Saturday, 8 June 2019

Austrian Erzherzog Joseph Dragoons

I have just completed my first 8 man unit of dragoons. These are new figures, so as a change from my usual practice of photographing the assembled unit I thought it worthwhile showing the individual figures.

I have painted them up based on Erzherzog Joseph Dragoons, but with some simplification (for example my hand is not steady enough for multiple lines on the saddle cloth). The figures are mostly as in the mould, but with one main change - I have replaced the heads with  older infantry officers heads, with mustache just painted on where appropriate. I did this primarily because I think the older, hand sculpted heads have better definition on the facial features - and also to maintain continuity with the cavalry I have already converted from the Karoliner range.


Apart from the Russian officer's head the only other minor change I have made is to fix the carbine a bit lower than the lug/hole suggested.

I think he is a very fine chap, and the mould will get a lot of use (I have cast 30 so far).


This time with an Austrian officer's head - another nice figure, who is also going to act as 'Brigadiers' in my army proudly taking command of 3 or 4 units.

(I appreciate the officers saddle cloth should be a different colour - however I had already painted it before I remembered and did not feel inclined to change it.)


Dragoons had drummers rather than trumpeters, apart from the head (and sword hilt) this is the standard figure.

I'm sure it would look better if I could paint an eagle on the drum - but these are wargames toys not display figures! Also there should be a sword hilt showing which was forgotten by sculptor, I could have easily corrected it using the hilt of of a sword from elsewhere - but I missed it until too late!

Standard Bearer

And finally the standard bearer. There is no actual figure for the standard bearer (we did not think it warranted an additional mould) - instead an extra arm has been provided to convert either the officer or trooper - I chose the trooper as he has a carbine cross belt which looks very similar to the one to carry a standard (there is also a cartridge box on the back).

The trooper and officer both have drawn swords, whereas for the standard bearer it should still be in the scabbard - I just glued on the hilt of a French sword.

Finished Unit

I have now based them up, so here is the completed unit.

Size Comparison

As discussed previously, the cuirassiers are too big, and do not fit in well with the rest of the SYW figures. To bring the dragoons into scale with the rest of the SYW range they have been plotted 7% smaller than the cuirassiers - I have taken some shots as size comparison.

First of all a comparison with the Austrian infantry. Both the infantryman and dragoon measure about 42mm from heel to top of hat - so that looks fine.

Next a comparison with my converted Karoliners. The Karoliner appears marginally larger, although again the men's heights are about the same - I suspect the difference is the larger head on the Karoliners horse. I think they will look fine together, particularly with the same heads on both figures.

And finally the cuirassiers - I checked it, that really is only 7%!

And as requested by Ross - a couple of shots against the old HE with musketoon.

The new figure is a bit larger and bulkier than the old HE, which is in line with the whole of the  SYW range. Note that I have used the Russian officer's head as I like the look of an almost full round head on the semi-flats (just personal taste), however the heads in the moulds are not quite as wide.

Overall Conclusions

The dragoons are really nice figures, I would have preferred something with a bit more energy, but will still be using them for the bulk of my Austrian and Prussian dragoons.

I have a unit part finished which have the sword arm replaced by the one on the shoulder taken from the cuirassiers - it will be interesting to see if the larger arm really shows up?

As always comments would be appreciated.


  1. Well, the cuirassiers were apparently "big men on big horses" as a number of history books point out. These look fine to my eyes, and once everything is deployed on the table, I'll bet the slight difference in size is not terribly apparent. The new dragoons look mouthwateringly good too.

    Best Regards,


    1. Stokes

      According to Duffy the Austrian SYW cuirassiers were actually quite small, as the larger men went to the infantry.


  2. Phew! Thanks for this.

    The pictures on PA website made it look like the Dragoon was almost as big as the Cuirassiers but here they look good. I think the galloping pose vs walking pose makes an exact comparison difficult but they look fine to me. Perhaps a shot vs the old HE dragoon carrying musketoon would be good?

    Anyway I will be buying a set of these after all.

    I think I may have found a use for a few of the Cuirassiers. A friend has a French Revolution project using the old Miesterzinn moulds which are taller and bulkier. The cuirassier horse is even taller but lighter and if I make a Miesterzinn sized bicorne head to fit the PA body I think they will fit closely enough.

    1. Ross

      I think the pictures on PA's website are digital images from the 3D sculpting program, not actual castings!

      As requested I have added some text and a couple of photos showing the new figures against the old HE.

      Hopefully PA are getting a grip on their scaling issues?


    2. Well a new medium is bound to mean a learning curve.