The 7th Queen's Own Light Dragoons (Hussars), hereafter 7th Hussars, was brigaded with the 15th King's Own Hussars and the 2nd King's German Legion Hussars (detached) as the 5th Cavalry Brigade commanded by Major General Sir Colquhoun Grant, in the Cavalry Corps of Wellington's Army at the Battle of Waterloo, 18 June 1815. 

Grant's Brigade had present for duty including the 2nd KGL Hussars was 63 officers and 1,268 other ranks for a grand total of 1,331 troops. The 7th Hussars had three squadrons at Waterloo with a present-for-duty strength of 18 officers and 385 other ranks.  It lost at Waterloo the following: officers: 2 killed, 7 wounded, 3 missing; other ranks: 62 killed, 109 wounded, 15 missing; total loss was 198 out of 403.  See table below.

Regiment Present Killed Wounded Missing Total % Loss
7th Queen's Own Hussars 403 64 116 18 198 49%
15th King's Own Hussars 456 24 54 5 83 18%
2nd KGL Hussars not engaged at Waterloo; at Courtrai, Belgium
5th Cavalry Brigade Total 859 88 170 23 281 33%


The brigade was initially posted at the junction of the Nivelles-Wavre road, probably south of Mont St. Jean.  According to General Sir Evelyn Wood, in his book Cavalry in the Waterloo Campaign, page 168, the British 13th Light Dragoon Regiment of Arenschildt's 7th Cavalry Brigade, joined Grant's brigade, and the three regiments were sent to the Army's right flank to meet a perceived attack by Piré's French Lancer brigade between 3:00 and 4:00 pm.  Piré retired on Grant's approach.  At approximately 4:00 pm, Maréchal Ney ordered the commencement of the grand cavalry attack against Wellington's right center.  Grant's brigade did not participate until the French cavalry retreated, each regiment charging different groups of retiring cavalry.  Other cavalry participated until the whole affair was terminated after something like twelve distinct French cavalry charges.



British hussar regiments were individually dressed as to uniform color, piping color, and facing color but the uniform articles were all the same, especially the unique hussar dolman and the heavier article often slung on the shoulder, the pelisse.  For the 7th "Queen's Own" Hussars, the dolman, pelisse, and trousers were dark blue.  All piping was yellow including dolman and pelisse braid.  Buttons were brass.  The facing color was the same color as the uniform clothing, dark blue.  Collar and cuffs were highly decorated with several strands of looped piping.  The waist sash was dark red with yellow barrels and a red double cord with yellow tassels attached at the rear, looped around the upper right thigh, and attached to the front of the waist sash.  The pelisse fur was black.

The busby (or colpack) was dark brown with an unadorned red bag.  Yellow cap lines wrapped around the center of the busby and fell behind the bag, which was allowed to fall to the right, where it was attached to buttons on the right upper chest with a decorative pair of yellow raquettes.  The plume was white with a red base extending one-third of the way up the plume.  Brass chin scales completed the headgear ensemble.  The trousers on campaign were dark blue with a black leather riding insert covering all portions of the leg that were in contact with the saddle including full cuffs.  The outside seam had a double yellow stripe.  Boots were black with white metal spurs. 

Equipment was the standard for British cavalry except that the light cavalry (light dragoons and hussars) carried the curved sabre with white metal hilt in a white metal scabbard.  A plain black sabretache with two loops (officers had three loops).  All slings and belts were white.  The ammunition pouch was plain black.  Additional equipment was the off-white beige-gray haversack and blue canteen with red-brown strap.  Pistols were the .653 calibre New Land light cavalry pattern carried under the sheepskin shabraque in holsters.  All enlisted men were also armed with the short-barreled 16" Paget carbine that was carried hooked to the carbine sling.

This model is built entirely from Historex spare parts and a MIG Productions head for the trooper.



          Figure 1        



Modeling starts off with the horse shown in Figure 1 at left.   One of the most economical "spare parts kits" is HX3361 Five Horses in the most commonly used poses.  Assembly is straight forward after all seam lines have been removed and sanded: glue horse body halves together, head to body, ears to head, mane to head, forelock to head, horse shoes to exposed hooves, girth strap and false martingale made from sheet lead. 

The tail is drilled out to take a brass pin, then glued in place.  The crupper is made from sheet lead and glued so that enough of it passes over the rump to land inside where the shabraque will fall.  Next, the Pyrogravure tool is used to highlight the horse's hair, especially the mane and forelock where they need to blend into the main body of the horse at the back of the neck.

     Figure 2 at right shows the horse painted in artist oils.  The horse's forelock, mane, and tail will be painted later turning this horse into a chestnut.  The girth was painted in Vallejo VC0884 Stone Gray.  The harnessing was first painted in Vallejo VC0941 Burnt Umber which creates the thin outline.  Over this is painted a mix of 1/3 Vallejo VC0981 Orange Ochre and 2/3 VC0856 Brown Ochre.  A watered-down coat of clear semi-gloss is applied over the leather harnessing.

Oils used were Winsor-Newton Burnt Sienna, Lamp Black, Titanium White, and Cadmium Orange Hue. Off-white was applied to the eye sockets.  The sockets were surrounded with a dark brown/black liner.  Andrea ANAC17 Dark Brown was the first pass of the eyeball.  In the center of the eyeball was a dot of black.  Just above this and off to one side was painted a speck of white to represent reflected light on the eyeball.  A thinned down bit of clear gloss was painted over the eyeball. 
       Figure 2



Figure 3



Figure 3 - The entire kit was built from Historex spare parts which I have accumulated over the last 30 or so years.  Well, I did have to order a couple of parts to complete the kit.  This view shows the torso, legs, and the MIG Productions 54mm resin head.  Note that it does not have a collar which I will make from sheet lead, a simple thing to do.

Figure 4 - The resin replacement head does not have a collar; so, one has to be fashioned.  I use lead sheet material as shown in Figure 4.  After determining the correct height of the collar, I cut one end at 45 degrees and super glued it in place as shown.  After drying, the material is easily bent around the neck.  Another 45 degree cut is made to close the collar.

Figure 4



Figure 5



Figure 5 - The collar has been "incorporated" into the uniform.  Note also the waist belt which is also a strip of sheet lead adorned with the Historex buckle super glued over the joint.  I painted the figure's jacket and trousers with my mix of "French" dark blue.  The Historex stirrups have lead sheet straps with the Historex stirrup leathers loops.  They are super glued to the bottom of the boots, tucked just behind the knee, and super glued there.  The waist belt is painted in Vallejo VC0946 Dark Red to which will be added yellow barrels.





Figure 6 at right shows the placement of the busby which has had its "fur" run over by a pyrogravure "hot tool".  The Busby "bag" is red without tassel.  The basic uniform is dark blue with yellow piping and braid.  The campaign overalls are dark blue with double yellow stripes down the outside seams.  Boots a semi-gloss black. 

Figure 6



Figure 7



Figure 7 is the figure mounted on the horse.  The cartridge box and carbine slings were made from strips of sheet lead.  Where each joins in the back, a buckle was glued to hide the join.  These belts and the sword belt are painted with a mix of Vallejo VC0950 Flat White and my pre-mixed off-white. 

Yellow cap lines encircle the busby.  These are made from fine copper strands taken from No. 12 house wire.  Another pair of wires exits the rear of the busby, fall to the shoulder, and are glued to the top right row of the dolman's buttons.   From that point, raquettes are glued. 

The white sheepskin shabraque is blued over the cloth shabraque making sure that the portmanteau bearing the unit's identity "VII LD" fits.  Other details are explained in the next panel.  The light brown reins on this side of the horse have yet to be attached.






Figure 8 at illustrates several additions.  Where the sword belt crosses the left hip, two holes were drilled.  In each was glued a combination of the a sword and sabretache sling with the sword slings on the inside so the sabretache falls to the outside.  The slings were made from strips of lead sheeting, primed, and painted in a white mix described in the panel above.  Note the rear of the cartridge box and carbine slings showing how the buckle hides the join of the lead strip belting.

The hussars campaign trousers, as shown in panel 6 above, had semi-gloss black paint applied to the inside to represent the leather insert sewn to the trousers that bore on the saddle leathers to prevent wear. 

The arms are glued in position after the figure is mounted to be sure that there is clearance; otherwise, the arms would have to be adjusted. 

Figure 8



Figure 9


Figure 9 is the completed figure, right side view.  Reins have been attached to the right side.  All reins, shabraque leather, and stirrup leathers were painted with a mix of Vallejo VC0856 Ochre Brown (50%) and VC0981 Orange Brown (50%).  Saddle leather was painted with Andrea ANAC42 Red Leather, stained with ANAC48 Dark Leather, and washed with semi-gloss clear. The specific bits used are Historex Spare HXS367 British light cavalry and Royal Horse Artillery style bits.  The carbine has been attached to its sling: ANAC17 Medium Brown stock, VC0864 Natural Steel barrel and lock, and VC0801 Brass for other metal fittings. 

The busby plume is white with a red base (Vallejo VC0947 Red).  More than likely, the pelisse was left in storage in Brussels.  It was generally worn during cold weather.  It was hung from the left shoulder for parade. 




Figure 10 is the completed figure, left side view.  Each Historex mounted kit comes with a sprue of four horse shoes so I have quite a few spares.  I only add them to the bottom of hooves that are visible.  They a glued on, dried, sanded to fit, and painted with Vallejo VC0864 Natural Steel.

The exact uniform worn by the 7th Hussars at Waterloo is not known for sure.  It is possible that they wore medium gray campaign trousers with brown leather inserts.  The number and color of the stripes could have been single or double, red or yellow.  I have chosen dark blue based on the Fosten plate in The Thin Red Line, Plate 12.

The highly detailed and costly cloth shabraque was probably left in England and a simpler, dark blue one was used on campaign. 

Figure 10






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



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. 12, Hussars 1815.  Hackbridge, Wallington, UK: Pimpernel Studios, 1986.

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

Wood, Evelyn, General Sir, V.C.  Cavalry in the Waterloo Campaign.  East Felling, Tyne & Wear, UK; Worley Publications, 1991 (reprint).

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







© Copyright by George Grasse