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Saturday, July 10, 2021

Bavarian 5th Chevauleger Regiment (Leiningen) and a Unique Little Find

You've come a long way baby!  From start to finish the Bavarian 5th Chevauleger Regiment (Leiningen) was a challenging regiment to refine and paint.  They started life as three Hinton Hunt original castings (BVN / 44) which were customized into the Oberstkommandant, Trumpeter and Major, as well as ten lesser quality Der Kriegspieler castings (216).  The DK castings were particularly challenging because they appear to have not copied the HH BVN / 44 figure, but that of a British cavalryman with a head transplant!  To transform them into Bavarians, the distinctive British canteen and Sabretache had to be painstakingly removed and the sword beneath re-shaped.  Forage bags were also added to disguise some of the surgery.  The swords on the DK castings were also particularly short and rather than have them look like gladius wielding Roman wanna-bes, I replaced the swords with flattened pins that were given a slight curve and filed to shape.  A lot of work, but the end result I hope speaks for itself.


I thought it would ad some visual interest to angle the swords rather than the more traditional straight up and down.

All of the blue diamonds on the shabraque was quite the task, but I just settled in and over the course of three evenings added those with a micron ink pen.

Here you can see the addition of the forage bag.  I added this primarily to match the Hinton Hunt figure design.  The method of holding the carbine I suspect is more British than Bavarian, so I painted in the metal hook for the carbine on the bottom of the crossbelt, which I believe was the more common way of carrying it.  The painted hook also helps to visually break up an area where detail was lacking and cover up some of the rough texture from some trimming I had to do on that side of the figure.

I realized after basing these that I had cut the bases to the wrong width.  Thus these bases will be recycled shortly and trimmed down to use on a Portuguese infantry battalion currently getting the glossy treatment.  I'll have to cut some new bases for the Bavarians that give them a tad more room side to side.


Oberstkommandant Johann Nepomuk Baron von Viereck commanded the Leiningen regiment from October 29, 1809 to April 15, 1812.  The original Hinton Hunt figure was weilding his sword so the scabbard was empty.  I have added a sword hilt from a Zvezda plastic cuirassier set to fill the gap.

The original Hinton Hunt castings really are so much nicer and of course a tad more robust than their Der Kriegspieler copies.  To modify the trooper into the Oberstkommandant (Colonel), I removed the carbine and covered the scar with the tail end of the command sash.  The scar was rough enough that I don't think I even added any green stuff epoxy putty, just painted it on.

The Major has retained his sword and carbine and is essentially the standard trooper with the crossbelt just painted as a command sash.

The trumpet and gauntlet was scavenged from a set of plastic cuirassiers and simply replaced the sword hand.  I really should have taken the time to file down the buttons on the opposite arm and build up the gauntlet with epoxy putty, but without the aid of magnification, you really don't need all that for the paint to read as a guantlet.

This is a before picture of the DK castings.  Note the giant pit under his extended arm which was a casting flaw on all of the DKs that had to be removed and filed smooth.  Also of note is the gladius instead of a proper saber.

Here you can see the chief sin of the DKs, which is the British style canteen over a square shoulder bag, as well as the Sabretache covering the sword.  I got lots of practice with my snippers and x-acto knife to get those modifications looking reasonable.

On a completely unrelated note, I saw these and thought they might be Hintons, so on a lark just picked them up off eBay.  They turned out to be Phoenix Miniature Design's (PMD) extension to the Les Higgins Napoleonic line.

The figures are true 25mm scale, so a tad big to mix with DKs, but if I ever find some original Hinton Hunt French Old Guard horse gunners, they could add some nice variety



22 comments:

  1. Like the Bavarians, nice uniforms and the distinctive head gear especially on the infantry. Love the paint job on the cheveaulegers The guard horse figures look good too. You have a wonderful collection.

    Paul

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    1. Thanks Paul. I agree, the whole reason to paint the Bavarians is for the helmets!

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  2. these are wonderful, great work!!!

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    1. Thanks Roger. I'm really glad they worked out in the end. I was really worried they wouldn't come together.

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  3. These look lovely David…
    Certainly well worth the effort…

    All the best. Aly

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    1. Thanks Aly. High praise from you considering how much work you have been putting into your latest units!

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  4. They have come up a treat, the little blue diamonds were worth it and the new swords don't look like replacement unless you look real close.
    I did think they look cramped before you mentioned they were on the wrong base size - do let us see them again when you've re-based them.
    I assume v. Viereck is wearing black gloves? At first I thought he had a prosthetic hand á la Danjou.

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    1. Thanks Rob. I sculpted new hilts for the swords which are a little clunky, but in the end I don't think detract from the whole. No prosthetics for the Oberstkommandant, but black gloves per the prints of the Bavarian cavalry by Johann Cantler. He actually shows the commanders with black guantlets, but I decided to not risk overdoing it and just went with the gloves. https://www.napoleon-series.org/military-info/organization/Bavaria/Cantler/c_cantler3.html Interestingly the bugler is shown with bare hands, but something tells me he had a pair of black gauntlets tucked in his belt...

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  5. Cor Blimey Lummy Lawks Mr! What an oustanding result! They look like jewels, David, and from such unpromising beginnings too. I absolutely love the shade of green, by the way.

    Nothing like black gloves. It makes them look very sinister!

    Best regards
    WM

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    1. Hah! Thanks so much WM. The green was quite worrisome until the very end, when I finally added the highlights. It is funny how that little addition really made a huge difference to the look of the figure. As for the black gloves, I am indeed quite thrilled with that sinister look!

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  6. A labour of love which has certainly reaped rewards, you should be rightfully proud of this fine looking unit. I agree with WM that green really does "ping".

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  7. Thanks Matt. Always nice to know my efforts are well received!

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  8. Fabulous David. You really excel at doing that extra detail work. Love the Bavarians and the helmets.

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    1. Thanks David. I do struggle in the early stages of these just getting the colors blocked in, but I do love it when they start to come together and I can focus on adding all of the little details that make figures like these sing.

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  9. A lot of work and dedication has certainly gone into this wonderful unit David. The Shabraques are very detailed and the replacement swords make a big difference. The contrast with the figure pre prepping and painting is astonishing. Great job.

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    1. Thanks Lee. Let's just say I enjoy a challenge. One of these days I would like to paint a well cast figure again though!

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  10. Impressing what you did with such bad painted figures. And as I Bavarian, I like the subject in general of course:-)

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    1. Uwe, Good to hear from you again. Glad I found a subject that was close to your heart!

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  11. These look fabulous. The figures are brilliant and the shabraques so well done.
    Regards, James

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    1. Thanks James. I cheated a wee bit on the shabraques and used a micron ink pen to draw in the diamond pattern. With a brush I can't imagine how long that would have taken!

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