ISSUE NUMBER 16

HISTORICAL MINIATURES BY GEORGE GRASSE
HISTORICAL MINIATURES JOURNAL

NOVEMBER  2012

HISTORICAL MINIATURES JOURNAL ISSUE NUMBER 16

PUBLISHED BY GEORGE GRASSE

 BRITISH CAVALRY AT WATERLOO

MODELING 54mm HISTOREX KITS, Part 2: 13th LIGHT DRAGOON REGIMENT

SERVICE RECORD SUMMARY AT WATERLOO

The 13th Light Dragoons and the 3rd Hussars of the King's German Legion made up the 7th Cavalry Brigade commanded by Colonel Sir F. Arenschildt, K.C.B.  The brigade was initially deployed along with the Dutch-Belgian cavalry brigades of Merlen and Trip of de Collaert's Dutch-Belgian Cavalry Division all in the center of the Allied line supporting Ponsonby's 2nd or Union Cavalry brigade (1st Royals, 2nd Scots Greys, and 6th Inniskillings). 

The 13th had three squadrons with 28 officers and 428 other ranks under arms at the Battle of Waterloo.  It lost at Waterloo 11 killed, 69 wounded, and 19 missing for a total of 99 casualties.  The 3rd KGL Hussars had four squadrons with 35 officers and 840 other ranks under arms that day and lost 40 killed, 70 wounded, 8 missing for a total of 118 casualties.  Brigade total was 63 officers and 1,268 other ranks for a grand total of 1,331 troops.

 

UNIFORM DESCRIBED

One of the oddities of British light cavalry is the official naming of all regiments as light dragoons including the hussar regiments whose dress was substantially different and followed the European norm for hussar cavalry.  The 7th Hussar Regiment will be covered in the next issue.  British light dragoons proper, underwent a uniform change before Waterloo and adopted one that closely resembled French Chasseurs a cheval.  The short dark blue jacket had short tails which were turned back.  Individual regimental facing colors were applied to the turnbacks, collar, pointed cuffs, and lapels.  In the case of the 13th Light Dragoons, the facing color was buff.  Some regiments had yellow lace (gold for officers) and others had white lace (silver for officers).  The jacket was wrapped by a girdle (cumberbund) in the facing color (buff for the 13th) with two horizontal dark blue stripes.  At the back of the jacket, piping in the facing color appeared on the back of each arm over to each shoulder blade and down to the runbacks.  Coat tail pockets were piped in the facing color.  Each shoulder was covered by a white fringed epaulette.  All metal buttons white pewter (silver for officers).

Campaign trousers were gray with a leather insert and yellow stripes along each outer seam.   The shako was black with a white band around the top edge and surmounted by a white over red pompom.  Shako chin scales were brass.  The cap line was yellow.  The cockade was white with a black center held in place by a white cockade strap and white metal button. 

Equipment was as for all British cavalry lf the line.  White pouch belt, black cartridge box and white carbine belt.  Off white to light beige-gray haversack.  Blue canteen with red-brown strap.  The two-sling sabretache was black without ornamentation.  White sword belt and slings supporting a steel scabbard and sword with a steel guard.

This model is built from an old Historex kit HXHI08 which has been renumbered to HXH007.

MODELING A TROOPER OF THE 13th light dragoon REGIMENT

          Figure 1        

    

 

Figure 1 at left shows the basic assembly in starting this figure.  The mounted trooper of the British 13th Light Dragoons is made from Historex kit HXH007 which includes parts to make an enlisted soldier.  I substituted the kit's head with one from MIG Productions.  Doing this required that a lead foil collar be made to wrap around the neck. 

Figure 2 at right shows the horse to be used in this project.  The first step is to glue all of the components in place: horse body halves, head, mane, forelock, tail, and ears.  After filling and sanding, the Pyrogravure tool is used to enhance hair lines on the forelock, mane, tops of hooves, and tail (click here for my article on this tool).  Next are added the breast harness, girth strap, and crupper, all made from sheet lead stock.  Two horseshoes from the kit were added where they will be seen.  The horse is then primed, mounted on its plastic base which in turn is mounted on its wood display base.

                      Figure 2

 

 

Figure 3a

 

 

Figure 3a - front view with trooper's equipment and belting in place.  All belts are made from thin lead sheet.  Stirrup straps are also made from thin lead sheet, looped through the top of the stirrup, then glued to the inside of the legs.  The small plastic bits on the straps are kit parts that represent the excess strap rolled up and secured.

Figure 3b - rear view of the trooper showing placement of the canteen and cartridge box.  The carbine sling will be bent down so the carbine sprung hook falls more naturally straight down.  The trooper's head is taken from MIG Productions pack of Bald Heads No. 1.  The back of the head is built up with putty so the shako will fit more naturally.  The putty is cut with an X-Acto knife blade so it looks like hair.

Figure 3b

 

 
 

Figure 4a

 

 

Figure 4a shows the horse after painting using artist's oils.  Horse hair will be applied in a later step.  All harnesses have been painted with Vallejo VC0941 Burnt Umber and will serve as the outline for the light brown harnesses.  The girth strap is Vallejo VC0884 Stone Grey.  This horse will be a dark bay which is why the lower part of the legs are black.  Hooves a mixture of Vallejo VC0950 Flat Black and VC0981 Orange Ochre.  British light cavalry horse equipment featured a cloth shabraque with rounded corners.

 

 

 

 

Figure 4b at right shows the completed saddle with round portmanteau.  The sheepskin saddle cover is first painted Vallejo VC0951 Flat White then stained with my "off-white" mix and highlighted with white.  The harnesses have a final coat of paint to represent the light brown color of British leather.  This is a two-thirds mix of Vallejo VC0981 Orange Ochre and one-third VC0913 Yellow Ochre.  Monograms supplied in the kit were tediously glued to the cloth shabraque.  The portmanteau round ends were separate pieces with raised monogram detail.  The 13th Light Dragoons' facing color was buff which was applied using Vallejo VC0976 Buff to the wide band around the cloth shabraque, lettering, portmanteau ends, and the festooning around the edge of the sheepskin saddle cover.  Horsehair is painted with my mix of semi-gloss black.  Horseshoes are painted with Vallejo VC0864 Natural Steel. 

Figure 4b

 

 

Figure 5a

 

 

Figures 5a (left) and 5b (right) - painting of the figure has been started by setting the shako and its chinscales in place all painted flat black.  The white band around the top will be overpainted with yellow later on - the white serves as a good foundation base for the yellow.  Chinscales are painted Vallejo VC0801 Brass.  The lower rim of the shako, the visor, and top (not visible) are painted semi-gloss black.  The jacket is painted in my mix of French Dark Blue.  Facings on the cuffs, collar, lapels, and turnbacks are Vallejo VC0986 Buff.  The canteen is Andrea ANAC51 Union Blue and its straps are Andrea ANAC42 Brown Leather.  The haversack and its strap is my mix of Off White (30% Vallejo VC0988 Khaki and 70%VC0950 White).   

Figure 5b

 

 
 
 

Figure 6a

 

 

Figure 6a is the right side of the completed figure.  The carbine is glued via its attachment point to the spring-loaded hook already attached to the carbine sling.  The carbine wood stock is painted in Andrea ANAC17 Medium Brown and then given a coat of clear semi-gloss. Horse reins were strips of lead sheet, primed, and painted in the mix described in panel 4b, above. Vallejo AC0953 Flat Yellow was used to paint the shako's top rim, the epaulettes, cap lines, and flounders. 

The sword is attached to a lead foil strip glued around the lower arm.  In this pose, the trooper is preparing to charge and will fire his pistol at close range, throw it away, grab the sword, and melee.  Cap lines in yellow were made from No. 12 household copper wire strands, passed under the right epaulette, looped and dropped again to attach to flounders over the right chest. 

 

 

 

 

Figure 6b at right is another view of the completed figure to illustrate painting.  In this view, the belting of the sword and sabretache are shown.  All were made from strips of lead sheeting, primed, and painted in a mix of my Off White and Vallejo VC0951Flat White.  British light dragoon sabretaches were plain and attached to the trooper's belt by two straps as opposed to three straps seen on French cavalry. 

Campaign trousers for the light dragoons differed among the regiments.  The 13th wore plain gray overalls painted using Vallejo VC0870 Medium Sea Gray with light brown leather inserts and cuffs painted in Vallejo VC0981 Orange Ochre washed with Vallejo VC0941 Burnt Umber.  The single red stripe is Vallejo VC0947 Red.   All horse harness fittings are VC0864 Natural Steel.  The pose of a dangling sword and firing a pistol or carbine was not uncommon.  In this model, I imagined that a squadron of the 13th Light Dragoons is preparing to charge.  When close enough, troopers would fire their pistols, throw them away, grab the sword, and enter the melee swinging away.

Figure 6b

 

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****** FINIS ******

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bowden, Scott.  Armies at Waterloo.  Arlington, TX: Empire Game Press, 1983.

Fosten, Brian.  Wellington's Light Cavalry, Osprey Men-at-Arms No. 126.  London, UK: Osprey Publishing Ltd., 1982.

Fosten, DSV and BK.  The Thin Red Line, Plate No. 14, Light Dragoons 1815.  Hackbridge, Wallington, UK: Pimpernel Studios, 1986.

Pimlott, John.  British Light Cavalry, Nations in Arms 1800-1815.  London, UK: Almark Publishing Ltd., 1977.

Wooten, Geoffrey.  Waterloo 1815 - Osprey Campaign Series No. 15.  London, UK: Osprey Publishing Ltd, 1992.

 

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