|Men at Work: a Prussian sapper bashing a breach through a wall during a game of my (heavily modified) Napoleonic version of Brother vs Brother|
As usual, clix pix for BIG PIX...As I was working on my next conversion unit for the Chocolate Box Wars project, I was fretting over the delay. I had hoped to have posted an update on them by now (but the last figures are at last on the way...). I was musing over the number of conversions that I had done recently, and then it occurred to me that I had broken ground on figure modification before, only without really realizing it (albeit in a very modest way). I have two Napoleonic game systems that use specialty figures--like sappers; one is a Volley and Bayonet Napoleonic wing scale variant and the other is a heavily modified Napoleonic Brother Against Brother variant. I have French and Prussians for both in 28mm (and I'll eventually be posting those rules in the content pages of this blog). Sapper figures for the French are no problem. For the Prussians, that is another story. Calpe makes Landwehr sapper figures, which are excellent. And one of my sappers is a Calpe Landwehr. But I didn't want all of my sappers to be Landwehr, which brought up an issue. Nobody makes Prussian regular sappers--because the Prussians did not officially have them....
Westfalia Napoleonic Saxon Command Sets, With Sappers
...Instead, the Prussians simply distributed the axes and such to troops in the unit (not a popular assignment). I found a slim reference, however, to at least one regiment (the 23rd) which formed an unofficial stand-alone sapper detachment on the French model; they even marched at the head of the column behind the colors. That was good enough for me. What I then needed was a likely figure in a Prussian shako that I could use as a sapper. Converting French sappers was not a good option given the headgear (bearskins). Originally, I was going to modify a Prussian line infantry figure by adding an apron with green stuff and replacing the musket with an axe. Then, I stumbled across the Westfalia Miniatures Saxon command sets (pictured above), and the problem was solved. Each of these has a sapper--and the sculpts fit in with my Calpe Prussians very well. I modified them by reshaping the headgear. I clipped the pompon in half and then molded green stuff at the front/top of the shako to render the signature peak of the Prussian oilskin-covered shako (see below) and painted them as Prussians.
Now the Prussians have a corps of sappers to deploy on the table...
Given the interwoven (albeit sometimes strained) history of the Saxon and Prussian armies, it is somehow appropriate that these Prussians hail from Saxony (but let it be our secret).