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Husaria - Building a Polish army for the 1620s

Husaria - Building a Polish army for the 1620s

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Even More Husaria!

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Can you get bored of Polish Winged Hussars?  It would appear that I can’t ?.

Here is my latest unit. Long term readers of the project may remember that when I started the Hussars for my Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth army I looked at three different manufacturers: Foundry, TAG and Warlord. I decided at this point that the Warlord figures looked a bit later than 1620s period that I was aiming for, and were perhaps more suitable for the 1670s onwards. The units I’ve used so far have been from Foundry and TAG. Well, the thought of that box of Warlord Hussars sitting in my lead mountain had been a niggle in the back of my mind. Then the box was inexplicably joined by another! (Thanks, Phil!) This was too much to bear, and so I decided that I had to paint up a unit with the Warlord figures.

28mm Polish Winged Hussars by Warlord Games28mm Polish Winged Hussars by Warlord Games

So here is a quick run down of the Warlord Games, Polish Winged Hussars box set. You get eight metal riders and eight metal horse figures in a box. As I form my cavalry in units of 12 figures I needed two boxes to make a unit, and of course three boxes will allow me to make two units!

As I noted before, the Warlord figures are in very dynamic poses. There are four different horses, all in different states of galloping forward. One of the horse poses looks a little odd to me, but once ranked up with the others it is fine. The horses all have nice ‘fancy’ horse furniture, befitting these noble units, and have pistol holsters and the long koncerz type sword on the left side of the saddle.

There are six poses of hussars with lance, two at the charge, and the rest in various more ‘lance upright’ poses. There is also an officer figure, with two options for his right hand; either a sabre or a bulawa (a ceremonial mace). Finally there is a trumpeter. One of the lancer models can be used a standard bearer.

The figures come with a nice selection of separate wings, also in metal. There are three different designs, all of which are probably of the later types of design in which they curve forward. The hussar figures have been sculpted to allow one or two wings to be added either to the riders back, or to rear of the saddle. Wings attached to the rider’s back seem to be later and final design for carrying wings. I chose to use the wings mounted to the rear of the saddles, that are moulded as part of the riders. I avoided using the most curved wings, and also used some shorter, straighter wings that I had in my stash for a bit of variety. By using the less curved wings, and by saddle mounting them, I was in my mind at least, giving the hussars an earlier look. The hussars armour still gives them a look that suggests to me, later than the 1620s.

Warlord provided nice brass 80mm long spears for the lances. Hussar lances included a ball shaped hand guard. To represent this Warlord provide some small metal ball shaped hand grips in the set. These come with holes drilled through them which allow them to be mounted on the brass spears. This is a lovely touch and I have used this approach for all of my previous units of hussars.

The box set from WarlordThe box set from Warlord

With the variety of horses and riders, all in dynamic poses, fitting everything together took a bit of time. This allowed for some experimentation and a small bit of filing and filling to get riders and mounts to fit neatly, with wings added to the saddles. As I wasn’t using the back mounting points for the wings these needed to be filled with some green stuff. I also made sure that the riders who would be carrying lances had their right hands drilled out, although I would fit the lances later after painting.

Despite having the riders and mounts matched, I painted them separately. This requires a numbering system on the paint ‘handles’ to help match the correct riders to the correct mounts after painting. The figures were really nice to paint with lots of crisp detail. The horse tack is suitably fancy, and the hussars’ armour is also covered in a lot of detail. My humble skills could only go so far with this, but there is plenty of detail there to satisfy a really keen painter.

My attempts at tiger and leopard pelts.My attempts at tiger and leopard pelts.
The figures are chock full of lovely details.The figures are chock full of lovely details.

I glued the riders to the horses after they were painted. Before adding the lances I painted the lances and added the lance pennants. These are from Flags of War and the cavalry standard is from a set of free downloads on Jose Manuel Chasco’s site (see here Warlord provide pennants and a flag as part of the information leaflet in the box, but I had already used the design they provide on a previous unit and I wanted these to look different. With the lances on the figures it was time for my regular basing.

I am really pleased with the finished unit. Despite the button-counter part of me knowing these look a little late for my 1620s army, they may sneak on to the tabletop to join their earlier comrades; they’re just too nice not to use!

Safely installed in their RUB.Safely installed in their RUB.

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