Thursday, January 15, 2009


A.k.a. converting figures.

As I noticed in the previous post, uniforms in the early XVIII century seem to share several common traits, so that national differences are mostly ( mostly: not entirely) confined to the color of coats, cuffs, waistcoats, collars. This realization spurred some thinking about one of my persisting, sore issue: what to do with a very large amount of unpainted lead I bought years ago from Old Glory: assorted 15mm Prussian and Austrian for the SYW, a period I decided, after all, to overlook in favor of the earlier war of Spanish Succession. My readers will be familiar with my headaches about these miniatures, as occasionally I return on the sour topic.

Having resolved against a SYW project, the question about what to do with these figures still stand. My last, tentative answer: to attempt some conversion to the early period. After consulting several plates, I realized that, at a 15mm scale (and thinking in terms of painting outcomes at a 3ft distance on the tabletop), WSS and SYW uniforms differ in three respects:

A. SYW coats are shorter and more fitting; WSS coats are longer to the knee;
B. SYW uniforms show elaborate and colorful turnbacks, and several details in terms of pockets, bottoms, etc. WSS are plain and simple;
C. SYW belts tend to be white, whereas WSS belts are mostly buff or brownish.

There is nothing I can do about A., but converting B. and C. from SYW to WSS only require a proper painting job; to some extend, at a 3ft distance view, a proper painting job may also help to artificially make coats longer than they are cast.

Hence my plan: I brought back on my table some Prussian musketeers and Austrian infantry units in tricorne, and I painted the upper section of the pants in the same color of the coat: dark blue for the Prussian, soon-to-be turned into Palatine Leibregiment, obviously white for the Austrian, soon-to-become the French Luxemburg regiment. A heavy layer of paint help in tricking the sight. I will NOT paint most of the details, just leaving to the final dip to highlight some of them. Finally, all the belts will be painted brown. We'll see what the final result will be. And no: do not expect to see any large picture of these miniatures. I know I am cheating!

But it the plan will work, I might finally find a solution for all those neglected and not really loved OG miniatures sitting in the closet! Austrian and Prussian musketeers will become French, Austrian and minor states WSS units; part of Austrian cuirassiers will become the Palatine's Venningen Gendarmes, and the artillery will be liberally distributed on a as-needed basis. I still have a few doubts about Prussian grenadiers and fusiliers, so if you could make recommendations for suitable WSS counterparts I will sincerely appreciated!


Bluebear Jeff said...

While it may not make a difference with 15mm figures, the hair styles also differed.

-- Jeff

Adik said...

The hair styles...

... now I am feeling really bad...

rich said...

You might look at doing Great Northern War Swedes- they apparently looked much closer to SYW uniforms.