Converting Hussars 2

In my last blog, I discussed converting the Warlord French Hussars into Russian Hussars. My first objective was converting the horses so they had the correct shabrack (saddle cloth). Next on the list are the Hussars themselves, and finally giving both horse and rider a lick of paint. Looking at the Russian Hussars, they wear the familiar pelisse, dolman and breeches of most hussars. The main distinction is the shako, which in 1812 was identical to the Kiwer Shako worn by the infantry. I could have used the earlier shakos with plumes, but decided I wanted mine ‘plume-free’ (while great for parade dress, I think they would have been less practical in the field).  

Pavlograd Hussars from BBC War & Peace.

The conversion was simple. I simply used a suitable Russian infantryman’s head and stuck it on. I used heads from the Perry Russian set as they matched best size-wise  compared to the original French heads. As before, Ospreys and Google proved very useful for finding the colours I was looking for. And after watching War and Peace, it had to be the Pavlograd Hussars… 

Pavlograd Hussar.

Then I hit a snag. According to the Osprey, this regiment’s early colours included yellow braiding while according to other sources the braiding was in red. A third showed red braiding, but no turquoise pelisse! I was in a panic now, would I be painting my figures in the wrong colours?

Pavlograd unifom. A different shade of turquoise!

I calmed down and considered my options. The BBC production showed an almost light blue Pelisse, so it probably all depends what colour of turquoise you use. Looking at my sources in this new light I found that they matched, just disagreed on the colour.

Another Pavlograd uniform guide.

So finally I have my colour. I’m opting for a lighter shade, closer to blue and like ‘what was on the telly’. This may seem to be a storm in a tea cup (and I’m still half expecting a true Napoleonic expert to tell me it’s all wrong), but at least I can start painting now…

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