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WIP Critique 1914 French Dragoon Lancer

Discussion in 'vBench (Works in Progress)' started by Dan Morton, Nov 9, 2014.

  1. Dan Morton A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Of all the anachronisms of the First World War, surely one of the strangest was the persistence of cavalry use of lances early in the war. In 1914 Britain, France, Germany, Austro-Hungary, Turkey and Russia all fielded cavalry using the lance.

    This very early WIP of a French Dragoon Lancer is the first of six planned horses and riders. All the horses are Verlinden. They come from two Napoleonic kits. All of them are rearing. To reduce the weight of each horse, I've hollowed the bodies out and to better support the weight of the horse on the back legs only, I've drilled the legs and put rod in some of the straight pieces. I've removed all the Napoleonic saddles and horse tackle and started replacing them with the appropriate types. In the case of the Dragoon, I've replaced the bridle, changed the saddle and am working on various other parts of horse tackle.

    The WIP photos of the Dragoon are not very good, but hopefully viewers much better acquainted with and skilled in horse-riding than myself will be able to provide critique to improve the rider placement. Elsewhere I've been picking Keith and Martin's brains about the techniques used by the rider to stay aboard a rearing horse. Since I'm doing six of these, all in roughly the same poses, I'd like to get the first spot on if I can.

    I've included photos of a Dragoon re-enactor and equipment if you are unfamiliar with the 1914 uniforms, weapons and equipment. Besides the lance, the Dragoon will be armed with a carbine, which I've already made and put in a rifle bucket which will be slung on the horse.

    I used a reddish brown putty to stick the brass rod which will become the lance to the rider's right hand. The left hand will hold the reins and the reins will be tight.

    Your comments and critique are invited.

    All the best,
    Dan

    Attached Files:

    sayeret, blaster, zane666 and 3 others like this.
  2. ellie A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Looking good great start to the project. I'm working on 3 French cuirassiers from the franco Prussian war in 75mm so I know how hard it is to start something like this. keep it up.

    Ian
  3. Huw63 PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    Switzerland
    I'm mainly into the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars but this looks like an excellent project. Look forward to seeing your work also Ellie.

    As for myself I'm working up to commencing my life project - a history of French Heavy Cavalry from 1792-1815 using Historex as a medium. Research done, almost all parts obtained. Presently working on getting techniques up to scratch before getting the courage to start work.

    Cheers

    Huw
  4. Wings5797 A Fixture

    Country:
    France
    Super start Dan.
    The conversion on the mount is very well done. Really looking forward to this dio taking shape.
    Fine work, press on.
    All the best,
    Keith
  5. Dan Morton A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Many thanks Keith, Huw and Ian. Thanks for the encouragement!

    Ian - I look forward to seeing your three Cuirassiers!

    Huw - How many figures will that require to display all that history?

    All the best,
    Dan
  6. Huw63 PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    Switzerland
    Dan my list at present is around 60 plus some vignettes from Cuirassier memoirs I've read, paintings and my imagination. I must be mad...
    Wings5797 likes this.
  7. Dan Morton A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    60!??!??!!
    Please consult your psychiatrist at the earliest opportunity.

    That's INCREDIBLE in any scale!

    All the best,
    Dan
  8. Huw63 PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    Switzerland
    If I can complete half of it then I will feel I've achieved something
  9. zane666 Well-Known Member

    Country:
    New_Zealand
    I like this (there's something about lances, any period) and will follow with interest.

    regards Zane
    Wings5797 likes this.
  10. Wings5797 A Fixture

    Country:
    France
    Yes, me too Zane.
    Keith
  11. blaster Active Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Hi Dan,

    Great photos. I like this concept. If anyone can pull it off, you can.


    Rgds Vic
  12. Dan Morton A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Zane and Vic - Thanks! Back to the bench!

    All the best,
    Dan
  13. yeo_64 Active Member

    Country:
    Singapore
    Keep at it, Dan :LOL:! Looking Good (y)(y)(y).
    Cheers!
    Kenneth.;
  14. martin tabony Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Dan, if you don't mind there are two things that I noticed. Firstly if you are going to have him turning so much, his hips also have to move and it's almost impossible to keep the correct leg position. If you follow my thinking on this,when the hip twists so do the thighs, so the left leg foot points out more than it should and the right foot points in. The extreme of this is turn in the saddle to look behind, when you're in more of a scissors position.
    The lance position looks very relaxed, don't know if that was the intent? obviously you're trying not to hit the horses head. So to get in that position you would have to point the lance up, move it left across your body and then lower it (not quite that far that it would rest on the reins though). Sometimes it's quicker to hold the lance high and come down in a stabbing motion. I also think it would look more dramatic. Just my opinion though.:)

    Martin
  15. fabrizio1969 A Fixture

    Country:
    Italy
    very interesting subjet
  16. sayeret Active Member

    Very very interesting subject!!!
    I'll follow your great work with a lot of interest.(y)

    Roberto
  17. martin tabony Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Dan, I meant to ask, have you got Andre Jouineau's book on the French army of 1914?
  18. Huw63 PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    Switzerland
    Just a thought. Shep Paine produced a wonderful piece called "The Three Lancers" which might help with composition.
  19. Dan Morton A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Kenneth, Fabrizio and Huw - Many thanks! Huw - I looked up the "The Three Lancers" and it helps me understand somewhat better Martin's comments about the lance position. Thanks!

    Martin - I don't think the lance pointing down would work for the type of meeting engagement vignette I'm thinking about. It ended up in that position in the photo only because I had nothing to hold it up properly. I'll raise the right shoulder and elbow and get the lance pointed more where I want it. What I want to be able to do is position any of the Central Powers lancers and their rearing horses directly opposite any of the Entente lancers and their rearing horses. Yes - I freely acknowledge the low likelihood of such a fight in 1914, but...I don't think I can beat it for dramatic effect. So the lance should be pointing directly at the opposing lancer. I definitely will reposition the hips and feet per your comments. I like the idea of trying to show the human body being strained by the extreme position and at the same time trying to stay in the saddle. Finally, I don't have Joineau's book, but may buy it. Various guys have sent me a few scanned pages of the 1914 and 1918 books. I have the Verlag Militaria two volume reference on the French army. What a tremendous help that has been on multiple sculpts! I can't say enough about that publisher - they just don't seem to turn out anything second class!

    Thanks again to everyone for their encouragement and help on this.

    All the best,
    Dan
  20. Huw63 PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    Switzerland
    Glad to be of help- at the end of a tiring day I'm glad you could express what I was trying to Dan

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