The principal figures used are the firing line figures. They are some of the more awkward poses to be found in the box. For starters, the poses are a trifle gawky and the kneeling figures are almost the same height as the standing. What’s more, they all seem to aim far too high. Perhaps charging cavalry are closing in or perhaps the enemy is marching towards them steeply downhill!? I’ve counteracted that effect to a small degree by tilting those figures slightly forward on their bases.
The grenadiers and their NCO:
The regimental flag:
Some officers of Reuss’ Regiment:
I realise that these constant Saxon army posts must blur into one! I’d like to say that I’m working on something completely different – but I’m not. One final battalion to go and then it’s on to some Lace Wars cavalry which – err – also wear red coats…
The Martinière’s Regiment is one of two all-grenadier formations I’m creating which together allow me to make maximum use of the two grenadier poses in Mars Saxon Infantry box. There are sixteen figures in total for this regiment which includes 9 grenadiers, 1 NCO, 3 officers, 1 flag-bearing ensign and 2 musicians (a fifer and a drummer).
The grenadiers and their NCO:
The regimental flag:
I particularly like the blue stockings of this regiment but I painted the musicians with white leggings to provide for a little extra distinction for them. And then I got carried away and accidentally painted one of the officers with white stockings too. Never mind, blame uniform shortages in the stores.
Two more infantry regiments to go, one of which is well advanced already and I’m ploughing resolutely on with the final one too!
Yet another infantry regiment is completed for my Lace Wars Saxon army, the third out of six for the infantry corps (apologies if I’m boring my more regular visitors). The Zeitz Regiment now has its full compliment of officers, musicians and troops.
Now, I say ‘full compliment’ but it seems as though the drummer and fifer – ah – forgot to make parade for the purposes of this photoshoot. Both are up on a charge.
Those who did manage to turn up for parade involve a front rank firing their muskets and another loading.
The flag bearer I displayed in a previous post but as he made the effort to turn up – here he is again with a few extra views. As before, his flag is based on the elite Polish Guards flag but with a green background.
The officers of Zeitz’s Regiment:
I’m already well into painting two of the remaining three regiments and I will share progress when they’re done. In the interim, I’m also pushing on with that Saxon regiment of cuirassiers, Beust’s Regiment, so plenty keeping me occupied with the brush of late. Spring very belatedly seems to have decided to put in an appearance lately, although so late as to be more accurately called early summer. Nevertheless, it is most welcome and when not hiding away from the nice weather painting toy soldiers, I’m out working on my new garden.
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!
I admit it. I’ve been quietly continuing on with my Mars Saxon infantry. It’s almost a mania.
To cut to the chase, I’ve now completed two of my six regiments – the Kurprinz and the elite Polish Guard. Each regiment consists of 9 troops, 1 NCO, a few officers, a flag bearer and two musicians (a drummer and fifer). The flags are based on the Polish Guard’s flag, featured on and downloadable from the Tacitus website. I’ve reproduced the same flag and given them a different background where appropriate based on the regimental facings.
The Kurprinz regiment in full:
Two dapper and haughty-looking officers of the Kurprinz Regiment:
Incidentally, I’ve given all the Saxon officers black sashes for no other reason than I liked it!
The full Polish Guard on parade:
Some officers of the Polish Guard:
Musicians of the Polish Guard:
I’ve also been working on a few other command figures for the other regiments:
A couple more regiments are nearly finished – so watch out for them. In other news, I notice that Strelets have been pushing on with their expanding War of the Spanish Succession range. It’s an embarrassment of riches, including
A ‘late war’ British cavalry regiment
Four separate boxes of French dragoons in various guises (skirmishing, ‘in reserve’, marching and attacking)
French musketeers of the guard
French Garde du Corps
French Royal Horse Grenadiers
A box of the last one on the list finally arrived this week and the figures look very nice indeed. My collection of troops from the Lace Wars looks set to grow over time!
Zeitz’ Regiment was numbered 8 in the list of Saxon infantry regiments and is distinguished by green facings. Hat lace and stockings are white and the buttons are brass. This regiment later became known as Schulenburg’s Regiment and was apparently disbanded in 1705 just prior to the Saxon army’s heavy defeat by the Swedes at the Battle of Fraustadt the following year at which both the Kurprinz and Martinière’s regiments were (unfortunately for them) present.
Hayn’s Grenadier Battalion:
This is the other exclusively grenadier formation in the Saxon army. Hayn’s Grenadiers sport an all-red coat with white breeches and stockings.
Their grenadier caps are red with brass plates. The rear colours are my own invention being red with yellow piping. I certainly won’t worry too much about that as key source Daniel Schorr wrote that it was unknown whether the battalion even wore grenadier caps.
I’ve three more regiments that I’d like to do, in addition to the officers and musicians which also come with the Mars Saxon Infantry box, but the deadline for Ann’s challenge is approaching fast! Though I doubt I’ll be able to submit any more in time my intention is to press on regardless with this surprisingly enjoyable set of figures, so expect some more!
Ploughing straight into the The “Neglected But Not Forgotten” Painting Challenge…, I’ve been having fun selecting the regiments I’m going to paint from my Mars’ Saxon Infantry set. In this, I was aided by my copy of Knotel, Knotel and Sieg’s classic work of uniform history – “Uniforms of the world” (Handbuch der Uniformkunde). The section on the infantry of Saxony has a useful list of regiments and their ‘distinctions’ (collars, cuffs and facings).
I was also helped by Tacitus, a terrific Swedish website which specialises on the Great Northern War. Lots of information on the Saxons including fully researched colour illustrations of each regiment.
The regiments I’ve selected to start with are:
Kurprinz Regiment (No.5)– Lemon yellow facings.
Zeitz’ Regiment (No.8) – Green facings
Martinière’s Grenadier Regiment – Blue facings, breeches and caps
Hayn’s Grenadier Battalion – Red facings, breeches and caps
You will notice that the last two above are exclusively grenadier formations, which I thought would at least enable me to make full use of the many grenadier figures included in the box.
I’m already well underway with examples of the Kurprinz Regiment and Martinière’sGrenadiers, so should be able to present them soon. Being realistic, I’m not sure how many I’ll get finished before the end of Ann’s challenge on the 2nd April, but I’m making good progress!
Now the FEMbruary Challenge is over, I felt in need of a new sense of direction in my hobby so when I saw Ann’s Immaterium recently post her own challenge, it was just what I needed. Ann’s “Neglected but not Forgotten” painting challenge has given me some impetus to pick up one of my many unused boxes. A quick rummage through the Suburban Militarism ‘war chest’ (actually a trunk containing some of my many unpainted boxes and kits) quickly revealed a candidate…
I’ve chosen a box of Mars’ Saxon Infantry from the Great Northern War containing 70 figures (more than the stated 56 thanks to an extra sprue I’d received some time ago). It’s a bit of a curio, being the only kit ever produced by Mars on the conflict, and being the only Saxon troops from the early 18th Century era by any manufacturer of 20mm plastics.
Mars may be the God of War, but the manufacturer hasn’t always been considered top of the pack when it comes to plastic 1.72 scale soldiers. The sculpting often gets a poor press on Plastic Soldier Review but this set deservedly got a decent 7/10. They’re not the most elegant figures ever created but what they do have is bags of character and lovely crisp details, something I always appreciate given my particular style of painting.
Manufactured in 2009, this set was out of stock for a number of years when I snapped up the box. Since then, it seems to have become more widely available again – albeit not so much in the UK for some reason. Anyway, having my 1 extra sprue allows me to group together some of the poses into battalions of five figures.
The set is well stocked with officers and is made up of the following ‘big wigs’:
Having spent 2021 so far painting only metal figures at 28mm and 54mm scale, it feels great to be slumming it and finally getting my hands on some 1.72 scale plastic men once again – my first love!
If you’d like to join in (and why not?) I heartily recommend checking out the challenge rules on Ann’s post. The challenge ends on April the 2nd, so I’d better get a wiggle on with that bulging box of Saxons!