Sunday, December 28, 2008

Hesse Seewald Army Uniforms

Uniforms of regiments (L-R) Holstein, Charlottenburg, Glasenap, and The Royal Foresters. (click all pix to enlarge the views)

I spent some time over the weekend experimenting with possible uniform combinations for the Hesse Seewald army. I had a couple of extra Foundry SYW Prussian figures laying around, already primed, so they were drafted by the Elector's tailors to model some of the new uniforms. I have not decided which figures to use for the Hesse Seewald army, but I am leaning towards the Minden Miniatures range, since this is rather comprehensive and will eventually provide all three of the major combat arms: infantry, cavalry and artillery. Crusader is another possibility, although these are chunkier than I generally prefer, their height fits in well with my existing figures. I plan to prime a few Minden samples this week and see how they look in green uniforms. My guess is that they will look fine and dandy.

Hesse Seewald regiments will have 48 rank and file and maybe 3 or 4 extra officers positioned behind the battalion as file closers. Hmm, this sounds like the Charles Grant model, doesn't it? Recall that Grant's The Wargame Companion is the inspiration for this project. Of course, this is subject to change, if for example, they get mowed down by the larger 60 man French battalions of Monsieur Chevert. That may cause me to strengthen the battalion to 60, but for now, that is my plan. I may also attach a regiment 3 or 4 pounder to EACH battalion to act as a bit of an equalizer.

A note about the pictures here: they were photographed on my Macro setting for closeup pictures, so when you click on the picture to enlarge the view, the figures will be somewhat distorted as you are enlarging them to three or four times their actual size. Remember that they are really only 28mm high. They actually look pretty good in the flesh.

Another view of Holstein (red facings), Charlottenburg (pink), Glasenap (straw) and the Royal Foresters (red facings with buff small clothes). All figures are from the Foundry SYW range of Prussians, painted by Der Alte Fritz.

I have included another photo of the figures at a slight angle. The uniform coat is Reaper Elven Green and the facings are an assortment of various Reaper colors on the facings and small clothes. From left to right (above) we have IR4 Holstein Musketeer Regt. in red facings and white small clothes; IR3 the Charlottenburg Musketeer Regt. in pink facings and white small clothes; IR3 the Glasenap Musketeer Regiment in straw facings and small clothes; and finally, the Royal Foresters Regiment with red facings and straw or buff small clothes. Regiments that have white small clothes will have silver buttons on the uniform coat and silver cartouche plate on the cartridge box. Regiments in straw or buff will have gold buttons and a gold cartouche plate. All regiments will have brass gaitor buttons.

Colonel von Kleist, himself, from the Foundry range of Prussian freikorps officers.

Von Kleist freikorps officer's uniform provides a hint of what the official Hesse Seewald officers' uniforms will look like.

The two officers shown above will provide a glimpse at what the Hesse Seewald officers will look like. They sport green coats, wear regimental facings and small clothes (they are inhabers of one of the five regiments in the H-S army), and wear silver waist sashes.


  1. Wow!
    When you do something, you don't do it by half!

    Then I have to confess being intrigued by your choice of hussars: in a fictitious army, why would the hussars -always more 'exotic'-looking- wear an *historical* uniform? A tongue-in-cheek way to reflect their 'exoticism'? Even if this peculiar unit is intended to moonlight in historical games, the diversity of 'authentic' hussar uniforms is so bewildering that they would hardly be spotted as 'fictitious', specially if part of a Kreis contingent. Then of course the argument works in the opposite direction: hussars will hardly stand out as 'historicals' in a fictitious army (though Luckner's, if less well known than Bercheny's or the Tottemkopf, are not obscure).
    Nonetheless, hussars provide such an unique opportunity to let your 'creativity' run wild... Foe a country with 'Seewald' in its name, what about some cyan / sea green in their uniform?


  2. Great work Jim!
    I particuarly like the two inf on the right of the four. It is good to see some Rose facings too. The officers are a treat too. Have you thought about flags yet?

  3. Well, I agree that my two favorites are on the right. I think I prefer the Glasenap best of all; then the Foresters; then Holstein.

    But I must confess that I truly dislike the pink of Charlottenburg . . . but then I don't like pink period.

    Still how do you think a lighter green would look? Maybe even a pale gray-green?

    Then with a green pom-pom it would easily be distinguishable from Holstein.

    Yeah, I don't like pink (even if you call it 'rose').

    The two mounted officers look great . . . but I want to see the uniforms of the Munchausen Dragoons.

    -- Jeff

  4. An interesting project. As usual with me I do have one niggling doubt: with green coated regiments, will there be sufficient difference from Russians to indicate they are not of that nationality? If not, then why not use historical Russian uniforms? In realise I am creating a problem that is entirely imaginary, but it's the sort of difficulty that besets me whenever I think about doing this sort of thing.

  5. Historical uniforms were not always a sure mark of nationality (even if considering only the major powers)!
    An army in historical Russian uniforms would merely be a clone.

  6. Luckner's Hussars wore one of the most spectacular looking hussar uniforms of the period, at least in my opinion so they can do double duty in my British and HS army. Or I may suit them up in a variant of the Napoleonic Garde Chassuers a Cheval, whose uniform I like, or the red/green combination of the von Kleist hussars.

    While they are green, the uniform cut is Prussian and the facings set them apart from Russian uniforms. In their geographic location, we are unlikely to mix it up with Russia. The Saxons used green for their artillery crew and a number of nationalities used it for their light infantry.

    Rose/pink looks good when used in small amounts and there is historical precedent in the Prussian army: IR7, IR18, IR40 and DR3 come to mind.

    Since the maximum number of regiments per one of my carrying cases is 5, that will be the maximum number of HS infantry that I paint. That also keeps it smaller than the Prussian army and also makes the project more "doable".

    Flags: I'm still working on some ideas, but nothing firm at this point. I may just use GMB Designs Hessian flags, which are colorful and I already have all of them in stock.

  7. Very nice. I like that you have varied the small cloths for different units, I must confess though that I think the straw is more fetching. Maybe have David of NBA do the flag layout for you so you have an original flag.

  8. To prevent any misunderstanding of my previous post: ‘Gross Hesse-Sewald’ is of course NOT a ‘real Imagi-Nation’ (!) but historical Prussia occasionally fighting under an assumed name. In the same way ‘Gallia’ is France, and we know of several other examples in EvEurope. As such it is not only normal, but *good* that their armies are ‘historical’, and we know how Jim and Bill strive herd to have them as historically accurate as possible.
    [And if we learn of some possible uniform peculiarity of ‘Gross Hesse –Seewald’ Artillery, or if the Chasseurs de Fischer look perhaps more Gallian than French, I for one am not worried at all by such isolated ‘artistic licence’, in the same way as I find Roly’s Clermont-Prince’s in their ‘wrong’ ventre-de-biche so good-looking that I hope he will never repaint them.]

    But on the opposite ‘Alt Hesse-Sewald’ IS an Imagi-Nation, intended from the start as such, to allow its builder to know the pleasures of a Prince unleashing his educated creativity to design the uniforms of his troops. It is *only* in this precise context that, imho, it would be a great pity to field a bland, gloomy copycat…

    200% personal, of course!

    Best regards to all,

  9. While a vocal advocate of ‘displacement of minis’ I’m far from unfavourable to ‘displacement of uniforms’!
    Then if uniforms are simply copied, imho it would be more interesting to ‘translate’ a whole army, e.g. to have French Lace Wars minis painted in the various uniforms of the Grande Armee or of the Imperial Guard of Napoleon III (for the latere you’d have to convert early Zuaves minis, but ‘turkeries’ were fashionable in 18th C. Western Europe!). For isolated units it could be more interesting to add a personal touch, as for the Waldecker Tuhellenbach Hussars, based on the sky blue / garance / silver lace of late 19th C. French light cavalry, but with an original ‘plus’.