Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Craig's Prussian Dragoons

Everyone who follows my blog will be aware of the situation of our family in Tacloban. I have been trying to get my head straightened out with hobby, work and life related things instead of thinking to much about what has happened. Progress with my own troops has been painfully slow. However thankfully Craig has been able to paint up some new Prussian cavalry regiments and has put together a post to show how they turned out. They look top class to me!!!

Dragoon Brigade
As Paul has done such a cracking job with his dragoons, I thought I would share mine so you can see what second place looks like, or if not second place, what your average punter (as opposed to a Scottish miniature-painting grand master) can achieve. The cavalry reserve for Yorck’s Corps is composed of three brigades. The first brigade that I put together was the dragoon brigade, under Colonel Graf Henckel von Donnersmarck. The brigade is composed of two regiments, 1st West Prussian dragoons, and 3rd Lithuanian dragoons.

 Dragoon brigade
The brigade fought in a number of the major actions of the Autumn campaign: Katzbach; Goldberg; Wartenburg; and Leipzig. It was involved in some of the intense action around Goldberg in which it rescued elements of 8 Brigade which had been cut off by French cavalry and was withdrawing under heavy pressure.
During the 1812 campaign, two squadrons from each of these regiments were combined to form the 1st combined dragoon regiment which fought as part of Yorck’s Corps under McDonald on the northern flank of the Grande Armee’s advance. After the treaty of Tauroggen they were reformed as whole regiments and brigaded together under Yorck.
Lithuanian dragoons
The first AB cavalry I painted was the 3rd Lithuanian dragoon regiment. It wears the standard dragoon uniform of litewka (long coat) over grey overalls, with white belts and covered shako. Facing colour is red. The colour of the litewka was something I pondered for a while, as Osprey and other sources seemed to all differ slightly. I was not until I came across a photograph of some Prussian re-enactors and a picture of a museum exhibit that I plumped for the sky blue. I used a flat blue undercoat, with a deep blue mid-coat, highlighted with pale blue. I have been satisfied with the result.
Lithuanian dragoons close-up
Under the August 1813 orbat I am using, this is a pretty strong regiment, of 32 figures, in 4 squadrons of 8 figures each, plus a jager squadron of 8 figures. I have had some reasonable performances from this unit on the table, although like most Napoleonic cavalry they tend to have as much effect threatening to do something, as actually doing it. The commander, Major von Platen (nicknamed Crazy Platen) was made (more?) famous by the action of his bugler in dispatching a French cavalryman with his bugle. Paul has done a superb vignette of this.
As per the infantry, freiwillinge volunteer jager detachments were part of each regular unit, with the size varying according to the popularity of the regiment. The Lithuanian dragoons were reasonably popular, and so were able to field an entire squadron.

Lithuanian dragoon jager squadron
For each unit painted, I also provide a casualty marker in the appropriate uniform. Its presence adjacent to a unit means that the unit has taken casualties, and the casualty sheet should be checked before making calculations that include unit strength as a factor. 

Casualty marker
The second unit in the brigade 1st West Prussian dragoons. It wears the standard dragoon uniform with a mid-blue litewka faced white and covered shako. This unit is slightly weaker, at 24 figures, plus a single jager figure. This probably reflects that in August 1813 much of its recruiting areas in West Prussia were still under French control. This unit has also given good performance on the table, breaking an Italian square during a notable game in the back of Eureka Miniatures.
West Prussian dragoons
West Prussian dragoons close-up
The command stand that I have created for the brigade follows my practice of having a group which reflects the variety of units in the brigade. This group represents Oberst Graf Henckel von Donnersmark depicted using the AB Blucher figure suitably painted as a Prussian commander, an officer from 1st West Prussians, and a bugler from the Lithuanians.
Brigade command stand
Excellent Craig and I'm really looking forward to your next regiment. Something a wee bit special for us 1813 Prussian fans!


Jonathan Freitag said...

Good looking Prussian horsemen. Why the different basing scheme (four figs per base vs three figs per base)?

Craig said...

Thanks Jonathon. Each regiment has a 4 squadron structure (plus a jager detachment). 32 figs means 4 squadrons of 8 figs, 24 means 4 squadrons of 6 figs. I base 3-4 figs per base. It gives each regiment a balanced look, notwithstanding the differences in strength. Craig

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post and much appreciated. I do love the AB dragoons. I found that sky blue is a difficult one to paint and Craig you have done a smashing job in getting it done.

Paul, All the best and I hope things return to a sense of normality soon.




They are rather fine.

Michael Mills said...

Masses of Prussian blue! Superb!

Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

A very fine job done by friend!


warpaintjj said...

Hi Paul, good looking Dragoons. My Calpe Dragoons go to the painters tomorrow, what blues are you guys using as there are some horror story attempts at Prussian Dragoon blue out there - please help!
Be good, Jeremy

John (VonBlucher) said...

Great looking units!!

I also hope life at home gets back to normal for both of you, and with your extended family.

paulalba said...

Superb figures by Craig
Thanks for the good wishes to my family and us Kurt and John, they are overwhelmed to hear of international support, nit so for their own government!

Hi Jeremy I can't speak for Craig colours so perhaps he will pop along and all soon and give you a break down of his colours. For my own dragoons I used a base coat of foundry Prussian blue highlight and the progressively lightened with GW enchanted blue. Trying to match it to a print I found online.

Craig said...

Hi Jeremy, For the Lithuanians I used a strong light blue, highlighted with pale blue. For the West Prussians I used flat blue, over a dark blue base. If you are using a service, try sending them a picture of what you like, and ask them to emulate the outcome, rather than specifying the inputs.

Gonsalvo said...

The Prussian Dragoons are among my favorites; curiously, I have the same two regiments in my army!

Yu have pretty wide latitude as to the color of their uniforms, anywhere from light blue to a deep medium blue, almost but not quite dark blue. I prefer royal to light blue myself, as otherwise they pretty much look like everything else in the Prussian Army aside from the Hussars! :-)

I hope things are improving for your family ion the Philippines, Paul.