Friday, May 11, 2012

Kropotov Horse Grenadiers - 40mm Prince August

I recently received the two new Prince August semi-round cavalry molds, representing Russian horse grenadiers for the Great Northern War.  They are S936 and S937 of the 40mm Karoliner series.  Horse grenadiers seems an odd design choice given their rarity relative to other cavalry types, but they are something unique and I thought I might be able to convert them to regular cavalry with a head swap.

No, I'm afraid this one won't do.  At first glance, the rider appears to be seated way back towards the horse's croup.  Then the eye comes to rest on the overly elongated body of the horse.  Overall, the sculptor certainly appears to have a solid grasp of human and equine anatomy, so how does something like this happen ?  This horse looks to me like the Halloween costume where one person wears the horse's head and front legs and his partner plays the horse's hind quarters with the empty body drooping out between.

I like this somewhat different mold design with the generous air channel.  On my first cast the short sword problem marred an otherwise clean cast.  Nothing unusual of course with the mold not yet up to temperature, but I hedged my bets by cutting a small channel between the large one and the tip of the sword to allow for metal flow.  After that, a 100% success rate with this mold.

Painted per the included painting guide as the Peter's Kropotov regiment of horse grenadiers. The only modification was bridging the unsightly gap in the reins (between the mane and rider's hand) with green stuff. The only other flaw I can really see with this figure is the sword hilt lacking a hand guard.  And the horse's body on S936 also suffers from the stretched appearance, but to my eyes not nearly as pronounced as with S937. It's there,  but I think to a tolerable degree.

And, here as I have modified to a conventional cavalry figure.  Chapeau courtesy of GNW infantry Mould # DK-102.  I also cut off the cartridge box and filed down the associated belt, added to the sword belt and filled in the gap in the reins with Green Stuff.

S936 - Modified

Is it worth the extra work ? If you're already satisified with S931 or getting good casts out of S935, probably not.  However, if you like the idea of your cavalry attired in full coats instead of Swedish turnbacks, the tricorne conversion is an easy one even if you do nothing else with the figure, giving collectors an additional use for this mold after casting the few units of horse grenadiers you might need.

What's next ?  Cast and paint a French regiment, Royal Roussillon.  I haven't had good success with S935 due to the sword casting more like a gladius, but I just modified the mold by cutting another hole to pour directly into the sword tip, so am eager to try this out. If it works, I will combine S935 and this new mold S936 in different ranks.


  1. Disappointing to read this review. I have been putting off converting Horse Grenadiers, common enough in Anglo-Hanoverian armies and of course there are all those bearskinned French & Austrians later on. The bent shape of the grenadier cap means this figure is probably not a good start for the Hanoverian types though. Might still be good for an underlying frame for Bearskins or for a new pose and a full skirted cavalryman as you mention.The painted figures certainly look well.

  2. Thanks, Ross. Yes, it definitely looks like a cloth cap.