Thursday, January 24, 2008

Prussian Cavalry Review - King's Birthday

The royal party at the review stand. The Queen consort in green and Frederick are both Surens, the ADC is a Front Rank figure, and the second has two Staddens with drawn sword and one Elite Miniatures ADC on the review stand. Note the victory columns in the background with plaques denoting the names of battles won.

Today was the anniversary celebration of Frederick II of Prussia's birthday, having been born on January 24, 1712. In honor of Der Alte Fritz, I decided to conduct a grand review of all of my 30mm Prussian cavalry on the parade ground. A total of 19 squadrons (12 sqds of cuirassiers, 3 sqds of dragoons, and 4 sqds of hussars) donned their dress uniforms and paraded past the royal review stand. They approached the stand in a grand column of squadrons and then did a left face towards the King.

A view of all 19 squadrons as they march down the parade ground in a column of squadrons, led by the cuirassiers, then the dragoons, and finally the hussars.

The grand column was led by the two-squadron Garde du Corps (CR13) cuirassier regiment that was brigaded with the Prinz von Preussen (Gelbe Kuraisier) CR2 regiment. These are comprised of Elite Miniatures Prussian SYW cavalry figures and are nicely animated.

Elite Miniatures are used to form the CR13 (right) and the CR2 (left) cuirassier regiments. Each line of figures in single rank represents a squadron of 12 figures.

The next regiment in the parade column was the famous Seydlitz Cuirassiers (CR8) - Suren figures. This regiment was recently increased from 3 sqds to 5 sqds.

CR8 Seydlitz Cuirassiers - Suren figures - 5 squadrons.

The next group in the parade was the dragoon regiment Jung Krakow (DR2) - also Suren figures. Their famous charge at Little Wars 2007 rode down three Austrian battalions to nail down the Prussian victory.

DR2 Jung Krakow Dragoons - Surens - 3 sqds.

And finally, bringing up the rear of the parade column, were those magnificent hussars. First came the Zieten Hussars (HR2) in blue pelises and fur busbies and all riding white stallions. These are Stadden 30mm figures. They were followed by the elite regiment of the von Reusch or Black Hussars (HR5), decked out in their fearsome all black uniforms and mirliton hats bearing the dreaded death's head on the front of the cap. The Black Hussars recorded their second battle honor in 2007 and thus were elevated to "elite" status. They seem to continually befuddle that eminent French cavalier, Monsieur Chevert, in many of our wargames.

One squadron of Zieten Hussars (right) followed by 3 sqds of Black Hussars. Both are from the Stadden range.

The regiments then did a left face turn so that they were all facing the royal party, assembled near the victory columns. Each brigade commander then rode towards the review stand and saluted King Frederick II with a sword salute, and then doffing their tricorns, they bowed in front of the King.

The column executes a left face and aligns itself facing the royal party at the review stand and victory columns.

The brigade commanders ride up to the review stand and offer their compliments and good wishes to King Frederick on his birthday.

It was a glorious ceremony full of color , precision drill and festive music. While setting up the parade, I played a CD of 18th Century Prussian military marches, including the King's favorites "The Hohenfriedberger March" and "The Old Dessauer March."

It is also nice to see the full complement of cavalry on the table at one time. It enables me to pick out some small items that need changing, such as adding a few more squadron flags for particular regiments, or the need to add a couple more cuirassier commanders here and there. Also, having 19 squadrons seems a little bit odd to my ordered and symetrical 18th Century mind. Methinks an even 20 squadrons would be nicer. So I will probably add one more squadron of dragoons or hussars in the near future in order to bring everything back into balance.

And somewhere, off in the distance, there lurked a black coach and its sinister passenger, but it went unnoticed by all eyes, as far as I know.

Milady de Winter's black coach and escort provided by a troop of the Black Hussars. Coach by Redoubt and assembled by Herb Gundt, driver sculpted by the talented John Ray for this project, Suren Milady de Winter (??) on horseback and various other attendants.


  1. Impressive parade and a wonderful tribute for the king's birthday!

  2. I get a big kick out of how caught up in your wee army you get. I think I'm obsessed with your victory columns, and I find myself looking for them in every picture you post. Please add my compliments to the King. - Jawjatek

  3. Jim
    Wow -in the Grand Manner or what! You seem to have a super amount of space for the hobby - lucky you. I particuarly loved the huzzars and the coach.
    P.S any chance of some more vignettes of camp life etc?

  4. Great work.
    Out of curiosity, what is a 'Queen consort'?
    Also, do you have plans for the vexilium for the Garde du Corps and perhaps a third squadron?

  5. Jim,

    Lovely figures and very very impressive . . . but the dragoons do seem very under-represented.

    I hope that you do add a few more squadrons . . . an even two dozen squadrons in total seems right to me.

    -- Jeff

  6. A beautiful display!

    Best Regards,


  7. Bravo - and like tradgardmastare I particularly like the Black Hussars - really effective....

  8. Bluebear: you want me to add TWO DOZEN more squadrons? Yikes!

    I have another 36 Suren dragoons that are partially assembled and are waiting in the cue. They will be used either to increase DR2 to at most 5sqds or I will use them to start on the Bayreuth Dragoons (DR5).

    I have another dozen each of hussars to add a sqd to both of the existing hussar regiments. HR5 had 10 sqds, but I doubt that I would paint that many - 120 Black Hussars.

    I have the third sqd of the Garde du Corps ready for painting and recently received the vexilum figure from the Foundry - they are the only ones who make it.

    Eventually, Milady de Winter will have her own personal retinue of black hussars. I plan to use the new Eureka 100 Club Saxons for this because Eureka will also provide dismounted skirmishing figures that will fit the bill perfectly. The pose is with swords shouldered and no pelise - I like that.

    Alan: when you ask about vignettes (please elaborate) do you refer to photographs or background stories? Either are easy enough to do.

    I have some camp tents on order from HG Walls and the master builder Herb Gundt. Austrians and Prussians will both have a generals tent and some tents to make a camp scene for the rank and file. I will probably be adding bits and pieces to that as well. I am very influenced by what John Ray is doing with his AWI and Fulda setups.

  9. Jim
    I guess I mean photographs of camp/village life - some inspirational shots of sceneary,rural life,duels etc!

  10. Alan: I think that can be arranged.There is the fate of a certain prisoner to be determined, for one thing. I have a few other ideas percolating in my mind.

  11. I think Jeff/Bluebear meant adding enough Dragoon squadrons to bring your total squadrons to an even two dozen. Which would be 5 more squadrons of dragoons, I believe.

    Very nicely done, and quite the impressive display. Interestingly, today's mail brought command figures for my Hussars in Busby and a pack of Austrian Generals, both by Old Glory.

  12. Laying them all out on the table at one time does allow one to see what his needs are. Dragoons will definitely be on the list of things to do before Historicon.

    I was cleaning and filing some more Garde du Corps figures today. I will be using the Foundry vexilum bearer along with the Elite Miniatures troopers.

  13. Vignettes?
    Front Rank's SYW dismounted Prussian officer set which I think you must have.
    Flats? I think Ken mentions he bought some Berlin Zinnfiguren vignettes. Unique material here I imagine. When placed off to the side or something, they should look very good.
    Votre Serviteur,