Wednesday, July 5, 2017


Having come down with a rather icky rash (probably from moving brush in the yard last week), I was hunkered down over the recent holiday weekend. I remained inside and kept cool and dry.  The upside to this limitation was that I was able to distract myself by getting stuck in on the sudden surfeit of Austrian command figures I had on hand (mentioned in the previous WIP post). I entered into the project thinking, for some stupid reason, that this would be a low-effort project because these were "low density" command figures. The fact that I was painting 9 mounted figures in 6 different uniforms escaped me--had I entered into an equivalent  project of painting 1.5 mounted units, I certainly would have been braced for the effort.  As I got stuck in, however, it became clear to me that the job was more significant than I had anticipated (duh!). Anyway, above you see the completed group: an Austrian HQ stand (2 figures), 3 Austrian Individually mounted commanders (Chiefs of Staff for my Choc Box Wars rules), 1 Prussian individually mounted commander (also a Chief of Staff), and 3 more Austrian commanders, mounted generically on rectangular stands. I use the octagonal stands for my Chocolate Box Wars command stands.  I don't need this many chiefs of staff, but I figured that sometime down the road I might need more command figures for a Seven Week's War game using some other rules and in that case I'd have them ready. In the below studies, you may, as usual, CLIX PIX FOR BIG PIX.
For my Austrian general, I once again turned to my "go to" conversion figure (above left) from among the Perry Carlist War Isabelino Foreign Commanders .  I think I'll just make it a point to have one of these fellows on hand so that I can do other mods.  (Above Right) the modification of the Perry figure in progress...
 ...the two conversions of this figure side-by-side. Above left, the earlier conversion of this figure for the Danes. In the comparison, you can see that for the Austrian general I shaved down the ornaments, the major being the epaulettes, to give the clean lines of the Austrian uniform and added a more generous and lower-sitting feather plume to reflect the more prominent ornamentation on the latter.  Below is a study of the completed command stand...
...I am pretty happy with how the conversion came out. The plumage on the headgear departs from the other modification (I was concerned that after the effort involved that it would not be distinct from the other) and to me it nicely evokes a late Victorian/Edwardian style. I was originally intending to do up the conversion in white kittel, but given the length of the coat, I just couldn't bring myself to stray that far and instead went with the gray overcoat. By way of compensation, I took a bit of liberty with the girdle and sword straps. The Perry figure is paired with one of the OOP Helion Austrian 1866 command figures, also in overcoat. The Perry and Helion/Northstar figures go very well together. Which brings me to the next set, the individually mounted Helion/Northstar Austrian command figures...
...the above two examples (from Tobacco Cards) inspired the look I was trying to evoke..
...serendipity gave me one officer in the white kittel. He will fit in nicely with my Austrian infantry, who will also be in white (when those are done, that is). As I mentioned earlier, the package had the wrong horses, so all of these Helion/Northstar figures are mounted on Front Rank horses, which was a happy accident that worked out really well. The Helion/Northstar figures really live up to the "sculpt" label, and these command figures are a particularly fine set in that regard. I also, however, had those Eureka 1866 Austrian command figures on hand...
...which, you can see, are substantially smaller than the Northstar and Perry figures (above, the smaller Eureka figure to the right, which otherwise is an almost exact counterpart to the Northstar/Helion)...
...on their own, the Eureka are certainly fine figures and possess nice character, but I would put them into the "wargame figure" category (very good ones) as opposed to the "sculpt" category of the Helion/Northstar...
...this certainly didn't stop me from happily painting up the bunch! The above image conveys the effect of the Eurekas "on the table"--wargame figures doing what the best of wargame figures do: look good collectively. I'm sure that I'll find (or create!) some use for the spares. Right now, they are standing guard on one of my bookshelves and looking dandy while doing so. This left me with one more figure in the box that I hadn't yet done...
...a lone Prussian command figure, also Helion/Northstar (also out of production).  Above, this is a very clean figure that I would say also fits into the "sculpt" category.  I found that the simplicity of the uniform and the clean lines of this figure make the details all the more important. This fellow  goes along with the one other individually mounted Prussian command figure...
...that I had done earlier(above). In the above, you can see the Helion/Northstar horse. It's not bad, but the marriage of the Front Rank horses with the Austrian command figures is so much more impressive that it makes this combination look a bit pale in comparison.
And so, that concludes my latest foray into conversions, command figures, and the continental armies of the 19th Century. More anon...


  1. Excellent post on your decision process regarding painting command figures for this project. The notion of "wargames" figures vs artistic "sculpts" is an interesting and thought-provoking distinction. I need to ponder this a bit. What figures in my collection would bifurcate into the "wargames" vs "sculpts" classification?

    Nice work on your command figures!

    1. Thanks, Jonathan--figures vs sculpts: just in case anyone was in danger of taking their toy soldier habit too lightly, another thing to dwell upon :)

  2. So smart, they look superb, excellent job...and beautiful buildings in the background as well!

    1. Thanks, Phil. The buildings are from Crescent Root Studios:


  3. Lovely collection of command stands, it's all sculpture we just like some more than others!
    Best Iain

    1. Fair enough on the use of the term "sculpture"--I certainly think anyone who can produce any of these figures has sculpting talent that I certainly don't possess!

  4. Great looking figures Ed, excellent conversion work.


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