Thursday, September 20, 2018

The Best von Zieten Ever Made

Prussian Lt. General Hans Joachim von Zieten - Minden Miniatures - by Richard Ansell

One of the strengths of the Minden and Fife & Drum figure ranges are the individual "personality" figures that Richard Ansell has sculpted over the years. Each figure is different and they demonstrate Richard's master sculpting skills at their finest.

Afew years ago Richard Ansell sculpted a special figure as a commission for one of our Minden customers and that figure was of the Prussian cavalry general Hans Joachim von Zieten.

The customer provided us with the following piece of artwork for Richard to create his version of von Zieten:

From there, Richard sculpted the following Zieten figure and a special one-off horse for the rider:

Zieten green by Richard Ansell
I think that Richard did a superb job of rendering a model that is faithful to the portrait that provided the inspiration for the commission. The animation of both the rider and horse are second to none. The detail on the horse furniture (reins, shabraque, etc.) are amazing to behold and the pictures pale in comparison to holding the actual figures in your hands.

I know that I am biased, but I truly believe that nobody is better at sculpting horses than Richard Ansell. I get inquiries from other companies about the Minden horses all the time as they aspire to have similar horse models in their product ranges.

The figure is one of the most fun, most enjoyable figures that I have ever painted:

Front View

Rear View
I drill a hole in the underside of the rearing horse and placed a metal pin between the belly of the horse and the base in order to give the model more stability. This is an easy procedure to perform and is well worth the extra time spent. I then hid the pin with some tufts of long grass - I defy you to find the pin in the photo.

I am grateful that one of our customers provided the inspiration for such a nifty looking model of a Prussian personality figure. Von Zieten has become one of the most popular models in the Minden figure range, and rightly so.

I like all of Richard's sculpts, of course, but he really goes the extra mile and shines on his personality figures. Guess what? There are a lot more personality figures in the pipeline for both our AWI and SYW figure ranges. Stay tuned to this blog for more information.

Over the next couple of weeks I will be posting about the various personality figures that we have and put the spotlight on them.


  1. Excellent sculpt and superb brushwork, Jim!

  2. Lovely pose and fantastic paint job!

  3. I doubt Von Zeiten's mother would agree! This lovely figure would be a great second best!

    I agree the horse sculpt is fabulous!

  4. That is one lovely model and you've done a great job on the painting front.

  5. Gorgeous figure and paint job and no, I couldn’t see the pin.

  6. Definitely a superior Zieten.

  7. it is a lovely figure, and has me quite covetous. How well do the Minden figures mix with Foundry and Front Rank SYW figures, pray tell?

    1. Minden figures really are not compatible with Front Rank figures, which are noticeably chunkier. Perry doesn't make SYW figures, but their AWI figures are a little thicker, but of similar height. Minden/Fife & Drum will always look thinner than other figure ranges because they are sculpted to a scale (1/56) rather than to a specific size (28mm).

  8. Richard did a fantastic job (as usual) with the sculpt as did you with the painting and basing. An A+ to you both!


  9. great work there Sir !
    since i use Hans von Zieten as the commander of my Maurice imagination army i obviously now have to buy this figure :)

  10. Lovely Jim, horrible character in real life but a great wargames figure, well done.