Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Fusilier Regiment Erbprinz joins the ranks..

This unit has been awaiting completion since I got the figures through a private sale back in 2008.. (sorry for the delay, Jim! )

They were partially painted so in this case only required some touching up - some blue ink on the coats, flesh wash, re-painted the gun barrels, and I decided to colour the wigs a more natural colour as I assumed they would soon have "lost" the originals on campaign...  that and a base makes all the difference...

I've taken a bit of a liberty as this regiment became a musketeer regiment in about 1780 (so just before the Yorktown campaign which is my "timestamp" for the AWI project) but as I had the fusilier figures, and the uniform colours were correct for Erbprinz, I decided to go with it anyway...

This regiment was one of four fusilier regiments (the others being von Ditfurth, von Knyphausen and von Lossburg) from the German state of Hesse-Kassel. They were also known as the Prince Hereditaire Regiment. I have not managed to find any difference in function, or equipment, between the fusiliers and more normal musketeer regiments other than the distinctive fusilier cap..  any difference would have been lost in time, traditionally the fusiliers would have been the men who guarded the artillery - I suspect like many regiments they would have guarded the outward signs of their difference jealously, and hence they were still wearing their caps in America..

Each Hesse-Kassel musketeer or fusilier regiment had five line infantry companies and a grenadier company of about 135 men each; the grenadier companies however, were detached before leaving Germany and were formed into four composite grenadier battalions.

The Regiment arrived in America in August 1776 and saw it's first action in the New York area. The regiment arrived in Virginia in March 1781 where it was under the command of British Major General William Phillips. When Phillips died, the unit was temporarily under the command of Brigadier General Benedict Arnold, who was commanding troops in the British army by then.

A week later the unit came under the command of Cornwallis during the Virginia and Yorktown Campaigns.

As above the field strength of the fusilier and musketeer regiments were supposed to be around 500-600 men, but during the Siege of Yorktown Erbprinz consisted of approximately 400 men - during the siege they lost an estimated 23 killed, 57 wounded and 16 missing. The regiment was commanded throughout by Lieutenant Colonel Mathew Fuchs.

My reading/research would indicate that by the time of Yorktown, the fusilier regiments Erbprinz and du Corp, and musketeer regiment Trumbach, were superior in quality to the other musketeer and fusilier regiments from Hesse-Kassel. They were better trained and had higher morale.

The figures are Minifigs 25mm - and splendid they are! Base no. 48 & 49.. and coincidentally the 60th unit in the American War of Independence project!

The fusilier regiment as they would have looked prior to being designated a musketeer regiment and painted by the inestimable Mr Troiani

NB. As per my previous post [click here] this regiment will replace the existing unit with the same august name - the old unit will become either Grenadier Regiment von Rall or one of the other Fusilier regiments; in the previous post I said I'd need to summon up enough nerve to have a go at the red stripes of the von Rall trousers - following the recent successful experiment with the Tiger Zouaves and a fine drawing pen however, and I think I may have the tools at hand...


  1. Very, very nice, 60 regts????!!!!

  2. Was it really 2008! No need to apologise for the delay - I am not going to tell you how long I have had some AWI units waiting! You have certainly improved the figures (although I am still lazy/incompetent enough to be satisfied with my own efforts - more or less).
    I can't quite make out how you did the wigs. They look good.
    Best wishes.

  3. Cheers chaps.... much appreciated....

    Ray - 60 "units" - so cavalry/artillery and infantry.... still quite a lot though.. bit gob smacking really how these things grow of their own accord...

    Jim - for the wigs just a coat of chestnut or "smoke" ink on top of the existing white - perfect.... b.t.w - think that's allt he figures I bought from you... only took 3 years..... outrageous! :o)

  4. Very nice. Minifigs have a charm and quality all of their own don't they? Not good at mixing in with other ranges but then why would you?

  5. Nice - you really know how to make those Minifigs look good!