Friday, 29 May 2015

O'Donel's Frei-corps using 15mm AB Miniatures Part 2

At last, I've eventually managed to complete another battalion for my collection!

I started these guys on 16 April, so nearly a month and a half. I think need to get my speed up.

So these guys are the finished O'Donel's Frei-corps. I'd started them in a greenish-grey uniform, but on advise decided they needed to be more green. I used GW Catachan Green as a base colour with Lauren Green as the highlight. I think it works though there's no knowing how these would have actually looked.

The other plan was to give them all the unique double-plume on their shakos, but after posting pictures of these I got this advise from Dave Hollins....

"These Freikorps are a nightmare and the extent to which they were reuniformed as the LightInfantry battalions in 1799-1800 is impossible to be sure about. Consequently, there is plenty of scope for variation!
The original drawing (actually shown in MAA299) is from the official 1795 Schematis, but that double plume is probably a bit of wishful thinking. So, you are fine with a simple shako and some foliage as per the 1799 Zurich Strozzi picture.
The original uniform included a dark green jacket with the pre-98 flat collar and the red trousers. The plan in 1798 was to put the light infantry into hechtgrau uniforms with helmets adorned with FII rather than a full plate. I showed the 3rd battalion at Montebello in Campaign 70: Marengo, but that was to illustrate the planned uniform (and notably the drum belt). However, these troops were at the back of the queue for kit and so, all kinds of combinations probably arose. In Seele's illustration of infantry and grenadiers, thought to be sketched in southern Germany in 1799 (ie: contemporary with the Zurich pics) albeit painted in 1805, there is a figure in the background wearing a helmet, but still in an old Freikorps uniform (probably the 1794 Archduke Charles legion). Karger notes on p.151 that Strozzi was in German style kit, although half of the battalions were in Hungarian kit. The distinction was in the trousers in usual line styles. However, these Galician troops were of course wearing Hungarian style red trousers!
So, there is plenty of guesswork going on here and much depends on how much new kit they received. The confusion over the jacket colour is probably be down to an assumption (suggested by the left hand figure in Haythornthwaite's Osprey plate) that these Light Battalions received the hechtgrau jackets and helmets, but not the trousers in the Second Coalition." 
Dave Hollins

I also received these wonderful images which I used as reference.

Taking this all into account, and especially the bit that the "double plume is probably a bit of wishful thinking" I decided to only do a couple with the plume. I also added a couple of Austro-Hungarian Line infantry into the mix as their uniform is cut almost the same but with the kaskett hat adding a little bit of variety to the unit. I'd also thought about doing some with differing coloured coats but I think I prefer the unit to look more uniform than that.

So here is the finished unit (albeit I will be swapping the mounted officer for a Sho Boki Line Officer when they become available - the current officer is from Blue Moon's "Austrian Generals" set) and I may add some more plumes if I get the urge. They may not be 100% accurate, but I really think they add a bit of uniqueness to my Austrian army.

(OOOPS!! Just spotted: One base hasn't had the dark red centre painted on their pompoms!!

So what's next? First I'll be finishing an Austrian Grenadier Battalion, then it'll be the Battaglioni Saluzzo for my Piedmont army, then once those are done I will be doing another obscure unit using AB's Austrian pre-1798 Line. Here's a clue. Lets see who can guess who they are...



Phil said...

Beautiful Austrian army, nice job!

Phil said...


Sun of York said...


Anonymous said...

What officer did you use? I'm waiting for Boki too, especially the cavalry. Would a dragoon officer make a reasonable infantry officer?
Different Phil

carojon said...

Good stuff, they look great. I don't think you have to slavishly copy the references to capture the essence of the unit.

Colin Baillie said...

Phil, the officer I used was from Blue Moon's Austrian Generals. I expect the Dragoon officer that AB has would look okay.