|Brown on dark tan on cream on burnt sienna on light leather on chestnut on chocolate on dark leather on brown...|
One great challenge I find when painting in this era, especially something like reiters in buff coats, is keeping them authentic without being monochrome. Forget about 50 Shades of Gray, there are that many shades of brown here, along with some other shading effects. Adding this differentiation is another case of one of those "behind the scenes" painting effects that doesn't draw attention to itself. Nobody picks up a figure and says, "Wow, look at the subtle difference between the two browns here!" Nevertheless, I find it necessary to indulge in these exercises to produce the overall look of the unit (whether it's in all in my mind or not is another question).
|The "Black" reiters|
|The "Brown" Reiters|
|The "Bumble Bee" Trumpeter of the Black Reiters|
|The "Candy Stripe" Trumpeter of the Brown Reiters|
HEAVY METAL: THE CUIRASSIERS
Although shock cavalry would became progressively less armored as the era progressed, one still can't beat the good old Schwartz Reiters, aka Cuirassiers, in 3/4 armor. These guys are the beasts of the tabletop--and you just gotta' have them. One interesting bit of metaphysics informed my choice of horse color. In the 17th Century, it was believed that dark horses were stronger, thus heavy cavalry were mounted on blacks--thus, so are mine. It probably didn't hurt that black mounts added to the effect of big riders in blackened armor! It's also interesting to note that black horses would be a signature look of heavy cavalry in later eras, perhaps a tradition deriving from this early practice. The first two units are in "black armor" that I did by using a black base highlighted with metallics: gunmetal, steel, and just a touch of silver.
"Black" Cuirassiers. These are Foundry Thirty Years War figures. I did these in "white" armor using steel and washes of black.
A NOTE ABOUT UNIT COLORS:
|Black Cuirassiers...not much black about them except for horses, and all my cuirassiers have black horses.|
|Black Cuirassier leader has black features.|
|Hammer Time! This is just a gratuitous addition to show the Blue Cuirassier leader's warhammer. What can I say? I'm easily amused.|