Back in the Saddle

I’m back painting cavalry again. The last cavalry I painted were Ottoman Sipahi back in November last year. This is the first cavalry regiment for my Lace Wars armies. The figures I’m using are Strelets new “British Cavalry” of the era 1701 to 1714.

With my 2021 being so focussed upon painting Saxon infantry, I immediately thought about painting them as Saxon cavalry. The Saxon armies infantry and cavalry colours being so similar to British regiments, figures could be easily used interchangeably on the wargaming field of battle. Once again, the glorious Tacitus website has lots of information on Saxon cavalry and after mulling over the options I’ve decided to paint them as Beust’s Regiment of Cuirassiers which had red coats and black distinctions.

I’ve started on the horses first and it felt good to be back painting them again. Strelets horses have not traditionally been rated very highly, their principal problem (I always felt) was that they were too chunky being very over-fed equines with seriously stocky legs. Strelets equine sculpting has certainly improved over the years, I think. These horses are very decent indeed and much better proportioned.

Strelets have mostly sorted the legs out. Always a tricky challenge for the sculptor, these horses are much better proportioned while the gait seems more natural and sensible than inn previous sets. I’m also particularly impressed with the detail on the horse tack, cheek pieces and bits being very clear and detailed.

At the moment, my horses are majority reddish bays but I recall Stokes over at The Grand Duchy of Stollen mentioning some time ago that he had painted the majority of his horses for a regiment as chestnuts because he recalled it being described as the most common horse colour in the Napoleonic era. So, with that in mind, I’m going to make a few changes to some to make the manes lighter or the same colour as the coats (i.e. true chestnuts). I may leave some Bays with dark manes and legs.

The all-important riders are next and again Strelets seem to have done a nice job!

19 thoughts on “Back in the Saddle

  1. Lovely painting on those horses!
    Separately, knowing your interest in the ‘Lace Wars’ period, I wondered if you had seen this superb contemporary book on the French army of the period, available free to download from the French ‘Réunion des Musées Nationaux-Grand Palais’ – I believe the original is in the collection of the Musée de l’Armée in Paris

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Pete.

      I really need to find out a clear answer to that question. Generally, some of the coats would tend to be limited to officers (e.g. black) or trumpeters (greys) but the majority would be limited by what was available. I’ve heard different things about common coats but from the painting point of view, I like to mix things up to keep things interesting so that what’s led my painting efforts most of all.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. It’s nice to see you painting horses again, Marvin. I have always admired your horses. Surprising about the chestnuts – for some reason I have always assumed brown horses with black manes would be most common.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Bill.

      I’m really not certain about horse colours so I need to do some research but I know there are three common base colours which other horse colours are based on. These are chestnut (red), black and bay (which is a mix between the other two). Black is relatively rare (often therefore the preserve of officers) and I’ve heard that bay is the most common, but then Stokes had heard it was chestnut for cavalry in Napoleonic times. Whether their popularity changes through the ages because of breeding and fashion, etc, I’m not sure. More research needed!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh no 😲not just Orcs !but warrior cavalry 3 bloody packs and I have just ordered two more ! The wife is going to think I have lost it 😉. Well I’ll just have to paint all those horses, I wonder if I’ll be that chirpy when I done 😅😅😅.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’ve set myself the task of finishing the Saxon infantry before fully throwing myself into those cavalrymen, but hopefully I should make a start soon as the remaining Saxons are well under way.


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