculpting looks good and I’m eager to bring these famous Russian life guards of the Tsar to life. The cossacks are light cavalry and most famous for their very great skills in both horsemanship and warfare. They were feared and admired by other nations armies, and by Napoleon in particular who got to see their effectiveness at first hand when they fully contributed to the eventual destruction of his Grand Army.

There were a number of cossack ‘hosts’ that provided troops to the army of the Russian tsar. The most famous regiment was the elite Lifeguard Cossack Regiment and this is what I’ve chosen to depict. I have enough spare figures for another full regiment in the future such as a regiment of Don or Astrahan cossacks.

These photos are just a preview of progress made on them so far. There’s a lot of work, corrections and improvements still to do aplenty!

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