Truchseß dragoons join the Barryat of Lyndonia

“The dragoons will advance!”  The latest regiment to join my 18th century imagi-nation, the Barryat of Lyndonia, are these dragoons based on the real-life Prussian Truchseß dragoon regiment.  Click on the above picture to get the full effect.

The Barryat of Lyndonia is based on the movie Barry Lyndon, of course.  This new regiment is the first unit in the Lyndonian army that veers away from the movie, though.  I’ve mentioned in a previous posting the unscientific method I used when I chose to replicate the pink and light-blue uniform colours of the Truchseß dragoons:

Because when I met my wife back in the 80s, pink and light-blue were the ‘in’ colours – she not only wore (very attractively, I might add) pink and light-blue eye-shadow, but we painted our first house together with pink and light-blue trim.  Despite being well out of fashion now, I still have a fondness of that colour combination, so how could I resist a unit dressed in light-blue uniforms with pink facings?!

The regiment currently is made up of 24 figures –  two officers, one drummer and one standard bear (all based singly) and two squadrons of 10 troopers (based in pairs).  I plan to add a couple more troopers to each squadron, as I’m finding 10 an unsatifying number for arranging my regiment in symmetrical formations!  Note that I don’t organise my regiments  in any historical way – they are merely for playing fun wargames, not simulating history.

And before anyone asks, I don’t base to suit any particular set of rules.  Any rules I will use have to be able to cope with my basing, not the other way round!

The figures are all 28mm Minden Miniatures (the most exquisite 18th century figures around, in my opinion).  The standard is merely printed out from a lovely picture on the Kronosaf website.

The horses were under-coated with rust-coloured car primer, then rubbed with burnt umber or black oil paint.  This oil paint used to belong to my Dad, who passed away in 1984, so it imbues my figures with a touch of personal memories, and also shows you how long oil paint lasts!   Oh, and I had some expert help on painting horses, who is  seen inspecting the results in the picture below.

All the above photos were taken on my mobile phone, as our digital camera is presently on holiday in the United Kingdom with my wife and daughter.  While the picture quality isn’t as clear as with a camera, the photos have turned out adequate enough.

A haughty general officer of the Barryat of Lyndonia

Here’s a haughty general officer of the Barryat of Lyndonia, wearing the uniform of the Truchseß Dragoons (Minden Miniatures, 28mm).

This is a sneak preview of a project  I’ve been boxing along with in the background of my other painting over the last few months.  He is the first completed figure of a new fictitious unit for the army of the Barryat of Lyndonia, my 18th century  imagi-nation based on the movie Barry Lyndon.

As I’ve now completed infantry units based on all three British, Prussian and French infantry regiments that feature strongly in the movie, I’ve now turned my hand to cavalry.  While there are a few Prussian cavalrymen in the movie, they are basically in infantry uniforms with attached plumes, and don’t do anything for me.  So I decided to do a completely new unit, not from the movie at all.

I chose to loosely base my first cavalry unit for the Barryat of Lyndonia on the real-life Prussian Truchseß regiment of dragoons.  Why?  Because when I met my wife back in the 80s, pink and light-blue were the ‘in’ colours – she not only wore (very attractively, I might add) pink and light-blue eye-shadow, but we painted our first house together with pink and light-blue trim.  Despite being well out of fashion now, I still have a fondness of that colour combination, so how could I resist a unit dressed in light-blue uniforms with pink facings?!

As this figure was originally a Minden Hanovarian officer, and not a Prussian at all, he is wearing his sash incorrectly across his shoulder for a Prussian (who wore them around the waist).  Even though with an imagi-nation army I’m not bound by accuracy, I decided to paint the sash as a military decoration ribbon instead – the orange ribbon of the Order of the Black Eagle.  With such an important decoration, he has been duly promoted to a general officer.

My Truchseß Dragoons will eventually have 24 figures, divided into two squadrons of 12.

Oh, by the way, the photos were taken on my phone.  While not as crisp and clear as a camera, they are certainly quite adequate enough for blog pictures, don’t you think?  The background is our front paddock, on the last day of an absolutely beautiful Easter weekend here in Paraparaumu.

In police hands – my miniatures under arrest!

Displaying your miniatures in a police museum might seem an odd venue, but that is what happened to me recently when I was asked to take part in a police hobbies exhibition at the New Zealand Police Museum.

While I do actually have quite a large collection of police badges and miniature police vehicles (maybe the subject of another posting sometime, if anyone is interested), the event was intended to also show off other hobbies enjoyed by police staff.  So I was asked to exhibit my model soldiers.

I decided my display would be based on the adage that “few is more”.  Rather than ladening down a table with huge amounts of figures, I would put out only a few units to give give a taster of several different periods.  This also helped with transport and setting up, as I only had a very limited time.

But I wish I had pulled that tablecloth straight!

The main part of my display featured my New Zealand Wars collection, made up of the wonderful 28mm Empress Miniatures figures.

This was quite an appropriate period for the police setting, as the history of the New Zealand Police is inextricably entwined with those wars.  The particular part of the wars that my miniatures portray is a decade or two earlier than when the Armed Constabulary (forerunners of our modern police) came on the scene.  But it was a talking point for the audience, nevertheless.

I also displayed one of my 18th century battalions of Minden figures, painted as a British regiment from the movie Barry Lyndon.  This showed how impressive a large unit of figures could look.

In the background I set up one of my painting resources (in this case Mollo and McGregor’s Uniforms of the Seven Years War 1756-63). Many of the audience were very interested to see how detailed the research for our hobby could be … and laughed when I told them that I had painted my models to  faithfully replicate the inaccuracies from the movie!

The final exhibit was my entire American Civil War collection.  This is a period I’ve half-started, as you can see, but never really got anywhere with.  But those colourful zouaves certainly were show-stoppers at the display.  These, and the Confederates facing them, were all Redoubt figures.   Again, a colourful book in the background added interest.

Overall, it was great to be able to show off my figures to an audience who were more interested in them than most.  It was a evening function for the Friends of the Police Museum organisation, so everyone there had a natural inclination towards history anyway.

Oh, and one other thing.  Browsing through the Police Museum itself, I came across a picture of my much younger self.  What a creepy 1980s police-issue moustache, aye?!

“Barry Lyndon” Prussian big battalion finally complete!

At last, 60-plus figures all painted and based into one impressive big battalion.  My photo came out nice, too, in my humble opinion!  It is quite a long picture, so click on it to see the full effect of the large battalion in all its glory.  Shame the officer carrying the white flag toppled over without me noticing whilst I was taking the photo.

Anyway, this afternoon I attached the final piece of flock to the last figure in my 28mm Minden Miniatures Prussian battalion. It’s taken me a year to paint just this one unit, but I’ve finally got there!

This battalion of 28mm figures is based on the Prussians in the movie Barry Lyndon. So I’ve copied the inaccuracies in the movie. You’ll see the wrong colour turnbacks, the incorrect colour straps and the mis-matched flags, all faithfully recreated!

Photo with the three flags.

The movie doesn’t name the regiment, but in the book it is called the ‘Bulow’ Regiment. The orange, black and white flags carried in the movie are from different real-life regiments, but for my purposes, they will be the flags of the imaginary Kubrick Regiment, which is fighting for my “imagi-nation”, the Barrayat of Lyndonia.  The flags are the usual exquisite GMB Design products, by the way.

My unit organisation and basing are not designed for any particular set of wargames rules, but are purely the way I like them for aesthetic reasons.  Historical accuracy, historical schmaccuracy, for imagi-nation or movie-based armies!!! 

The Kubrik Regiment now joins my other two Barryat of Lyndonia big battalions:

– Gale’s Regiment of Foot:

– Régiment de Royal-Cravates:

– Kubrick Regiment

Māori and Prussians and police haka, oh my!

My wife is wonderful!  She came home from a day-trip to Rarotonga today (she’s a flight attendant on Air New Zealand) and presented me with a new duty-free camera.  Nothing too flash – just a little pocket point-and-shoot Panasonic Lumix – but very welcome.    

Recently the two existing cameras in our house have both broken (both coincidently with the dreaded false “battery empty” error).  So I haven’t been able to photograph the latest bits of painting I’ve been doing.

But with a new camera in my hand, tonight I couldn’t resist taking the first couple of test shots.  And, I must say, the results aren’t too bad, considering I just pointed and shot, making no camera adjustments whatsoever.

The first picture is of my partly based (I still have to do the static grass) 28mm Prussian musketeers by Minden Miniatures.  These will finish off the big 60-plus figure battalion I’ve been painting for what seems like (and probably actually is!) about a year now.  Purists will notice they are not totally correct colours for Prussians, but that is because they are based on the movie Barry Lyndon, not on real life.

I’m pleased with the crisp detail and the vibrant colours of this photo.  As normal on this blog, please click on the picture to see a bigger version.

By the way, the figures hidden behind the Prussians are my Foundry pirates and Empress Miniatures British and colonials for the New Zealand Wars. 

The next shot is also New Zealand Wars –  my 28mm Māori toa (warriors) by Empress Miniatures.  Again, pleasing how the camera has picked up the detail.  And I feel the close-up hasn’t exposed my rather impressionistic painting style quite as much as my old camera used to.

By the way, the above group is slightly more meaningful to me today, as this afternoon I joined the Royal New Zealand Police College’s kapa haka group, which is practising to perform traditional and modern Māori music and actions in a inter-government department ‘competition’ in a couple of weeks (well, it’s not actually supposed to be a competitive show, but you know how these things go!).  As I don’t sing or do actions well, I’m just there to boost numbers in the back of the group! 

I must say the official Police haka sounds and looks terrific – almost as good as the All Blacks’ one in the Rugby World Cup!  Here’s a YouTube video of the Police haka being performed on another occasion (not by me!):

Finally, a slightly more distant shot that includes the two above groups of figures, plus whatever else happened to be sitting on top of my workdesk tonight:  more undercoated Empress figures of British and colonials to face my Māori toa, the Foundry pirates, and the painted Empress Brits and militia.  Also a neat (and appropriate) card my lovely daughter bought for me on her recent school-trip to France.

I’ll take some more detailed shots of these latest projects over the next week or so, as I explore more of what this little camera can do.

Minden Miniatures ‘Prussians’ à la Barry Lyndon

It has only taken my about four months, but here is my company of ‘Prussian’ grenadiers by Minden Miniatures.  They’re in 1/56 scale (near enough to 28mm).  Don’t forget to click on the photo to see it enlarged.  And bear in mind that my camera tends to lighten the colour blue, so the soldiers’ coats are actually a much darker hue.

I’ve put the word ‘Prussian’  in quote marks because I have painted them with some rather grave inaccuracies.  And I made those mistakes on purpose.  Why?  Because I am not painting a Prussian regiment as such, but rather a Prussian regiment as depicted in the movie Barry Lyndon, to be part of the army of my ‘imagi-nation’, the Barryat of Lyndonia.  So where the movie has inaccuracies, I repeat them!

OK, so the movie doesn’t have grenadiers in mitre caps.  But I really wanted some of those smart-looking guys, so I’ve conjectured how director Stanley Kubrik would have shown them, had he wanted to.  Basically, they’re the same as his Prussian musketeers, but wearing mitre caps instead of tricornes.  

Prussians in the film 'Barry Lyndon'

The other main inaccuracies?  Well, the crossbelts should be white leather, not tan (I suspect Kubrik merely reused the crossbelts he had had made for his British infantry), and the coat turnbacks should be red, not white.  There are other smaller things too.   

Anyway, this is the first of three companies (the other two will be musketeers) that will make up my ‘Prussian’ regiment of 60+ figures, to include in the army of the Barryat of Lyndonia. 

For more detailed info on my Barryat of Lyndonia project (including more stills from the movie), check out this posting.   

My ‘Barry Lyndon’ armies

I’m just rationalising the organisation of my Minden Miniatures figures (see my previous postings on these lovely figures).  Instead of replicating any real armies, or following the trend of making up completely imaginary countries (aka ‘imagi-nations’),  I am building up the regiments featured in my all-time favourite war film, Barry Lyndon.  Check out  here to view a battle scene from the movie, probably one of the best ever period battle scenes, in my view:

Scene from 'Barry Lyndon'

The regiments shown in the movie, although nominally British, French and Prussian, are either made-up regiments or have a lot of inaccuracies (which, where possible, I am reproducing!).



So my first Minden Miniatures unit is ‘Gale’s Regiment of Foot’, a made-up regiment straight out of the 1844 William Makepiece Thackeray novel and the Stanley Kubrick movie. It includes Lt Colonel Charles Gale in command, the Irish adventurer Captain Grogan, the foppish Lieutenant Jonathon Fakenham and his ‘friend’ Lieutenant Freddie [surname undisclosed in the movie], and of course Private  Barry Lyndon himself (in the novel he also becomes corporal).

Gale's Regiment of Foot in the movie 'Barry Lyndon'

British column marches into camp

Barry Lyndon joins Gale’s Regiment of Foot after being tricked into a duel back home in Ireland and then being robbed of all his possessions by a highwayman on his way to make his fortune. Captain Grogan takes Barry under his wing, and Lieutenants Jonathon and Freddie later provide him with an intriguing opportunity for Barry to improve his status in life.

In the movie, the regiment has no grenadiers, but I have added these because I like them so much.  The movie also depicts the drummers wearing tricornes instead of mitre caps, but I’ve kept to the latter, again because I like them so much.

My "Gale's Regiment of Foot"



My French unit (newly bought, but as yet unpainted) will represent the regiment that Barry faces in his first taste of battle, which was “only a skirmish against a rearguard of Frenchmen who occupied an orchard beside a road down which the English main force wish to pass”.    The narrator in the movie goes on to say that though this encounter is not recorded in any history book, it was memorable enough for those who took part.  

French regiment in the movie 'Barry Lyndon'

This unit poses an interesting conundrum, as in the movie the unnamed French regiment carries the flags of two real French regiments, the Grenadiers Royaux and the Regiment de Flandre.  Yet the uniform facing colours are incorrect for both.  In the novel, Barry’s first taste of battle occurs during the Battle of Minden, and the French regiments are actually named (though they are neither of the units the movie has flags for):

Excerpt from novel 'Barry Lyndon'

Adding to the puzzle is that the real Royal Cravates of the time were not an infantry regiment, but cavalry.  Though, in fairness, nothing in the novel states that the charges Barry faced weren’t cavalry, but the description of the fight seems more apt for infantry. 

I have to make some sort of decision on this confusion, so I’m choosing the made-up French Royal Cravates infantry regiment as per the book, with the facings and incorrect flags of the movie.   The result is a nice colourful hodge-podge, but still distinctly French in look and feel. 



Later in the novel and the movie, Barry is enlisted into the Prussian army (in the book he says this is the ‘Bulow’ regiment).   I have not yet researched to see if this regiment really existed, or to compare how it is portrayed in the movie.  But as Minden Miniatures have an exquisite Prussian range, this will definitely be the next regiment I’ll paint after the French.

Photo with the three flags.

Prussian column led by three flags

Two of the three Prussian flags (the orange flag is obscured between them)