Monday 21 November 2011

Figure Modification - Austrian Charlies Legion

Tip of the Day

Today I had a small opportunity to modify some figures for my Austrian Charles Legion battalions, as part of I Corps at Wagram.

A simple mod with greenstuff, and hopefully pretty effective.

As you may know, my 15mm Austrians are all from the warrior miniatures range, which includes 3 basic types of uniforms - Shako, Helmet, and Corsehut.

What to do with the Charles Legion then ?

Some of them may have worn helmets on the day, but that is unlikely. Some battalions may have worn Corsehuts.

I would rather not use the Corsehut figures, since this particular battalion of Charles Legion that I am modelling at the moment is brigaded with a Jaeger battalion, which is dressed in Corsehuts. I would rather the Charles Legion guys really stood apart.

So then I found this image from the excellent 'ClashOfEmpires' blog Here
28mm Foundry Figures of Austrian Charles Legion. (Erzhog Karl Legion)

Ah - now thats different !  The headwear is more like a Shako than a Corsehut, so thats what I will start with.

If I can just put a small brim on the existing Shakos using Austrian line infantry, I should be able to put together a half convincing unit of Charles Legion that stand out from the other Jaegers..

So here is how this experiment went :

 Left side of the base of the shako, add a little roll of greenstuff, smooth it down hard onto the figure (mainly for adhesion, but this also helps flatten out the rim). Finally, using a silicone sculpting tool,. gently bending the 'wings' upwards to make a fancy top hat out of the shako.
Repeat the process on the right hand side of the shako with another tiny roll of greenstuff. Remember that these are 'true' 15mm figures .. quite a bit smaller than ABs, but significantly bigger than 10mm's. still.
That one worked well enough. Next figure here, I will start with 1 larger roll of greenstuff, and sinply attach it to the back of the shako by smoothing it down. Simply roll both tips around to the front visor now, and repeat the process of constructing the wings. Pretty easy really !
Lets have a look at an Officer figure for the next one. He is slightly more challenging since the raised sword requires some micro-surgery to extend the roll of greenstuff through that tiny gap. It looks simple enough in this photo, but that gap between the head and the arm is actually around 1mm wide.

After a bit of fiddling around, making sure that the roll is fully attached to the shako at all points, the tips are joined at the front visor. Doing it this way rather than front-to-back, as the roll of greenstuff is thinnest at the tips, and therefore will have less of a visual impact when smoothed onto the original model.
Now carefully work around from the visor, all the way around, smoothing the new brim and making sure that it fully adheres to the original model.

Before and after shot - warrior 15mm Austrian with shako (rear), and modified brim shako (front)

View from the rear. The brim is a tiny modification, but the figure is recognisably different. Well worth 30minutes of work with the greenstuff.

Front view - again, the tiny change to the Shako makes quite a visual difference to the figure. Ah well, I will get these Charles Legion battalions painted up this week with any luck, and lets see if the extra work was worth it :)  I am very pleased with the result so far, and so I have a very special flag picked out for these guys (Many thanks to  Peter, from for the inspiration on the Austrian irregular flags.)


  1. Nice conversion, Steve, and it will make this interesting unit stand out a bit more. The Erzherzog Karl Legion was raised in both 1800 and 1809; the 1800 uniforms were much more varied (and a detailed listing of them is in Hollin's Osprey - basically all with brown coats and "pike grey" (decidedly bluish in hue, evidently) trousers, with a rainbow of facing colors for the 20 battalions raised; the six battalions raised in 1809 all had red facings. The Foundry unit above is painted in the 1800 uniform, and based on the plate in the Osprey. In 1809, aside from the 1st battalion, the other 5 battalions probably wore a shako... of some kind or another!

    I look forward to seeing the painted unit!

  2. Duly noted, and that has saved me a tonne of research.

    Thanks again for your insight. They are in the painting queue now, so should be on the table shortly - with red facings and pike grey trousers.

    I do have a special flag for them though, been waiting for the right unit to come along before issuing this flag.