This article comes to us from guest contributor, Rafael Malabanan. If you’d like to feature your own Warlord Games conversions, miniatures or armies get in touch via email@example.com!
Rafa: I only recently got into Napoleonic gaming genre but quickly decided on playing and collecting British, inspired by their bright red uniforms, superior volley fire and compact command and control. But could I bring even more to the tabletop game with hard-hitting lance-armed cavalry? Well yes, Britain had allies after all.
Enter the Brunswickers. A squadron of marauding Uhlans would be a welcome ally on the battlefield, but there’s no harm in converting up some sabre-armed hussars as well! With a little bit of modelling work, the Brunswickers can be your ally too! With just a touch of green stuff magic, the Prussian Cavalry are ripe for conversion. No particularly specialist equipment is needed, just typical household tools of the trade: a toothpick, paperclips, pliers, tweezers, paper cutter, hand drill, and the aforementioned green stuff (although hardware store 2-part epoxy/resin putty can be used instead – as I have in my example)!
I also converted a couple of command figures. Friedrich Wilhelm, Duke of Brunswick, was nicknamed “The Black Duke”. He led the Black Brunswickers against French domination in Germany. He is accompanied by Col. Elias Olfermann serving as his adjutant general.
For the Duke, it was quite straightforward work on a British mounted officer (found on the British Infantry sprue). File off the bicorne ends and simply add green stuff to convert to the requisite floppy beret.
The Brunswick division-sized formation of all arms was under the command of Wellington for the duration of the Hundred Days Campaign. It was comprised of a vanguard jäger battalion, two infantry brigades, a hussar regiment, an uhlan squadron and two artillery batteries.
The Brunswick Hussars wore shakos with a distinctive horsehair plume.
To replicate this, drill through the Prussian Dragoon shako tops and insert a short length of wire (or paper clips will do). Dab a tiny ball of green stuff onto the exposed tip, then flatten and mould it. A toothpick is handy and quite versatile for use here. Use its side like a mini rolling pin to flatten and its pointed tip to imprint & shape. Use a cutter blade to split the ends and score the finer marks on the hair plumes. Coax the plume into its final shape with the toothpick to try and achieve a windblown look.
I also used a bit of putty on the trailing edge of the shabraque, the large cloth that covered the style of saddles used by Hussar cavalry.
Adding a bit of windswept grass to their bases loans the cavalry a suggestion of being in full gallop.
The Black Brunswickers saw action at the Battle of Quatre Bras. The Duke led a charge at the head of his Uhlans but was beaten back. While reforming his troops the Duke was hit by a musket ball and died shortly afterwards.
Perhaps you can change history and lead the Uhlans to a victorious charge?
Prussian Cavalry is once again used as the base for this conversion, this time lancers. The Brunswick Uhlans can easily be identified by their square-topped Czapka headgear.
Cut off a tiny 4mm x 4mm x 3mm cube from a discarded plastic sprue and file the edges to taper.
After the initial test pieces, which were very small and challenged my finger dexterity, I opted to use a mould, though this isn’t strictly necessary should you be attempting this yourself. Oyamaru is a Japanese thermoplastic that melts into a gum-like consistency when submerged in hot water, and hardens to a rubbery plastic as it returns to room temperature. It is excellent for capturing detail and doesn’t stick! I made imprints of the czapka I had made and filled the recesses with epoxy-resin putty. Once set, I peeled them off and trimmed them as needed.
File the Prussian Shako tops flat and simply glue on your czapkas!
I use contrast paints to speed up painting (though Army Painter Speedpaints would be equally effective). Then I dabbed Tamiya black panel liner, which is commonly used in aircraft modelling, into the recesses. The light enamel paint creeps into the folds to define details quickly and achieve high-contrast shadows and better depth.
The Black Brunswickers are a bit tricky to paint because black looks a bit flat when painted, even with contrast paints, at this scale. To counteract this, you can highlight with greys to further bring out the details.
Article by Rafael Malabanan
Try It Out!
Other than a few modelling tools and green stuff, you’ll only need a few Prussian Cavalry sprues to try out this conversion yourself!