Total Pageviews

Search This Blog

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: https://www.napoleon-series.org/military-info/organization/Poland/VistulaLegion/c_loststandards.html 
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!

Edit

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.



16 comments:

  1. They are gorgeous, I'm sure Dick would be most pleased.
    I had a good look and reckon I can pick out the new boys by their thicker lances and more defined tassles of their epaulettes, but it takes a bit of searching. I think it's better (more of a tribute to Dick's originals) that you can distinguish between the originals and the additions - makes it more of a sympathetic repair than a full-blown restoration. Besides, unless you look for it you'd never notice and the regiment looks great at full strength, those redcoats better beware.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The lances and epaulets are indeed the give away. There are some other very subtle differences, but you pegged the big ones. Thanks for taking a good look!

      Delete
  2. Splendid work David, in all honesty I cannot spot any differences between the castings. What a fantastic unit!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks Stryker. I was very pleased the recasts painted up as well as they did because I certainly had my doubts!

    ReplyDelete
  4. These are just beautiful. The way in which you've restored and added to them with such subtly and sympathy is quite breathtaking. I think this is your finest work to date, which is really saying something.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. High praise indeed coming from you. Thanks for all of the help and guidance you have provided along the way!

      Delete
  5. You have done a magnificent job restoring and adding the extra figures to the unit. You have matched the colour of the originals really well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mark. This was a nerve wracking one for sure!

      Delete
  6. Absolutely superb. They are a very elegant figure and you’ve matched them extremely well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I appreciate that Carlo. This has definitely upped my confidence to try and tackle the French Hussars. All that lace!

      Delete
  7. These chaps look superb David…
    Your new toys are in perfect harmony with Dick Tennant’s originals…
    I look forward to laying down some volley fire in their direction in the future 😂

    All the best. Aly

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aly, I have decided to class them as A+ troops and issue them with personal shields ala Dune. They will be immune from any volley fire!

      Delete
  8. Replies
    1. Thank you Phil. They were a lot of fun. Hope to tackle the French 1st Hussars soon as well. Fortunately just repairing and rebasing on those. I will be adding a splendid Colonel from the Franznap line though which should be a delight to paint.

      Delete