Wednesday, May 21, 2014

2014 Year of the Dragoon

There always seems to be more figures I'd like to paint than is humanly possible to complete. With my SYW and Imagi-nations project this is certainly true. What I've tried to do is strike some balance in playing games and the collecting/painting aspect. When I started this endeavor roughly 5 years ago I didn't know where it would take me and completion of large armies seemed very far off.  I did begin with infantry, and then some artillery. Next came cuirassiers and more infantry. Then more infantry again.  I'd even branched off to do some purely whimsical items such as the Candyland troops this year. But I've had a growing amount of unfinished cavalry growing in the background.

What cavalry? Well I took advantage of some sales from Sash & Saber some years back now and had some Prussian hussars put away. These were joined by some Minden hussars such that I have nine 12 figure squadrons primered and waiting. I even have some RSM Austrian hussars. I became interested in Eureka Saxons and picked up a number of that cavalry, including several squadrons in dismounted poses. I'd also purchased Minden dragoons for both Prussia and Austria during this time. More recently for SYW in India I have some Indus Miniatures figures and some additional on order.

But I digress from the point of this posting- Year of the Dragoon. My plan on completing (if that word can be used) Prussian and Austrian armies is to work from the heaviest cavalry down to light cavalry. With that goal and a decent number of cuirassier completed, I needed to move on to dragoons. I decided to start with the Mindens in my collection since they are a joy to paint and represent the lion's share of my SYW collection.

So far this year, I began with the Austrian dragoons, with my take on Liechtenstein, Hessen-Darmstadt, and Württemberg squadrons. I have less Austrian dragoons from Minden, as I plan to make up the different with the Saxon Chevauxleger from Eureka in some future painting. Most recently I've painted up Prussian Truchseß, Bayreuth, Langermann, Württemberg, and Oertzen squadrons. I will confess to painting based on uniform appeal, far more than any desire to recreate a specific theatre of the war.

All writing aside, I know most people come to blogs for the pictures. Here's the Austrians:

I'm a plain basing kind of guy. This is simply a 2:1 blend of Woodland Scenics Burnt Turf to Green Turf. Eventually...maybe...I'll revisit my entire collection and upgrade it consistently in one go.

For now, and my purposes in games, it matches up close enough with my new ground cloth. That’s an olive colored 6 foot by 8.5 yard length of felt cloth shown here.

On to the Prussians, who were finished up this week.

All banners for the dragoons were the DPC flags, as their RSM figures very closely match the size of Mindens, and they sold several units worth of flags on one page. That worked for me because at time of purchase I was still deciding what units to paint!! I may yet upgrade to some fancier flags (GMB or Flag Dude) in the future.

Here's all 8 units:
I'm gonna need a bigger battlefield! No, I don't game on that. It's just a mock up so I could see how these units would look on the base ground cloth. I think it's close enough.

Now while we're almost officially half done with 2014, I'm not finished with "Year of the Dragoon". I've got some dismounted RSM Prussian dragoons to paint up as stand ins for the mounted Mindens.  I've also got all the Saxon Chevauxleger and other various Saxon cavalry.

It looks like 2015 will have to be "Year of the Hussar".