The World War 1 cavalry figures of Nuno Cabeçadas


In 1917, Dragoons performed reconnaissance duties or fought as mobile infantry and the uniforms have lost most of the glamour from previous years becoming similar to those adopted to the trench warfare.

As these uniforms are close to the Infantry, including the new helmet introduced in 1916, the method for painting these figures was almost the same as described for other models before, but some small changes were introduced to test new techniques.

The whole process started by painting the figures with acrylic black and dry brushed them with Feldgrau. This color or shade is a mix of Tamiya Gunship Grey and Olive Drab in several different proportions to replicate the lack of uniformity of these uniforms.

I then added most details, as belts, skin color, boots or weapons also using a dry brushing technique highlighted with two additional layers of a lighter shade. Using this method, all the 12 horses and then the figures had been painted in a single row.

The next stage is detailing, adding small details like the five color camouflage in the M1916 helmets, lighter shades in the faces, eyes and metal parts. Only then do I paint the eyes, first in white, then I pierced the center with a needle to give the idea of a black spot without the risk of using paint. To me, the needle is easier to control and I just need to press until I get the dot with the correct size. Finally, a layer of "Skin wash" is added to the faces and hands.

The final step is to wash the figures with black in areas over dark colors or tan when the background was lighter and paint small black stripes around the harnesses when need to help define the shape.

The main difference is in the faces, because the "Skin wash" help to get a better contrast in a model who already have deeper details than the Hat or Emhar figures. This doesn't mean that the Strelets style is better, some may like it more, others not, however the differences impose some changes when 
painting the figures to get the most of the features they have.

This is an interesting set covering an almost forgotten subject with the added value of all the figures being different. The details are good and historically accurate, but some items could have been better, for example the firearms.

Unfortunately, some poses aren't a good choice and the plastic doesn't take glue (unlike the HaT figures). However the major drawback is that these figures aren't compatible with most other brands, limiting the conversion possibilities until Strelets decide to make a few more German WW1 sets.

Still, this is my favorite WW1 cavalry set and can be placed near the late war tanks and guns I have, which allows for some more complex scenes. 



German cavalry conversions

The riders' parts come from three sources: horses and legs are from the HaT WW2 German Mounted Infantry, bodies come from the HaT German Artillery and from the Emhar officer. The only drawback with this conversion is the Emhar plastic which doesn't take glue as It should, but apart from that, its a very easy conversion with some limits as HaT only have two different horses, and most German WW1 Artillery models are not suitable to be converted to riders.

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