Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Imperial Dignity...

One of the commanders of my army of the Pragmatic Sanction, the illustriously named- if obscure- commander of the Imperial contingent.  

This is His Excellency,  Matthias St. Hubertus von Loseth-Pfaffenhofen, Duke of Avenberg-Pfaffenhofen and Landgrave of Nassau Ringworm-auf-dem-Skree. (1679-1753)

He is of course a fictional character, meant as a foil to that other figure of my imagination, the Marquis de Sangfroid.    He is also an ancestor of one of my characters in my Napoleonic Wars project, Herzog Reinhardt Avenberg von Loseth-Pfaffenhofen, Hereditary (and rightful!) Duke of Avenberg-Pfaffenhofen, the dashing leader of the Freikorps von Pfaffenhofen

A composition shot I took earlier of the stand for reference.   I use hexagonal bases for senior wing/ army commanders.   

As the Landgrave is somewhat advanced in years (yet tough for his age after many a campaign, and possessing considerable political adroitness and a sharp, quick mind), I decided to use Front Rank's WSS miniature of that most unlucky French general at the Battle of Blenheim, Marshal Tallard.  While the uniform and clothing date from a period forty years prior to the War of the Austrian Succession, I think it reasonable to suggest that the Landgrave is likely to dress in a more conservative style than his younger colleagues.

And I like the figure.  I've had it sitting in my spares box for some time now.  I originally bought it with the idea of mounting it on a block and painting it as a statue for a terrain piece I made, but on seeing it I was amazed at the detail and quality of sculpting.  The thought of covering it in gesso and weathering it to represent aged bronze seemed a waste of a perfectly good and gorgeously cast figure. So I just had to find a way to work him into my army.

The minis in the Front Rank War of the Spanish Succession range are noticeably larger than those from their much earlier SYW/ Jacobite Rebellion ranges that make up most of my WAS collection, but as the Landgrave was renowned for his stature, this is not a problem.

The trumpeter and kettle-drummer are Eureka WAS Dutch cavalry mounted on Front Rank horses.  It's a good combination. While I very much like the Eureka Dutch cavalry, the horses themselves look a little short in the leg for my taste.  I'll probably replace all the cavalry horses with Front Rank ones as they look better in my opinion. 

Why Dutch?  Well, as the ruler of Avenberg-Pfaffenhofen, just inside Austrian territory along the border with Bavaria, the Duke is of course bound to the service the Empress of Austria and to the defence of her Imperial dignity.  Furthermore, in his capacity as Landgrave of Nassau Ringworm-auf-dem-Skree,  he is honour bound to uphold Her Majesty's claim to her lands in the Austrian Netherlands against French territorial aggrandizement.  

In this he shares mutual strategic interests with the Protestant House of Orange, and has on numerous occasions contracted the service of the Dutch Republic for assistance in maintaining the independence of this vulnerable enclave on the Rhine, so close to French territory and that of his traditional rivals, the Bouillon-Cantinats of St. Vignobles.

Right now the command figures are mounted on bottle caps and being painted. When they are finished I'll post pictures here.


Bluebear Jeff said...

I look forward to seeing the painted minis.

-- Jeff

Robert said...

Me too! I always work on the horses first, and in the meantime I've been considering the colour scheme for the uniform of the kettle drummer and trumpeter. Something that sets off the horse colours.

I'm thinking of a sky blue with white facings, (rather like Prussian SYW dragoons) these being the reversed colours of the coat the Landgrave will be wearing.

abdul666 said...

Looking eagerly forward to discover the group in its coloured glory!

Do the trumpeter and kettle-drummer belong to Freikorps von Pfaffenhofen, or to another unit?
And what do the various components of the Freikorps look like? For sure among David's numerous templates some are at least tolerable approximations?

abdul666 said...

Black and rose uniforms, like the (Napoleonic)Freikorps Pfaffenhofen?

Robert said...

The Freikorps von Pfaffenhofen is a creation of the Napoleonic wars, and has a unique reason for the black and rose facings, so I don't want to use that colour combination here.

Besides, rose is the distinctive colour of the Bouillon-Cantinats and St.Vignobles so I want something different for the Landgrave.