Sunday, 22 January 2017

Mounted Band of The Empress's Dragoons

Meet the Band

I've always wanted a Mounted Band and no one to my knowledge has ever made such a thing in 20mm.  I am also a bit overwhelmed by work at the moment, so no more squares for a while.  To fill in the gap I've had a go at converting some Les Higgins figures and Minifigs to make a mounted band. 

Whether there really were mounted bands at Waterloo must be questionable - by the Late Empire such extravagances would have been undesirable given the shortage of manpower and horses.  

This picture of the band of the 4th Dragoons is listed as 1813 - if true, this would mean that mounted bands were reconstituted after the Russian campaign.  But the pre-Bardin uniforms suggest this might be an earlier picture misattributed to 1813.  On the other hand, many Dragoon regiments were in Spain and escaped the 1812 holocaust.

We also know that the Allied Army at Waterloo was treated to the spectacle of a parade and the sound of bands as the French Army got into position before 1100hrs.  And if any regiments were likely to have such a thing, the Cavalry of the Imperial Guard seem the best candidates.
This Trumpeter has a red trumpet banner which I haven't seen elsewhere
A nice sketch showing campaign dress

Trumpeters and Kettle drummer
Kettle drummer, presumably painted from the same source
Trumpeter in campaign order
Full and campaign dress
On campaign

A nice image of a Trumpeter in full dress
I'm guessing the whole band would have been on greys
A wonderful evocation of the Empire at its height.
The Jingling Johnnie is a Les Higgins figure with a Strelets arm attached

Cymbalist - I made the cymbals from two bits of paper from a hole puncher
I like the snake heads on the trombones
The serpent player
The kettle drummer was fun to do.  He is the Art Miniaturen Roustam with feathers on top and drums fitted.

This British Light Dragoon band is parading through Dublin in the 1820s.  It shows the instruments that were typically used, including a 'Serpent'

Here is another Serpent

Monday, 26 December 2016

Kielmansegge's Brigade

General Graf von Kielmansegge

It's been a while since my last post, but I haven't been idle - this is a much larger project than before and done from scratch.

Kielmansegge's Brigade was posted just to the west of the crossroads and was formed in two double battalion squares.

There are a few issues with my Hanoverian Landwehr which those in the know will quickly pick up on.  The first is that I have formed this double square of the Bremen Landwehr Battalion with Kielmansegge's Feldjager Corps when in fact they were twinned with the Verden Battalion.

This is a useful secondary source, but I can't find any primary evidence of this headgear

The Bremen battalion are shown in Feldschmutze, the depiction of which has become increasingly fashionable in recent times, but where is the primary source evidence that this was the case?  Siborne is clear that all the Hanoverian battalions wore shakos, either Belgic or conical, but I have gone with the Feldschmutze, largely because I was after a different look.  But my suspicion is that only a few wore Feldschmutze and the majority wore shakos.  I have shown this battalion in blue facings, although Siborne states they were black.

Finding enough 1/72 infantry in Feldschmutze is difficult - there aren't any plastic Napoleonic figures, other than the 8052 Hat Prussian Reserve Infantry and the Airfix Landwehr.  So to make up the numbers I have enlisted a great many plastic American Imex figures and metal Kamar and New Line figures.  

Feldjager Corps

The second issue is with the Feldjager Corps - I have shown them in Litewka largely because I have adapted the Airfix Prussian Landwehr set and because the Feldjagers wore Litewka when they were first raised in 1813 and carried on wearing them until 1814.  While it seems likely that by Waterloo they had been issued short-tailed British Riflemen's jackets, other sources state that they retained the Litewka and this seems a good place to use up the sedentary Airfix Prussian set in this square.

This is my first double battalion square, which gives a good sense of the extra space that these took up.  Kielmansegge's brigade wasn't the only one posted in this way: Colin Halkett's Brigade did the same.

These are New Line Sikh War British adapted as Hanoverians - each one has had a knapsack added.

The mounted officer is a Waterloo 1815 Prussian 

A mix of manufacturers

Various staff officers - Italieri, Odemars, Kennington and Hinton Hunt

The Drum Major and Colour Party are Kennington conversions.  The drummers are Revell conversions

A Revell Prussian officer in the foreground

The whole square - about 600 figures

Siborne states that this battalion wore blue trousers

The mounted officer is an Italieri Prussian Dragoon

The Feldjager mounted officer is an Airfix WW1 RHA outrider