Tuesday, June 8, 2010

French 5th Hussar trumpeter

This is the second of the Perry's French hussars for the command stand for the 5th Hussars.

I decided to give him a colpack to match the officer's - many who had them retained them long after the shako was introduced and the elite squadron would have had them anyway.  The plume is conjectural as I've seen later ones in black, so I'm assuming this remained white.  He is of course riding a grey as nearly all French cavalry trumpeter's did.

I just realised that I didn't varnish him before I photographed him, so the tone may lack a little depth.  For the command stand figures I'm not using Army Painter dip either but relying on multiple washes in the shades I need and using the Rotring ink which produces a lovely deep tone to the colour.  I've also blended in a bit of pink into the horses muzzle.

As you can see in the detail of the pelisse, the sky blue colour acquired a nice rich tone with the ink wash.  The detail on the shabraque has to be painted on.  For enlisted troopers it was Napoleonic eagle in gold with oak leaves on the same blue cloth.  Very fiddly - nearly as bad as the officer's one but I think this one actually turned out better.

The white uniform is a bugger to get right - I used the technique that I saw used on some AWI French (thanks Giles!) blending in a light grey for the folds - enhanced in this case with a weak black ink wash - followed by yet more blending.

All in all I'm quite pleased with how they've turned out so far as they've been great figures to paint.  I'll add one more of  an NCO in full uniform to complete the command stand and then base them all up.  But I have yet another essay to write so it may be a while before I can do that and post the pictures.



  1. Very impressive. I really like the shading on the horse - looking forward to seeing the rest of the unit.

  2. Doc - beautifully done; that grey horse is quite excellent. Lovely!

    Best wishes


  3. Great looking Hussars, I too await the full unit, I suspect they will look great.


  4. Hi Doc
    Yes: white plume for the 5th trumpeter
    Look at

  5. Thanks for the kind comments. Checked the link you gave Rafa - most useful. I also have an ancient Historex sheet for a hussar figure I obtained years ago which lists under 'Trompettes De Hussards Vers 1807-1809' for the 5th 'un plumet - blanc'! All the uniform is 'Bleu celeste' save the pelisse which is white. Now the 'Bleu celeste' is a strong sky blue but I have a photo of the uniform from the Musee de Armee in Paris shows a much darker blue. The Historex reference (which are reputedly very accurate) depicts officers of elite squadrons as having red leather boots too. Bit too flash for my liking and I wonder how long they'd last on campaign?

    For the 5th in general I've gone for something in between - a strong light blue - for the officer figure and used the same blue for the trumpeter. For consistency I'll do the same for the rest of the regiment as well. That's the beauty of French hussars - they were a riot of colour and the uniforms were some of the least regulated in French service - so enormous variations available. Which makes 'em fun to paint!


  6. Ohhh I like this guy. I only just found out about a year ago that trumpeters were mounted on greys...I had a little repainting to do but I'm there now. Nice work as always.

  7. Absolutely beautiful...hurry up with that essay!