01 September 2008

Everywhere you look, it's hussars, hussars, and more hussars!

Here's a picture for Adrian! An officer of the 11th Hussars as they appeared on the mid-19th century. I'll base the uniform of my own hussar unit, currently in progress on the painting table, on this lovely example.

Let’s get back to talking about model soldiers, shall we? Yesterday afternoon, and for about 90 minutes in the evening, I began applying black acrylic gesso to 30 or so plastic Revell Prussian SYW hussars. I really like the change to black gesso (Thanks to Mike Siggins for suggesting it). It has much better coverage than the white and dries to a nice matt finish in a short time. Only ten more troopers/horses to go, and then we can begin applying Games Workshop "Goblin Green" to the bases, followed by the flesh tone tomorrow evening. I’ll post a photo once these steps have been completed for the entire regiment.

As for the planned uniform. . . Well, although the figures represent mid-18th century Prussian hussars, the Grand Duchy of Stollen project is about an imaginary place as you know already. With that in mind, I’m going to borrow the colors of the 11th (Prince Albert’s) Hussars as they appeared in the mid-1850s. I’ve always loved their uniform, dark blue dolmans, crimson overalls and busby bags along with gold lace. A feast for the eyes. Wow! So, this will be the perfect opportunity to incorporate a version of that particular uniform into my wargaming armies. I can’t wait to begin!

Now, I do have a question about the mounts for the regiment. Do any of you know? For the Seven Years War period, was it the practice in Prussian hussar regiments to have a particular color of horse for each squadron, or not? Although this is how I’ve done most of my Napoleonic cavalry (each squadron has distinct horse color), I’d like to get the historic plausibility right for this unit. . . even though it will join the Electorate of Zichenau’s army as – wait for it -- the 11th (Prinz Albrecht’s) Hussars.


guy said...

An excellent choice. May I be so bold as to suggest that one of the younger officers be a German relative of Harry Flashman or perhaps even his grandfather in honour of his service with the 'cherrybums'. You could have some fun filling in the necessary background. Perhaps he will be as much a cad as his famous offspring.

As and when I source a few boxes of these at a reasonable price, I hope to add some squadrons to my armies.


MurdocK said...

The only 'color' of horse items that I have been aware of from any of the continental armies are the officer or trumpeter/musicians horses, which tended to be white or gray.

For the english it was more of prestige thing to try and match horse color(s) for their squadrons, leading to the 'Scots Greys' for that whole unit as a 'visual' element.

Generally speaking it was the more limited availability of the bay, white, grey or dun that made them used for the 'marker' function of musician. Whites were prized for their 'stand out' function for the officers, but there are cases where commanders like Suvarov who never really cared what horse he was on as long as it did not jump at the sound of cannon.

I think that the 'mixed' horse colors and combinations looks best on the tabletop as we are rarely (if ever) really representing our units at 1:1 scale, meaning that the mixed appearance comes somewhat closer to showing what the streak of horseflesh going by might have looked like...

A J Matthews said...

Ah, the "Cherry bums!" I can picture a Stollenian regiment of the same kind with a young Kapitan Heinrich Fleischmann lurking at the rear...

I do vary the horse colors by having two of different shading in a 12 figure regiment, the exception being the Bishop of Guggenheim's Horse, who are all mounted on chestnuts. For my next trick, I'm going to attempt to turn a number of French Napoleonic Chasseurs a cheval into SYW hussars...

rpardo said...

I love those REVELL SYW Hussras. I play Napoleonics but I have used they with a head swap to make other hussars!

Der Alte Fritz said...

Darker colored horses tended to be used for the heavier cavalry such as cuirassiers and battle quality dragoons, while the lighter colored horses were used for light dragoons and hussars. The thinking was that the dark horses tended to be bigger and stronger and that the light colored horses tended to be smaller. So each served a unique purpose.

Or so Frederick the Great thought.

I seem to recall that some of the Prussian hussar regiments had all white (greys) horses such as the 5th and maybe the 2nd regiments.

Martin said...

Hey Stokes,

(With apologies to the Poet.)

Hussars, hussars, everywhere,
and all the bottles clinked.
With all those hussars everywhere,
there was nothing left to drink!

I'm looking forward to seeing the unit progrss through the painting and then being deployed.
By the way, nobody told me you were contagious! As part of my recovery therapy from the infamous sprained ankle incident, I've dusted off the ol' bicycle and start riding tomorrow. So I'll see if there is any truth to the ol' adage, "It's like riding a bicycle. You never forget." Good heavens! It must be twenty years since I've peddled one.



Bluebear Jeff said...


Their horses' colours should be whatever Irwin_Amadeus pleases . . . and if he remains silent on the issue, perhaps you will have to decide for him.

I think that having differing horse colors for the different squadrons is a rather "cool" idea . . . I like it . . . but I have no idea as to the historicity of it.

-- Jeff

Bloggerator said...

Yes, marvellous conceit, those Hussar fellahs Stokes old man.

You may need a piebald for your bugler to trot about on, what?

And as fer th' bally OSW list, well..!

Is that chappie Padraig away on term hols..?



Conrad Kinch said...

I believe he's off flogging his manservant for forgetting to feed his pet bear.


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