On A Vienna Roll!

The title of this post may well attract people who think they’re going to read about making open sandwiches on European speciality bread! If so, they’re going to be disappointed! The title instead refers to the fact that I’ve kept up momentum on painting my 1859/66 period Austrian hussars and got them finished in time for Christmas!

These 20mm scale figures are by Irregular Miniatures and, although slightly on the small side, they’re nicely detailed. Unfortunately the winter weather has conspired against me here in the UK so I haven’t been able to get decent pictures of them or get them varnished! The riders and horses don’t quite match up historically – for the 1859 war between Austria and France the horses should be wearing a shabraque instead of a simple blanket under the saddle, whereas for the 1866 war between Austria and Prussia the riders would be less likely to be wearing either the shako (headgear) or dolman (type of jacket).

Aside from that, though, they are nice figures. As far as uniforms go, there were three main differences that distinguished the various regiments; shakos could be red, white or green; jackets and breeches could be light or deep blue and buttons could be white or yellow. In this scale you can’t see the buttons so I didn’t need to worry about that! Being essentially lazy I opted for the deep blue uniform since that meant I could use a black shade coat that would work with both the blue cloth, black fur trim and black boots (two of these figures wear grey overalls instead of blue breeches)!

In the field the shakos were covered with a protective waterproof cover in the same colour as the shako itself and this also covered any decorative features on the headgear. Lacing on the jackets (the dolman and a fur-trimmed pelisse frequently worn over it as a short cape on a cord around the neck) was in yellow and black, but I’ve just opted to show it in yellow in this scale – in fact I use Vallejo Golden Brown as it’s not as harsh on the eyes as yellow and covers much better. As far as troops that fought in the 1859 war are concerned the combination of green shako covers and deep blue clothing marks these troopers out as belonging to either the 1st or 11th Hussar regiments.

Perhaps of greater significance for me is the fact that finishing this unit also completes this army, which I started in 2015! The picture above shows the hussars leading my unit of dragoons. The most significant difference for me between the units, aside from the uniform colour, is the fact that I’ve got more variation in the horse colour in the hussar unit, something I’ve tried to do more frequently. Having said that, it was not uncommon in regular cavalry units in various armies to restrict the colour of the horses, so sometimes it’s necessary to try and check up on this.

This will be my last post before Christmas, so I’d just like to wish everyone reading this a Merry Christmas, whether they came to find out what they could put on bread or to look at some pictures of miniature soldiers!



  1. Merry Christmas John! Those look fantastic – will we be seeing a photo of the whole army at some point? Getting an army completed is no mean feat either so a well deserved pat on the back is in order. Right – I’m off to make myself a sandwhich!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks Wudugast! πŸ™‚ Reading your comment 20 hours after you posted it and I’m just off to get a sandwich meself, but will just have to settle for bread from our breadmaker! I should do an army post, but six of the infantry units look the same (white jackets, blue-grey trousers) so I might just do some of the units! Hope you have a great Christmas!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Your Hussars look excellent John, and nice variation on the horse colours. I’ll take your word for the difference in the equipment, as I know your research is always first class.
    Hope you and the family have a wonderful Christmas.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Now that’s a clever title, John! πŸ™‚ Its great to see the Austrian Hussars painted up. I think these will look fantastic along with the rest of your collection. It is always good to finish up a group of miniatures like this before you get distracted by Christmas and Boxing Day. Or so I would imagine if I lived in a place that celebrated that last holiday πŸ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks Jeff! πŸ™‚ I think they are the only 19th Century figures I’ve got with green hats, so quite distinctive (I might have just told a fib there – there may be some Imperial Chinese gunners hidden away with green turbans)! Definitely good to get the army finished though! I tend to just think of the holidays as time off work and enjoy them accordingly)!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Here I was looking for some lunch and I ended up on a site with unvarnished miniatures!! Haha, just kidding John! I must say your troops look great! The colors look super nice and I love those horses too. Merry Christmas to you and your family too!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. What a great post Jon! Very happy to see that you completed an army, that’s a big deal! Having started to paint some cavalry for Wars of Ozz, I can commiserate with your feeling about painting cavalry, though I keep having to look up terms like shabraque and pelise while those are in your common use vernacular (kudos to you). Anyways, the Austrians look fantastic as usual. Hope you had a great Christmas and happy new year to you and yours

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Mark! πŸ™‚ It is nice to have completed an army I must admit! I think the only reason I remember the names of some of the uniform items is because my dad used to paint 54mm Napoleonic figures when I was a teenager (so a long time ago) so I got to know what things were! Had a quiet Christmas here and enjoyed it and I hope you did as well! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Lord Commander! πŸ™‚ Whereas I used to mix colours for every brown horse I now only need to do it for the lighter (sorta sandy) coloured ones, having found a darker brown for some of the others that seems spot on (plain old Vallejo Model Color Flat Brown). I opt for black for the unit leader’s horse and usually chuck in one grey or dapple. It’s not necessarily simple though since some regular cavalry units only used specific coloured horses and specialists such as trumpeters/buglers rode white or grey horses so they could be more easily located by their officers in action (the same troopers in many cases tended to wear distinctive coloured clothing as well).

      Liked by 1 person

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