Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Austrians Are Mobilizing

Front Rank Austrians fend off an attack of the Kliest (HR1) and Gelbe (HR7) Foundry Hussars. Crusader grenadiers in the background. Figures from the collection of Der Alte Fritz. Photo by Bob Pavlik (from the Historicon website).

Those poor Austrians of mine deserve a better fate than they have received, so far, on this blog. I mean afterall, this is Der Alte Fritz Journal, not the Maria Theresa Journal. Part of this is due to the fact that I have had to build up my own Prussian army in order to keep up with the painting of a cadre of Francophiles centered around Brown Deer, Wisconsin. While I firmly believe that I can paint anyone under the table if I set my mind to it, keeping up with three French painters means that I'm virtually painting nothing but Prussians.

Over the past year, I have been slowly accumulating Austrian infantry to the point where I now have 8 battalions of line infantry, 1 converged battalion of Croats (3 by 24 = 72) and three 24-figure regiments of Austrian cavalry (one each of dragoons, cuirassiers and horse grenadiers). Considering the fact that I have nearly double that amount of Prussians, one can see that I have a long way to go before the Austrians can achieve parity with the Prussians. Fear not you Habsburg Afficionados, the Austrians are mobilizing and help is on the way.

My old wargaming buddy, Dennis Smail of Lexington, Kentucky, has been helping me out by painting a few battalions of Austrians for me. He painted the grenadier battalion that I featured on these pages back in November 2007. He also added the Hungarian Regiment Joseph Esterhazy and the German regiment Gaisruck. The latter two battalions need to be based and terrained, but I will get to that soon and hopefully post some pictures of Dennis' fine brushwork.

My plan is to get the Austrians to a state of parity with the Prussians in time for a big battalion game at Historicon this year (July 2008). By the way, the theme for this year's Historicon convenion is the Seven Years War. That's pretty cool, don't you think? The infantry is coming along nicely, but I am going to need something on the order of 240 cavalry figures, of which only 72 have been painted so far. In a pinch, I can put a couple of my old 20-figure RSM Austrian cuirassiers and dragoons together to form one BAR-styled regiment, so I'm not all that worried about meeting my goal. Still, that said, I'd like to get all new regiments onto the table before Historicon.

I am using the Crusader range of 28mm SYW figures for the bulk of my Austrian forces. These actually measure closer to 30-32mm in height from the ground to the top of the head. As such, they fit in nicely with all of my other Surens, Staddens, Potsdamers and other "officiall 30mm figures". Thank God for scale creep, is all I have to say. The Crusader figures are well sculpted, nicely cast, and easy to paint. So virtually all of the cavalry will be Crusader figures. On the infantry side, I am using a mix of RSM, Front Rank, Warrior (British painted as Austrians - hey, I got a bargain at a flea market) and Crusader.

February 2008 will be Austrian Month at Der Alte Fritz's Painting Emporium. I have some Crusader cuirassiers primed and ready for the brush and several boxes of dragoons at the ready. Wish me luck, that's a lot of horses to paint.

Finally, I want to thank Bob Pavlik for taking some exquisite pictures of my SYW collection for use in the Historicon promotional website and event brochure. It is fascinating watching how Bob sets up a shot and I've learned a little bit about taking pictures and picture composition from him. Bob is a master and I appreciate him bringing my collection to life. If you want to see more pictures, take a visit to the Historicon web site at:



  1. Thanks for the update on your Austrians and the link to see the pictures at Historicon. It sounds an ambitious target you have set yourself but I take that as a measure of your enthusiasm and wish you well both with the painting and the Convention.

    Duke of Baylen

  2. If you get tired of painting Prussians, you can always paint some of their allies. A nice Hanoverian brigade would add some nice flavor to your forces.

    -- Jeff

  3. Good Morning Jim,

    A very nice photo of your burgeoning Austrian forces. Might you post a photo or two of those Warrior figures? I'd like to see those in the flesh.

    Best Regards,


  4. ...I do like thse pictures he took for Historicon... really dynamic and colourful... he may have been a *little* heavy handed with the additional flock though - that front rank of infantry looks like they're having to wade a little.. :o))

  5. Steve: Bob was trying to cover up bases so that they would not be so obvious in the photos, hence the flock.

    Stokes: I will try to remember to shoot a picture of the Warriors. They aren't that good looking as I bought them at the flea market and touched them up a bit, leaving the faces and other bits alone. But, we shall see.

    Jeff: I suppose that I could always paint some fictional Hesse Seewald regiments if I run out of Prussian units to paint. :)

  6. One puzzlement. The Historicon website credits all the figures and terrain to Bill. Is this a Gallian conspiracy to discredit Hesse-Seewald? ;)

    I know you and Bill both have some stuff the other did, probably, but I'm presuming the accreditations are in error and someone mixed the two of you up?

  7. "I suppose that I could always paint some fictional Hesse Seewald regiments if I run out of Prussian units to paint. :)"

    OK I see the [grin], but then... try it, I dare you! Well, a few Black Hussras and a war balloon crew, for a start...

  8. Answer to Snickering's "One puzzlement." The Historicon website credits all the figures and terrain to Bill. Is this a Gallian conspiracy to discredit Hesse-Seewald? ;)

    Just a misunderstanding.
    Discovered yesdterday.
    Corrections are being made.

    One of the BAR games at HCon will be Austrians vs Prussians. I'll throw in some Saxon cavalry; the Rutowsk Chevaulagers seen here a week or two ago in the Mühlenberg Battle Report and a new regiment of von Brühl Dragoons. Some think the latter are chevaulgers. I don't think so. Nor does Knotel, if I remeber correctly.


  9. Concerning Pictures from the Historicon website, The Terrain is Jim's, Great Stuff to play a game on. The figures are from a bunch people with Jim and Bill being the two largest contributors (by far). Although I recognize a couple of my units in those photos.

    Jim, I think the photos Bob did look Great! Your Cavalry looks fearsome!

    Best, Randy

  10. Good luck with the Austrians, I've alwas enjoyed using them, well almost as much as my Prussians and the Croats are always fun.

    Thanks for the heads up on the Historicon pictures, a great bit of eye candy