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Wednesday, September 21, 2022

7e Chevau-Leger Vistula Uhlans

After much perturbation, I have finally gotten up the nerve to finish the 7e Chevau-Leger Vistula Uhlans.  This has always been a favorite uniform of mine, and the core of this regiment was so ably painted by Dick Tennant, that I was a bit intimidated by the idea of expanding it and bringing it up to full strength.  Most cavalry regiments in the collection consist of 18 troopers and a commander, but DT only painted 14 of these.  Probably like me, he had trouble getting the figures to do a full strength unit! I had despaired of ever finding some Hinton Hunt dismountable lancers (rare as hen's teeth I believe Wellington Man called them).  Eventually I located some, but they turned out in the end to be rather poorly cast copies.  Not to be deterred, I cleaned them up and decided to give painting them a whirl.

Five of the troopers are recasts painted by myself.  They're easy to spot if you know what to look for, but in the end I felt as though they were a pretty seamless addition to the regiment.

The intricate buckles and belts were one of those details that really worried me, especially as they were conspicuously absent from the recast figures.

Touching up the original figures painted by Mr. Tennant actually helped to make this into a cohesive unit.  While I might have been very slightly off with my matching of colors (all had to be custom mixed) on the new figures, by the time I had added washes for shading as well as highlights to the whole group, the color differences were minimal.

I wanted to add a figure with a company guidon, and fortunately the figure selected had a broken pennon, so I did not feel bad about removing it and adding the guidon.

As painted this regiment is from the period around 1811.  There were several uniform changes prior to, and after this, but the most notable in this instance was the addition of the blue topped black plume.  Mr. Tennant modelled the entire regiment with white epaulets on both shoulders, which in truth, would likely only have been worn by the elite company.  He also added red epaulets to the company NCOs, but I could find no evidence that this was ever practiced.  Phillip Haythornthwaite was kind enough to look into this for me as well and he too could find no evidence of red epaulets having been worn.  Of course that doesn't mean it could not have happened, and I decided to keep them to honor the work of Mr. Tennant.

The guidon is based on an example still in existence and described in this Napoleon Series article: 
Much work was required to touch up the carbines and saddle cloths, boots and horse legs, as they had been roughly treated in transit to the US.

The Colonel and trumpeter were not quite as well painted as is usual for Mr. Tennant and required considerable work to bring them up to his standard.  I wonder if they were early work of his, or perhaps even incorporated later from someone else's collection.  The most notable change for the Colonel was to separate the sword from the horse's ear as cast, and provide a little airspace between the two.

So glad that this famous regiment can now take its proper place amongst the collection!


These Uhlans were featured in the Airfix Guide to Napoleonic Wargaming by Bruce Quarrie.  When I received this collection a few years back, he was kind enough to send me some color copies of the original photos which you can see below.  This was absolutely one of those photos that hooked me on the idea of starting my own Napoleonics collection!

I literally just noticed that in this photo the Uhlans have yellow tipped plumes. Dick Tennant must have repainted the plumes after the photo shoot. He was working on this collection for 50 years so had plenty of time to do that! I also note that the officer and trumpeter are conspicuously absent from this photo, which corresponds well to my assertion in the blogpost above, that they may have come later or from another painter.  Dick did not texture the bases of his figures, so he and Don Featherstone must have spent hours staging all of these with Dick's buildings and then blending in the turf.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Bavarian 5th Light Infantry Detachment

The Bavarians needed a little skirmish support now that they have artillery, infantry and cavalry, so to the rescue comes the Bavarian 5th light Infantry.  Knotel has a fabulous illustration of the 5th, which went a long way to helping me prioritize this unit, not to mention the small number of figures required!  The figures are primarily Der Kriegspieler, (2xDK 175, 5xDK 174 with plume added), though the officer is Hinton Hunt (BVN 6) and the trumpeter a converted Hinton Hunt/Dave Clayton figure from BVN 7?.

Skirmish order

Recently I was able to host a game to celebrate my birthday.  The game was an excuse to ply good friends with food and wine, and also to get all of my toys on the battlefield.  The British may a good effort to hold their own, but in truth the deck was a bit stacked against them and the French were able to gain the advantage on both flanks, rendering the center untenable.  Some nice pictures of the game can be found here thanks to David R. and his excellent camera work:


The crew minus David R., our illustrious photographer.  Could not have spent the day with a better group of folks.  I only wish I had gotten a picture of Beans, the goofy pup who came to visit, smooshing his head against the back door.  I guess he wanted some ham too!


The real impetus for the celebration was a giant Serrano ham accompanied by Spanish tapas - We are still working through the leftovers!

 Lastly a small teaser for my next post - the 7th Chevau-Legere / Vistula Lancers