Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Prussian Artillery Command Stand

Colonel Karl Friedrich von Moller, commander of the Prussian artillery at Rossbach and Leuthen. Minden Prussian officer mounted on an RSM standing horse, accompanied by a Minden Prussian officer (his spontoon has been replaced with the regimental flag). Click to enlarge the view.

I was browsing through my copy of Hans Bleckwenn's uniform books on the Prussian army of Frederick the Great when I happened to come upon a picture of the artillery uniforms and their regimental flags. I had always intended to have a separate artillery commander for my Minden Prussian army, so when I saw that the artillery had its own flag, I knew that I had to put one on the eventual command stand.

The flag itself looked like it might be a tad beyond my painting skills, were I to hand paint it, so instead, I took the book to the copy shop and photocopied the flag at 33% of its original size, versus the picture in my book. This reduced the length (the fly?) to about one inch and the width (the hoist?) to about an inch and a quarter. This turned out to be a perfect fit for the officer on foot, who would be holding the flag. I also tried reducing the flag to 45%, but while the added size displayed the flag details much better, it was way to big for the figure that would be holding the flag.

After reducing two copies of the flag, I cut both pieces out and glued them to a sheet of plain white paper so as to have the two sides opposite one another. Then I photocopied this version and produced my own flag sheet. White glue was applied to the underside of the flag and then the paper was pressed together around the flag shaft. Then I took a small paint brush and used it to shape and curl or furl the flag so that it would look more natural.

Colonel von Moller shown outside the Gasthaus Alter Fritz, modelled by Herb Gundt after an inn at Hochirch (across the street from the church where IR19 met its demise). Herb made all of the buildings, trees and the guard house shown in the picture. Click the picture to enlarge.

Von Moller (left) confers with Marshal von Schwerin (right) while Major General von Winterfeldt (center) looks on. Click the picture to enlarge.

The foot figure holding the artillery flag is the Minden Prussian officer on foot with spontoon. As with most Minden figures, you are required to drill out your own hole in the officer's hand, which is a simple matter to do if you have a pin vise tool. So instead of inserting the spontoon in the resulting hole, I clipped off a section of a North Star 100mm spear with flat head spear tip and used it for my flag pole. This flag pole will never break off due to the fact that the holding hand has been drilled out. I like it this way.

Finally, I glued the mounted Prussian officer (also a Minden figure, but mounted on an RSM horse) onto a 1.5" diameter round base from "Georgo Bases" -- this is my standard size for command stands in my Minden armies. Then I glued down the flag bearer and terrained the base with spackle compound, covered in railroad ballast, then washed with brown ink and flocked with static grass. The final vignette is quite eye pleasing, if I do say so myself.


  1. I'm not surprised that the new stand is pleasing to your eye. It looks excellent and so unusual to see a senior gunner appear on the wargame table if you exclude Mr Bonaparte. Thanks as always for sharing your enthusiasm and skills.

    Duke of Baylen

  2. Very well done.

    I like you basing technique and will give is a go with some Romans I'm working on - thanks!


  3. All units should have their flags, looks great (Not as fussy as the Saxony artillery flag)

    -- Allan

  4. Very nice indeed! By the way, Jim, are you delaying shipment of the Austrian Cuirassiers until after the Seven Year War Association Convention? Actually there is no rush, I know you have been really busy getting ready for the convention...

  5. Great work you have done with the artillery´s flag! If in the future you need help scaling and printing a flag, just let me know it. I can do it in the computer with Photoshop - scaling, distorting, shadows - all.
    With pleasure!

  6. That's the first I've seen any reference to a regimental flag for the Prussians! It's something to note for when my 15mm Prussian army gets big enough to justify an artillery commander.

    What do you use to adhere your static grass to the base? I currently use the silfor tufts and tacky glue, which works fine for individuals (if it is a bit time consuming), but I'm not sure how it will work for multiple figures on a base, even in 25mm.

  7. I just dab on some white glue in splotches on the base and then sprinkle on the static grass, then tap off the excess.

    I have just started to experiment with silfor tufts so you will be seeing a few more of those in future pictures.

    Sometimes I cut off pieces of a sisal scrub brush and jam it into a glob of still-wet spackle to represent tall grass. After it dries, I then dab on some watered down green paint to the sisal. The sisal just sucks up the green color so you don't need much paint.