Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Archduke

After finishing the dragoons I thought I'd finish a Front Rank command figure I'd had for a while, the Austrian commander the Archduke Charles.  Part of FR's range of Napoleonic personalities on rearing horses, waving hats.  The other one I've got is the Russian commander, Bagration, who I've included in several posts.  I like the dramatic pose, it lends itself well to a small vignette - perfect for your C-in-C!

This guy is my favourite Austrian - a successful Austrian general!  Actually, Wellington considered the younger Erzherzog Karl  the finest Allied general - next to him of course!  He was the Emperor Francis' brother - not that it did him any good - the older Francis thought him a bit of wild thing and not to be trusted.  Charles other brother John was the dumb one and was the Austrian commander in Italy beaten by Prince Eugene - Napoleon's stepson.  Very interesting family the Hapsburgs!  Charles was, by all accounts, a 'netter kerl' (a nice guy) and also beat quite a few French generals including Napoleon himself at Aspern & Essling.  After his eventual defeat in 1809 he resigned and went into retirement - which was a great pity for the Austrians.  Here's a picture of him in 1809, waving his hat to the lads as he rides off into retirement: "Right - I'm off! Back to the schloss and tend the roses and a bit of home-brewing!"

Its a nice animated pose and I've used a bit of dramatic license myself by providing him with a bit of battlefield detritus for his noble stead to stomp on.  In particular a broken French Aigle standard next to a sabred French shako - plastic bits of course, courtesy of the Perrys.

 And the same figure from the back.  Please excuse the photography as its late night and lamp lit.  The flash only worked on the first shot. Upped the gamma and contrast a tad while pulling back the colour balance - muting the red/magenta and punching up the green/blue.  Although I much prefer natural daylight, quite happy with the results of this one.  I think it works as its the raw figure after painting - no layer of varnish for the light to bounce off (and no Army Painter! Just washes and blending with this one).

Same shot as the first, minus the flash.  Horse and figure a very contrasty, but I kind of like that effect.  Next lot being painted are the Italians again - the second regimente - who are about half done. Ah, so many figures to paint, and so little time [sigh]

Like the French dragoons - click on the pictures to get the enlargement.



  1. Doc
    A very inspiring pose. In my opinion he´s leading the men in a last effort to eject these revolutionary from Austrian lands!

  2. Yep, he is very handsome, and the lighting is very atmospheric too. Well done!

    Best Regards,


  3. I like the stippled effect on the horse, how was that done?

    Nice work,


  4. Really nicely done! A great job on what is one of my favourite sculpts from Front Rank.

  5. Thanks guys, much appreciated. John - I painted the horse with a 'Codex Grey' (mid-grey) undercoat, then gave it a wash of heavily diluted black ink. I then used a fine brush to apply a watery white in a stippled effect (kind of like a pointillist technique).

    I concentrated the overlapping white dots on the upper surfaces - on the haunches, neck and breast, spreading them out a little on the top of the legs. I then applied another diluted black ink wash, then finished with just a few more watery white dots to highlight.

    The application of the washes between layers of dots gives it a more blended look - like a real dappled grey! Hope this helps.


  6. Doc, this is a real inspiration. I think the way you've approached the basing is exactly right for single "personality" figures - expect some copying soon! Love the grey, too!

    Best wishes


  7. Very nice, I like all the details on the base.