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"1805 Russian cavalry heads" Topic

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596 hits since 6 Nov 2017
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Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP06 Nov 2017 9:32 a.m. PST

Perry has released their Russian horse artillery. Except for the helmets. The uniform is quite close to the earlier uniform.
But where can I find the appropriate heads? Cutting of heads of my brigade games dragoons is out of the question.
And I doubt anyone makes spare heads.
But does anyone make more affordable Russian 1805 cavalry that I can murder?

anchar197706 Nov 2017 12:44 p.m. PST

Commissar miniatures will relise russian horse, guard horse artillery with spare heads for 1805 and 1812. But now they have released 3 sets of generals for Borodino.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP06 Nov 2017 2:01 p.m. PST

Is not the only difference a bearskin edge along the top of the helmet crest (I confess this is way out of my comfort zone)?

But, if so, adding a crest from Greenstuff would be infinitely easier and much more resilient than sticking new heads on…..

Le Breton Inactive Member06 Nov 2017 9:54 p.m. PST

From the Viskovatov, courtesy of Mr. Mark Conrad ….


18 October 1803 [O.S.] – All combatant lower ranks in the Horse Artillery were ordered to wear helmets [kaski] when in formation), of the pattern introduced at this time in Cuirassier and Dragoon regiments, while hats were kept for off duty




17 December 1803 – Officers, including generals, kept the uniforms they had received on 27 March 1802 and 18 October 1803. In formation, when wearing sashes, they wore the helmets established on 18 October 1803, with a hair creast (white towards the top, black towards the bottom, with an orange strip in between) and during other times—hats


Footslogger07 Nov 2017 1:29 a.m. PST

Good Lord, were they actually expected to serve guns wearing those?

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2017 2:00 a.m. PST

Thought that was how they looked. A dead easy conversion, much easier than a head swap!

Le Breton Inactive Member07 Nov 2017 2:16 a.m. PST

26 November 1808 – For all Horse-Artillery companies a new style of crest [plyumazh] was prescribed for their helmets, like that confirmed at this time for Cuirassier regiments. Officers were prescribed to have these crests only when on campaign, and the rest of the time to wear the previous thick style established 18 October 1803

Footslogger :
This implies that the crests were removable (so that the officers could exchange them).

10 February 1812 – The thick [gustoi] style of crest on officers' helmets was completely abolished, leaving only the flat [ploskii] style.


Le Breton Inactive Member07 Nov 2017 2:47 a.m. PST

There are rather few contemporary images of Russian curiassiers, dragons or horse atillery with the "thick" style of crest. The images above are from the Viskovatov, which – while considered "authoritative" – was compiled after the period. If a colleague has more contemporary images of the thick style of crest, I would be quite thankful to see them.

Chevalier Guards in 1807 by Sauerweid
The artist is quite reliable. However, the Chevalier Guards are shown with their ceremonial "soubre-vest" and a helmet shape that was non-standard. This indicates a special ceremonial uniform (a practice not unknown for this unit or parts of it), not their standand uniform as heavy cavalry.


Dragoon in 1805-1807 by Voltz


Museum examples
The crests may or may not be original.






von Winterfeldt07 Nov 2017 4:17 a.m. PST

very nice photos

Stoppage07 Nov 2017 4:35 a.m. PST

Very interesting – the museum specimens seem to sport hair plumes – bear? Not wool.

The two with white tips don't seem to have the orange divider (with the black tail).

The horse artillery officers picture shows hats with falling feather plumes – do these have black bases with black/orange mix middles and then white feathers on top?

Do all (dis)mounted horse officers have this plume?

It seems to be opposite of foot officers

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2017 4:54 a.m. PST

As I said above, such crest toppings featured in many armies…bearskin fur, not wool.

Stoppage07 Nov 2017 5:33 a.m. PST


I read your 'bearskin' as a generic reference to caterpillar crests or raupen rather than the actual material.

I believe the French used a lot of goat hair instead of bear fur, I wonder what their woolly crests were made of?

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2017 7:38 a.m. PST

Now that makes much sense. I did not see how they could get quite so many bearskins for all those French Lancers and Carabiniers crested helmets! But I will admit, I thought Goat fur not quite fine enough for this kind of look, yet I suspect you are right.

Marc at work07 Nov 2017 8:48 a.m. PST

I thought goatskin was used for backpacks and bearskins, but crests were woollen. Live and learn

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2017 9:18 a.m. PST

Just look at any crest whether British, French, Russian it is a furry thing ie long straight hairs densely packed to together. Sheep is curly fluffy things……

Funny how many folk think Highlanders wore bearskin bonnets!

Le Breton Inactive Member07 Nov 2017 10:49 a.m. PST

I always thought the French used horsehair for crests.
The Russians, as you can see, used fur for the "thick" style (or "caterpillar") …. they used horse for the later thin crests.

I imagine the officers used bear fur. Otherwise? who knows – Russians will will skin just about anything with fur and wear it (then and now – ask my daughter). The "white" looks like more or less well bleached gray/silver/black on each hair (is that called "agouti"). Bear, wolf, dog, goat, local "racoon" creature, rabbit, mink, eytc., etc.???
Anyway, the examples are from museums – and may not be original at all.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2017 11:02 a.m. PST

Horsehair for tails from helmets yes eg dragoons, cuirassiers, but not the caterpillar.

An odd Restoration fashion under Louis XVIII was to have both on a helmet I admit.

You cannot use horse hair for a caterpillar crest like we see here. You only have the mane and tail to work with. Now, if you cut it, how do you insert the hair and attach to the helmet crest to stand upright? It will go everywhere. Thousands of hairs all over the place. Notice the bit at the front of a cuirassier's helmet, the bit that sticks up at the front of the crest. It has the free edges sticking out, but well secured just below, to then trail behind!

(and yet I do accept that changing fashions meant horse hair DID appear eventually, projecting vertically from the crest eg Russians as shown and mid 19th C French cavalry. But the effect was like a toothbrush, not the magnificent look we see here)

Instead, find fur that is still attached to the animal's hide. Now you have one single intact thing to work with, to shape as desired. It has to be a very long haired critter, such as a Badger, a Bear, some kind of US bison maybe….actually every other animal I think off simply would not do…including goat

Le Breton Inactive Member07 Nov 2017 2:16 p.m. PST

"Horsehair for tails from helmets yes eg dragoons, cuirassiers, but not the caterpillar."
Yes, indeed – I see your point perfectly. And agree.
Thank you!

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