19 October 2009

Austrian Infantry

Two of my newly painted regiments of the Empress-Queen’s formidable army.
The right one is the Hungarian regt. Haller (IR 31) and on the left it’s the German 1757 Sprecher (IR 22). In 1758 becoming Lacy’s regt..
Purist’s will certainly notice two glaring deviations from the accepted regulation looks of 7YW so entitled ‘German’ regiments uniforms & insignia. I will have to expand on this: First are the blue vests despite otherwise red facings. This is based on the information given in Friedrich Schirmer’s “Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756 – 1763”, the German Pengle & Hurt, so to say. It states turnbacks in red facing colour and blue vest’s/breeches in 1757. I did white linen breeches, often worn during summer, instead of woolen blue ones. Sprecher’s uniform apparently still following earlier dress from the War of Austrian Succession period. There is indeed sound evidence certain units still had those older style uniforms in 1756 and 57. The below contemporary painting being such evidence. It shows the surrender of Breslau garrison 24 December 1757. 

We are apparently witness of the moment the town is handed over by it’s commander baron von Sprecher, lieut. general. I believe it’s the gentleman saluting to the king. Though, this being my personal interpretation. Unfortunately I don’t know if there’s a colour copy of the original out. I only know of b/w ones. It was part of the collection of the former Breslau Provicial Museum and apparently did not survive the 2nd World War. This makes it rather difficult to say which particular regiment is just parading past the Prussian guards. 

Note, this painting is by mistake subtitled as the 1742 surrender of Breslau elsewhere, such as in Betty Mitford’s “Frederick the Great”. There hadn’t been a garrison at all in 1742 that could have paraded out the city with all this pomp and circumstance as illustrated here. My copy derives from Hans Bleckwenn’s book “Unter dem Preussen-Adler etc.”. Mr. Bleckwenn dates it 1757 and takes it as rather authentic with regard to the Prussian uniforms we see. He doesn’t state much to the Austrian ones, besides being interesting to ‘connossieurs’ of the Austian army in particular. This regiment clearly has turnbacks, vests, and even breeches in facing colour. Note the officers and NCO’s do not have lapels. I didn't follow the drummers uniforms, that have white coats and livery lace on the arms. Mine is a "Moor" drummer and has a coat with reversed colours
Interesting is also the standarts carried by this unit. I decided for such a design that does not fit 1745 regulation pattern. I believe those colours in the painting are somewhat simplified on the artist’s side. I therefore used an example from an image of the 1745 “Hohenfriedberg trophies” from another souce that is based on the originals kept in the Potsdam Garrison Church then. It is white silk with red bars – the colours of the arch house of Austria – and the double headed eagle insegnia within a crowned golden cartouche. The Hungarian regimet Haller instead I did with a regular 1745 pattern white silk Life-Colour bearing the double headed crowned imperial eagle on the avers side (flag pole on the left) with the Emperor’s initials “FC” for “Francis co-regent” and “IM” for Roman “Emperor” and his crowned arms of Lorraine and Toscany in the centre enclosed by the chain of the order of the Golden Fleece. The revers side, instead, bearing the image of Virgin Mary. All regimental colours would have been of yellow silk and bearing the Emperors arms on the avers side, and those of the Empress-Queen’s arms on the revers side - that is the eagle without sword and cepter and the arms of Hungary on the left, Bohemia on the right, the arch house of Austria in the centre, and the initials “M” “T” for “Maria Theresia” within the eagle’s wings.

The above image being the cover of a miniatures box of Ochel's Kieler Zinnfiguren (www.kieler-zinnfiguren.de). Not sure if they still sell them this way. I liked the method of selling around 20 infantry miniatures in a box along with a painting guide.

03 October 2009

Russian Artillery

Here are 4 pieces of Russian ordnance. Foreground right is a "Unicorn" howitzer. Propably the most famous of Russian guns during the 7YW. Scale for all seems to be a bit larger then for 30 mm. I purchased them at this years Kulmbach/Germany convention in August. No idea what foundry they are, but they are very well done casts. Distributer is a certain A. Fingrut, a Russian located in Pforzheim/Germany. Foreground left is an early 7YW 3-pdr regimental cannon with it's distinctive 2 Cohorn type 6-pdr mortars fixed to it's "fork-carriage" that does not require a limber. It had a 2-horse draught. Background left is a 12-pdr cannon and right is to be a heavy half pud Russian scale howitzer which would approx. resemble a German 16-pdr or French/English 8 inch class howitzer . The barrel, though, is a spare piece from an English foundry, but should do o.k. In the rear of the image, I have placed an Austrian 6-pdr "Falcon" of the innovative 1753 Feuerstein ordnance with 2 cannoniers to get a feel for the scales.

The Russian 3 pound regimental piece in close up view.

Close up view of the ‘Unicorn', which I take to be the 8-pdr piece. The carriage seems to be somewhat oversized, though. Wheels are o.k.

02 October 2009

Austrian Artillery

Here are some Austrian guns of an earlier paint job this summer. All models are 30 mm scale by the Austrian foundry "Diez". Unfortunately, they do not sell online, but some of their extra fine class casts can be purchased at Berliner Zinnfiguren at www.zinnfiguren.com . The front piece is the 7-pdr light howitzer. The big one is a Lichtenstein/Feuerstein 24-pdr siege gun. Behind is the regular 6-pdr cannon. The 2 pieces in the right back ground are a self made 3-pdr regimental piece and the 12-pdr Feuerstein field cannon. All are Diez foundry except for the 3-pdr.
Below is a short review of my Austrian 1753 Lichtenstein ordnance. 
First is the 3-lb regimental piece 'Regiments Stück’. The piece being mounted on a 5 by 10 cm base for play. The model is a selfmade piece of which I did a total of 4. Carriage is balsa wood and metal fittings are made from cut aluminium, nails, and wire The wheels are foundry casts, and the barrel is a conversion from another barrel scaled to match the size.
To my taste, the Diez foundry cast barrel is scaled too skinny in the front part of the barrel, at it's muzzle ring section. The pole of the No. 1 gunner's rammer would have a larger diameter then the barrel, really. I didn't like that, so I just made my own model.
Above image is an illustration from the artillery manual. It shows the 3-pdr advancing. Not sure if this is 7YW period. The source doesn't date it. Gunners have white breeches. This may either be summer's dress white linen instead of the brown wool worn at other times, or this illustration might show post 7YW uniform of around 1769?!?. Also note the illustrated gun comes without the metal fittings on the wheels as with my model.
This is the M1753 6-pdr field gun or ’Falcon’. I did 2 of them to add into my artillery parc. Note the distinctive iron fittings in the front of the carriage. Those 4 rings to employ the advancing pole for manhandling the piece in action. My above self made 3-pdr model has only 2 of them as I failed to do more for technical matters. The gunners are part of 4 newly painted gun teams I did this summer. Miniatures are by Scholtz/Berliner Zinnfiguren. I did them with a rather light "wolfsgrau" (wolf-grey) shade of greyish brown, This should be more authentic a colour then my older miniatures manning the 3-pdr or the below 12-pdr field gun. The contemporary gouache illustration also serving as good reference. Gouaches on paper do not darken as do oil on canvas paintings, thus, preserve the original colours much better. I guess I will have to redo all of my older gunners and give them coats in lighter shade.
This is one of my two 12-pdr field guns. The gunners are mostly by Ochel foundry (www.kieler-zinnfiguren.de) painted many years ago.
This truly awesome giant cannon is the 24-pdr siege gun I purchased this summer. Overall barrel length was approx. 3 meters or 10 ft. Actually I wanted to buy a 3rd 12-pdr at the Diez booth, but all were sold. I then saw this wonderfull model and could not leave without buying it. Not sure if Diez got the carriage right. Note, it comes with an additional travelling trunnion position. According to Stephen Summerfield excellent research in his book "Napoleonic Artillery", just the 12 and 18-pdr carriages of the Lichtenstein ordnance had them, not the 24-pdr.
Profile view of the 24-pdr siege gun. The gunner miniatures are all now available at Berliner Zinnfiguren. It's a series of highly animated figures in "meleed by cavalry" motions. It is cannoniers from the German artillery regiment as well as artillery fusiliers. The latter can be distinguished by their gaitors instead of the boots worn by the cannoniers, and their white coloured waist belt cartrige box. The cannoniers having black ones.
This as the 7-lb light field howitzer, approx. 5 to 6 inch class with the French/English system of entitlement.