As discussed last time, I’ve recently decided to rekindle my painting and wargaming mojo. I’d grown slightly tired (for the time being) of the tedium of bold colours, facings, buttons, lace, cross-belts and shakos of the Napoleonic Wars, so have renewed my enthusiasm with the TOTALLY different bold colours, facings, buttons, lace, cross-belts and tricorns of the Seven Years War…
My Seven Years War collection last saw the light of day in 1997 and has since then lain forgotten and unloved in the darkest crypts of Fawr Towers. One of the steel toolboxes used to store the little chaps had even rusted shut! However, I’ve been rummaging through the old boxes, repairing bits and pieces, replacing the odd flag and photographing some of the best units in some rare November sunshine. So here are some of my Prussians, starting with the man himself, Fred the Big…
Fred and his staff are produced by Lancashire Games and I really do like them. These are probably the last remnants of Lancashire Games’ original range of figures, which I seem to remember was originally produced by another company. The mounted staff and background infantry are Old Glory 15s figures, which are now sold in the UK by Timecast.
Oh and note that I was still using gloss-varnish and painting my own flags in those days, as well as painting the bases old-skool green, dry-brushed yellow… I was just starting to change my basing-style in 1997, so the last regiments to be painted were among the first to use my current basing-style of dark earth, dry-brushed sand and patchily flocked with Woodland Scenics’ ‘Blended Turf’.
These figures were very slender and ‘anatomically-realistic’, though that sadly made them very prone to breakages and aside from Fred and his friends they were all ditched from the range. They fit really well with other ‘slender’ 15mm ranges such as Freikorps. The Lancashire SYW range was remodelled in the late 90s to be MUCH chunkier (though strangely, no less prone to breaking at the ankles). I still have quite a few regiments of both Prussian and Austrian ‘Mk 1’ Lancashire Games figures, though they do look distinctly weedy when standing next to their ‘Mk2’ Lancashire Games and Old Glory brethren.
The mounted officers standing behind Fred’s group are the Duke of Brunswick-Bevern (wearing the rose-pink facings of his regiment, Infantry Regiment #7 ‘Alt-Bevern’) and Prince Moritz of Anhalt-Dessau (wearing the regimental uniform of Infantry Regiment #22 ‘Prinz Moritz’). There was no prescribed uniform for general officers in the Prussian Army of this era, so generals always wore a version of the regiment to which they were appointed as Chef (i.e. colonel-in-chief/proprietor). Fred’s own uniform was the simple ‘field’ version of Infantry Regiment #15 Garde.
A Flügeladjutant of the King’s staff (dressed in white with red facings, yellow small-clothes and silver lace) is interrupted by a Feldpost postillion, who has an urgent dispatch for the King. Again these are Old Glory 15s figures. The Flügeladjutant figure is one of Old Glory’s legendary ‘comedy figures’, having a hussar boot on one leg (here covered up by black paint) and a heavy cavalry boot on the other… Though not as amusing as the Napoleonic French Hussar ADC figure with a third hand sticking out of one of his pelisse arms… 🙂
Also standing behind the King is the veteran Berlin Correspondent for The Times, Sir Timothy Paget. Knighted for his services to journalism and comedy following our War of Austrian Succession campaign, his battle reports and other musings from the courts of European royalty were the stuff of legend, though won him as many enemies as admirers… Gareth Beamish created him from an Old Glory officer figure and he would roam campaign games at will, conducting interviews with the participants. While he could never be deliberately targeted, Mr Paget could frequently be found at the receiving end of an ‘accidental’ bounce-through or cavalry charge… Subsequently denied a peerage due to a Times editorial comparing the Duke of Cumberland with the eponymous sausage, he has now returned to Europe to document the coming war and to insult the nobility of Europe once again…
Above: Here is Frederick the Great’s premier hussar general, General Hans Joachim von Zieten wearing the ‘gala’ version of his regimental dress for Hussar Regiment #2 ‘Zieten’ (aka Leib or ‘Red’ Hussars).
This spectacular gala uniform included a leopard-skin cloak, eagle-wing plume and very natty yellow boots. This version of dress would not have been worn on campaign, but it does look spectacular and I’m glad that Old Glory included a figure of Zieten wearing his finest clobber! 🙂
Above: Here is Fred’s great heavy cavalry leader and reformer, General Friedrich Wilhelm von Seydlitz. Again, this is a figure by Old glory 15s and is based on the famous Richard Knoetel print of Seydlitz hailing a cab.
Seydlitz actually started the Severn Years War as the mere colonel of Cuirassier Regiment #8 ‘Rochow’ (which became the ‘Seydlitz’ Cuirassiers in 1757), though quickly proved his mettle as a superb cavalry leader, particularly at the Battle of Kolin in 1757, when he took command of General Krosigk’s cavalry brigade following Krosigk’s death and then threw back the Austrian pursuit force. Frederick promoted him to general’s rank on the spot and he rose meteorically to become the Inspector of Cavalry in only a few years.
Above: General Carl Ludwig von Normann was another of Fred’s heavy cavalry leaders. As Chef of Dragoon Regiment #1 ‘Normann’, he wears the light blue coat of a dragoon, with the black facings and gold lace of his regiment. Again, this is an Old Glory 15s figure. Note that Old Glory’s designer, having looked at the Osprey Book pictures but not read the text (he did that a lot…), added plumes to the Prussian Cuirassier and Dragoon figures, even though these were not a feature of Prussian uniform until just AFTER the Seven Years War (the Cuirassier pack also included a Garde du Corps officer figure in tabard, which again was a post-SYW uniform item). I clipped most of them off, but left them on Normann and Seydlitz, as it made them look a bit more ‘generalish’.
Above: This figure is a little anachronistic for the Seven Years War, as it’s meant to be Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Dessau (‘The Old Desauer’ and Prince Moritz’s dad) calling down divine retribution on the Saxons at the Battle of Kesselsdorf in 1745, during the Second Silesian War (part of the War of Austrian Succession). The Old Dessauer had been a superb infantry commander during the War of Spanish Succession, where he rose to command the Prussian contingent of the Allied army, leading them under Marlborough’s command at Blenheim. He then went on to train and modernise the Prussian infantry, forging it into a formidable weapon. His hard-won experience was to be of enormous value to the young King Frederick II during the Silesian Wars, though he died shortly after his greatest achievement at Kesselsdorf. Prince Moritz here is dressed in the uniform of his Infantry Regiment #3 ‘Alt-Dessau’, albeit of a slightly old-fashioned style.
Above: Prussian artillery prepares to fire. These are foot artillery; Fred did develop a single horse battery during the course of the Seven Years War, but I don’t have those yet (well, not until the post arrives from Eureka, anyway).
Above: I was obviously feeling keen when painting these gunners, as the officer is studying a plan of a the fortress he’s presumably bombarding… I’m not sure I can paint that sort of thing nowadays… 🙁
That’s it for now. I’ll show off the Prussian infantry next time! 🙂