#37 Regiment: 2nd Hussars + Uhlan Squadron [Duchy of Brunswick]

Okay, so the 37th Regiment in the Napoleonic Cavalry Project is actually two regiments as it incorporates a troop of uhlans for good measure…

My approach to painting black uniforms is no doubt excessively complex – after all, when all’s said and done, they all just look… well, black!

The box comes with 9 hussars and 3 uhlans. Firstly – the 2nd Brunswick Hussar Regiment:

Nine hussars in total all wearing their finery, pelisses, shakos and plumes. One arm ‘option’ included a bugle which I’ve used and assigned to the grey horse.

I’ve never been a fan of separate arms glued onto pegs – they never seem too secure to me, but I recognise it provides some interesting extra choices. One of the figures with fixed arms had a broken sabre which I cut off completely to hopefully give the impression of simply riding.

On the shako is a white skull and crossed bones (the Totenkopf in German), which appeared on both cavalry and infantry regiments in the army of Brunswick.

For the uhlans, with only three figures in the box I wanted to make sure that all my lancers were carrying lances, although the other arm options were available.

The czapkas worn by these uhlans have an attractive colour scheme – light blue cloth with yellow piping. These colours mimic the colours of the Duchy’s flag, which was similar to the Ukrainian flag of today.

To be honest, I didn’t have much faith on these uhlans looking all that impressive but I think they’ve turned out quite nicely.

Biography: 2nd Hussars and Uhlan squadron [Brunswick]

In 1809 Prince Frederick William, Duke of Brunswick, raised a corps of soldiers to fight the French, who had occupied his country since it’s defeat in the Jena Campaign of 1806-07. The whole army were called ‘Black Brunswickers’ because they wore black uniforms in mourning for their lost independence. Brunswick had been absorbed into the newly formed Kingdom of Westphalia which had Napoleon’s brother on the throne.

Brunswick Oels Corps (including left – a hussar) 1812, by Charles Hamilton Smith. National Army Museum.

After an initially successful uprising, Duke Frederick William eventually was forced to England where his army of over 2000 troops (including cavalry) formally entered British army. Now known as the Brunswick Oels Hussar Regiments, the Peninsular War (1808-1814) saw them fight at the battle of Fuentes de Onoro, Salamanca, Vitoria, the Pyrenees, Nivelle, the Nive, and Orthez.

In 1815, the Duke of Brunswick re-raised his army and took two cavalry regiments into the 100 days capaign; the 2nd Brunswick Hussars (684 sabres in 4 squadrons under Major Cramm) and a single squadron of lancers (just 235 men under Major Pott) .

Brunswickers at the Battle of Quatre Bras by Richard Knötel (1857-1914) [Public domain]. Infantrymen in their black uniforms are shown supported by Brunswick ‘avant garde’ light troops in grey.

The entire Brunswick contingent was heavily engaged in the Battle of Quatre Bras with the cavalry incurring 46 casualties which included the fatalities of not only the Duke himself but also the Brunswick Hussars’ own commander, Major Cramm.

The Death of the Duke of Brunswick in a contemporary print. The Duke is being aided by some of his hussars.

In Wellington’s despatch of the 19th June, he praised the contribution of the Brunswick troops and their commander;

The troops of the 5th division, and those of the Brunswick corps (The Black Brunswickers), were long and severely engaged, and conducted themselves with the utmost gallantry. Our loss was great, as your Lordship will perceive by the enclosed return; and I have particularly to regret His Serene Highness the Duke of Brunswick, who fell fighting gallantly at the head of his troops.” 

During the Battle of Waterloo, Wellington thought it prudent to keep the battle-scarred Brunswick cavalry far from the front line, in reserve near the centre. Consequently, they were only called into action during the latter stages of the battle, counter-attacking the French cavalry attacks costing them a further 92 casualties.

Notable Battles: Fuentes de Onoro, Salamanca, Vitoria, Quatre Bras, Waterloo.

16 thoughts on “#37 Regiment: 2nd Hussars + Uhlan Squadron [Duchy of Brunswick]

  1. Great post, Marvin, and, as always, very nice painting. Dare I ask what your process for painting black is?
    These are a unit I want to tackle myself someday for my Peninsular army. I’m wondering who is the manufacturer of the figures?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Bill! Hope you’re well?

      For black uniforms, I’ve mixed dark grey and black in roughly equal quantities as a base colour – the idea being that most clothing (particularly when repeatedly washed) starts to fade to grey. A black wash followed by a subtle dry-brush highlight in dark grey.

      Hat are the manufacturer. They were out of stock for a while but happily they’ve been reissued recently.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Very nice indeed, Marvin, both riders and horses! HaT figures are quite finely detailed so you’ve done well with this lot, particularly since they’re in black! Vallejo do a “Black Grey” that you might find saves you mixing black and grey – I use it as the highlight colour on the black on my figures (I paint the other way round from you – black base coat and black-grey highlight)! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you John. Until the re-issues this year, I thought I’d missed the boat painting these figures. And I didn’t know about that Vallejo colour – what a great suggestion – that Black Grey sounds like something I need. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well done mate ,I’m glad Bill asked about your method of painting the black uniforms as I have only had to do it once and I wasn’t happy with the result ,you have certainly got a great result .Is the plastic the same soft stuff I have encountered in the past ?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheers Pat! I’m tempted to say that it might be the same as the plastic you’re talking about. It’s certainly not hard plastic? I didn’t use any of the arms with carbines partly because they were just too bendy and soft.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. hi marvin ive been out of the 1/72 game for over a year now i got to the point were i couldnt stand the paint flaking off ,but having found my enormous stash in my loft im going to start painting them again ,whats your method of priming these figures ive hundreds painted up and most have stood the test and the paint is still on but some are peeling.ive just been out and bought a rustoleum plastic primer which ive read is good other than that its going to be white glue ,just thought id ask you your method thanks kind regards jay(the iron duke bennos figures forum)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jay – great to hear from you! Being a figure painter and not a wargamer my troops seldom get tested in battle – so to speak – so flaking is probably less of a problem for me than some.

      I always prep my figures by scrubbing them with a toothbrush in hot water with washing up liquid. That doesn’t always cut it and whenever I get paint flaking off figures by solution is pva glue (white glue). That seems to work really well for me to be honest. I’ve not heard of the rustoleum primer, but I’d be interested to hear how that goes. As a primer I just use cheap spray can of black acylic car paint which seems to work as well as anything for a fraction of the price!

      Best of luck with the painting – I’d love to see the latest work on Bennos Forum or a blog if you have one?




      1. hi marvin thanks for the reply and nice to hear from you again,i tested the rustoleum plastic primer yesterday i painted a haT british peninsular figure with the notoriously bendy haT plastic and i have to say it has done the job,i gave the figure a good bend this morning after letting the paint cure overnight and no signs of stress on the paintwork or flaking i,ll coat it in some revell enamel varnsh tonigh my usual varnishing method .the primer wasnt the cheapest it was about nine pounds from my local bandq store but i think the army painter primers are slightly more expensive .keep up the good work mate im off to wash and prime some figures kind regards jay

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ah, thanks for the product review – that sounds well worth investing in. For matt varnish I use Daler-Rowney which is also a little more expensive, but I haven’t found anything that gives as clear and matt a finish, so again, it’s worth it.

        Get stuck in to those figures, Jay! Cheers,



  5. I want to hear Marvin’s technique, but I have good success with the rustoleum primer. I now apply white glue at the end of the painting to musket barrels, sabers etc. as any flaking is always at these points and does happen as I game with my figures a fair bit.

    Marvin, the eye’s still f***ed but I’m spending my time building houses until my brain sorts things out – thanks for asking!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve just replied about my preparation routine to Jay. Pretty standard stuff, I guess?

      Yes, I’m definitely with you on the white glue on the bendiest bits, swords, lances, etc. Anything that bends will flake. Some manufacturers seem far more prone to flaking than others and I often prime in white glue having benefitted from bitter experience (Zvezda being particularly a problem in the past).

      Best of luck for a speedy recovery, Bill.


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