Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Taxis Cuirassier

Although I may not make the Seven Years War Convention in Southbend this year, my goal has been to paint a unit of 28mm Bavarians each year for the convention. I do not play in 28mm but was inspired by pictures of Bill Protz's war games. The opportunity to play in last years "Bring your own Battalion" BAR game with Bill and other bloggers of note was too much to pass up. So looking around the web I decided auxiliary corp Bavarians would be my contribution to the game. Looking back, Reichsarmee Bavarians might have been a better choice as Mr. Protz fields the French but I liked infantry regiment (IR)-Kurprinz's uniforms.

So long story short, I painted up a battalion headed to the convention and watched my battalion get wiped out on turn 2 by "those dreaded black hussars". I immediately vowed that next years unit must be some cavalry to protect my precious battalion.

I began researching Bavarian cavalry and soon discovered that all of the Bavarian cavalry remained on peace time establishments and did not take the field in battle. Oh well, wrong infantry why not incorrect cavalry to match, so for this year's unit I selected Taxis Cuirassiers. A Bavarian cavalry regiment consisted of 9 companies of 38 men divided into 3 squads or 114 men per squad in BAR 1:10 man ratio that is 12 figs for a cavalry squad.
For Christmas I was given a box of Crusader Austrian Cuirassiers, thank you sister. To the left are a series of pictures of my first Taxis Cuirassier trooper. I also received a new digital camera for Christmas and have not gotten the hang of it yet so the pictures are a bit dark.

I checked some on-line resources and decided the red horse furniture and white coats would make a nice contrast to my blue infantry. I have developed a couple of new techniques over the year in painting and will share them here.
I have discovered that I like to highlight black with a dark gray-green color. I have tried different grays and blue in the past but find that the green really works for me. You might try it and see what you think.
I have also started painting white with a first coat of a reddish brown, followed by a taupe and then a creamy white, this gives the effect of a slightly worn white coat. The cream color makes a nice contrast to the stark white straps.

I am still crap at painting red, but I probably always will be. I paint gray in the areas for the red first, this makes the red brighter but I have not figured out how to make a nice highlight. I have experimented with oranges and adding white but neither works to my taste.
A final note, the build of the trooper is a bit slighter than the build of the infantry and I think this makes him look more proportional, although he does have a very square jaw and shallow face making him look quite a bit like former Pittsburgh Steelers Football coach Bill Cowher.
I have enjoyed painting this fig and look forward to painting up the entire unit. I took a little artistic license on the lapels making them entirely blue as opposed to just lined with blue. One thing that did strike me as odd about the figure was the amount of flashing between the horses' front legs. I had to remove quite a bit and if you look it is pretty messy. Other than that it is a pretty good looking model. Perhaps one day this valiant Bavarian trooper will teach those dastardly hussars a lesson.
Thanks for stopping by. Next up some 15mm Old Glory Cavenderi battalions and when my rules arrive a review of Kriegkunst (General de Brigades, SYW rules).