The Army of Frederick the Great

the Baron

Ich bin ja, Herr, in Deiner Macht
May 12, 2009
Hi, all! I'd like to share my collection with you, or at least, that part of it that is finished, because it's always a work in progress :D

First, apologies to those of you who are members in other forums where I've posted these before. But I figure the audience is mostly new. Also, I apologize if the screen images enable the scroll bar. I use Photobucket, and just paste in the image links. It wasn't an issue, until I posted to a German forum, and one of the guys complained about having to scroll. Some forums are built to display the image as a thumbnail with a link to expand the picture (Treefrog Forum is an example), so it never occurred to me to edit them first. We'll see how this goes.

Now, as a figure painter, I've thought of myself as the odd man out, until very recently. I belong to the Miniature Figure Collectors of America (MFCA), based in Philadelphia, whose original members painted commercial toy soldiers, back in the day, but as you may know, the hobby has changed, and there are purpose-made historical miniatures of great detail available. I like the gloss look of the toy soldier, but I like as much detail as I can get, too. No red dots on the cheeks, for example.

To that end, I look for castings or painted figures by makers like Stadden/Tradition, Imrie-Risley, Rose (Russell Gammage), Scheid, etc, but then I use enamels to paint them.

One of my favorite periods is the eighteenth century, especially the reign of Frederick the Great, and the Seven Years War. There's something compelling about Frederick, he's certainly an interesting character, and there's a lot of material on the war (which actually started here, in North America, between Great Britain and France, and that sparked the outbreak of fighting in Europe).

Anyway, without further ado, my collection!

Here is a figure of Frederick himself, out for a walk with his whippets:


This kit was made in the early '70s by William Murray, Old Guard Miniatures. I like the pose of the figure, Old Fritz standing proudly against the world (though really, he's just taking a walk!). Here's a shot from a slightly different angle:


I have another copy of this kit in the stash, and I'll prepare more of a base than just the traditional plain green for that one, I'm thinking of tea leaves and beach sand, to depict a gravel path in the garden at Frederick's palace of Sans Souci.

I'm going to save the post at this point, to see how our page handles the image. More pics to follow!
That's not too bad! I think the German forum needs to upgrade its Web ware...

Now that that's settled, here's more of my collection. This is another figure of the king:


The kit is by the German sculptor Ulrich Puchala, whose 54mm catalog includes a fantastic series on the Prussian army in the Seven Years War, but also Brunswickers and Bavarians in the Napoleonic Wars, and some Luftwaffe figures, both from WWII, and from the post-war period. I recommend them highly.

This figure is based on a sketch by the German illustrator Aldolph Menzel, who produced a series of lithographs on the subject in the mid and late 19th century. The kit was a little tricky to assemble, to make sure that Fritz' feet, the chair's feet and the tip of his cane all touch the floor, and to find places where I could pin the chair parts together. But it's a great kit to start with.

Here are some more figures that I display with this one:


That is a figure by Charles Stadden, from the 60's-70's. In the catalog, it's listed as "British officer, 1745". I've painted him as a Hannoverian officer, though. At this time in history, the German state of Hannover (actually, Braunschweig-Lüneburg) shared its sovereign with Great Britain through personal union-George II was King of Great Britain, as well as the Elector of Hannover, though the electorate was actually run by responsible ministers. The two armies shared some details of their uniforms and equipment, and the British army absorbed some "German" influences at the same time.

I got this figure off eBay, and his pose suggested an adjutant giving a report.

A third figure from this little grouping is this, another Stadden casting:


This was another eBay find, and I was attracted by the casual pose of the officer with his pipe, though it's not quite accurate for 1756. Here is a look from the back:


I added the cane (from a straight pin), which was part of the outward symbols of an officer's rank at the time, especially in the Prussian army. The lowliest subaltern wore the same uniform as the highest general, and the king, for that matter. Frederick's father had instituted that style, as he sought to regularize his army and establish the professionalism of the officers.

I've painted this figure as an officer of Infantry Regiment 5, "Brunswick (senior)" ("Alt-Braunschweig", in the German usage).

The fourth figure of this group is another sculpt by Stadden, albeit as a Tradition casting:


In the Stadden catalog, I think this one was intended to be a portrait of Frederick's brother, Prince Henry, who was one of the ablest of Frederick's theater commanders. But for as good as Stadden's figures are, and for as important as they are in the history of military miniatures, many of the "portrait" figures don't really look like the subject. I painted this one to represent the regiment commanded by another royal brother, IR 18, "Prince August Wilhelm".

Here is the whole group together:


Frederick and an aide from the Brunswick regiment listen to a report given by a Hannoverian officer attached to his suite, while another aide approaches to give his report.

Eventually, these will go into a little diorama of Frederick in camp.

More to follow...
More infantry figures...

Here, a pair also by Puchala:


They represent an officer of IR 36, "von Münchow", and his batman. Officers from lieutenant up could hire a soldier to act as batman, or Bursche, and if the soldier was married, his wife would go on the payroll, too, to act as cook and laundress, even to the point of following the regiment into action, where she might act as a nurse.

Here is another view of the pair:


Ulrich Puchala really does have a gift, his figures are so well-sculpted. I do them with my gloss enamels, but when painted in connoisseur style, you can really see the quality.

The table I scratched from matchsticks and a piece of balsa, to have someplace to put his hat and stick.

Here is another Puchala kit, a portrait figure of one of Frederick's closest associates, General Hans Karl von Winterfeldt:


Winterfeldt helped improve the army after the first of Frederick's wars in the 1740's, especially in terms of training the cavalry. He was also the closest thing to an intelligence chief, in those days before organized staffs.

This figure shows another advantage to Puchala's figures-this figure really looks like contemporary portraits of Winterfeldt. Great detail!

This is a shot of the table that comes with the kit:


When I painted this, I thought I'd paint the map to be a map of Silesia, the object of Old Fritz' wars. Forgive me, please, for trying to show off! It'll be our little joke to share, 'cause no one else can see it!

Here is yet another portrait figure by Puchala, of the king's brother, Prince Henry:


Another accurate portrait, taken from an engraving by either Menzel or Richard Knötel, accurate down to the fur-trimmed winter coat the prince is wearing. Here's another angle:


This one, I painted maybe 15 years ago or so. The table didin't go together too well, with only one real attachment point (where the legs meet). I didn't know from pinning back then, and I tried to solder it. Fortunately I didn't melt the piece! ;) To get the figure to stand evenly with the map table, I made a little mound of Miliput on a base, and stuck both in until they were level, more or less. Still, I'm happy with the figure.

Here is a figure that is a little rougher casting, in pewter, by a company called Devereux, I think it was:


They made a series of figures from the Revolutionary War, and this one was labelled "Hessian officer". But since the uniform details hadn't changed since the 1750's, I could easily paint him as a figure from almost any regiment from the Seven Years War. Here, he's an officer of Winterfeldt's regiment, which was IR 1. Not as crisp in detail as Puchala's work, or as the modern resin makers like Andrea. But suitable for my purposes.

Here is a mounted figure, this one also a Stadden casting, and still available from Tradition:


I bought this figure for myself about 15 years ago, to celebrate a promotion at work. I've painted him as a general of the Brunswick regiment. Here is a view from the other side:


In Tradition's current catalog, these are called custom figures. They consist of a basic casting in a generic pose, that Tradition will customize to your specific order. There's some surgery involved, but their alloy is also relatively soft (higher in lead), and it's very easy to pick up a Stadden casting at a show or flea market, and modify it yourself. In fact, I prefer to get mine that way, they're kind of expensive to order new from Tradition. Rule of thumb: five bucks is a very good price for a foot figure, on up to ten, and $15 to $20 is good for a mounted figure. Dealers, I mean no slight to you, you may certainly ask whatever you want for them! But that's my baseline, when I haggle with you ;)

More to follow...
Here are some flag-bearers...

First, an ensign, or Fähnrich, from IR 18:


The basic figure is another one by Puchala, but he comes with a furled color, wrapped in its oilskin cover. Since that's no fun, I replaced the kit piece with a homemade flag. Otherwise, this is yet another great pose by this master sculptor. I like the ensign standing there with his tin water bottle in hand. Here is a view from another angle:


How I make the flags: When I first started doing this, I didn't have any lead sheet, which would have been too soft, anyway. Tin sheet was too hard to work with, especially for the folds. So I needed something that would be easy to work until I got the desired shape, like lead, but would be as hard as tin after that. So, I use kitchen foil, which I laminate using CA glue. I can work it and shape the flag, and when it sets, it's as rigid as a piece of tin or brass sheeting. I also use foil wrappers from some chocolates. The wrapper from miniature Reese's peanut butter cups is just about the right size for Prussian standards, when flattened out, and then folded in quarters.

I also used kitchen foil or candy foil for the ties that were attached to Prussian flags of the day. They had no significance at that time, they were originally ties to secure the flag, when it was furled.

Here is another ensign, this one, from IR 9, "Kleist":


The staff is a piece of brass rod. Here is a view from another side:


The red bled a little bit, that's why there are dark lines on some edges of the Flammenkreuz. I use Testor's enamels in the little square bottles, but also Tamiya enamels, both gloss and matte, Master Modeler, Gunze-Sangyo and even oils. When I've finished painting, I use good ol' Future for a sealer coat. It actually makes the colors underneath a little richer, I think.

Here is another Fähnrich, one of the oldest pieces in my collection, the colonel's color, or Leibfahne, of General Winterfeldt's regiment:


This is a figure I cast myself, using a mold from Prins August, maybe 20 years ago. It was with these castings that I hit on my laminating method to make the flags, for two reasons. First, the kit comes with a paper flag, which I didn't like, and second, the master is made to include the flagstaff in the casting, it's molded as a long U, like a trombone slide. If you use it, you have to bend it straight. Of course, the alloy being what it is, that broke, and trapping the pieces in foil was the first thing I thought of, to use the cast piece. The idea of disposing of the cast staff and using a piece of brass rod instead, did not occur to me at the time. Can you say, "Brad, you couldn't see the forest for the trees"? I've learned a thing or two in the meantime. "Ve are too soon oldt und too late schmart" Here is a rear view of the figure:


I have a goal to make ensigns for every one of the regiments in Frederick's army, like on the cover of Engelmann & Dorn's book, "The Infantry of Frederick the Great".

One more figure with a flag, this time, a captain of the 13th Regiment, "Itzenplitz":


I saw this Stadden figure on eBay and had to bid. I loved the pose. In the catalog, this is "Prussian officer, Giant Grenadiers, 1740", and he would come from the factory with a spontoon in his left hand. The spontoon was long gone, and I pictured a captain in the middle of battle, seizing a color to encourage his men forward. Here is another angle:


Using my laminating method, I postioned the flag to be visually interesting, but I outsmarted myself. After making the deep fold, I realized that I'd have to get paint in there! Doesn't pay to be too smart. Fortunately, with care and a steady hand, I was able to paint both sides.

Here is a pic from the rear:


Itzenplitz was described as "a hard-fighting, hard-drinking regiment", and was known as the "Thunder and Lightning" Regiment. In German, it rhymes-Itzenplitz-Donner und Blitz. At the Battle of Lobositz, they charged up a hill against Austrian irregulars ensconced in a walled vineyard, and drove them out at bayonet-point.

Eventually I'll give this captain his company, those figures are on my bench, waiting to be painted.

More figures will follow later....
Great figures, really good to read up on this History too. Thanks for sharing this unique subject.

Thanks very much for the kind words and the interest, guys! Here's another installment...

This is another Puchala figure, of a Jäger, or rifleman:


"Jäger" is the German word for "hunter", and the Jäger were recruited from among the huntsmen and foresters of the various states. In an era when regular infantry fought in long ranks, shoulder to shoulder, there was a need for soldiers who could serve as scouts, outside the formations, and huntsmen were a natural choice, by virtue of the skills they used in their jobs. They usually carried their hunting rifles, instead of smoothbore muskets, and were crack shots, but it took a long time to load the weapon.

Here is a view from a different angle:


This casting is a little off-balance, because of the arm, he really belongs behind a shrub, so I added a small scene. The bush is a piece of root I dug up in my yard, brushed with some thinned white glue, and sprinkled with old tea leaves. Repeat the scratchbuilder's motto-"Never throw anything out!"

Here are two more Jäger, one from the Prussian army, left, and the other painted as a Hessian, right:


The uniforms are so similar, that you can't tell the players without a scorecard, as they say. In every German army, they wore a green jacket, which was the tradtional forester's coat color, and it was only in the details that you could identify them, such as the color of the vest, the breeches, cuffs, etc.

Here is a view from the back of these two figures:


The Prussian is a casting by Stadden, while the Hessian is a casting by John Tassel, who sold his figures under the trade name, "Lasset". His style was similar to Stadden's, but his figures tend to have a more slender look. Tassel also created the range of 77mm figures known as Series 77.

Another mixed pair, this time, grenadiers, a Prussian, left, and a Hessian, right:


As with the Jäger figures, the Prussian is a Stadden casting, and the Hessian is a Lasset figure. The Prussian is a grenadier sergeant from IR 27, "Lindstedt", while the Hessian is a grenadier from the regiment "Prince Carl".

Grenadiers originally carried and threw grenades, and the cap was introduced, because the brim of the typical musketeer's hat would have gotten in the way of their throwing arm. In the northern German states, the caps had fronts of metal, or embroidered cloth, while in the south, and in the French and Austrian armies, the caps were made of bearskin. Here is a view from the rear:


The sergeant had the cane, hanging from a button on his coat, but he was missing a half-pike, which I replaced with a piece of brass rod.

Another infantryman, a sergeant on recruiting duty:


This is another Puchala figure. The figure is great, as all his figures are, but I couldn't get the kit table to sit level. Here is another angle on this figure:


On the table is an early attempt at sculpting, I took some Miliput and made a little wooden breadboard, with a hunk of black bread and a piece of sausage on it. At least, that's what I'm calling it :D

The sergeant can be recognized as such by his cane, his gloves, and the black-and-white pom-pom and broad band of lace on his hat.

Here is a musketeer from the king's own bodyguard regiment, again, a casting by Puchala:


If his face looks a little pushed in, it's because I slipped with the file when I was cleaning up the casting, and I filed away the bridge of the poor guy's nose! Here is a view from the figure from behind:


I don't remember why I posed the musket as I did, either. I should have had him with the musket planted. Ten years ago, at least, can't remember why...

Here is another Puchala portrait figure, of the Duke of Brunswick:


Ferdinand of Brunswick was held is such esteem by the king that he was given theater command in central Germany, replacing George II's son, the Duke of Cumberland, who had been checkmated by the French and forced to sign an armistice early in the war. Much like Wellington, or Ike, he presided over a army of several allied forces, and kept the French and Imperials from showing their faces too far east of the Rhein for the rest of the war.

Puchala's figure is another accurate likeness, resembling very closely portraits from the period.

And the last of the infantry figures (for now). Another figure of Frederick:


This casting is a kit by New Hope Designs, from their series based on Osprey's "Men at Arms" books. Here is another angle on this figure:


New Hope's figures are pretty good kits, too, with a good level of detail. I pair this figure of Old Fritz with this one, one of his engineer officers:


This is yet another Stadden casting, with somewhat softer detail. In the catalog, it's actually, "British officer, 1745", but again, because of the similarity of uniform details, I could modify him and paint him as a Prussian engineer. Here is another view:


Engineer officers were looked down on sometimes, by the king and other officers, because their occupation was sometimes seen as somewhat grubby and less noble than the infantry or cavalry, and the king sometimes treated them no better than the gardeners at the royal palaces. Of course, things weren't much better in the British army, and it would be another 50 years or so, before military engineering came into its own as a subject worthy to be studied.

Thanks for looking, next time, Frederick's cavalry!
Great stuff Baron and i'm really enjoying the little snippets of history that acompany the models.

Keep em coming mate.

Thanks, Blitz, glad you're enjoying seeing them, and thanks for an opportunity to share all the trivia I've picked up over the years!
Hi, all! Here is the next installment in the series, and we move now to the cavalry of the Prussian army.

First up, a figure of a hussar officer, casting by New Hope Design:


The figure represents an officer in the parade uniform of the Leib-Husaren, or "Bodyguard Hussars", who were also known after their commander, Hans-Joachim von Ziethen, as the Ziethen Hussars. I've painted him as old General Ziethen himself.

Hussars were light cavalry, modeled on the original native cavalry raised among the Hungarians under the Austrian crown. "Hussar" comes from the Hungarian husz, meaning "twentieth", because they raised levies of every twentieth man in a village or clan. The uniform was derived from the national dress that they wore, including a fur cape, or Pelz (pelt), and a fur cap. The Hungarians often used a wolfskin as their pelt, and bear, wolf or marten fur for the caps. By the 1700's, though, the pelt was replaced by a fur-trimmed jacket.

Hussars were used as scouts, and fought in loose formations, at a time when battle cavalry still fought in closed ranks, to ride down the enemy. Because of their outlandish uniforms and irregular use, eventually a certain romance was associated with the branch, compared to other types of cavalry.

Here is a view of this figure from the rear:


The New Hope kit is really well detailed, and we can see some of the details specific to the Ziethen Hussars. As part of their parade uniform, squadron commanders wore an eagle-wing ornament on their fur caps, and they wore leopard skins, instead of the jacket. The skins were a gift from the Queen Mother (Frederick's mother) to the regiment. Now, you can see here that I painted these as tiger skins, and that shows how you really need to check your sources. In Engelmann & Dorn's "The Cavalry of Frederick the Great", they wrote that Queen Sophie Charlotte gave the regiment tiger skins. It was later that I learned that that is incorrect, that they were actually leopard skins. But I'm not AR enough to go back and repaint them.

Here are two more officers of the Leib-Husaren, this time, the castings are from Stadden:


The officer on the left is wearing the jacket, which was blue with white fur trim, while the one on the right wears the pelt. In German, both would be called a Pelz. They also wore boots of yellow leather, which was another trait borrowed from the Hungarian national costume.

The Stadden castings are a little bulky; hussars were recruited from among the smaller men, because the belief was that they would be more agile and nimbler horsemen. These figures are a little big for hussars, in this scale. By contrast, the New Hope Ziethen figure is truer to scale. Ziethen himself was of relatively small stature. Here is a shot of all three, to show the contrast:


That's why, for rank and file figures, and to fill out a scene, the Stadden figures are perfect. But for portrait figures, I look for figures from the newer makers, like Puchala, or New Hope.

Sticking with the hussars, here are two more figures, this time, from the Belling Hussar regiment:


The figure on the left is from Ulrich Puchala, and is a portrait figure of the regiment's colonel, Sebastian von Belling. On the right is a figure by Imrie-Risley, based on a uniform study by Menzel. Belling's regiment wore a felt cap, instead of a fur cap, and a uniform of black. On their caps, they wore a badge showing the Grim Reaper, and so they were called the "Total Death" Regiment (the 5th Hussar regiment also wore black, and had a death's head badge, so they were known as the Death's Head Hussars).

Here is a shot from another angle:


As with all of his other sculpts, the figure of Belling by Puchala really does look like contemporary illustrations of the man. The figure by Imrie-Risley is also very well detailed for its time; the original goes back to Bill Imrie's original figure catalog in the 50's, Hellenic Miniatures. The name indicates no connection with Greece, however; it was named after his wife, Helen. The current Imrie-Risley catalog includes almost all of the figures that Bill issued in the Hellenic line.

Here is a group of hussars from various regiments and manufacturers:


From left, another Belling hussar, by Puchala; a hussar and officer from the Kleist Hussars, also called the Green Hussars; and a hussar from the Natzmer Hussars, also called the White Hussars. Those last three castings are from Dolp in Germany. All of them have very good detail cast into them. Here is a view from the back:


The officer of the Green Hussars is probably based on the commander himself, Frederick William von Kleist. Along with his hussar regiment, he raised a Freikorps, or "free regiment". Such units supplemented the main battle line, and were often of mixed arms, containing infantry, cavalry and artillery. They also served often as irregular troops or independent task forces, work for which the line regiments were ill-suited.

Here is a single hussar, another casting by Imrie-Risley:


I painted this one as a hussar from the 7th, or Malachowski Hussars. The figure is actually listed in Imrie-Risley's catalog as "French hussar, 1795", but it illustrates how similar the uniform was from one army to the next, and how little the uniforms changed from the Seven Years War to the French Revolutionary wars, that I could paint this figure as a Prussian hussar from 1756, with no real modification to the casting. In our own Revolutionary War, the hussars of Lauzun's Legion in the French expeditionary force wore a uniform that was identical to ones worn in 1763.

Here is a view of the figure from the rear:


You can still get these figures new from Imrie-Risley, at the website,, though I tend to look for them at toy soldier shows, auctions and flea markets. The catalog also includes mounted hussars.

To round out this post, here are three more hussars by Imrie-Risley, this time, from the Brown, or Werner Hussars:


These figures show the variation available with the basic casting; I/R includes different arms, and even different heads, with the same basic body for these hussar kits. In this case, I had an arm with a carbine, which was the firearm issued to the hussars; an arm with a bugle; and an arm with a drawn saber. So I painted these as a captain, or Rittmeister, a cornet or Trompeter, and a hussar of the Werner regiment. Here is a view from the rear:


Since the hussars' uniform was relatively close-fitting, it had no pockets, so they carried a pouch suspended from their swordbelt, called a Säbeltasche, or sabretache ("saber-pouch"). For the men, the cover was decorated with the royal monogram in lace of the regiment's colors. The officers carried pouches with various decorations, which were not necessarily uniform, but showed similar themes, like the Prussian eagle, and trophies of arms. Also, alone among officers of the day, officers wore moustaches. Otherwise, in the 18th century, it was not fashionable for gentlemen to wear facial hair. With the French Revolution, the styles changed.

In the next installment, heavy cavalry...
Very cool figs there! Hey do you or are you gonna make a huge battle scene with the finished figs? That will look so cool. Take care!
Mine too ;D I remember reading an article about American and the uniforms where very much the same as barons are and It has to be the civil war as there was pics of them. I think they were from New York and dressed in black with silver details for the officers and white for the enlisted men. Going to have to dig out the magazine now to remind myself that i was not imagining it :D

Great stuff as always Baron.

Yes, that's quite an incredible amount of figures, you painted there. Very well done.
Very well done! I'm jealous of this particular subject due to the bright colours you get to use. They really do look like old school toy soldiers except posed of course.

Where do you get yours?
Wow, thanks so much for the kind words, guys! I hope you won't mind if I put all the responses together.

Atomicdog said:
Very cool figs there! Hey do you or are you gonna make a huge battle scene with the finished figs? That will look so cool. Take care!

Hi, atomicdog, I have two long-range plans, one is a diorama based on the Battle of Minden in the Seven Years War, and a display of a large inn or Gasthaus, with soldiers on campaign or manoeuvers, coming and going. But finishing it has to wait for some remodeling to make room, first :D

Shark said:
This is my favorite thread.

Thanks, Shark!

Blitzspear said:
Mine too ;D I remember reading an article about American and the uniforms where very much the same as barons are and It has to be the civil war as there was pics of them. I think they were from New York and dressed in black with silver details for the officers and white for the enlisted men. Going to have to dig out the magazine now to remind myself that i was not imagining it :D

Great stuff as always Baron.


Thanks, Blitz! Have you found the article yet? You're probably right, they're probably from our Civil War, there was actually a kaleidescope of uniforms, if not always worn in the field. You should look for some figures and paint them from the pics. I'd like to see more guys try their hand at painting some figures, in all styles, and post them here in the forum.

Ferris828 said:
Incredible dude. I'm going to ice my scroll finger now.

Just kidding. Keep'em coming!

elend said:
Yes, that's quite an incredible amount of figures, you painted there. Very well done.

Ferris, elend, thank you very much, guys!

Ialarmu said:
Very well done! I'm jealous of this particular subject due to the bright colours you get to use. They really do look like old school toy soldiers except posed of course.

Where do you get yours?

Well, thanks, Ialarmu! The colors are one of the reasons I like the 18th century armies so much. The Imperial German Army is another area that I collect and paint, and I have some pictures of those that I'll post someday.
As to my sources, I've collected these over the years, at flea markets and toy soldier/miniature figure shows, back before the Internet; and on eBay and from shops overseas. I look for figures made by Charles Stadden, like some of the ones pictured in this thread, and his successors, Tradition of London. I also have figures made by a British gentleman, Russell Gammage, back in the 60's through the 80's and sold in his Rose Miniatures line. Then there are American makers, like Imrie-Risley, whose company is still in business; and Jack Scheid, who passed away about 10 years ago. And some very good German makers-Ulrich Puchala, Dolp, Hecker & Goros, MiniWelt. Basically, I look for figures that have a decent level of detail, but I like the toy finish, so I use the gloss enamels. I still have many more on the bench and in my stash, too ;)

Well, I've been away from the forum for a little while, and I've promised to post the next pics, so they'll follow...
As promised, after a little hiatus, here are some more pics from my collection. Tonight, some of Frederick's heavy cavalry, Kürassiere, or cuirassiers. First, a color party:


These are figures by Stadden, painted as a pair of troopers and the standard-bearer of the 8th Regiment, the Seydlitz Cuirassiers. Cuirassiers were the direct descendants of the mounted knight, and they took their name from the breastplate, or cuirass, which was a last remnant of the knight's armor. It was actually proof against musket fire. Cuirassiers were used as shock cavalry, charging in ranks, knee to knee and riding down the enemies line.

Here is a shot of these figures from the back:


Cuirassiers were relatively larger men; the minimum height requirement was 5' 6", and on average, they were the tallest and most robust men available. The Stadden castings are relatively stocky, compared to some other manufacturers' figures, and help convey that sense of size.

The flag is a piece of tin sheet, which is how Staddens left the factory. I've painted it as the colonel's standard, or Leibstandarte; the regiment's ordinary flags were reversed, black with a white center.

Regiments were known by the names of their commanders in 18th-century Prussia (and everywhere else, for that matter); Seydlitz was Frederick's most able cavalry general and probably the best leader of men in that time. He was responsible for revitalizing the cavalry, which had stagnated somewhat under Frederick's father, and training it into an efficient and skilled force. He was also a notorious rake, which probably contributed to his early death at 52.

Here are some more Kürassiere, three officers of different regiments:


These are also Stadden castings. From left to right, they are an officer of the Regiment "Gen d'armes" (Nr. 10), one of the two bodyguard regiments; an officer of the Prince of Prussia's Regiment (Nr. 2, also known as the "Yellow Riders", because of the color of their coats); and an officer of the King's own bodyguard regiment, the Gardes du Corps.

You can see from these figures, though, how most Staddens have the same face, even the portrait figures. For portrait figures, I usually look for figures from newer makers.

One more Kürassier, a Rittmeister or captain, of the 7th Regiment, "von Driesen":


Yet another Stadden casting. I liked his pose, looking a little to the right, hands behind his back, sort of an attentive pose. Here is the view from the back:


Actually, I look for these old Stadden castings at the shows. I love digging through boxes of odds and ends, you never know what you'll find.

More of the heavies, coming up...
More of the heavy cavalry, this time, dragoons.

Dragoons started out in the 17th century as mounted infantry. The idea was that they could ride where they were needed, faster than men could march, then dismount, form firing lines, fire a volley and mount up and move off. Their name comes from the firearm they originally carried, a short musket called a "dragon" (very poetic).

By Frederick's time, dragoons were true cavalry, serving like the cuirassiers to charge and ride down enemy formations, which they did, until cavalry passed from the battlefield with the advent of automatic weapons.

Here is a portrait figure of one of Frederick's cavalry commanders, the Duke of Württemberg:


This is a portrait figure casting by Ulrich Puchala, and it is a very good one. His sculpt looks very much like contemporary portraits of the Duke. This was one such engraving, and it's such a great pose:


The Duke was one of a number of officers who had their own territories to rule, but who took service in the Prussian army. Some even wound up leading their Prussian regiments against their home states' units serving with the Imperial troops against Frederick. Each state in the empire was required to supply levies of troops, "contingents", in time of war. Württemberg was one state with troops serving on both sides, as were the Hessian duchies.

Here is a shot of the Duke with one his men, a casting by Stadden:


This figure by Stadden is listed in the catalog as a "Brunswick dragoon, 1777", but since they wore uniforms identical to the Prussian in cut and style, and it was unchanged going back to the Seven Years War, I can paint them as Prussians.

You can see here, too, an illustration of what I was saying before about Stadden castings and how stocky they are. But dragoons were also recruited from among the larger men, and he looks relatively robust. He's armed with a carbine, as well as with a straight cavalry sword.

Here is another dragoon, this time, the casting is by Vallance:


This figure is based on a watercolor by Lefferts, I think, of another Brunswick dragoon from the Revolutionary War. A change of color and eh voila! another Prussian from 1756. This one, I painted as a dragoon from Regt 11 "von Platen".

Here is another copy of this casting, this time, painted as a dragoon of the second regiment, "von Krockow":


This kit turns up from time to time on eBay. Vallance made some other nice Revolutionary War figure kits, including Washington and Lafayette at Yorktown, with the General posed dramatically, one foot up on a stone, and Lafayette looking at a map laid out over a drum, and a soldier of one of the Carolina regiments (subject for another thread!)

More of Frederick's dragoons, this time a group of Puchala castings:


The first one on the left is another Württemberg dragoon, and the other four, I painted as members of the Bayreuth Dragoons. They achieved fame in the battle of Hohenfriedeburg by charging the Austrian lines and scattering them, capturing a larger number of men, standards and cannon. This is another great figure, I really like the casual pose, leaning on the carbine.

Here is a shot from behind:


And this is a shot to show how I label my figures (when I'm feeling ambitious):


I used a table in Word, printed the captions in the smallest font I could get, then printed them on regular bond paper, cut them out and pasted them on the bases with white glue. Fine, when I had a whole bunch of figures to do, but not so good, if I have only one new one to do.

Here are two more dragoon figures, the last for this post, two more by Stadden:


I got these in an auction on eBay. The one on the left was missing his left hand, and the one on the right held his empty left hand raised. His posed suggested itself-he needed a mug of beer. And his companion would be smoking a pipe. I scrounged a hand from the spares box, added a pipe of wire, and sculpted (roughly) a Faiencekrug for the other. Here is another angle:


I have two more castings which will join them. They will depict a group of dragoons on campaign or on manoeuvers, scrounging their supper.

More figures to follow in the next post...
You know what I was just day draming of? Some day I need to see a picture of all your guys at once! I bet you that is a sight!

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