28 November 2016

Frei-corps Musings. . .

Another lovely Knoetel illustration, this time featuring various soldiers from Favrat's Black Legion.

The various frei infantrie and frei-corps formations of the (roughly Seven Year War-era) have long fascinated me.  And, I suppose, were I to think about it, so too have the various legions and ad hoc formations of the Napoleonic period.  All of which is a 'round about way of saying that I have, after much thought and doodling around with a writing pad and a pencil, made up an order and submitted it to Der Alte Fritz at Fife and Drum Miniatures Saturday evening.

In keeping with my fictitious Grand Duchy of Stollen concept, however, I don't intend to model an exact replica of Favrat's especially since black uniforms really aren't my thing.  But what I liked most about this particular formation is that it was, according to the various sources I've looked at, relatively small (and short lived).  It was also linked to my favorite city in all of Germany, The Free and Hanseatic City of Luebeck.

So, besides some Prussian dragoons, jaegers, and a few other odds and ends, I've ordered some of Jim's recent Hessian grenadiers, some British light dragoons, and some British Legion cavalry from the American War of Independence range.  The fictitious unit will consist of two distinct 14-figure squadrons of cavalry, a 31-strong battalion of grenadiers in mitre caps, and a 15-figure company of jaegers.  Along with a two-gun section of Russian artillery, these will, once painted, form my own imaginary Hasenpfeffer Freicorps.

I freely admit the influence of my seven-year-old son, The Young Master, who provided the inspiration with his own recent medievel adventures in the Duchy of Hasenpfeffer.  And who knows?  Maybe someday, when decrepitude has an even firmer grip on yours truly, they'll become his.

In the meantime, back to reading and grading student essays on this post-Thanksgiving Sunday.  I still have about 50 to finish by Tuesday.  Sigh.

-- Stokes

 As for color, I've always loved the dark green of the British Legion, so this will probably feature prominently with, maybe, pink facings.  There was, I believe, a unit o French Napoleonic dragoons with such a uniform, and the two colors, perhaps surprisingly, work well together.

Saturday, December 10th. . .
I've thought a lot about my planned tiny Hasenpfeffer Frei-corps these last couple of weeks while wading through final student papers and other assorted end-of-semester admin., and I think I'll simply paint the planned units in, as near as possible, their historical uniforms.  Yes, even the Von Favrat Grenadiers in black coats.  Surely, there must be a way to make these look convincing and attractive.  My big chance to do some toys in black since I never managed to get to the Brunswickers way back in the 1980s and 9os when in the midst (muddle) on my 15mm Waterloo corps-level project.  

So, British light dragoons and Russian artillery in red with white and black facings respectively, jaegers in some combination of dark green with either red or lighter green facings, grenadiers in black, and Tarleton's Legion dragoons in green.  I've always loved these with their wonderful crested helmet, and this imaginary combination of troops provides the perfect excuse to paint a fid a few of them.  I've even got a Minden figure of ol' Banastre Tarleton himself on horseback, painted back in 2013 or '14, who can assume command of the frei-corps once it is finished.  Huzzah!  

As punker Vyvyan used to observe on the old The Young Ones TV program way back when, "You know, it's funny. . ."  It is indeed funny how things sort themselves out in the back of your mind with a little time.  We will, however, NOT be consuming any dead rats in celebration of the fall semester's end.

-- Stokes 


Peter Douglas said...

Looks good Stokes, I am looking forward to seeing the FreiCorps when done. Good luck with the papers, it's the season.
Cheers, Peter

Conrad Kinch said...

Wargamers are inveterate makers of lists. My wife calls it "fantasy shopping".

Wellington Man said...

An excellent idea! I shall follow your progress with intense interest, Stokes. I've been thinking along similar lines for my Napoleonic Prussians.....Regards, WM

Ross Mac rmacfa@gmail.com said...

Not black?...NOT Black? Not a distinctive colour to make this independent corps stand out? Surely not BORING Blue! The colour of masses!

Perhaps a nice chestnut brown. Some American rebels wore brown faced green, quite attractive really.

Enjoy them, whatever their colours.

Stryker said...

I'm looking forward to seeing how these turn out!

Chris Gregg said...

Like you I'm a fan of the Legion concept , especially for Imagi-Nations; and pink and green is a great combination. Will watch with interest how these progress.

CelticCurmudgeon said...

I just ordered a dozen troopers and command for Lee's Legion cavalry during the American Revolution. You can also do a ight or medium green with a variety of contrasting facing colors. Whatever you choose I am certain they will come out with a terrific look. Will you be using them for skirmish gaming? After all those wonderful wagons you painted, it would seem a waste not to have them raided and pillaged....


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