Sunday, 29 November 2015

Russian (Karoliner/SYW) Cavalry

Don't get too exited!

For the last couple of years, with the arrival of the new SYW range I have concentrated on the new infantry figures and held off painting any more cavalry waiting for the new moulds.

However, I could do with a few more units of cavalry for a game I am putting on over the Christmas break. The new SYW cavalry is some way off, so I decided to use old Karoliner castings that have been sitting in a box in the garage for the last few years.

The Karoliner cavalryman K-931 is a nice figure (possibly not quite as stylish as the old HE version, but much more suitable for fitting in with the new range), and I already have a few units of them in my Karoliner/French army.

Although a nice figure, with the small head and hat it will not really fit in with my new infantry units, so I decided to have a play and see what this figure looks like with the new heads.

The Karoliner range have their belts on the outside, so are only really suitable for Russians and some cuirassiers, so I decided to do a Russian - probably cuirassier! I used the Russian officer's head, as this has formal curls, and also a large cockade on the front.

The head cuts off very easily with a heavy duty knife, and leaves a wide enough area to drill to accept the peg on the head. The fit is bang on, and if you use some thick super glue there is no need for any filler.

I think the more detailed and head and larger hat (the heads are cast in Model Metal for more detail) really bring the figure alive. I was so impressed that I decided to try a horse grenadier with the Russian grenadier head, which I think is also a good fit!

And even the trumpeter (K-931) and standard bearer (K-933) are easy to swap heads.

I have a small unit (8 troopers) of each on the painting table, I will post some pictures when they are finished.

I hadn't really noticed before, but these figures, particularly the trumpeter must be wearing very tight corsets to get a waist like that!

I'm sure the new cavalry will be an improvement on the Karoliners when they come out, and are needed for all the nations with the sword belt under the coat. However if you want to get some more mileage out of those old Karoliner moulds, or like me have some castings hanging around, this is worth a try.

After all...........if you look at the first few posts on this blog; when I first contacted PA all I wanted was some new heads!


  1. Good work Steve. You have achieved attractive results. i imagine the same operation could be performed on the Rossbach Prussian Cuirassiers.

    When the time comes to discuss the new Russians a decision will have to be made as to whether the Dragoon/Horse Grenadier figures should be in a coat or, following the example of the infantry molds, in the waistcoats they wore during the summer campaigns.

    1. Rahway

      To be quite honest I don't like the Rossbach cuirassiers as they just don't seem to fit in.

      I had thought about the dragoons in waistcoat - do you think they would be popular?


  2. I was all excited for a moment! But also a bit dismayed that it wss do close to the existing pose (much as I love it).

    The heads do look good! Any cavalry I do would be for WAS so the bekt ovet coat is fine but I'm thinking that if I took a Prussian fusilier csp and cut the mitre portion short then added fur texture and a hanging bag I could make a dragoon cap or if I trimmed the front plate and added a plume I could make a Saxe dragoon helmet.

    1. Ross

      The new heads do look good on the old Karoliners though!

      Chris tells me that the delays are in setting up for the move over to digital sculpting and things will pick up soon. I hope so as I am finding it as frustrating as everyone looking forward to the new cavalry, etc.

      There will be an Austrian jager head which might make a better Saxon helmet - or it might be possible to fit in the Saxon?

      This applies to everyone, if you send me ideas of the heads and hats you are looking for and I will see what can be fitted in.


    2. I was thinking of Saxe's as in Voluntaires de Saxe in the WAS as well as various mixed Legions with the classical plumed helmet that was the model for later French Dragoons. Not worth including I think. There will always be some special unit detail for converters to search out to make something different.

  3. I have been following your blog with interest since it started. I have been keen to start a collection of these figures for wargaming all along, but other projects have gotten in the way.

    I have now taken the plunge and recently acquired 16 moulds. All the current 12 SYW moulds plus 4 duplicates for figures I thought I might cast a lot of.

    This is my first experience of using Prince August moulds. I am using Model Metal and have found these very easy to cast.

    I will be buying all the moulds produced for this range and am looking forward to the next releases. I was also thinking of getting some of the older HE moulds, but am not sure how compatible they might be?

    Thanks for all your hard work in collaboration with Chris Tubb and Prince August. I am looking forward to more releases in 2016.


    Alan Charlesworth

    1. Alan

      The new SYW moulds are more detailed, and in general slightly "fuller" than the older ranges. The biggest difference is probably in the heads, the new SYW are much more detailed, and generally a bit larger, see photos above.

      The older HE moulds are full of character, but they are flatter and much less detailed (I understand they were carved out of wood). The Karoliners are not bad, but are less detailed, particularly the heads. I have all of them in my armies, and they look fine if in different units. That said I am not currently casting anything but the new SYW figures, but have done some head swaps on the Karoliner cavalry I had already cast, and they look fine. If you can wait then wait, but I cannot saw when they will be released.

      Also the old figures have belts outside, so really limited to where you can use them.

      Model metal is expensive, but does give the best results. I actually cast the heads in Model Metal and the bodies in 'scrap', which is very variable, but I do have the luxury of some separate moulds for the heads which Chris kindly made for me.

      As always, feedback and photos welcome.