Friday, 7 November 2014

BAVARIA CAMPAIGN: 'Bütterkrebse' at Regensburg bridge!

1809 Saxon Leibgarde Grenadieren

Main objective through out the whole campaign: the Regensburg Danube bridge 

Ter ondersteuning van mijn troepen in de Beierse campagne leek het me passend om in ieder geval een klein deel van de benodigde figuren zelf en zo historisch kloppend als  binnen mijn mogelijkheden ligt, in te brengen.

(In support of my troops in the Bavarian Campaing, it seemed obvious to prepare at least a small part of my figures, myself. I did this as historically accurate as is within my capabilities. This troop will come to the tabletop battle once needed.)

I started out without the proper knowledge. Leading to an initial mistake in the bearskin headgear of the unit. Thinking this part of equipment was more the 'mitre-type' of thing.
Airfix French grenadiers were held to a smaller type belt grinder with the top/back of their 'bonnets de poile'. This, once preformed correct,
leading to nice Austrian type (mitre) furry hats. In this posting you'll find a photograph of such a mismatched bearskin hat (nice for other armies though.

Sächsische Gründlichkeit 

What reminded me again: I got lots of Jean Hoefler Napoleonics waiting in a box.
Did not one of those bear the illustrative words: "Sächs. infanterie-Garde".

And is not that exactly what I'm looking for? Sure, it is. Sadly the pose is not of the kind that can fill the rank and file in large numbers. In fact this sabre raising officer is nice but must be uniquely in a unit. And so, the Airfix grognards came into focus again. I relieved them of their disabled 'bears' (by simply separating neck from torso with a razor blade knife). Obtained enough new heads (Joe Cocker in the the background: "you can leave your hat on") from the Hoefler bunch. Drilled, pinned, primed, superglued and sealed the new attachments. 
And so it all came to grips again. 


'Bütterkrebse' or 'butter lobster' was the suitable nickname these soldiers got from the Saxon population.  Must have been fresh water lobster as a real sea is nowhere to be found in Saxony. The yellow (butter) and fierce red (lobster) colors will have inspired them to do so.
I did not know this until I found a book on the subject in the internet. Front page below.

The wrong grenadier hats have been made from these heads at first. Mind the mitre-like bearskin headgear. Suitable for several other types of figures but not the Saxon Leibgarde.

Heads chopped and new ones put in their places. The Jean Hoefler Leibgarde bearskins still unpainted here.

Close-up of a section of the unit. Not all heads have been put alike on the torsos. This gives  modest but interesting variations. Ramrods are variable in length for the same reason.

The unit nearing it's completion. Don't mind Alisdair McYoung on the left ;-))


Feel free to comment!

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The guardsmen in action on the game table.

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