Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Russian Hussars ...in plastic

Currently ( sigh )  there are not plastic Russian hussars on the market and metals are not light horse.  In my ever present desire to have plastic troops for light weight transport, I would need to create my own.  I have the riders from the Perrys French Hussars box.  The hussar is basically the same in every army in this era with only the headdress as a national distinction.  So with the addition of the kiwer, a Russian hussar could be made.  Then I hit a bit of a snag.  They did not use the wolf-teeth sheepskin saddle cloth of the French but rather the pointed cloth version.  Darn.  Hmm, well, scrape off all of that from the French horses?  Lots of work that and ugly if experience will suggest.  But the local store had a box of FireForge plastic medieval Mounted Sergeants.  Having seen the news items I thought the horses could be modified.
So out came the blade and the 'Green Stuff'.  The medieval saddle horn was removed and the GS used to create saddle rolls - blankets, greatcoats - to give the saddle area some substance. Would not the practical Russians put all the valuable saddlecloths and plumes away on campaign and just carry the necessities of a greatcoat slung over the haunches?  Well, mine are anyway.   While the troopers legs fit surprisingly quite well, these rolls also served to cover up any gaps.

Here is a close up of the saddle rolls (oh dear, with the big lens you certainly can see my horse scrapings from removing a bit of the "medieval-ness" of the saddle... I have subsequently primed them already so I hope my thick paint work will deal with that!)
Perry French hussar rider with Russian head and FireForge medieval (!) horse
You can see the variety of the leg positions from the six horse halves on the sprue of the FireForge plastics.  I had a tough time fitting the separate horse necks onto the combined body halves, and thus hope my thick paint style will cover most of these ills.  They certainly look bad at plus 12 magnification!

 I have also show a shot of the Perry horse and the FireForge example (it is a medieval horse represented)
Perry horse to the left, FireForge (medieval) horse to the right
The Perry sprue comes with one torso without a right arm to allow for a trumpeter or flag bearer.  I used this to create a lance which was used by some in the units of the Russian hussars.  I clipped off the eagle from the top and created a tip.  A bit too thick perhaps but with a pennon, should look the part.  I gave one per unit.
Russian hussar holding a lance - a really thick lance !
Finally we have a pack mule.
Why the mule? Well, as usual, I overestimated the amount of GS I would need.   However I ran out of time to employ it and so balled it up and tossed it in the freezer in a sealed plastic bag. By this point the GS had lost all of its stickiness anyway.  I had learned from reading about GS that freezing slowed the curing chemical process.  Being in the freezer for almost two days however, I was surprised that a short time in my fingers had warmed the ball once again into a fairly malleable state.

Useable now I  looked for something else to do with it as not to waste.  In this case, a had a previously primed mule and thought to add the rather large remainder as tied down items. I used string as the securing cords with watered down glue to make the string paintable.  Further GS 'overstocks' will doubtless be made into other mule's baggage items.

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