Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dragoons by Hook or Crook!

Working with 40mm figures can present challenges since some manufacturers lines have not yet been fully built out and the aspiring collector of this scale has to be creative to get what's needed to make a complete army ready to fight. Since Sash and Saber's ECW line doesn't yet have any dragoon figures, I'm either going to have to go with Irregular Miniatures which are a good choice—or— since I'm in the states and with the nasty conversion rate these days, the cost per unit goes up a bit if I go with Irregular.... the alternative is digging out the "green stuff" and getting busy converting S&S musketeers to do duty as dragoons!

I've had decent success with adding cuffs, equipment and details with my French and Indian War collection using "green stuff", (I was able to backdate an AWI Brit artillery crew to work as a French F&I crew with a bit of trimming, head swaps, and the addition of larger cuffs. I've found 40mm is an easy scale to sculpt in and this latest outing with dragoons is working out pretty well. As of this evening I've got a unit of Okey's dragoons well on the way. These guys will also be able to perform in a pinch as a "forlorn hope" of commanded shot. In addition to adding cuffed cavalry boots, I added a few sacks of additional booty...no doubt plate looted from some local gentry's manor!...as well as a bit more flashy feather on the guidon bearer's hat. The command/dismounted marker (stand) uses a leftover Romanov command figure in a buffcoat from my infantry unit I finished a few weeks ago. I also tried the trick that Jeff at Saxe-Bearstein suggested of mounting the smaller S&S figures on pennies to get them to match the Romanov's better on the command stand. I think that strategy works great...I'll post the finished unit in a day or two.

I'm basing the unit on two 80mm by 60mm bases like a cavalry unit but with 4-5 foot figures on each base. (I use mdf laser cut bases from "Gale Force Nine" they have a great deal on a chinese food quart box full of bases (...on their "econo bases" page) that you specify when you order...they come in a day or two...blistering fast service for me in the states... I think Litko Systems especially in the UK, would also be a good choice though I've not ordered from them yet.

This unit will represent a looser formation of commanded shot or dragoons at roughly the same frontage as a horse or foot regiment but in the rules I'm using they will only be able to take two "hits" before being destroyed. In lieu of dismounted horse stands that would be cost prohibitive, I'm going with a 60mm round base of two command figures to place with the unit when it is to be counted as dismounted on the table. Otherwise it counts as mounted...until I can afford to splurge on a mounted dragoon unit with both mounted and dismounted versions. The round command base also gives me a chance to include a dragoon guidon (with pointed tails on the flag) for additional color. Can't wait to post these guys behind the nearest hedge and show those rampaging Royalist horse what getting to the baggage train really involves!


Bluebear Jeff said...

I'm glad that my suggestion helped you. Your green stuff Dragoons look great.

-- Jeff

tidders said...

I've been thinking of adding some standing and loading dragoons to my new unit before I start painting and was going to convert some other figs by adding cuffed cavalry boots just like you've just done.

Lovely conversions, will be nice to see them when they are fully painted.

-- Allan