Sunday 18 December 2011

Saxon Infantry Brigade von Schimonsky - Jena 1806

Regiment of the Day

Today we look at the Saxon Infantry Brigade von Schimonsky, comprising the Sack Grenadiers., Zastrow & Grawert Musketeers, which fought as part of Grawert's 1st Division in Hohenlohe's Southern Army Group at Jena, 1806.

5 bases of line infantry made up of combined battalions from the Sack Grenadiers, Zastrow and Grawert Musketeer Regiments.   Figures by Eureka miniatures (18mm Saxons) from their 300 club range.

Being combined battalions, this Brigade goes into battle on my tables with no less than 2 drums.

When I do manage to complete all of the Saxon brigades for Jena, I will get me some more command figures and put together a Saxon drummer brigade as well - mostly for ceremonial purposes.

Again, I have used a consistent facing colour for this entire unit, rather than paint each base in a confusingly different mix of different uniforms. These guys get the blue facings with a matching blue flag.

Here is a colour plate from Carl Adolph Heinrich Hess, "Abbildung der Chur-Sächsischen Truppen in ihren Uniformen unter der Regierung Friedrich August III".  

The detail on the collars is quite interesting - the red (or black) sections on this print shows it to be a stock, with the collars themselves cut back at quite an angle. I have opted instead for red collars on my Saxons, as I like how that stands out on the finished product. Next regiment though, I will swap it around and do the stocks red instead. (Although, may have to cut the collars back a little to make the stock more prominent ?)

Interesting to note as well that the officer / NCO sashes are red and white - or possibly red and silver. Finally, the coat tail turnbacks appear to be white in all of these plates. 

Here is another picture, this one being the box art on Hat's fine 20mm plastic Saxons of the same period. Their artist appears to have made the same little error that I made :)  After looking around again, I tend to believe the Hess painting to be the best reference for these Saxons.

A fine troop of Saxons wheel to the right to take position in the township. Note the regulation powered hair and queues on this unit.


  1. Great looking troops, Steve!

    BTW, I do hope I don't come off too picky or critical - I like finding out the best possible answers about uniform details, as I find the subject endlessly fascinating. However, I feel free to play loose with that information within reason, as they are after all my armies, and are painted to please me. I'd be happy to play with your troops on the Miniature Field of Battle any time!

  2. Thanks all.

    Picky ? Not at all .. you have been an excellent teacher along the way in fact.

    I will put together a summary blog post at the end of the year, which explains all of that a lot better. Basically - all comments add value to the quality of information presented.

    There are a lot of details to get right, and Im finding that its quite easy to somehow miss them on the first pass through. The red Saxon turnbacks for example - I cant for the life of me find where that idea came from :) I have plenty more Saxons to do yet, so Ill address that in future regiments. But if it hadn't have been noticed ... they would all end up red !

    I get a sense with the uniforms of this period that every little uniform detail has both a purpose and a meaning. Getting those details right is actually very important for this period.

    Its quite interesting - Anyone new to this period or hobby in general has to dig through all sorts of separate bits of information from many different sources just to get started. There are excellent reference books available too - that dive into detail on specific questions, but they don't cover all of a wargamer's questions.

    From my point of view, as a newbie to the period, the thought process goes something like this :

    - I want to game a particular battle, after reading some history on the topic and catching the bug. Gaming the battle meaning - gaming the whole battle at a scale which models the significant and decisive events of the day.

    - Insert a (large) number of research and activity steps here ... end result is a collection of units ready for the tabletop, organised and painted in some consistent and logical way for a given ruleset, for a given battle.

    - Put them out there for peer review. This is the capstone to the whole process, as it provides the only objective measurement of the quality of the above steps taken.

    So its the feedback from readers that adds all the value to the information presented. Its the only real measure of knowing whether the steps taken above 'worked' or not.

    Having jumped into this period, I quickly found out that there is simply no single reference out there that covers all of the above steps. Nor can there be, as there are too many variables of scale, and what you aim to achieve.

    This necessarily places some intellectual demands on the modeller to create their own framework that is accurate, consistent, and workable on the gaming table ... all at the same time.

    I think it is that extra little twist of a balancing act at the end which makes this period - the so called 'Black hole of wargaming' .. so endlessly satisfying !

  3. Glad to hear it! I too enjoy the process, as frustrating as it can be at times. I should get my good friend in Dresden to visit the Saxon Army museum some time and mine it for information... or better yet, do it myself when I eventually pay him a visit in person. Researching the troops of Baden was quite challenging. I found out that he had a friend who is a Historian and lives in Karlsruhe (capitol of Baden); he made some inquiries for me, but she basically said a) He should do the research himself, and b) who cared about that stuff anyway! Grr, those kinds of "Historians" do their profession very little good!

    I'm currently painting the Vistula Legion for 1812 - I have 2 books covering these troops in considerable detail, and the Histofig site also has excellent information and plates. Can you believe that all three of these sources give a *different* table of facings for the four regiments of the Legion?! What's a Mother to do? Well, of course, in that situation you choose the version you like best, LOL!