April 11, 2013

REVIEW - Captain of Hussars - Elite Company


SUBJECT

Captain of Hussars - Elite Company - 1806-1812
Pegaso Models - Ref. 75/901
75 mm - Metal
Sculpted by Maurizio Bruno
Box art by Danilo Cartacci




PARTS
















MY PERSONAL IMPRESSIONS

A stunning miniature from Pegaso Models - yet again - proceeding out of the extraordinary trinity of this Sienese manufacturer, sculptor Maurizio Bruno and painter Danilo Cartacci!

There are 33 parts in the kit: 5 for the main body of the horse, 4 for the hussar and 1 baseplate. The  rest of the remaining (more or less smaller) parts are needed to dress the horse and rider any further. This only to say that there is plenty to clean up and glue.

If you have studied the photos of the parts here above, you will agree with me that the casting quality is of a very high level. Overall, detail is abundant and superbly rendered. Where necessary, surfaces are nicely textured too (i.e. the shabrack and the colback).

The saddle, harness and shabrack are cast onto the horse's body halves which in my opinion is a good, if not the best choice. As usual with a metal miniature of this size, the horse is rather heavy when all the parts have been pieced together. On a sidenote, I prefer this weight because I do not like painting featherlight miniatures.

I have tested the matching of the parts making up the horse and there will be some work to putty the joint where the head meets the body. There is some pitting on the inside of the horse legs which consequently will have to be filled too. Mind, nothing dramatic, all stays very acceptable but it just needs a bit of extra treatment.

The legs and torso of the hussar are cast as one entity but there are still a lot of parts to be attached to make it complete. For obvious reasons it will be best to glue some of these, like the sabretache and the scabard, after painting. The fitting of all these parts is very good.

The dolman, pelisse and breeches are packed with braiding. Detail is just breathtaking here and it will take many enjoyable hours to paint all of it.

I like the face of the miniature in particular. With its moustache it looks very contemporary. The facial features are great and will form a superb canvas.

There are a lot of colour combinations possible regarding the Hussar uniform as there were quite some regiments in Napoleon's Grande Armée. Below is the colour guide included in the box which makes chosing even harder because every regimental uniform is as attractive as the next one.

© Pegaso Models - Regimental colour guide

© Pegaso Models - Regimental colour guide

I am a complete novice when it comes to Napoleonics so I have been told that the fact of the five rows of buttons on the front of the dolman limits the regimental choice. Apparently the 4th, 5th, 9th and 10th Regiment had only three button rows. But then again on page 4 of the illustrated book Officers and soldiers of the French Hussars - VOL 2 I have read that most regiments changed to five in about 1812.  However, going by the engraving, the sabretach of the kit seems to have been worn by the 5th Regiment, which, as I have been informed, had only three rows of buttons on the dolman, at least until the middle of the Empire. Clearly, some more research will be needed to clear up this confusion. 

The colour of the horse then. As it seems Napoleon's regulations stipulated that in peacetime the horses of the elite companies of the Hussar Regiments should be black. I can imagine that this could not be maintained during wartime circumstances though. The casualty rate amongst the horses being high and 'proper' replacement not evident when hostilities kept dragging on. So in the end I think that any colour will do, also knowing that officers were famous for adapting regulations to their own taste.

Obviously I could go on forever about this Pegaso Models item, but if you would ask me what my favourite Napoleonic miniature is, then this spectacular Captain of Hussars sculpted by the talented Maurizio Bruno would end up as the top candidate on my ranking list. Napoleonics are not really my first choice of interest, but this one I simply could not resist buying. Furthermore, it encouraged me to buy some more Napoleonic subjects too...

Mounted pieces are always a bit special but given its scale and being very colourfull, it will be a true focal point in any collection. I have seen several of this Captain of Hussars finished and this miniature never stops to impress me.

Extremely recommended if you like indulging yourself in a laborious paint job. 


BOX ART PHOTOS


© Pegaso Models - Painted by Danilo Cartacci

© Pegaso Models - Painted by Danilo Cartacci

© Pegaso Models - Painted by Danilo Cartacci

© Pegaso Models - Painted by Danilo Cartacci


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