The War of the Spanish Succession Project..

The 16th Regiment of Foot at Blenheim, 13 August 1704
Watercolour by Richard Simkin, 1900 (c).


Go To “Resources” – useful information sources for the period…
Go To “Armies” – the collection as a whole…
Go To ”Units” – regimental histories and description of the units in my project…
Go To “Books” – fiction and non-fiction
Go To “Rules” – what rules I have tried, and what I’m using…
Go To “Game Reports” – what it says on the tin…
Go To “Figures” – comparisons of look/feel/price of the various figures I have in the project…



Since the start of the project at roughly the beginning of July '06, I've now completed approximately 30 regiments of foot (split equally as I like to field both sides of any conflict), approx. 14 squadrons of horse (7 per side), artillery (4 guns per side heavy and light battalion guns), transport, and officers (command figures)...

The transport includes some ammunition wagons I bought from Freikorps - a little bit rough especially the horse and the figure representing the wagon-er, but I replaced him with a couple of Minifigs artillery crew (these were the figures depicted as pushing the wheel of the gun but they fit the wagon very nicely!) All in all they make up into a nice model and some nice added colour to the game table:

French Army Review

I recently decided to hold a review of the French army to see how my recruits were holding up, and whether there was any gaps that needed plugging.. click on the pictures for a bigger view.

Starting from the bottom (picture above) - Bavarian Cuirassiers (2 squadrons), Infantry - Toulouse on the left, and Lee, then Navarre (in reserve), Bearn and Nettancourt. Next is Bourbonnais and Nivernais (in front), then a Bavarian regiment, Lutzenberg (or Lutzelburg depending on source) with the Royal Italien, lastly, 3 squadrons of French cavalry in the far distance... most of these units feature below in more detail.

Close up of the infantry...

...from left - above - Navarre, Toulouse, and Lee (with battalion gun deployed), Bavarian Cuirassiers at bottom of picture... various command figures, and ammunition wagon also feature...

...closer view of HQ surrounded by his staunchest regiments.. units as before with the addition of Bearn (upper right)

Last of all - first stuttering steps (literally!) into the world of video...

Allied Army Review

First a review of the army as a whole (and please click on any of the following for a pleasingly bigger view):

..and then each of the divisions.. right flank (below):

..left flank (below):

..and now the brigades - right flank to left flank.

First the cavalry - this represents Brigadier General Palmes' brigade - from front to back we have Wyndham's, Schomberg's (my favourites! ), Woods, and at the back a Dutch squadron Nassau-Friedland (below):

This one represents Brigadier General James Ferguson's brigade - Meredith's (left), 1st Foot Guards (right) and Orkney's in the second line - Ferguson can be seen in the middle with one of Marlborough's runners by his side... (below):

Next an ad-hoc brigade - in the front rank we have a Dutch regiment - Beinheim (or Bynheim according to your source), in the second rank a composite regiment comprising the grenadiers from four Austrian regiments (below):

Next a British brigade - Brigadier General Archibald Rowe's to be precise, comprising in the front row Ingoldsby's (Welch Fusiliers) on the left, and Derring's on the right. The brigadier with runner is in the middle and in the second rank we have Howe's on the left. The regiment on the right is a Dutch regiment, Rechteren's who are part of the next brigade (below):

Next up the aforesaid Dutch - Major General the Prince of Holstein-Beck's brigade. In the front rank we have the regiments of Goor on the left (and yes, I spotted that the end file have turned round to have a good look at the second rank!), and Heidebrecht on the right with their regimental gun deployed. In the second rank we have the Swiss regiments of Hirzel (left) and Sturler with the Prince between the two lines (below):

Last of all we have the cavalry of the left flank - Major General Cornelius Wood's brigade, with Cadogan's in the front rank, and behind them Lumley's with Wood alongside. I have still yet to paint Wood's own regiment, so for now they are reinforced with the some Austrian cuirassiers of the Alt-Hanover regiment (below):

..and no review is complete without a review of the artillery - safely ensconced in their redoubts in this case (below):

..and just a small part of the commissariat (below):

I think he looks quite pleased...

Last of all - a video...

Back to top of page...  


First the Allies (French and Bavarians next)....

Click on the unit name to be taken to the relevant post showing pictures and histories of the units (where available)

Side Country Unit Type Unit Name Manufacturer
Allies British Artillery Medium No. 1 ??
Allies British Artillery Medium No. 2 ??
Allies British Artillery Light Battalion Gun #1 ??
Allies British Artillery Light Battalion Gun #2 ??
Allies British Artillery Light Battalion Gun #3 ??
Allies British Artillery Light Battalion Gun #4 ??
Allies British Cavalry Schomberg Dixon
Allies British Cavalry Lumley Dixon
Allies British Cavalry Cadogan's Freikorps
Allies British Cavalry Wood's Freikorps
Allies British Cavalry Wyndham's Essex
Allies British Cavalry 2nd squadron Wyndham's Warrior
Allies Dutch Cavalry Nassau Friesland Dixon
Allies Austrian Hvy. Cavalry Alt-Hanover Cuirassiers Peter Pig
Allies Ansbach Infantry Heidebrecht Regiment Minifigs
Allies Austrian Infantry Imperial Grenadiers Essex
Allies British Infantry Orkney's Dixon
Allies British Infantry Ingoldsby's Essex
Allies British Infantry 1st Foot Guards Minifigs
Allies British Infantry Meredith Warrior
Allies British Infantry Howe's Gladiator/Black Hat
Allies British Infantry Dering's Minifigs
Allies British Infantry Lord North and Grey's Regiment Gladiator/Black Hat
Allies British Infantry Dorrington's Dixon
Allies Dutch Infantry Beinheim Minifigs
Allies Dutch Infantry Sturler (Swiss) Minifigs
Allies Dutch Infantry Goor Dixon
Allies Dutch Infantry Rechteren Minifigs
Allies Dutch Infantry Hirzel's Minifigs
Allies Dutch Infantry Churchill's Minifigs
Allies Danish Infantry Lifeguard of Foot CP Models

The French and Bavarians...

Side Country Unit Type Unit Name Manufacturer
Franco Bavarian French Artillery Medium No. 1 ??
Franco Bavarian French Artillery Medium No. 2 ??
Franco Bavarian French Cavalry Orleans Dixon
Franco Bavarian French Cavalry Chartres Dixon
Franco Bavarian French Cavalry Souastre Dixon
Franco Bavarian French Cavalry De Montreval Freikorps
Franco Bavarian French Cavalry Regiment de St. Pouanges Roundway
Franco Bavarian French Cavalry Regiment de Ligonday Freikorps
Franco Bavarian Bavarian Hvy. Cavalry Weickel Peter Pig
Franco Bavarian Bavarian Hvy. Cavalry Arco Peter Pig
Franco Bavarian Bavarian Infantry Lutzenberg Minifigs
Franco Bavarian French Infantry Navarre Minifigs
Franco Bavarian French Infantry Toulouse Minifigs
Franco Bavarian French Infantry Bourbonnais Dixon
Franco Bavarian French Infantry Bearn Minifigs
Franco Bavarian French Infantry Royal Italien Warrior
Franco Bavarian French Infantry Nivernais Minifigs
Franco Bavarian French Infantry Nettancourt Minifigs
Franco Bavarian French Infantry Lee (Irish) Minifigs
Franco Bavarian French Infantry Dorringtons (Irish) Dixon (mainly)
Franco Bavarian French Infantry Champagne Minifigs
Franco Bavarian French Infantry Agenois Gladiator/Black Hat
Franco Bavarian French Infantry Foix Minifigs
Franco Bavarian French Infantry Saintonge Gladiator/Black Hat
Franco Bavarian French Infantry Angoumois Minifigs
Franco Bavarian
Franco Bavarian
Franco Bavarian

Back to top of page...

  • Charles Spencer - "Blenheim" - in lots of remainder bins and second hand book shops at the moment - don't be put off, it's an excellent narrative read, and single-handedly kick started this project for me...
  • Chandler - "The Art of Warfare in the Age of Marlborough"(Chandler) excellent as a primer for the organisation and tactics for the time for foot/cavalry and artillery of both sides... if you could only have one book on tactics/organisation this would be it for me.
  • Charles Grant - "ARMIES AND UNIFORMS OF MARLBOROUGHS WARS" - Volume 1 - which covers off the major protagonists in the WSS. Not huge amounts of description, but an excellent overview of the basic uniforms of foot and horse, and the most valuable resource for uniform details.. absolutely invaluable when trying to find out what colour coat, hat trim, facing, breeches, the Navarre Regiment had (for example..) Most recommended, and a very reasonable price..
  • Charles Grant - "ARMIES AND UNIFORMS OF MARLBOROUGHS WARS" - Volume 2 - which covers off the smaller states not covered in volume 1, but in addition has a number of new colour plates, and descriptions of the major battles of the war.. I'd always said I wasn't going to bother, but one browse was enough and I succumbed! I'm not disappointed, the new colour plates are excellent - well recommended...
  • David Green - "Blenheim" - very similar in content to the Spencer book, albeit 30 odd years older, OK but the Spencer (I think) is better....
  • Rene Chartrand - Osprey "Army of Louis XIV" - an absolute bargain off eBay, and a valuable resource on the French army. Have now read this cover to cover and my earlier assessment was correct - the reign of Louis XIV was very long, and his armies were engaged in one war after another for almost the whole of that time. Given the technological advances in weaponry and tactics during this time then a book of 30-40 pages is going to be hard pressed to get into any detail. However, what is there is good, it's an excellent overview, and the uniform plates are very good.. I do wish Osprey would bring out some volumes dedicated to the armies of the period.
  • James Falkner - "Blenheim 1704" (Battleground series) - this was an amazingly quick read for me - in fact I couldn't put it down as the author has a very narrative style that I found easy to read and understand.. lots of maps, eyewitness accounts, and a useful section at the end for anyone planning to walk the battlefield... I got this second hand from eBay and am not disappointed.. recommended..
  • James Falkner - "Ramillies 1706" (Battleground series) - just finished, and Falkner is rapidly becoming one of my favourite military history writers (see also his book on Blenheim in the same series), he writes clearly, lucidly, with good sources, and lots of eyewitness comments. He also has the happy knack of being able to keep me turning the page - very easy to read, very exciting and therefore lot's of imagination fuel (which is what all wargame armies run on!) ....
  • Michael Barthorp - Osprey "Marlborough's Army - 1702-11" - a fairly recent purchase from eBay and well worth the money spent. To a great extent it suffers from the same problem as the Louis XIV volume in that it has so little space to cover off such a huge subject, but the text is entertaining and gives a good general view of all the allied countries, and the Angus McBride colour plates are very nice... what you really want, though, is a book with the depth of detail of Chandler (and I'd be happy for Mr. Barthorp to write it as he has a easy-reading style), and packed to the gills with Angus McBride plates!
  • "Tactics and Strategy of Great Duke Marlborough" by Hilaire Belloc. Got this on eBay - 240 page hardback - but with lots of maps and illustrations. Excellent and detailed analysis of six of Marlborough's operations, including Blenheim, Malplaquet, Ramillies, Oudenarde, forcing the lines of Brabant and "1711". Good maps, index. Analyses his tactics and strategy, to illustrate Marlborough's brilliance at tactical and strategic level - good book, recommended!
    • By way of a taster there is an electronic (free) transcript of Belloc's Treatise on Malplaquet (which went on to be one of the chapters in the book I think) (click here)

    • ..I guess I need to set my stall out straight away and state up front that this is the best book of his that I've read - it even exceeds "Redcoat" which I thought was inspired. The depth of detail is amazing (seven pages of bibliography!) and Holmes has drawn heavily on Marlborough's private correspondence in addition to all the expected primary (Parker, Merode Westerloo, etc) and secondary sources (Chandler, Tincey, Falkner among many others) to draw up a picture of a very complex "genius"..

      ..he was married to a nightmare but loved her deeply, showed enormous compassion for his men but never flinched from ordering them into the breach and the bloody assault (Schellenberg for one), was notorious for his ability to gather cash and favours but was never less than wholly supportive of his friends (his relationship to Godolphin was a good case in point)..

      ..Holmes is best when he's talking at the soldiers eye view and this one is no different - his primary sources are well used to give a good view of what it was like to serve, and fight, with "Corporal John".

      ..Marlborough waged ten successful campaigns, besieged over thirty towns, and never lost a battle or a skirmish - the book is a fitting tribute and I recommend it wholeheartedly...
    • John Tincey - Osprey Campaign "Blenheim 1704" 
    • Chandler - "Marlborough as Military Commander"
    • James Falkner "Great and Glorious Days: The Duke of Marlborough's Battles"
    • Following a recommendation on GrimsbyMariners blog a three volume history by G M Trevelyan - England Under Queen Anne:
      • Blenheim (1930).
      • Ramillies and the Union with Scotland (1932).
      • The Peace and the Protestant Succession (1934).
    • "GIANT OF THE GRAND SIECLE: THE FRENCH ARMY, 1610-1715" by John A. Lynn - I was looking for was something that covered the French army as well as Chandler - the book is huge (almost 700 pages!), has had good recommendations elsewhere, so I decided to take the plunge and blow some of the Christmas vouchers... I'll give a more comprehensive review once I've read it as a taster however the contents indicate that the book covers off Administration, Supply, Commissariat, Command (Regimental and Higher), Army Composition, Recruitment, Discipline, Morale and Motivation, Weaponry and Tactics and Positional Warfare

    • Armies and Enemies of Louis XIV - Volume 1 by Mark Allen. This is a re-issue of those fabulous colour plates he did back in the day for one of the magazines, but with loads more updated information..

    Lastly - a selection of novels.. if anyone has any suggestions, please let me know!

    "Man of Honour" by Iain Gale. First book in the Jack Steel series set against a background of the War of the Spanish Succession by a writer I quite enjoy (he also wrote "Four Days in June" which was about the Battle of Waterloo from the particular perspective of a number of the actual participants) and is in the style of, quick intake of breath, "Sharpe" .. I know, it sets very high expectations, but on the whole I wasn't disappointed, a good start that will only get better as the author grows into his new character.... this volume covers off events surrounding Blenheim - nothing like starting at the top then..!
    .....second book in the Jack Steel series, and follows on from "Man of Honour" which I reviewed previously - this one is set against Ramillies.
    Last one in the series, and deals with the Oudenarde campaign and its aftermath... reviewed here [clicky]

    "Cornet of Horse" by Henty is still very good despite being very much in the "ripping yarn" genre - try also Strang and Stead's "With Marlborough to Malplaquet" which is same era and tone.. Happily you can get both of these free on Project Gutenberg (click here)
    "Captain of Dragoons" by Ronald Welch which despite being more modern was also very much in the same genre as Henty, and follows the exploits of the Carey family in the War of the Spanish Succession - serving as a captain in Cadogan's Dragoons... very similar plot line to the Henty book as well...
    . .
    . .

      A question on the definitive library of books for uniforms and flags of this period on the now defunct "Early Linear Warfare" Yahoo group was answered by Dan Schorr (he of the Great Northern Wars [click here] website) as follows - it's worth repeating (and keeping!):

      "The standard, essential works on uniforms, and flags for the period are as follows:

      Jean Belaubre. Les Triomphs Louis XIV. This work was self published by Belaubre 1969-72 in limited numbers. It is extremely difficult to come by, but is the definitive work on colours and standards captured by the French between 1674 and 1714. Virtually every other author on the period relies on it.

      Jean Belaubre, C-P Golberg and F.G. de Wilde. Les armees qui combattirent Louis 14. A series of 9 booklets again self-published by Belaubre in the 1970s, also difficult to find copies. The booklets cover the Dutch Army, The Upper Rhine Circle, Mecklemburg, Hesse-Cassell, Holstein-Gottorp, and the three Brunswicks (Celle, Hannover and Wolfenbüttel). C-P Golberg also published a similar series of booklets which are still available. Many of the Sapherson booklets on the armies of this period are based on this work

      August Kühn. Materialen zum Spanischen Erbfolgekrieg 1701-1714. A series of 33 booklets of varying quality/accuracy covering most of the armies of the War of Spanish Succession. A number of these have been translated into English and published by Pat Condray, and Robert Hall has used these booklets as the basis for his booklets, along with Belaubre, but with a great deal of additional research and graphics, greatly expanding their accuracy and utility.

      Siegbert Wagner. Bemalungsangaben für die Zeit des Spanishen Erbfolgekrieges 1701-1717. AKA "The Wagner Plates". a series of 300 b/w plates, published in the 1980s. These were in fact the work of C-P Golberg. Wagner was only the publisher. Difficult to find. Another source used by many others.

      Anton Hoffmann.Army of the Blue King 1684-1727. The standard work on the Bavarian Army. Still available both on the internet and in printed form.

      Lars-Eric Höglund and Åke Sallnäs. The Great Northern War 1700-1721 Colours and Uniforms I. The definitive work on the Swedish Army during the Great Northern War. Also, The Great Northern War 1700-1721 Colours and Uniforms II. Covering the other armies of the Great Northern War; although less definitive.

      GianCarlo Boeri. The Spanish Armies in the Wars of the League of Augsburg 1688-1697. The definitive work on the Spanish Armies of the period and based almost exclusively on archival research.

      Robert Hall. His books are too numerous to mention. Most are based on solid archival research, and in many cases revise and update the previous works of Golberg and Kühn. All are available on CD and some are available in hard cover from the Pike and Shot Society. You will find no better uniform and flag references than these.

      One thing you will find, however, is that we do not have specific details on every regiment in every army. In many cases, all that we have are coat and facing colors, and then only for a specfic period of time. There are few like Robert Hall, GianCarlo Boeri and Jean Belaubre who invest their own time and money delving into the archival material, and have the expertise to properly assess the material and draw the proper conclusions. Others like C-P Golberg and F.G. de Wilde have passed away.

      In the case of the Russian Army, there are current efforts underway in Russia to develop and present a more complete picture. In many cases the material runs counter to much of what we think we know. We will just have to wait and see, and hope that some of this will eventually be published in English or another Western European language".


      My War of the Spanish Succession library:

      Back to top of page... 


      Not surprisingly given my intense liking for the elegance of his AWI rules, I'm using Will McNally's "Seven Years War" (click here..) rules, which have a very similar style and feel, for this project, with the relevant changes to make the rules more period specific..

      So far my research has noted the following required changes:
      • Under "Units and Bases" - added 'Dismounted Dragoons' after Grenz
      • Have divided all the movement and firing distance by 75% as I'll be using 15mm.
      • Under "Movement Notes" - added "Dragoons mounting or dismounting take a third off their current movement rate (either mounted or dismounted) - when dismounted they move and fire as OO infantry."
      • Under "Firing Factors" -
        • replaced 'Prussian' with 'British/Dutch/Swedish' (close order infantry firing) to represent the fact that those nations had adopted platoon firing..
        • added 'Mounted Cavalry (not British/Dutch)' after "Militia" to represent the fact that British cavalry was trained to close with the sword, and in fact were issued only with limited ammunition..
      • Under "Testing Charged Units" - add 'Dismounted Dragoons' after 'Open Order Infantry' (+2)
      • Under "Melee" - change factor to 'Unit is charging or counter charging (only available in first round)' and '+2 (+3 for British/Dutch)' - not too sure about this but my reading would indicate that the French horse was not the force it had been by the time of the WSS. What I don't want to do is make the British "supermen" though!
      • Change of Formation: Infantry and cavalry on the whole were not well drilled in this period, moved comparatively slowly, had not yet learned to march in step and consequently their formations were much looser than they were to become later in the century. This in turn made unit manoeuvring much slower and evolutions were ponderous by later standards. Nor was drill as practised or sophisticated. To represent this, infantry and cavalry need to test in order change formation - throw 2D6 and add the morale bonus previous mentioned.
        • If the score is 6 or greater then the unit can change formation and the normal delays following apply
        • If the score is less than 6 the unit remains stationary, in mid formation change, and is counted as "disorganised" (blue pin, effects are the same as "shaken" for melee and firing purposes, and it only clears as soon as the units successfully changes formation so no morale tests required)
      • Column to line (and vice versa) 1 move stationary.
      • Column or line to mass (infantry only) ¼ move.
      • Mass to line or column (infantry only) 1 move.
      Artillery limber/unlimber sequence

      Move => unlimber => fire => limber => move
      • Light artillery may perform any three of these evolution's in sequence each move.
      • Medium artillery may only perform two sequential evolution's per move.
      • Heavy artillery may only perform a single evolution.
      ... and that's it...... so far!

      Back to top of page...

      Game Reports
      • A game report in three parts, played by DG and I, from "Scenario's for Wargamers" by Charles Grant, specifically the scenario "Holding Action"...A smaller force is holding a gap in a ridge of hills with the intent of holding off the much larger force for the maximum amount of time...
        • (Click here..) for the account of a recent refight of the Charles Grant "Advance Guard" Teaser... lot of fun, and a quite fiendish scenario, but at a good victory for the Allied forces, and leaves me open for a re-match this time fighting as the French!
        • (Click here..) for a report on the first game of 2008. DG and I decided to have a go at the teaser in issue #10 of Battlegames, "Siege Train, or Caught on the Move". It was a win for me, but only in the face of some of the most appalling dice throwing I've ever seen...!
        • (Click here..) for a report on the latest game "Assault".. this was a quick set up game with uneven sides, but equal points... a good win for the Allies (for once!)
        • First game of 2007, (click here..) for the report of a most enjoyable evenings gaming as we tried to "Cross the Bridge"..
        • A re-fight of the Wagon Train game this time with larger forces on each side, and with a dramatically different result. (click here..) for the report of a most enjoyable evenings gaming..
        • "The Wagon Train"...(click here..)...for a report on my first War of the Spanish Succession game/skirmish (with pictures) which was based on the Charles Grant 'Teaser' from the April '78 issue of "Battle".
        Back to top of page...


        When the project started all those years ago (2006? 2007?) the unpainted lead Darrell passed over were all either Minifigs or Dixon Miniatures. As of now, the only bits of that original lead that I have left is the Minifigs cavalry, and some Dixon infantry - which I think speaks volumes... I've now painted/obtained examples from many manufacturers, with varying results and in this section I document the results..



        Like most wargamers I'm of the view that you can never have too much lead sitting around the place, so in a visit to Colours I decided to invest in 3 packets of Essex infantry (figures come 8 to a pack).

        The Essex figures have now joined the British ranks as Ingoldsby's Regiment of Foot (later the 23rd Foot, also known as the Royal Welch Fusiliers).

        Any down sides? just a couple of "minors"

        • something that I've noticed before with Essex figures which is the size of the base on the figure. These are so small that it's difficult to get a good area contact between the figure and the basing material … not a major issue though.
        • The figure sculpt is a little "static", but then that would be good for this period of warfare..

        Warrior and Roundway

        Their delivery is second to none - the parcels from both companies dropped through the letter box a mere 4 days later!

        Slightly bigger and heftier than the Dixon infantry, which I think is a good thing as the Dixon infantry always looks a little lost to me, but not as big as the Minifgs, and about the same size as the Essex.

        The Roundway figure, although excellent, is let down by that small hat (although they do have the most amazing face - very pugnacious!) My only concern with the Warrior figure is that there is a little pitting - suspect the metal was a bit hot when casting..

        Fighting 15's/Black Hat Miniatures

        I first came across this range back in the Summer of '08 and have ordered a fair few..  they were designed and commissioned in 2008 by Mike at Black Hat, and now sold by Fighting 15's.

        The Black Hat figures are definitely 15mm (ground to the brim of the hat) and are identical to the Minifgs in height, but they are a more modern style and have slightly more heft and bulk and a thick base.. extremely fine figures though..

        CP Models

        A new range only just announced a the time of writing (February '15) . True 15mm scale so not huge..

        Comparison shots - Infantry

        So first up, a head on view..

        In order left to right:
        1. Dixon 
        2. Editions Brokaw I received these free gratis from an American gamer (Sir William the Aged - who amongst other things contributes to the Wars of Louis Quatorze [clicky] web site) in 2009, a very kind gesture
        3. Minifigs
        4. Black Hat
        5. Roundway
        6. Warrior
        7. CP Models
        ...apologies - no Essex figures to hand when I took this..

        Same again - but this time I refaced the Dixon for a better view

        Side shot - following - to give a more representative feel for the "heft" (or chunkiness) - look at the elegance of the Minifig, but compare that with the 'realism' of the Black Hat figure next to him..  entirely differing styles, years apart - but still two of my favourite figure ranges

        ..and from the other side...

        ..and this time some close ups with my two favourite figures.. CP in the middle..  very different figure to figure, but these guys are only 15mm so the differences in reality are minimal on the tabletop... the CP Models and Gladiator/Black Hat figures both have a thick base, but despite this the CP figure is the shortest of the three..

        Left to right - Minifigs/CP/Gladiator
        The Black Tree figure has the bigger "heft" but only from the front - if you look in the following you see he's actually well modelled... the Minifigs figure is possible the most anatomically correct, and also wins for having the better modelled musket and tricorn...

        Comparison shots of the Essex v's Dixon v's Minfigs:

        I don't have any unpainted examples from Essex at the moment, but initial impressions are that the Warrior figure does not strike me as being significantly different - certainly in it's own unit (which I always do anyway) it wouldn't stand out. He's slightly shorter than the Minifigs figure, but has a more solid presence - I particularly like the stance - very pugnacious!

        Lastly the officers and what a fine pair of characters these are! I think I'd probably trim the spear and replace it with piano wire (or similar) but these are lovely figures... I really like the fact that they're both shouting... 


        My infantry of choice are
        1. Minifigs - just elegant full stop..  
        2. Black Hat - for a change - they are the more modern style but an absolute pleasure to paint..  I must like them I've painted four regiments with these figures..


        I finally took the plunge and obtained some Essex cavalry at Salute one year - first impressions are that these are bigger and heftier 15mm's than some of the other figures I have but by no means oversized - I've included some new comparison shots below, but this is them on their own. I have to say that I'm really impressed and I like them a lot - good detail and loads of animation.

        The only downside is the same one as for the infantry, the base size could become irritating as attaching them to the painting stick using my usual method (blue tack) is prone to failure..

        Warrior and Roundway

        I didn't really take to either of these..  The Roundway figure suffers from the same pork pie hat problem as his dismounted colleague, he's the biggest figure of the four, but only because of the horse. I noticed that the horse for this figure also suffers from a fair amount of flash...

        The Warrior  figure is mixed bag - the horse is a decent size, but the rider is very small - I also don't like the pose (sword straight up in the air) which I guess is easy to get round by ordering a different figure!


        I bought some 15mm cavalry from Freikorps at Colours and I liked them so much I also bought more at the Warfare show in November!

        These are a single piece casting, workmanlike, simple and elegant - not as precise as the Dixon, but a fraction of the price and with my standard of painting that's not an issue!

        The figure design is fine, nothing 'weird' in the way of waving sword arms in the air etc. The figure is a good, workmanlike, cavalryman - nice figure. The cast quality/detail, however, is much coarser than the Dixon. Having said that, it's a one piece cast so the figure sits well to the horse.

        Suffice to say that I’ve now got two regiments of these guys painted and I can see more joining the ranks.. J

        NB. These are marketed by them under their SYW range, but in this scale they are close enough...

        Black Hat Cavalry

        He's sitting on one HUGE horse, not only that but the rider is also big - very noticeably so. The horse reminds me of the Essex casting, think they'll be OK with in their own units, but I don't think they compare as well as the infantry do (NB. I later sold the cavalry unpainted - couldn't bring myself to paint them...)


        The Minifigs cavalry suffers from "Minifigs horse" syndrome ie. most Minifgs horses seem to me to have huge rear ends and huge heads! Not sure why this is - other than that the figure is clean and well cast, and like the infantry it's a very elegant model, I'm just not sure I like the pose of the rider - arm out to the side with sword pointing upwards... and suffice to say - even after two years I've not been tempted to paint up a squadron of them.


        The Dixon figure speaks for itself, and is still my favourite - size'wise it's fairly average, but what get's the vote for me is the fit of rider to horse (best of the four), and also the pose.. if you look at him in the side-on shots below, you'll see what I mean - this guy looks like he's been on campaign for a while....!

        Peter Pig 

        I use the round head cavalry from their English Civil War range for cuirassier regiments - so far I have used them for two regiments of Bavarian Cuirassiers, and also a regiment of Austrian Cuirassiers...  lovely figures

        Comparison shots - Cavalry


        My cavalry of choice are Dixon (but they are expensive), and the Freikorps - with the Essex a close third.

        Prices/"Which one's to get"

        *prices correct as Jan '19 - click on the manufacturer to go to the relevant web page


        pence per
        figure ('ish)
        of 24
        Minifigs 8 figures for £3.85 0.48 £11.55
        Warrior 12 figures for £2.50 0.21 £5.00
        Roundway 8 figures for £2.40 0.30 £7.20
        Dixon 10 figures for £3.95 0.39 £9.48
        Essex 8 figures for £3.85 0.48 £11.55
        Gladiator (ex. Black Hat) 8 figures for £3.40 0.42 £10.20
        CP Models 6 figures for £2.50 0.42 £10.20


        pence per
        figure ('ish)
        Regiment of 8
        Minifigs 4 figures for £3.85 0.96 £7.68
        Warrior 6 figures for £2.50 0.42 £3.36
        Roundway 4 figures for £2.40 0.60 £4.80
        Dixon* 5 figures for £5.40 1.08 £8.64
        Essex 4 figures for £3.85 0.96 £7.70
        Black Hat (ex. Black Hat) 4 figures for £3.40 0.85 £6.80
        Freikorps** 4 figures for £2.70 0.68 £5.40

        * you have to buy horses and riders separately)
        ** from their SYW series


        1. Nice to see a detailed update - one minor point - the Black Hat Marlburian range was designed and commissioned by myself in 2008 and was never an old Gladiator range...

          1. Hiya Mike - nice to hear from you! You are correct, I mis-read the update on the Fighting 15's page - I'll correct the above...

        2. Hi do you know the grenadier caps style for the Wurttemberg and Hesse Kassel?

          1. Hello unknown - no I don't but |I had a browse on the web and came up with these that may help??