Friday, 19 April 2013

Brunswickers of 1815

I have no idea why one of my favorite armies of the Napoleonic era is that of the Duchy of Brunswick.  Because the Duke with his absolute hatred of Napoleon who dies while in battle? The all black uniform in amongst the gaudy plumage? The complete mini-army of infantry-cavalry-artillery in perfect portions for the collector? Their death-head badge?  Because I primer in black and so really fast and easy to paint?  All these reasons perhaps.

Nevertheless, I have done the army several times (don't ask why they were sold each time....) and this time I used plastics.  But there are no plastic Brunswickers in 28mm you say?  Well, true, but if there is a will, there is a way.

My way was to use Perry British, shaving off the cuff lace and cross belt badge. I cut off the pack roll and replaced with the distinctive canteen made from cut sprue tabs! - These were part of trade which I obtained Victrix bicorne heads and the gentleman included the sprues to which they were attached and these proved to be of perfect length and diameter.  Never throw any plastic bits away!

The Perry Austrian officer headdress were the best part as the Brunswick Line infantry shako was not of French shape. Some sources suggest a kiwer concave design but likely more bell shaped. (thanks for those, Seth!)  The shako was formed by shaving off the cockade and raised rear flap, and scrunching up the oakleaf and pompom with pliers into a plume shape!

Brunswick Line Infantry on the tabletop

The Brunswick Advance Guard Lights were similar in working but with a modified Austrian corsehut headgear
Unfortunately with the formation scale I am using for the campaign I cannot represent all the regiments but the plastic hussars I have already modeled having used the horsehair from the portion cut off those dragoon helmets used in the creation of the French line lancers and glued onto the hussar's shako to create that distinctive look (soon to be painted)

Showing the canteen on the pack. This rear angle also shows the 7mm die in situ and the space left on the back of the base for the commanders label to be attached.

I must like the Brunswickers as they will be the first Allied contingents to be completed!


  1. I like your "Black" Brunswickers quite alot!

    1. Thank you Jonathan. To get 'depth' to the figure, I highlight, even on black using a kind of charcoal, darker for the black cloth, lighter for the belts and buttons. You can create your own by adding a flesh color to your black to get the shade you like. Yup, a dark pink or beige tint mixed in, when put on black is more natural than straight gray.

  2. I like black - not the easiest to paint, but you've pulled it off excellently. As far as the poor Duke, a romantically tragic figure? Best, Dean

    1. Thanks Dean.
      History, like art, is in the eye of the beholder. The Duke of Brunswick is either the romantic figure struggling against a foreign despot, and so clothing his troops in black to symbolize the loss. Or a reactionary aristocrat unable to come to grips with the changing landscape of Europe as Napoleon tries to unify the disparate micro-states held by antiquated rulers into nations. Your choice.... :-)

      And either way, he did pay for the belief with his life, and some may argue, in no small measure leading in a battle which lead to Napoleon's ultimate defeat

  3. Hi, last week I got a first glimpse on your page and I was amazed about the way you remodelled the British using Austrian elements. Great! Last weekend I started with 2 Avant Garde Minis and it worked out! For some reason I also don't know I am keen on Brunswickers and plan a Brunswick Waterloo Army. At least one and a half Batallion will be made out of reworked Brits! One Line and the Rifles of the Avant Garde. Your post is really inspiring! Some details I will have to change, e.g. the handling of the canteens... however... GREAT IDEA! I don't know how to handle the Hussars, especially concerning the horse garment...

    1. I like the creative aspect of the hobby and happy that you think it inspiring.
      I did the hussars (link:
      cheating on the saddlecloth to a large degree but did the same for my Russian hussars
      (see: using not even Napoleonic but medieval horses! That might be one idea, the other to use real cloth soaked in glue and draped over the horse. That would be tricky but effective. However, the thought that the cavalry would not want to dirty their expensive cloth with clods of mud, but suggest they placed them aside for the victory parade and went on campaign with the minimum of saddle. The Perry British Light Dragoon plastics are portrayed in this way to good effect.

      Again, glad that I may have inspired you in your hobby endeavours.