Friday, October 26, 2007

Suren Kettledrummer & Other New Toys

Top: Suren 30mm Trumpeter with Kettledrum conversion
Middle: Comparison of Suren with Elite Trumpeter
Bottom: Same figures, other side

I finished up a couple of squadrons of 30mm Suren SYW Prussian cuirassiers last night, including the trumpeters and the kettledrummer mention in my previous posting. Please click on the pictures above for a close up view of the work.

The first picture shows the Suren Prussian cuirassier trumpeter painted as a kettledrummer and as a cuirassier trumpeter. Note that Prussian cuirassier musicians did not wear the iron cuirasse. I used the Foundry Prussian kettledrums and attached them to the Suren figure by simply drilling a hole into the pistol holders and gluing on the drum. As you can see from the picture of the trumpeter, it is then only a matter of bending the right arm a little bit higher and the left arm a little bit lower. Then I cut off a small piece of brass wire and added a little ball of green putty to form the drum sticks. These were then glued into the hands of the trumpeter (no easy feat was that, I must say). I added a little bit more putty to make the right hand larger and also cover the gap over the drum stick. I probably used a little too much putty on the hand, but all in all, it's not a bad job for someone who has little experience with conversions. I have a lot of respect for sculptors and their ability to work with epoxy putty. It isn't easy.

Results of the Painting Blitz

IR25 von Kalckstein Regiment - Elite Miniatures
Here at last, are a couple of pictures of IR25 Kalckstein, in Prussian service, that I painted over the course of 20 hours and 6 days prior to the OSW Big Game on October 13, 2007. These are the new Elite Miniatures "march attack" pose that Pete Morbey sculpted last summer and recently added to his catalog. This is a nice serviceable pose and I found it fairly easy going to do a blitz paint job in six days. How does this differ from my normal painting style? It is not too different, other than I did not bother to paint the gaitor buttons or do a third highlight shade on some of the colors. I am happy to report that Kalckstein performed very well during the game and did not rout, as so often happens with newly painted wargame units. The flags are GMB Designs and the flag poles were made from wire spears that I purchased from North Star Miniatues, in the UK. The flag cords are florist's wire twisted together and glued onto the flag staff.

Some New Austrians Have Arrived As Well

Converged Austrian Grenadiers - Crusader Miniatures (painted by Dennis Smail)

Here is a picture of some Crusader SYW Austrian grenadiers that I recently added to my growing collection of Austrians. They had their baptism of fire in the OSW Big Game and handled themselves very well. The figures were painted by my long time friend and eminence gris Dennis Smail, of Lexington, Kentucky. I think that he did a fine job on the grenadiers. While only three stands are shown, Dennis painted five stands of 12 grenadiers, each stand representing a different regiment. The Austrians converged their grenadiers together on an ad hoc basis prior to the battle. Thus there were no permanent grenadier battalions as there were in the Prussian army. My Austrian army is only at half the size of my Prussian forces, so there is much work to be done before the Austrians can take on King Frederick in Silesia. Thankfully, Dennis is going to help me with a few more Austrian units. I officially declare that November will be "Austrian Painting Month" in Hesse Seewald.


  1. As usual, all of your troops look very good.

    -- Jeff

  2. Go, Go Jim, looking good as always.

  3. I love the Kettle drummer - he looks fantastic!
    It is good to see some Austrians too - super painting as ever? Are you going to get some Croats soon- they are my favourites!

  4. Hello there Jim,

    Wow! You've added some very nice looking troops to your collection. The mounted musicians and Prussians are especially nice. What's in your orange juice in the morning? ;-)

    Best Regards,


  5. I have a converged force of 72 Croats (all RSM) in my collection and plan to add at least another 24 from the Crusader range sometime in the future. As I said in the blog, November will be Austrian month as I plan to divert my painting attentions towards the army of Marie Therese.

  6. Wow! Amazing output in terms of quality and quantity!

  7. Der Alte Fritz - Please contact me offline at for a communication which Friend Gallia has requested me to pass along to you.

    Respectfully, Sir William

  8. *Amazing* new 'toys'!
    Your kettledrummer looks specially fierce and threatening - beating the pace of a Prussian Horse tsunami.

  9. ..I second everyone elses comments but would only add, how did you get the white horse effect you've done so well...?? I'm tempted to try and recreate it - would I be far off the mark if I said

    1/. Black undercoat
    2/. Heavy drybrush grey
    3/. Lighter drybrush white


    My congratulations - lovely figures..

  10. Steve: you have figured out the recipe that I use. Black prime and then drybrush dark grey, then drybrush some lighter grey, and finally highlight with white.

    For a less pronounced contrast with no black showing through, I sometimes black prime and then completely cover the horse with dark grey - covering up most of the black, then successively lighter shades of grey and the white highlight.

    I will be posting a picture of a Zieten Hussar (HR2)within the next couple of days that uses this latter method. So stay tuned.

  11. I can personally attest to close tabletop inspection that Der Alte's painting techniques produce a stunning array of miniatures to look at and fight against. You men should see 'em like I do!
    My compliments,