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"Horse Colors of the Light Brigade?" Topic

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Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP21 Mar 2021 4:29 p.m. PST

I bought the W. Britain Charge of the Light Brigade set. It contains one mounted figure from each of the 5 regiments at Balaclava. The horses of the 17th Lancers, 13th Light Dragoons and the 11th Hussars are all black, with the other 2 regiments mounted on brown horse. W. Britain, at least its more recent miniatures, is usually pretty accurate on these things, but when I looked at the illustrations in John and Boris Mollo's Into the Valley of Death book, all the light cavalry are mounted on brown horses. I have several books on British cavalry uniforms and the Crimean War, but I can find no further information about the horse colors of the Light Brigade. A secondary question: were buglers still mounted on white horses during the Crimean War?

Cardinal Hawkwood21 Mar 2021 8:33 p.m. PST

horses are basically red, black or grey… 67%of all horses are bays, which are reds with black points, 321% precent or there about are chestnust, which are red horse not with black points, blacks. greys,roan and the like are the rest. I doubt it was very much different in them good old days. I don't think Britains put that much thought into their horse colours at all.white horses for musicans had stopped in the Napoleonic period as I recall but pie and skewbalds were still popular for kettledrummers.
In this case Wikipedia about horses colouring is very useful. I suspect British cavalry of the time would have tried to be consistent with the idea of horse colours by squadron, wel to start with .

Frostie21 Mar 2021 10:33 p.m. PST

While that was the ideal, colours per squadron, due to the nature of the harsh campaigning conditions a lot of local, smaller Russian horses/ponies were utalised

John the OFM22 Mar 2021 5:55 a.m. PST

As soon as you start to need remounts, all those fine color coordinated schemes go out the window.
Such schemes are for peacetime and parades.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP22 Mar 2021 6:28 a.m. PST

There is usually regulation, parade ground reality and campaign reality. Prior to the World Wars, I tend to lean in the direction of parade ground reality myself, but tastes vary.

No question there was an order stopping the use of grays for musicians during the Napoleonic Wars. My suspicion is that practice lagged regulation--it often does--but I can't prove it, let alone say by how much.

With squadron horse colors, I would also keep in mind the level of representation. Even at my beloved 1:20, that would mean no more than five or six horses before changing color, which is not the effect they were trying for. At 1:00, every horse would be a different color. My advice would be to break out three or four "earth tones"--burnt & raw sienna and burnt & raw ochre--and possibly do something more exotic for the officer. But I'm thinking of regiments of 12-27. It would be different if each squadron were several stands of 2mm. How many men in your miniature regiment?

Cardinal Hawkwood22 Mar 2021 1:56 p.m. PST

Britains are "Toy Soldiers" so their horses are more likely based on carousel horses than reality.

Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP22 Mar 2021 3:56 p.m. PST

Cardinal Hawkwood, perhaps you're thinking of the old, pre-1965 Britains. The recent ones look pretty accurate to me.

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