Ebergenyi's Ersatz Hussars

As I mentioned a week ago I bought a load of Strelets WSS French Dragoons with the intention of using them as Hungarian Hussars. This buying choice was driven mainly by their headgear. My general philosophy on figures is that if the hats are right, most anything else doesn't matter.

I prepped a load of them shortly after the original post, undercoated them and started to get to work. As the figures don't come with a pelisse I was resolved to paint them in winter dress, wearing their furry edged jackets, rather than having them slung. I would observe at this point that the only 1/72 box that purports to do Hungarian Hussars of the period, made by GerMan, shows the figures wearing their jackets too.

It soon came clear to me as I started to paint them that my approach just wouldn't do. There was no way that paint could conceal they were wearing long coats, not short jackets, and the coats obscured the brightly covered leggings the Hussars wore as well. Hmm.

There was nothing for it but to separate man from horse and have at them with a modelling knife. Of course, contrary to normal experience the figures were well and truly stuck this time round, and didn't fall off at the merest touch. After a bit of carefully prising with an old blade they came away, fortunately preserving the paintwork on the horses that was already complete (I hasten to add now that my painting technique isn't one for the faint hearted, and I wouldn't share it with new aspiring figure painters).

A new sharp scalpel blade was soon worrying at the plastic. This comes away easily, being soft plastic, and you can shape the the skirts of the coat away without too much difficulty. Once I'd succeeded in slicing into my thumb work became a little more difficult, until application of superglue stopped the bleeding. In the process I also managed to cut one of the carbines in half, so the rest of that and the cross belt also had to come off. 

Anyway, I finally got them done, and refitted them to the horses.

From a distance they don't look too bad. I've learnt somethings from this process, and the next batch will come up a bit better, I hope. Ideally I'd like to find a way to curve the sabre, but that means curving the scabbard and due to its location I don't think application of heat in anyway will do the trick. I think that the cuffs need brining down in size, and maybe some Miliput for the fur edging to the jackets.

From behind you can see that they still don't fit properly on the horses, although they are a better fit with the coat skirts cut away.

On a side note, although they are light cavalry I have still put three figures on the bases, like my heavies. I have also not given them the removable guidon that denotes the unit is fresh, as I am not expecting to give lights the "Unit is fresh" charge bonus in the rules.

There are lessons to be learned from this exercise, some of them obvious, some less so. Needless to say working on the figures before they are covered in glue and paint is right up there as a priority.

And not sticking a modelling knife in my thumb.


  1. Nice experience, Graham! To display the Hungarian hussars of the Prince of Savoy, I used the Black Hussars of Frederick the Great 8079 Zvezda. There you should work a little with a headdress, but a mentic, boots, a tashka, sabers, and a horse harness - everything is available ... Yours faithfully.

    1. I think the work on the headdress needed might be beyond me, but they are nice figures, like all Zvezda. I am also in deep with my Strelets purchases too, so I will have to stick with my current plan. Thank you for the suggestion.

  2. They have turned out really well and look the part, look forward to seeing more as I think they will look great en masse.

    1. I think they'll look okay on the table. I'm getting to the point where I nearly have enough Imperialists to do an army photo shoot, so keep an eye out for that.


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