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Miscellaneous Napoleonic Cavalry

Posted by Bessiere on 31 Dec 2023, 02:19

Seeing your display case has given me a case of envy K.B. Got me thinking how nice it would be to have a display case with one from every Russian Hussar unit. Also the French Imperial Guard with one figure for each unit type. I'm also curious if any collector would pay for something special. Probably never get around to it but will definitely be dreaming about it for sure. Thanks for some inspiration!
Cheers,
Bessiere
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Posted by k.b. on 17 Jan 2024, 02:01

Got my minis from Hannants while back in England over Christmas and must say I was intrigued to see the French Cuirassiers and Old Guard Grenadiers had been produced in brown plastic as opposed to their original blue. And the quality seems better than ever. Next day delivery too. Terrific!.
The Russian Hussars and Kuirassiers are in their old light grey but their quality was also better ….no broken legs, swords, lances, almost no flash at all and the mould lines are almost imperceptible. I need to say a big thanks to you Bessiere for your tip as to where I could still get my hands on the Russian Hussars. And to think there are 18 cavalrymen and mounts per box ……. What stupendous value for money in this day and age.
Ps/ My dilemma now is should I convert some of them and create a sizeable varied regiment or continue painting between 3-6 figures of the different Russian regiments. Let’s see over the coming weeks…..
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Posted by Bessiere on 17 Jan 2024, 17:26

I snapped up several of the same sets along with a bunch of HaT reissues like French Guard chasseurs, Middle Guard, Voltigeurs and Russian militia. I'd say we both had a great Christmas. I'm sitting on 5 boxes of Russian hussars. I must have big plans I don't know about.
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Bessiere
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Posted by k.b. on 25 Jan 2024, 14:28

It has been a while since i posted any photos here so i thought a few of my workbench might be of interest because unfortunately i haven't finished any figures for at least a month.

First up are some Franznap dismounted French Hussars that were painted some considerable time ago but as i never got their horses finished (or even their pelisses, to tell the truth), i never posted any piccies of them. Still need to paint their buttons and varnish them. The good news there is that i will soon have my hands on some AK ultra matt varnish and i can't wait to see what a difference it's gonna make to the finished figures.These lads look as if they'll need a dust down before i add any varnish.
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Actually there is a Franznap horse almost finished (second from right) and he doesn't look too bad compared to the Zvezda horses which really set the bar so high. I would say that the animation of the Franznap horses and the sheer variety of poses is second to none and partly offsets their weak points - namely their eyes, fetlocks and hooves and very shallow details which, looking at this photo, appears to be partially disguisable with a decent paintjob.
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These two chaps are nearing completion so here's a close up;
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.......only now have i noticed they also need a good dusting.....
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Posted by Peter on 26 Jan 2024, 16:29

Nice work in progress Keith! :thumbup:
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Posted by k.b. on 16 Feb 2024, 13:01

It has been a while since I posted anything here so here goes with my latest 1/72 additions. Just finished these 6 Cossack horses which i painted using variations of the same palette. First I base coated in Humbrol Matt White. The following day, added a thin coat of Yellow Ochre and set aside to dry thoroughly. Once dry worked wet on wet using Vandyke Brown, Burnt Sienna, Mars Orange, Jaune Brillant and Naples Yellow Light (all W&N oil paints). And this is what you get........

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Now I am faced with a new dilemma.......should i varnish them with my AK Ultra Matt Varnish or not?
It kinda breaks my heart to do so as the thing i love most about painting horses in oils is the beautiful sheen it gives when dry. That sheen may be very realistic when the horses are on the parade ground but after a week or so on campaign i feel sure that the sheen disappears and their coats become very drab which suggests that a matt finish may be more appropriate. Methinks the best solution is to varnish one or two and then decide.

Ps/See next post because these horses need around a week to fully dry.
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Posted by MikeRC97 on 17 Feb 2024, 17:57

k.b. are these the Zvezda Lifeguard Cossacks? If so, what is your opinion of the figures in this set? The PSR review was negative about the figures but I don't see anything wrong with them.
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Posted by k.b. on 17 Feb 2024, 18:36

Hello Mike........ thanks for the interest and feedback. In all honesty these Zvezda (originally Italeri to be absolutely honest), Cossacks really are some of the poorest offerings put out by both Zvezda and Italeri. The sculpting is shallow, the plastic is awful in some boxes (very smooth with little surface detail), the detail itself is vague and the fit between rider and horse is often very poor. To be specific the horses are a fraction oversize for their riders. As such we need to work away with a sharp knife/scalpel at the saddle area and where the figure sits which is both time-consuming and i'd even go as far as to say, dangerous work. I have definitely cut myself at least twice while trying to get a better fit between the horse and rider.
Saying that, it's not all negative. I actually love the poses of the cossacks and indeed the horses. Two troops carrying lances, two curved sabres, one firing a pistol and a trumpeter and an officer (sadly imho the poorest figure in the set, as indeed, is his horse). I would dearly have liked to see one extra horse pose in the box but in fairness they are far from being difficult horses to paint. And they look great in a full charge. I intend in the future to use one or two horses from other periods to add a little extra variety, in particular from the American Civil War period as i have seen beautiful and convincing artwork showing leather bags on either side of the Cossack horses.
Furthermore, the riders themselves are not too hard to convert, twisting arms slightly, adds some nice subtle variations. The same can be done with some heads which when pinned at a new angle, add even more realism to the charge.
Ps/ if you look back at previous pages on this thread you will see i have used a lot of Cossacks in different shapes and colours and there are more to come shortly.
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Posted by MikeRC97 on 17 Feb 2024, 19:21

Thank you for the info.

BTW - I had a bad experience with a rattle can varnish once and after that I never varnish. I always pick up my figures by their bases so it's not an issue. I wouldn't worry about it unless you expect the figures to be handled a lot.
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Posted by PatrickJ71 on 18 Feb 2024, 12:03

Hello k.b.
That's another nice line-up of different units and different manufacturers on your painting table. I can't wait to see them finished.
Regarding the question of whether or not to matt varnish the horses. I have also asked myself whether it would not be better to let the horses retain some of their silk gloss. For the time being I also finish them with AK ultra-matt varnish and so far I am satisfied with it, although I think that, for example, giving the eyes a glossy touch and giving the horses a satin finish can be an added value in some cases (e.g. on parade).
Thanks for sharing and keep them coming.
Patrick
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Posted by k.b. on 18 Feb 2024, 22:01

PatrickJ71 wrote:Hello k.b.
Regarding the question of whether or not to matt varnish the horses. I have also asked myself whether it would not be better to let the horses retain some of their silk gloss. For the time being I also finish them with AK ultra-matt varnish and so far I am satisfied with it, although I think that, for example, giving the eyes a glossy touch and giving the horses a satin finish can be an added value in some cases (e.g. on parade).
Patrick


The idea of gloss varnish in the horses eyes has been a technique that larger scale artists have used for quite some time. I have my doubts in the smaller scales but nothing to be lost by experimenting ….. let’s see when I finish Uxbridge to finish the trio of Perry’s pack. I’ll give it a try and let’s see how it works.
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Posted by MABO on 19 Feb 2024, 09:01

I like your great collection of painted Napoleonic cavalry from different nations and I am sure the Cossacks will be a great addition. But I remember painting them myself in former times. The shallow sculpting is really a downer.
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Posted by Bessiere on 19 Feb 2024, 12:35

K.B allow me to say that I have the highest regard for your work ethic. I never hear you worry about finishing x-number of units. You take them one at a time and do the best possible job on each one. I for one certainly appreciate that attitude and the results you get. I've used gloss paints on horses eyes and was pleased with the results but it does seem to get lost in all the other details. I just spent the last month on a dozen 3d printed french hussars and even though the equipment on them isn't quite accurate I still had fun with them. I don't think I'm as committed as you since I haven't pulled out the oil paints knowing full well the results would be better. I used to paint 50 years ago but got soured on having to wait for it to dry. Feeling ancient these days! well keep plugging away sir and know you always have a cheering section with me.
Cheers
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Posted by k.b. on 20 Feb 2024, 07:12

Thanks a lot Bessiere for your kind comments and comprehension. Sounds like you comprehend me better than my wife! Truth is, because of the medium I use, the limited time I have available and the fact that my hobby is only a pastime that I use:
i) to keep me away from the psychologist
ii) to meditate in, surrounded by little soldiers from whom I derive immense pleasure in painting to the best of my abilities
iii) to keep me out of mischief
As such I don’t set myself goals, I am constantly moving from one figure to the next. At any one time I am probably painting 20-50 figures allowing paint/varnish to dry + procrastination, so one minute I have loads of incomplete minis, the next (give or take a few weeks or months) I have a batch of finished figures. Admittedly I have a tendency to start prepping new minis before I finish the ones nearing completion. But I suppose, it’s just who I am. I do pray to God that he will give me another 10-20 years to be able to finish painting my favourite minis and get them all based up.
And in those prayers I also ask the Almighty to intervene and that all the madness and violence that surrounds us can one day be resolved by intelligent dialogue between well intentioned human beings but sadly, of the latter, I’m not so optimistic.
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Posted by k.b. on 29 Feb 2024, 15:24

Unsure of the English name for this cossack regiment so any help would be greatly appreciated.
I finished these riders a few days ago and at the weekend hope to get them based.
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Posted by Bessiere on 03 Mar 2024, 16:39

Your cossacks look stunning as always and despite much looking in to their history I can't recall any white uniforms among them but I limit my research to Napoleonic period only and it's quite likely a later unit used such colors. I'll look through my books and see what I can find.
Cheers,
Bessiere
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Posted by MABO on 03 Mar 2024, 20:17

I like them as well, but like Bessiere, I would like to know more about the history of the Cossacks you have painted.
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Posted by Bessiere on 04 Mar 2024, 03:59

The blue both dark and light were common to many Cossack pulks. Still can't find any with white though,
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Posted by k.b. on 04 Mar 2024, 11:15

Hi Bessiere,
Thank you for the interest and your comments which are always appreciated.
These are the references i based my minis on - unfortunately my computer skills or my keyboard don't allow me to type in Russian, so i can't even give you a name (in English)
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As you can see from the second picture there is a date which puts them in the Napoleonic era, but i have read a lot of information regarding the word cossacks and maybe these chaps were considered irregular cavalry and not cossacks - although they certainly look like cossacks.
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Posted by k.b. on 04 Mar 2024, 13:59

Ah….i forgot to send you a couple of interesting sites regarding the Cossacks of the Napoleonic era. Not sure if you know them but here goes.
http://napoleonistyka.atspace.com/cossa ... ir_tactics
And
http://marksrussianmilitaryhistory.info ... n1812.html
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