These cavalry figures were the first 28mm figures I ever brought. I remember mail ordering them from the UK in two batches – from Connoisseur when it was run by Peter Gilder and from Hinchliffe. This was back in the early-mid 80s. They took about three months to arrive and were paid for in postal orders that we could only buy at £2 per day from the Post Office. At the time most of the people I gamed with were using Airfix 1/72nd and Minifigs and these guys towered above them.
I have often considered stripping and repainting them but decided not to as the nostalgia factor was just too great. I confined myself to some re-basing and that was it. They had been based on cardboard painted green, then cardboard painted green and covered in bright green railway flock. What were we thinking about in those days?
So here is a regiment of Guard Heavy cavalry comprised of Horse Grenadiers and Elite Gendarmes. The Horse Grenadiers in cloaks are Hinchliffe and the rest are Connoisseur. The paint is all Humbrol enamel and plastered on thick! These guys have had standards that were originally home made and then GMB ones that faded away since removed. Graham Black sent me some replacements that I have not yet attached to the flagpoles.
In the mid-80s I brought a unit of Connoisseur Miniatures 28mm Saxon Garde du Corps off Peter Gilder. They sat unpainted in a box for nearly twenty years until I brought them some stable mates – a unit of Connoisseur Zastrow Cuirassiers from JT Miniatures who at that time owned the Connoisseur line. Of course, they all sat mocking me until this past weekend. So the Garde du Corps got undercoated and ready to paint.
These Saxons will be part of my miniature 4th Cavalry Corps (1812), alongside regiments of Westphalian and Polish Cuirassiers.
One problem with the old Connoisseur line was the lack of standard bearers and musician models in the cavalry ranges. I have converted a trooper to be a standard bearer (far left).
I have almost no freehand ability so the monograms on the pistol holster covers and the saddle cloth wont be there. I was reasonably happy with this model, given my level of ability.
And a trumpeter who is partially completed.
These models are quite chunky and full of mid-80s goodness – The horses are a bit small compared to the riders but I still like them. Connoisseur miniatures are still available from Bicorne Miniatures in the UK. I really love these old-style figures. As much as I like modern figures with their crisp mold lines and fine detail, I find they lack something in animation and personality. To me they are all much of a muchness.
Recently Eureka released a good line of Saxon heavy cavalry. They look really nice and I am tempted to get a unit to paint as the third Saxon Regiment that seems to get forgotten – the Leib Kürassiere Garde. They have those fiddly monograms that I could never paint in a million years molded on the figure. That has to be good.