Saturday, March 5, 2011

Kroonprins Von Prussien: Part 1

Angus McBride's Prussian grenadier 1709 (left) and Prussian fifer Foot Guards 1704 as featured in Osprey's Marlborough's Army 1702-11 (Men-At-Arms 97)
Taking a spell from my Project Lewes, I have determined to crank out my next War of the Spanish Succession battalion - the Kroonprins Von Prussian regiment in Dutch service. Also spelt Kronprinz (if taken from the German rather than Dutch) this regiment was raised in 1698 and served with the army of the United Provinces (Dutch) originally as Keurprins when of Brandenburg and then Kroonprins once Frederick III secured Austrian acquiescence for his title of Frederick I, King of Prussia.

Notionally then, the regiment belonged to Colonel Proprietor Kroonprins Frederick William (later King Frederisk William I) also known as the 'Soldier King'. The last recorded Colonel Commandant (the man who actually ran and led the regiment) was Albrecht Conrad Fink Von Finkenstein (born 1660) and 46 years of age by the time of the battle of Ramilies (1706) - being the orbat I'm building against.

There's something exciting about creating one of the very first Prussian regiments - one of several highly professionalised units from the militarily reorganised state of Bradenburg/Prussia. It was the children and grandchildren of these men who forged that famous military reputation of army and state under Frederick the Great during the Seven Years War but it all starts here, alongside the Dutch.

By 1700 the regiment was reorganised along Dutch lines, leaders in military innovation amongst the Protestant nations, and thus my regiment will have 33 figures similar to my previous two Dutch regiments. Unlike them, this 'model' will be advancing to the front rather than representing platoon firing. My grenadier company will be advancing and lobbing grenades and my Finkenstein will be mounted.
Before shot: Danish grenadier

In spite of the growing range in figures for the War of the Spanish Succession, only one company appears to have made a Prussian grenadier. Unfortunately, Wargames Foundry only have one pose which I'm not overly excited about and they come in packs with more miniatures than I require. I have therefore bought Danish grenadiers from Front Rank being closest and with caps capable of conversion.

Frontal before shot

The front plate is broad, smooth and the right shape which I cut into and filed to achieve the scalloping effect. I cut away and filed the bag and will reconstruct a crown with tassel. I only need to do this three times - so no sweat ... well, sweat enough. I debated for some time about constructing a raised scalloped front flap but will paint it on instead. The back flap was scalloped similarly to the front. There were time when I thought it may have just been simpler to file the whole thing off and green stuff it from scratch. We shall see if I'm happy with the results.

Filed of spontoon and extended
base - flag to be Araldited.

My ensigns are also from Front Rank, one requiring surgical removal of his spontoon and both are having the spontoon heads drilled and fitted to extended steel shafts for the colours - the steel wire supplied is too thin for my liking.  Depicted left, I Supa Glued a plastic card base, extending to accommodate the base of the flag pole. The thickness of the casting and rigidity of the Front Rank alloy prevented me manipulating the arm to achieve the join at the figures base, as cast. I always fix spear shafts, lances, pikes and flag poles at at least two points, avoiding breaks and future repair. I used Selly's Araldite to fix the pole on this figure but used Supa Glue for my other - their being a filed grove on this miniature caused by the removal of his spontoon. 

The other ensign

Most of my rank and file are old Foundry advancing musketeers with old paint jobs. I have stripped them and started over. They are a collection from various other regiments when I used to be able to live with 18 figure units - but alas, those days are behind me. Once stripped, old and new figures will have the ends of their muskets drilled out and I notice a couple of bayonets require reconstruction. Due to the thickness of the head and neck on these castings, I am unable to manipulate the figures to vary their otherwise uniform pose. I will vary their positioning when basing to give them a more naturally advancing look and each grand division has an officer and sergeant who are varied and will break up the chocolate box. All in all, there is quite a lot of preparation for this particular regiment.
Before ...

After

Ready for undercoating

3 comments:

  1. Another interesting regiment is the dutch based Brandenburg marine regiment of course. German 'von' is in dutch 'van' but german 'von' usually denotes nobility, but not in dutch. So in dutch the regiment was probably named 'Kroonprins van Pruisen", but there were no absolote spelling rules at that time, and german, french and english spelling were used in one and the same text.


    Very, very nice figs. What did you use to strip the paint?

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  2. Should have mentioned the solution I used before. I applied 3M Paint Stripper (Industrial Strength) which is a gelatenous car paint product. It required use with chemical rubber gloves, takes 30 minutes max and some use of an old toothbrush. I have to say that after cleaning up 17 figures I could feel the cold heat in the back of my left hand. It's about as many as you could probably strip at one time. I needed this sort of product as I paint in enamels.

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  3. Mate,

    ohhhhh two regiments.... I am quaking in my well crafted leather French shoes with my red Spanish wollen stockings!!!

    I had better complete another regiment then!!

    Do you have plans for the ones I dropped off last week????

    Cheers
    matt

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