5th Prussian (Brandenburg) Dragoons (Nappy Cavalry Project Set #6)

Cyanometry – that’s a measure of the ‘blueness’ of the sky. At times, whilst painting this regiment, I wished I could have applied cyanometry’s ‘Linke Scale’ to those Prussian dragoon litewka coats. I’ve been agonising about getting the shade right ever since I started them. The staggering variety in shades of blue was complicated further by the sheer variety of blues depicted in other images. Research suggested that supply issues meant a considerable variation in the shade of blue actually used. My Greek friend Andreas reassuringly informs me that mine seem ‘about right’, aiming to be similar to Bavarian infantry blue. But, when I applied the varnish, my barely ‘about right’ shade maybe darkened a little…

Enough! I’m sticking with my blue now and that’s all there is to it! … To recap: the figures are Italeri’s apparently unloved “Prussian Light Cavalry” set. The horses that came with this set were so unlovable that I substituted them for Italeri’s Prussian Cuirassier horses instead. As a conversion, I added a few clay-modelled accoutrements to make them look a “bit” more like dragoon mounts.

Prussian Dragoons (1) The final result? I think the figures themselves, aside from some anatomical flaws, have real character and I’m quite pleased with them. They’re a nice contrast in both colour and style to the other regiments that have been tackled up to now.

The modest conversion process also provided a different challenge, especially my mounted jager figure:

Mounted Prussian Jager
Mounted Prussian Jager

And here’s the rest: Prussian Dragoons (14)

Prussian Dragoons (7)

Prussian Dragoons (12)

Prussian Dragoons (9)

Prussian Dragoons (6)

Prussian Dragoons (5)

Italeri Prussian Dragoons (8)

Italeri Prussian Dragoons (10)

Prussian Dragoons (4)

Prussian Dragoons (3)

Biography: Nr 5 Brandenburgisches Dragoner-Regiment (Prinz Wilhelm)

Italeri Prussian Dragoons (15)

The regiment was reformed after 1806 into the Brandenburg Dragoon Regiment Nr. 5 on the 16th of October, 1807. Comprising squadrons of the former 5th Cuirassiers and of the 1st Prince William Dragoons.

In 1812, they were sent to Russia as part of the Prussian contingent compelled by Napoleon to accompany the Grande Armee on his invasion of Russia. The regiment saw few major encounters during the 1812 campaign and losses amounted to 35.

The following year, as the Coalition embarked on the Leipzig campaign against France, the regiment saw much more fighting. As part of the 1st Brigade, III Corps Reserve Cavalry, it was part of Swedish King Bernadotte’s Army of the North, fighting at Gröss Gorschen, Borna and Bautzen. The regiment was heavily involved at Dennewitz where the French were defeated. It is credited with riding over numerous French and Württemberg squares, a French battery (capturing four guns), and routing a Polish Uhlan regiment, securing flags and wagons along the way. As Napoleon was eventually forced to retreat to Paris, the 5th Dragoons were present at Oudenarde, Antwerp, Soisson and Laon.

1815 saw the regiment in the 1st Cavalry Brigade of 1st Army Corps, fighting in Belgium and France. Having been involved in the Prussian defeat at Ligny, the brigade as a whole was only at 2/3rds strength. When 1st Brigade joined the fight at Waterloo late on in the day, only the 5th Dragoons charged, routing disorganised French battalions in the final minutes of the battle. In the aftermath of Waterloo, a final minor action at Villers-Cotterets saw the regiment catch the fleeing French and capture artillery and munitions.

Notable battles: Dennewitz, Laon, Villers-Cotterets, Waterloo

Either night or the Prussians will come…

…to quote the Duke of Wellington at Waterloo. But in my case it will have to be ‘night’! The figures are 99% done now but I will need to add a last touch or two before any final photos are taken. With the sun going down, it will just have to be another evening before I do it.

But I did take a few quick photos as they approached final completion stages.

Nearly there -  some of my Prussian dragoons.
Nearly there – some of my Prussian dragoons.

Each prussian dragoon regiment included some mounted jagers and I thought it would be nice to represent these in some way. My jager was originally the flag bearer figure until the guidon broke whilst still on the sprue. So I decided that it might make a decent jager and put a Zvezda french cuirassier carbine in his hand.

My conversion - a mounted jager attached to the 5th Regt of Dragoons. The carbine is courtesy of Zvezda French Cuirassiers.
As a reminder, this is an Italeri Prussian Light Cavalryman on a converted Italeri Prussian Cuirassier horse and painted up as a jager attached to the Prussian 5th Regt of dragoons.

Images of the final set to come very soon!

The Blue Dragoon

I thought I’d quickly post a few photos showing the development of my latest regiment, the Prussian 5th Dragoons. It’s great to be making swift progress after all those Red Lancers. Usual caveat applies: there are loads of details still to paint, varnish to add, etc, etc…

Italeri Prussian Light Cavalry
Italeri Prussian Light Cavalry
Seems like the chap on the right has taken a violent dislike to his comrade in arms!
Seems like the chap on the right has taken a violent dislike to his comrade in arms!

DSCF7754 (3)

For comparison, I found an image of a nice watercolour depicting a trooper from the same 5th Dragoon regiment. The colour is slightly different to mine but the exact shade of blue used by prussian dragoons is unspecified and supply issues meant a wide variation in colour anyway, so I’m perfectly happy with my blue:

Print showing a trooper of the 5th. He's wearing the cap, his discarded uncovered shako lies on the ground.
Print showing a trooper of the 5th. Cleaning his sabre, he’s wearing the cap whilst his discarded uncovered shako lies on the ground.

Each Prussian dragoon regiment included a small contingent of mounted jager also. Consequently, I’ve included a token figure of these with my own regiment, and here he is:

Mounted Jager in progress!
Mounted Jager in progress!

I may equip him with a carbine if I can find one suitable and attach it in some way. He’s not much of a jager without a gun! It’s not very clear in the photos when primed in black acrylic I’ll admit, but here’s a view of one of the horses with my conversion amendments applied. The original cuirassier horse did not feature the blanket or the feed bag. An insignia on the horse blanket has been removed also.

Was a cuirassier's charger - now a dragoon's mount.
Was a cuirassier’s charger – now a dragoon’s mount!