While still fiddling with the Serbs, I’ve taken the opportunity of a diversion by painting some more figures for the War of the Spanish Succession. Ukrainian manufacturer Strelets keep on making new figures for this period and I keep buying them. This latest box is title British Regiment of Horse (Late War). It features, charmingly, both horses and riders alike at ease and taking the opportunity to either chat, smoke, graze or whinny, depending on whatever takes their fancy.
The regiment I’ve intend to paint have green facings and, as I’ve seen depictions of British Horse at this time having saddle cloths matching the facings rather than the red of their coats, I’ve given the horses green garments. Here’s how my sedentary stallions have turned out;
I’ve painted a grey –
And also some dark bays.
Whilst still not perfect, I do think Strelets horses have improved significantly from their early efforts.
I particularly like their grazing pose, a common enough activity for stationary war horses but one seldom seen sculpted.
Another good choice of pose, horses pawing the ground impatiently waiting for some action!
I assume these are officer’s horses as they have not roll blankets. I’ve given the pistol holders a gold trim to distinguish them.
And the final pose, another one that I’ve never seen before, horses whinnying loudly!
So that’s the horses completed, I’m really keen to start on their pipe-smoking, chatting, dozing and gesturing riders soon.
With one small exception, my group of Serbian WWI infantry are finished.
The whole group consist of the following poses:
Throwing a grenade:
Charging with the bayonet:
Advancing with the bayonet:
Kneeling with bayonet:
With those painted, it leaves the officers. As I’ve been requested to create a flag bearer, I’m planning to see if I can convert one officer to holding the Serbian flag – we’ll just have to see how that goes…!
Their adversaries, the army of the Austro-Hungarian empire, I painted some time ago but still require their bases removing and pins inserting. This is no easy task and I’m wary of damaging the paint, so I’m going to trial a few of these to see if its viable without ruining them.
It’s midwinter here in the UK and that means it’s time to paint my Strelets French Infantry on the March. I started the two unloved but very, very cheap boxes (a closing down sale) back in 2014, the first year of this blog. I never thought I’d paint any of them but for some reason, the thought that I’d probably never paint them spurred me on to make a start on a sprue.
And I’ve been painting them ever since.
The first dozen of these early Strelets creations were painted and shared back in 2014, blog post number 22.
Last year, I even produced a short film involving one of these marching men for a seasonal family entertainment event. I did not enter it into Cannes.
Whenever the winter nights draw in, and we’re approaching midwinter here, I am always reminded that it’s time to paint some more of those cold, great-coated infantrymen again; frozen, struggling refugees of Napoleon’s bitter retreat from Russia.
The latest group:
And here’s what ninety six marching Napoleonic Frenchmen looks like.
And so, eight years on, I have finally reached the very last sprue of these two boxes of figures and have completed my seasonal efforts on these marching monsieurs.
Or have I?
Despite being sold out a long time ago, I found another box online last year. This was much to my surprise as Strelets replaced these sets by a newer and more delicately sculpted version. So, there are years more of these French amblers to keep me entertained during future winters – at which point I’ll probably start on those new versions. Like many a retreating French infantryman during the winter of 1812, you may ask – “will this ever end?!”
The year is 1914 and the Kingdom of Serbia is mobilising. Troops of the 1st Ban in their green-grey uniforms rapidly assemble to meet the invading Austro-Hungarian army…
Or, to put it less melodramatically, my Serbian WWI infantry project has been moving forward slowly but steadily.
Previously, I had finished off painting my First World War Austrian K & K troops. These men in Pike-Grey uniforms still require the challenge of pinning them, but otherwise are finished. In the meantime, their adversaries, my Serbian army, have been cut from the sprue, cleaned, prepared, primed and placed on bottle-tops…
…they’ve had their uniforms base-coated, shaded and highlighted…
…and also had their faces basically prepared, though there is still much work to be done on those.
After their faces and skin have been completed to my satisfaction, next up will be their accoutrements including buttons and ammunition pouches, etc. With dozens to do, I imagine all that will keep me busy to the end of the year, especially as at the same time I’ve certain other things to attend to relating to Suburban Militarism’s traditions at Christmas. More on that anon…
A military campaign of any significance takes some considerable logistical organisation and resources. This is also the case with any military modelling ‘campaign’ and my latest venture certainly falls into this category given that it requires the painting of over 100 figures.
I’ve been asked to help out with a diorama as part of a wider project, the full details of which I must hold back on for the time being. The diorama will feature an encounter between Austrians and Serbians during the First World War. For the Austrians, I am using Strelets WWI Austrian Infantry figures. Unfortunately, this set has been out of production for some time and so I’ve simply made use of the one box I had available. Twenty two of the figures I had painted back in 2018 and the remainder were kept back in storage.
The uniform colour of the Austro-Hungarian troops was known as ‘Pike Grey’, a fairly nebulous shade which I eventually approximated by mixing some of my existing colours together. Thankfully, I kept the tiny pot of my mixed Pike Grey shade aside and had just enough left for these remaining unpainted figures, thereby keeping the shade of the 2018 and 2021 vintage figures very consistent.
The original 22 figures were fully based (rather nicely though I say so myself), but the customer of these figures would prefer them pinned for use in the diorama with no bases. For someone as ham-fisted as myself, this presents a logistical and physical challenge. I need Pat from Pat’s 1:72 Military Dioramas here, the expert on pinning small scale figures such as these! Thankfully, he has a post explaining how he does it. He makes it look so easy, but I’m so clumsy at such things that after having a go (to the sound of much of foul cursing) I can confirm that it absolutely is not! Extracting the already based ones will be particularly tricky, I suspect.
The dioramist also queried whether it would be possible to include a flag bearer for both forces. The only figure that might fit the bill for the Austrians as a conversion I think would be an officer. Conversions, never mind pinning, is really stretching my limited model making abilities, I confess, but I’ll have a go!
Aside from the Austrians, I of course need to produce a similar number of Serbian infantry. I’ll be using figures once again from Strelets; their “Serbian Infantry in Winter Uniform” set. The set included both early and late war versions of these troops. As the dioramist requires only the early war figures wearing the famous Serbian šajkačahat, I’ve used two boxes to provide a sufficient number. Good news for the Serbs, as they will now outnumber the invading Austrian K & K army!
The Serbian troops will also require pinning, of course, so I’ll be getting plenty of much needed experience with my hand drill and work bench. I’ve also ordered some thin wire to create the pins themselves.
Preparation for painting includes initial cleaning with detergent, adding a layer of PVA glue and then adding a coat of paint to act as a primer. The Serb uniform, like the Pike Grey of the Austro-Hungarians, is another with a specific but vague shade to replicate. I posted about my research on the uniform at the time which had the uniform colour variously described by sources as being ‘khaki’, ‘green-grey’ and ‘olive-grey! Unfortunately, I don’t this time have a handy pot of the original ready-mixed paint to hand. I do, however, find that I had left myself some handy instructions all about the mix I used at the time, back in 2018.
“A mix of Vallejo’s “Green-Grey 886” and a little added grey – possibly Neutral Grey 992 (possibly in a 2:1 mix)…”
There is too much use of the word ‘possibly’ in there for confidence, suggesting I couldn’t quite remember what I’d used whenever I wrote it down, but at least it’s a start!
I’ll update on progress on this blog. Given the number of troops involved and the pinning/conversion challenges, it could be a long ‘campaign’!
Introducing my latest addition to the Lace Wars project, the prestigious Royal Horse Grenadier regiment of the French King.
You’ll notice straight away that I still have a flag to sort which is just an ominous black at the moment.. Some research needed before I tackle that, I think.
The most distinctive aspect of their uniform is the fur-trimmed cap. The red peak was according to Plastic Soldier Review, originally a standard grenadier cap of the period, having “a hanging bag like any other grenadier, but by 1720 this was stiffened with a point at the top, which is what we find on all these figures“.
Each man is armed with a curved cavalry sabre, flintlock carbine and two pistols.
An elite force, the Horse Grenadiers were a small formation, rarely more than a couple of hundred men in total. Their elite status as grenadiers however would mean they would often lead a charge, thereby adding to a fame which exceeded their actual clout on the field of battle.
The set includes a flag bearer and a mounted drummer.
The two officers included see one of them (the ‘big wig‘ sports a cuirass over his coat. Lots of extra clothing detailing on the cuffs and coats with these command figures – well, it is the Lace Wars project!
There seems to be a wealth of different War of the Spanish Succession mounted formations in the pipeline from good old Strelets, including Dutch and Austrian Cuirassiers, British Dragoons and Late War-era Horse, French Garde du Corps and French Chevau-Legers / Gendarmes de la Garde. As for French dragoons, they are being released “on the march”, “in reserve”, “in attack” and “in skirmish”! Strelets, you’re spoiling us.
My hobby plans have taken an unexpected turn very recently. This has resulted in my needing to revisit an old set last seen a few years ago on Suburban Militarism. What this set is, and why, will be revealed in the next post.
Back to the 1/72 scale horse and musket era, so that means, ah, horses. Not just any old horses. Horse Grenadier horses!
If these equines are familiar it will be because I painted the same very recently as Strelets’ British / Saxon Cavalry from the War of the Spanish Succession era. Strelets have used the same horse sculpts for this French set.
This small herd wear blue-edged white horse cloths as can be seen on the cover French Royal Horse Grenadiers box. Illustrations show double white edges but I’ve gone with painting a single line as I value my sanity.
Their distinctively-dressed riders are well-advanced in their painting so hopefully should be united with their exotically attired human companions soon.
I have greatly enjoyed painting Strelets new War of the Spanish Succession-era British cavalry. In fact, I think this is one of the best sets I’ve painted of theirs for a while.
The sculpting of Strelets has gone through some changes over the years. Initially, their figures were considered a little ‘ugly’ by some but were infused with lots of character. More recent sculpting has seen their figures become much more anatomically and proportionally accurate but at the loss of some of that personality. This latest set happily seems to combine a little of both.
My regiment of horse has black facings and white hat lace around the tricornes (except the officers who have gold).
Having painted much Saxon infantry recently, I declared in a recent post that I’d paint them as Saxon cavalry – Beust’s regiment. This move was also inspired by my misplacing a key War of the Spanish Succession source book. I’ve now recovered it and have discovered that my figures could also possibly pass for the Schomberg’s Regiment of Horse (later in the century becoming known as the 7th Dragoon Guards).
There are four command figures, including two officers, a trumpeter and a standard bearer.
The two officers:
For the standard bearer below I’ve provided a guidon freely downloaded from the Tacitus website. I’ve changed the colour to a black to match their facings. Lit by lamps and photographed, it appears a little grey in images. The flag bears a very good resemblance to the regiment’s black damask flag from 1788.
Schomberg’s Horse had the origins of its lineage going back to December 1688 as one of a number of regiments of horse raised for William of Orange after he took the throne to replace James II. The regiment was present at all of the Duke of Marlborough’s major battles of the War of the Spanish Succession – Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenarde and Malplaquet.
Troopers at the trot or canter:
Troopers at the charge!
All in all, a fine addition to my Lace Wars project. I’ve a couple more boxes of cavalry to paint from Strelets for this era, so happily there are more to come!
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!
Erm… a belated ‘Happy New Year’. Seems like we’re back in lockdown – and for a long time too. Hope everyone is staying safe and looking after each other. In my spare moments, I have very slowly been adding some paint to the remaining figures in my Russian Sledge Train project. I previously had a few figures painted in December (see forager posts parts one and two for these), but I still had about a half dozen remaining.
The remaining figures include the following:
The Prodding Peasant:
This figure goes together with ‘The Peasant Pummeler’ figure I painted a month ago. I suggest that this irate yokel is unimpressed with the quantity of livestock that the Tsar’s troops are carrying off!
The Scarfed Supervisor
He’s the one with a list, an officer’s bicorne and a gesturing hand, so must be the man in charge of the foraging expedition. The green scarf around his neck is a nice touch by the sculptor.
The Barrel Bringer
This Cossack is rolling a barrel up to the sledge train. Plastic Soldier Review were somewhat confused about this figure, suggesting that it “…might be a Cossack doing something (our best guess is pushing the sledge, but it could be anything).” The barrel included in the set is the clue, the two seem to go so nicely together that I believe this was the sculptor’s intention.
The Rabbit Raider (or maybe, The Balalaika Burgler)
He could even be called The Hare Holder, certainly PSR seem to think it’s a hare. From his helmet, I can tell he’s a dragoon in winter dress. In his other hand is a balalaika which confuses me a little (although PSR seem unquestioning about it!). I’m wondering why this dragoon might have it. It’s unlikely that he’s taken it with him on the foraging expedition, so presumably it is – like his hare – booty taken from a peasant household to be enjoyed back at camp.
The Calf Carriers
These two characters can be seen from their dress to be some type of warrior from the Steppes, most likely Kalmyks or Bashkirs. They are carrying a pole tied to which is some type of an animal which I decided is probably a calf. I’ve had little opportunity to develop my cow painting skills, so I’ve just done my best here. PSR point out that the legs are tied somewhat impossibly underneath the pole!
And finally, the man left waiting around, whip in hand, for all these foragers to finally return with their food is…
The Dallying Driver
Another nice character, I painted his hat red as I thought there was a little something of Santa about him.
Those other finished figures again:
Just the sledge and horse to paint next and then – at some point – I will be putting the whole lot into some sort of scene (I could really use some of Pat’s diorama expertise here, but the plan ultimately is to use lots of snow…).