I'm now trying to make a bit of progress on the painting front, after some weeks' interruption. Yesterday I completed a painted test figure for the 7th Light Battalion (Günter), circa 1809. The casting is one of the old 20mm figures which were formerly made in Germany under the trade name of Falcon, and which are now on sale again from Hagen. I like them. My current plan is that my Bavarian light infantry will be pretty much built from Falcons.
|Skirmisher from the Light Battalion Günter - seems OK|
I have become a firm believer in the value of producing a test figure for each painting batch - it's useful for deciding on shades (the sky blue collar here is a second attempt - I finished up using Foundry's Tomb Blue, which is much lighter than my first guess), and for identifying which paints to use, and in what order - and I then set the pots out in a row in my workbox (I don't always use the same logic - in my recent work using Der Kriegsspieler line infantry castings I have been painting the lapels and cuffs before the main coat colour, which to me seems unnatural, but it helps to preserve the rather sparse cast detail as long as possible - horses for courses). I also get a chance to find out which are the tricky bits. I think this chap shouldn't really have a moustache, by the way, but - hey - they're on campaign. He will be one of the 6 skirmishing figures included in the battalion.
|Hinton Hunt BVN 44 - this picture is pinched from Stryker - I hope he doesn't mind. It |
shows rather nicely the mysterious object under the trooper's right arm, which isn't a
sling but points down towards his carbine
Yesterday I also finally worked out what has been something of a puzzle. The time is coming when I'll have to start producing some Bavarian cavalry, and initially I'll be using Hinton Hunt's OPC Chevauxleger (BVN 44) as the mainstay of this. Work has been going on in the background, converting some of these to produce command figures (results should appear here eventually), and even some dragoons, and in the course of this I became interested in a mysterious object in the HH casting. Between the lower right breast of the trooper and somewhere near the muzzle of his carbine there is a straight, narrow object which I took to be part of the suspension system for the carbine, but study of uniform plates and so on indicates that it obviously isn't. I asked a number of knowledgeable people about the object, and did an amount of poking around before I came up with this plate by Knoetel, which is a definite clue.
I now have a proper answer. Sometime after the Rumford uniforms were scrapped, the Bavarian cavalry were supplied with a new, steel ramrod for the carbine - this had a loop on one end, and was suspended from a leather thong which was fastened to the stud which secured the two parts of the leather carbine sling. So Marcus was correct (I never doubted it) - the ramrod just dangled from the carbine bandolier. So now I know.
The Bavarians were beset by things which dangled, apparently - the badge of rank of the Unteroffizier was a cane of office, which had a wrist strap. The cavalry used to hang this next to the sabre when mounted, but in everyday dress it was correct for the cane to be suspended from the upper section of crossbelt for the cartridge pouch, so that would be swinging about too. I assume these gentlemen used to sit down very carefully.