Tuesday 26 February 2008

25mm (TAG) 1650’s Russian Guard Cavalry - Jiltsi

Here is a TAG (The Assault Group) unit of Jiltsi or Zhiltsi. These were the elite bodyguard of the Tsar and there is some dispute as to whether they were winged, in the Polish fashion, or not. As the TAG figures come without wings, so be it.

I wanted these to look threatening so I used lots of black and white but at the same time I wanted them to have a ‘sumptuous’ look as befitting a personal bodyguard.
Leading onto from a thread on TMP (The Miniatures Page) I gave some of the horses pink noses as this seems to be more common than I thought.

The flag is one of my hand-made creations and, without historical evidence, I went for a religious theme. E-mail me if you would like a free copy.

This unit, pretty (and threatening?) though it may look, will be in trouble, I suspect, when it comes up against Polish winged hussars, who were, in the 17th century, probably the best cavalry in Europe.

PS I just received an email from Michal Paradowski and this is what he said:

"Here's fragment of Jiltsy's description by Bernard Tanner, member of Polish-Lithuanian mission in Moscow in 1678 (I know, later then those from You minis)- maybe You'll find it interesting (sorry for rough translation...):'all of them were wearing long loose red garments. Their horses were white like snow, [Jiltsy] have on their arms [he rather think about back than arms] beautifully painted wings, easily seen above their heads. They have long lances [originally 'kopie' - like Husaria] - to each spearhead there was attached golden effigy of flying dragon (sic!) that was turning around whenever wind blows. You would think that they're regiment of Angels!'

25mm SYW Hanoverian Regiment von Reden 3A

I’ve painted up an 18 figure Hanoverian Regiment of the SYW, namely von Reden 3A. All the figures are Crusader Prussians, except for one, the officer, who is a Foundry figure from the British SYW range. I’ve had to use the Foundry figure as Hanoverian officers followed the British fashion of wearing their sash over their shoulder. In most respects the Prussian figures works well as Hanoverians – the main detail missing is the buckle on the main strap at the front. I have long wanted to paint Hanoverians but there are no good specific ranges out there! (There is a US company doing Hanoverians exclusively but they don’t look good in the web-site pictures)

Talking to Mark of Crusader yesterday, he told me he was going to be adding British, French and Russians to his SYW range and that they were scheduled for the summer. This is excellent news as the western European theatre is not as well covered by manufacturers. Excluding Eagle Miniatures, which I know nothing about, one only has Front Rank, Foundry and Minden to choose from. Front Rank are looking dated, Foundry are animated but too cartoonish for my taste and Minden don’t fit in with any other range.

Lastly, you may be wondering what that green bit is on top of the tricorne. According to Kronstaf, Hanoverians wore a sprig of oak and I have used a tiny bit of lichen gathered from some of my hedges to serve.

Monday 18 February 2008

Streltsi Flags and Uniforms (2)

These are the last four.

Streltsi Flags and Uniforms (1)

These are the first 10 drawings of the 14 I have of Streltsi. As interesting as the actual illustrations of flags are the colours of the streltsi uniforms themselves. I will post the last four shortly.
Each illustration has the regimental number, the strength of the unit and its regimental colonel's name.

Sunday 17 February 2008

25mm TAG Novgorod Streltsi

I've finally branched out in a new period - Eastern European Renaissance. While the English Civil War was occupying the British Isles, Eastern Europe was in termoil with the Russians fighting the Poles, Swedes and Ottomans with a Cossack rebellion thrown in for good measure.
These TAG (The Assault Group) figures are fun to paint. They represent a provincial Streltsi unit of the Russian army under Tsar Alexis I. Besides a musket, they carry a Berdische Axe, which was used both as a rest for the musket as well as a close combat weapon. The Streltsi served as soldiers (one year on, one year off) as well as town policemen and firemen. I finally got a chance to use this colour - Jade green - from Coat d'arms paints.
I intend doing about 10 infantry and 10 cavalry units for the Russians before I move on to do a Polish army and then, finally, an Ottoman one as well. Maybe a small Cossack host as well.
Later on this week I will post a unit of Russian Guard cavalry.