Thursday 8 December 2022

Hussar Size Comparison

In response to Ross's request, Peter Michael Prow has cast some figures (I still don't have the moulds) and photographed with the older Rossbach French Hussars (note there are no right arms on the new figures). The photos are on the PA Facebook Page - I have pinched them:

The Rossbach figures are the two bottom left. I have cast up a couple of units of the older figures, but personally I do not like the poses so only painted up one of them.

The new figures are more to my taste, and with the variation in horses and arms should make up some nice units.

And close ups with the two horse and head types (I think the officer horse might be different again).

And finally one with the Grenzer head.

If you have any questions please raise them in the comments and hopefully Peter will respond.

Saturday 3 December 2022

Hussar Moulds Released

 As you may have seen, PA have recently released their new SYW hussar moulds, just in time to add to Santa's list.

I had a fair bit of input into deciding what to put into the moulds, but due to other interests have lost contact with PA a little over the last few months, so have not had chance to try out the moulds in advance of release. I have a set on the way, and will cast up a few once I get hold of them - postal strike permitting. The pictures are just downloads from PA's website.

Although released as three separate moulds they are intended to work as a set taking advantage of interchangeable heads and arms.

3132 - Officer and Trumpeter in busby

The first mould shows a trumpeter in kolback, however looking at the mould contents it can be seen that there is also an arm with a sword, so he can make an officer pointing. This figure should differ from the other two moulds by not having the wide cross belt worn to by the troopers to carry the carbine (or the standard). 

  3133 - Trooper with busby 

The next mould has a trooper in kolback carrying a carbine. As with the officer, there is also an arm with a sword to allow variation, if the sword arm is used then a carbine needs to be found from the final mould (or from the dragoons).

If a standard bearer is wanted (not many carried them) the intention is to use the carbine arm and drill through.

3134 - Trooper with mirliton

And finally a trooper with a sword in mirliton. In addition to the sword arm this chap has a the separate carbine which needs to be attached. I am not keen on the head let off the horse as that will need some filing to sort out, however PA are squeezing a lot of goodies into these moulds.

So with the above it should be possible to make hussar units in either kolback or mirliton and with variation in arm and horse positions - it will be interesting to see if it works.

What is missing?

I asked for a fourth mould containing an Austrian hussar trooper with their distinctive long coat and tricorn, but I think I was pushing my luck a little. If people want it then it might be worth commenting on PA's Facebook page,

In all probability I will not be the first to use these moulds, so as always feedback would be appreciated.

Monday 22 August 2022

New Grenz Mould

 A couple of weeks ago I got my greasy mitts on the new Grenz mould containing the advancing figure and drummer.

I am in the middle of another project at the moment (20mm WW2 Normandy - I went there earlier this year), so it could be a while before I get around to painting up a unit. However, I was interested to see how the figures have turned out, so spent a few hours casting up enough the figures for a couple of 16 man units.

My current casting set up is in my garage/wargames room - pretty simple and easy to pack up:
  • The base board is just an offcut of kitchen unit shelving, it is fine under hot figures and small spillages, but would blister if a large lump of melted/hot metal was left in the same place for too long.
  • A 300W solder pot (a bit bigger than the one PA sell) - and PA ladle.
  • There is also a cheap digital thermometer (the thin twisted black wire on the right).
  • Moulds (usually in pairs) are normally just held by 3 elastic bands, but this one needed a bit of extra pressure in the middle to prevent flash, so there is an additional PA clamp.
  • I have a pin vice handy to push 1mm holes through the mould sides in difficult areas, in this case  it needed vents in the lower tips of both sword scabbards.
  • Pliers for getting the figures from the moulds and snips for cutting off the ingates etc.
Below are photos of the new Grenz figures 'as cast' using Model Metal, I have cut off the ingates etc. but not cleaned them up any further - the head is 'as cast' and just pushed in. (You can see the marks on the scabbards where I have drilled vents.)

They are pretty clean and should not take a lot of preparation and I think will paint up well.

I intend to make 16 man 'close order' units, with 13 advancing, the drummer plus an officer and standard bearer from the Hungarian range. I will base them on single bases so that they can also act in open order.

I have also cast up a unit using 'scrap metal', they also cast easily, detail is not as crisp, but should also paint up well.

I hope someone buys them - as I had to twist PA's arm to get them made😟.

Sunday 19 June 2022

How much metal do I need?

Over the weekend I ran some participation games, which were re-runs of the Prague game we put on at Hammerhead back in March, but this time using the 'Field of Battle' rather than the 'A Gentleman's War' rules. Both are fun rules, however I found the FoB games ran quicker.

One of the players was considering building an army using the PA moulds, and asked how many figures can be cast from a bar of metal. I guessed a unit was about 250-500g (2-4 bars), but was not really sure - I have now looked into it in more detail..................

Prince August Metal Bars

PA's bars of Model Metal weigh 125g each, and according to their website will cast five 40mm foot figures.

Apparently the bars are sold by volume, so for interest I weighed 4 of each - Model Metal averaged 126g/bar and Casting Metal (surprisingly) a bit lighter at 121g/bar.

I also weighed a couple of my completed units (mostly scrap metal), after making allowance for the basing:

  • A 16 figure infantry unit weighs about 325g, just over 20g per figure, so 5 or 6 foot figures per bar should be about right (3 bars per unit).
  • An 8 figure dragoon unit as heavier at something like 500g, so 62.5g/figure - 2 per bar (4 bars per unit).
Looking on the PA site, there is currently (19/06/2022) little price difference between the two metals, assuming you buy 30 bars (enough for about 8-10 units), the cost per bar is:
  • Model Metal - £3.47/bar
  • Casting Metal - £3.25/bar
Model Metal generally produces much better castings, so at these prices there is little point in buying the cheaper metal (but prices are ever changing).

At the time of writing Model Metal is about £28/kilo (plus postage), so about £0.55 for infantry and £1.75 per cavalry; clearly if you can substitute/recycle  'free' scrap lead you can both save money and feel smug!

Scrap Lead

As I have said many times, the bulk of my figures are cast from scrap metal, although I do use Model Metal for fine detail such as heads, and Casting Metal when I run out of scrap.

For reference I weighed some bags of Old Glory ECW figures, these are small 28mm, both the foot (30 figures) and cavalry (10 figures) weight in around the 420g mark - about enough for a semi-flat unit. (I'm not suggesting you melt down new figures - it is just to give an idea of comparative weights.)

Anybody who knows someone who home casts, please don't throw away old figures, metal sprues etc. save them and get them recycled,

Printer's Metal

PA are currently selling old printer's metal at £15.83/1.9kg, so £8.50/kilo - less than the 1/3 price of Model Metal - has anyone tried it? 

If you can add any useful information please share it in the comments section.

Friday 10 June 2022

More Frei Korps

Just to let you know I am still here and painting.

We have been playing a lot of games with the semi-flats over the last few months, unfortunately I never remember to take photos.

Frei Korps

I have painted up a unit of 'double blues' using advancing figures so that they can fit in close order. They are a bit generic so probably do not tie in exactly with any one unit, although du Verger (Quintus Icilius) is probably closest. I must confess that as this project progresses I am tending to paint things to my fancy rather than trying to be exact.

Frei Korps did not officially carry standards, I find it difficult to believe that units would not have some sort of rallying flag, and toy soldiers I think MUST have them, so I have painted spare figures to give them a flag (I think from Frei Korps von Kleist cavalry?)

Thursday 31 March 2022

New hussars - what moulds are needed?

One of the next things on Prince August's 'to do' list are SYW hussars. There are already a number of hussars in the Rossbach range, however they do not fit in with the new figures, the Prussian one with carbine is actually quite nice, but a little small, whereas the poses in the French moulds are not to my liking.

I don't know when these will be done, however it is worth having a discussion about what is wanted, before the sculptor starts work?

Prussian Hussars

There is only likely to be one set of hussar moulds, so these will need to be able to cast figures for many nations; consider the Prussians as a starting point as I have some nice pictures. 

Within a cavalry units I generally like to have the following figures:

  • Officer which is different to the troopers.
  • Standard Bearer - hussars did not usually carry standards, but they look good so add one.
  • Musician, in this case a trumpeter.
  • Trooper.

Uniform and Equipment

In order to cover all 4 figures, one option would be to provide a mould for each, however as there will be separate heads, right arms and carbines this could be done with less moulds, so possibly allowing for more variety in horse poses. Initially just consider two main body types.

Equipped with a wide cross belt. If assembled with a sword arm and carbine hung alongside, this will act as a trooper, alternatively with a suitable arm and no carbine  he would make a standard bearer (as was done in the dragoons, which look fine).

If there is no belt, then with a suitable sword arm he could act as an officer, or alternatively a musician with an arm carrying trumpet.


For the Prussians there are two types of head required, the kolback and the mirliton, so clearly both of these need to be provided.


The saddlecloths and leatherwork on the horses of all ranks all look similar (with the 'dog tooth' edging), so the same horses could be used for troopers and command figures.

As the torsos will be attached to the horses we need a minimum of two horse/torso moulds, however for these flamboyant types it might be worth asking PA to produce 3 to add some variety?

For the hussars I think the horses should be in a dynamic pose such as a canter or even a gallop, whilst still trying to maintain some of that 'old school' feel of the old Holger Erikkson figures.

Austrian Hussars

Austrian hussars were very similar to the Prussians, but  with some significant differences.

There were no 'dogs teeth' around the saddlecloth, just a wide stripe, so to be a 'universal' figure it is necessary to change the edging detail.

The Austrian trumpeters had a very distinct uniform, they did not wear the pelisse and kolback/mirliton, instead they wore a long tailed coat and tricorn. 

The undress uniform of the officers was similar (he would make a nice mounted Hungarian officer I suspect).

Russian Hussars

The Russians were again similar but with a couple of differences compared with the Prussians.

The saddle cloth, like the Austrians, they just had the plain striped edging

Reading both Osprey MAA 271 and Kronoskaff it appears they may not have been issued with carbines, although image 1 has a suspension belt to support one, and Kronoskaff states that one source says they had them. On that basis I think I would add them, however if anyone feels strongly enough that they should not carry them, then the whole unit could be made using the officer horse/torso with no cross belt. 

In Conclusion - at last

So after all that waffle, what do I think PA should consider making - I'm not sure how they will sell these - it might be best as a multiple pack like the dragoons?


All saddle cloths to have simple wide stripe on the edge which will serve Austrians and Russians and act as a guide for the Prussian 'dog tooth'.

1 x Officer/trumpeter horse/torso with no carbine cross belt. This figure can be used for all officers and most musicians. It can also be used for Russians with no carbine, but unit will have little variation.

2 (or perhaps just one) x Trooper/standard with wide carbine/standard belt to be used for troopers and standard bearers. If two poses can be done it will give more variety in the horses. 

1 x Austrian trumpeter/officer horse/torso with no carbine cross belt, this figure is specific for Austrians. (It would possibly also make a Hungarian mounted officer).


The general requirement is for kolbacks and mirlitons.

The 'Austrian' mould needs a tricorne.


All arms need to be interchangeable with a round socket to allow the angle to be changed, with:

  • Sword pointing ahead in 'charge'.
  • Arm bent for standard (to be drilled out)
  • Trumpet
  • Possibly bent arm with sword?
  • Possibly arm with carbine like first picture above?

As always your comments would be appreciated - and listened to.

I do not know when PA will be doing the hussar moulds, however i would be useful to have your thoughts - particularly if you are likely to be wanting to buy the moulds.

Tuesday 29 March 2022

More Grenz Infantry?

Prince August have agreed to produce another mould to add variety to the Grenz, and we are trying to finalise what figures to include.


Most importantly (from my point of view anyway) is an advancing figure, which will serve two main purposes:

  • It can be mixed into the skirmishing line to both give variety and stop the advancing officer sticking out like a sore thumb amongst the stationary firing poses.
  • It can also be used to make up units of Grenz in close order.

Sculpting is almost complete, below are come screen shots of the near complete figure, in the same stance as all the other advancing figures.

Second Figure???

If PA stick with just one more mould, then what other figure is best to occupy the second space? There was a lot of similarity between the uniforms of the Grenz and Hungarian infantry, so the range needs to make best use of the Hungarian moulds:

  • Officer - the Grenz and Hungarian officers were very similar, so there is no point in making another.
  • Standard Bearer - it is doubtful the Grenz carried standards in the field, however if one is wanted (I will add one), then again the Hungarian officer with standard will be fine.
  • NCO - a possibility, but perhaps a luxury.
  • March Attack - again a possibility, however I envisage most Grenz on the table in 'open order' a lot of the time, so march attack not really 'dual purpose'.
  • Musician - I think a musician is a must for any respectable close order unit. Little seems to be known about their uniforms, however I suspect they would be similar to the rank and file,

So in conclusion, I think the musician is the best bet for the second space, allowing close order units with the new advancing and musician figures plus Hungarian officer and standard bearer.

Grenz Musicians?

I have scoured my books and the internet, and can find very little about Grenz musicians. I suspect they should be drummers uniformed similar to the rank and file, although Crusader Miniatures give them a hornist? Just after the war I have read that they had 'swallows nests' on their shoulders, and Minden figures have them so it should be OK to add them.

If any of you have any details could you please let me have them, otherwise we will go with a drummer uniformed as the line but with swallows nests. 

As always comments and suggestions welcome.

Monday 7 March 2022

Hammerhead Show

The game at Hammerhead show went pretty smoothly, and there was a lot of chatting around the table about 'the good old days' when 'toys were toys'.

Rather than rattling on I've just uploaded some photos and added a bit of text below where useful. You will gather the photos are not in order (from multiple people).

We played the game with a modified version of the 'A Gentleman's War', the main thing we did was change the activation to a simple alternate move system to speed things up.

There is also a video of the game  -

A general view of the table at set up.
(I'm the handsome chap top right.)

Prussian fusiliers - the first SYW unit cast and painted.

Another view at set up with the lonely Austrian grenadiers
on the hill.

It was a participation game.
Not all players were old timers.

The 3pdr battalion guns are Karoliner barrels on Rossbach carriage
with SYW wheels.

Austrian and Hungarian grenadiers.
(I know they shouldn't have flags - but they are my toys!)

Prince August kindly provided some moulds and kit which 
we displayed to show how it is done.

Prussian Dragoons
SYW dragoons with cuirassier arms and infantry officer heads.

Prussian Cuirassier.
Rossbach cuirassiers with SYW Prussian officer heads.

Mounted Officer.
SYW dragoon officer with head and arm from SYW 'general'.

Austrian Dragoons
SYW dragoons with cuirassier arms and Russian infantry officer heads.

Buildings are 3D printed.
All buildings are 28mm scale to save space - nobody noticed!

Austrian Cuirassier.
Karoliner cavalry with SYW officer heads.
(The SYW cuirassiers are way too big so not used.)