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Perry Miniatures - Napoleonic British Light Dragoons 1808-15


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So, let's have a go at something a little different I thought, a little challenging perhaps...

 

Now Napoleonic Armies have always had a special interest for me but scared me to death with the intricacies of the uniforms. So what better challenge could there possibly be? Inevitably I stumbled across these chaps on the E of the Bay

 

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They looked as though they had everything I would need to be able to assemble and paint a representative force for the display cabinet (I'm not a wargamer but I do like 28mm scale figures) However, when I opened the box I found myself still a little confused so after many hours on T'internet researching the subject I treated myself to a book to help. I bought "An Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Uniforms of the Napoleonic Wars" by Digby Smith. It's a good basic ground work with good clear illustrations and discussions of the uniforms. 

 

This helped me to identify the options I wanted to model. 

 

I decided I wanted to depict a regiment at the beginning of the period allowing my chaps to wear the dashing Tarleton helmet and I wanted them to be in breeches rather than campaign grey overalls. Much smarter!

 

So here is something that I wish I had before I started. An analysis of the parts on the "Trooper Sprue"

 

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The other reason for choosing the early period was the much simpler "Tolman" tunic which has a lot less braid. There is also an option for Regiments serving on warmer climes the "Tropical Tin Helmet" was used. The horses are very straightforward and yet quiet clever. You get a sprue with three left sides and three right sides and you can combine any left with any right which (if my fingers and thumbs don't deceive me) gives you nine different horse poses. There is also a command sprue which gives you two figures and two horses. So with four lots of three (hosses and doods) gives a total of fourteen figures. Quite enough to be going on with.

 

So I have assembled the first three troopers and horses and here is one of them. Needs a little bit of seem smoothing but otherwise pretty good in this cruel close up (remember the soldier stands at about 3cm tall.

 

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Don't expect daily updates on here. I have lost my modelling bench to my son and daughter-in-law between residences and this is being done on my work desk in the front room which the Fun Police Officer insists is tidied away each evening. Tally ho.

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I have one thing I dislike in Wargames figures and these little chaps are also the targets of my ire. What is this terrible irritant that causes me a disruption of my humours?

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The big clumps of moulded "grass" (ringed in yellow) required to give the horse some strength to survive the handling that is required of Wargames figures. So I will cut that off, but to restore the rigidity I will drill the base and use a short piece of 0.5mm brass wire.

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And then cut it flush with the base

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Much better once there is a little static grass on the base the brass wire will be almost invisible.

 

Three done

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Another 12 to do, I think it's worth doing.

 

As you can see these are rather lovely sculpts with nicely animated horses and clever design to give nine different poses. 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

So, the hosses are done (well barring the two on the "Officer Sprue" which I have left for now). 

 

I primed them using Liquitex Black Gesso. I like Gesso on figures it shrinks as it dries, grips well to plastic, resins and metals and leaves a slight "tooth" to the surface which takes acrylic paint well. I have decided to try the new fangled "Zenithal Highlighting" and a combination of GW Contrast and Vallejo Xpress colours on these.

 

So first a "damp" brush of a medium grey to leave the black in only the deepest of crevices and the underneath of the figure.

 

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This is more usually done with an airbrush but I'm not going to be allowed to use that in the front room without experiencing extreme physical intimidation or divorce (probably both - Fun Police Enforcement Section)!

 

After the grey, I drybrush with white

 

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Next step will be various shades of brown. I believe that the horses of Light Dragoons were principally Bays and Chestnuts though the Trumpeters rode greys? 

 

The theory is that the highlighting will exaggerate the action of the contrast paints. 

 

More when we have it.

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Hello Rumblestripe

 

Your posting got me to look up my references on the British Light Dragoons.

 

There was a uniform change in 1812 which saw the Light Dragoons move from the braided Dolman and Tarleton helmet to the Shako and plainer jacket.  There should have been a separate reference sheet with that box and I am wondering if that was missing? Which, of course, would have helped you a lot. That said uniform changes do not happen overnight, even more so in the early 1800s and my Osprey refers to an officer wearing his Tarleton in 1814.  With the caveat that officers had some leeway on their uniforms, you could well argue your figures are transitional if any one asks and dare them to disprove it! I hope this is of some help.

 

(As an aside apparently Wellington disliked the new uniforms as it made them look too ‘French’)

 

 

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Ah thank you @Bagpuss64 you are of course right. I have misread/misinterpretted the reference sheet. Fortunately I only assembled a single trooper so I can correct my mistake. I will go for the full early uniform or perhaps as you suggest the 1812/transitional uniform with the Tarleton which the regiments only gave up reluctantly. Anyway I have been making progress with the horses.

 

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I have used the new Vallejo Xpress Color (sic) paints. There are presently only three "browns" to whit "Dwarf Skin", "Copper Brown" and "Wasteland Brown" in the range, but as horses do not come in uniform colours I have mixed them together and added drops of green and yellow to give a varied result so that each hoss is a slightly different base hue. I'm quite pleased with how they have come out. The paints have dried completely matt (which GW Contrast paints and Army Painter Speed Paints do not always do, though as I finish with a coat of Matt varnish that is academic). They are, of course, not finished, I will pick out tails and manes in darker and lighter colours as I see fit and perhaps add the odd sock or two. Then we start on the tack and other gubbins. Not sure if I will persist with Xpress/Contrast paints throughout the project, we shall see.

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1 hour ago, Rumblestripe said:

Ah thank you @Bagpuss64 you are of course right. I have misread/misinterpretted the reference sheet. Fortunately I only assembled a single trooper so I can correct my mistake. I will go for the full early uniform or perhaps as you suggest the 1812/transitional uniform with the Tarleton which the regiments only gave up reluctantly. Anyway I have been making progress with the horses.

 

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I have used the new Vallejo Xpress Color (sic) paints. There are presently only three "browns" to whit "Dwarf Skin", "Copper Brown" and "Wasteland Brown" in the range, but as horses do not come in uniform colours I have mixed them together and added drops of green and yellow to give a varied result so that each hoss is a slightly different base hue. I'm quite pleased with how they have come out. The paints have dried completely matt (which GW Contrast paints and Army Painter Speed Paints do not always do, though as I finish with a coat of Matt varnish that is academic). They are, of course, not finished, I will pick out tails and manes in darker and lighter colours as I see fit and perhaps add the odd sock or two. Then we start on the tack and other gubbins. Not sure if I will persist with Xpress/Contrast paints throughout the project, we shall see.

Excellent  work   with  the details  and shading  - really makes  the  horses  pop.

 

Erk.

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Hurrah! I have a solution to my (self inflicted) uniform quandary. When I looked closely at the back of the box there is an example of just the combination I had created. The 12th Regiment (Prince of Wales') "Late Peninsula War uniform" the later "French Style" coat with the Tarleton helmet. So I'm guessing that being out there they were able to replace their worn out Dolman jackets with the new issue and hung onto their lovely Tarletons. This chap has his campaign overalls but I assume that they would still have their breeches. Well mine do...

 

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1 hour ago, ERK said:

Is  there a  particular  battle  or  even  time  frame of  a  battle   you  are  basing them  on?

 

Erk.

No. They are the first British Napoleonic figures I have had a go at. I have a (nearly complete) unit of Perry's Russian Infantry and an unopened box of Russian Uhlans. Then there are some Dad's Army figures a unit of Zulu War British Infantry. I'm not a wargamer so my figure collecting and painting is just what takes my fancy. For example these from the SF & Real Space Forum

Pratchett's Figurines - Ready for Inspection - SF & RealSpace - Britmodeller.com

 

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12 minutes ago, Rumblestripe said:

No. They are the first British Napoleonic figures I have had a go at. I have a (nearly complete) unit of Perry's Russian Infantry and an unopened box of Russian Uhlans. Then there are some Dad's Army figures a unit of Zulu War British Infantry. I'm not a wargamer so my figure collecting and painting is just what takes my fancy. For example these from the SF & Real Space Forum

Pratchett's Figurines - Ready for Inspection - SF & RealSpace - Britmodeller.com

 

I asked  because  I am  building a  dio  in the  same scale,  and  its  a  very specific event and  even  time  frame   from the  battle of Waterloo.

Sometimes  a  dio  takes  a  lot of research  and reading up  -  part  of  the  interest  in the  build.

 

Erk.

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21 minutes ago, ERK said:

I asked  because  I am  building a  dio  in the  same scale,  and  its  a  very specific event and  even  time  frame   from the  battle of Waterloo.

Sometimes  a  dio  takes  a  lot of research  and reading up  -  part  of  the  interest  in the  build.

 

Erk.

You're right there, you've made yourself a lot of work to do! Not least the research. As I found out for myself even with my "flexible" approach to timescales there are pitfalls a plenty in this. Previously my butterfly mind took me down the path to build a Sherman tank. Oh boy I thought that was surprisingly complex! Nothing compared to Napoleonic uniforms though. At least when I painted the Pratchett figures no one could tell me that in The Year of the Dancing Lobster the Watch only wore blue jerkins with leather breeches!

 

Good luck with your dio, hope to see it up here one day.

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1 hour ago, Rumblestripe said:

You're right there, you've made yourself a lot of work to do! Not least the research. As I found out for myself even with my "flexible" approach to timescales there are pitfalls a plenty in this. Previously my butterfly mind took me down the path to build a Sherman tank. Oh boy I thought that was surprisingly complex! Nothing compared to Napoleonic uniforms though. At least when I painted the Pratchett figures no one could tell me that in The Year of the Dancing Lobster the Watch only wore blue jerkins with leather breeches!

 

Good luck with your dio, hope to see it up here one day.

You might find  these  plates  useful  (I do)     quite  accurate aswel   -   http://centjours.mont-saint-jean.com/detail_uniformes_uniteBR.php?rubrique=U&uniformes=112&drapeau=

 

Erk.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Horses nearly finished

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I'm very happy with them. The detail on the saddlery was added with a mixture of contrast paints for the black leather and the blue of the trim everything else is picked out in Vallejo Acrylics some drybrushing on the sheepskin. Half of the horses now at this stage the rest are due to get their tack sorted shortly.

Edited by Rumblestripe
Premature posting! Ooopsy
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