One of my favourite cavalry models depicts the charge of the Light Brigade by the British against the Russians at Balaclava in the Crimean war of 1854. The one I like best is the one that is found at the Museum of the King’s Royal Hussars in Winchester England.

Background

The charge of the Light Brigade has been turned into a film and also has a famous poem dedicated to the event. British Commander Lord Raglan sent an order through to the Light Brigade, which was made up of Dragoons and Hussars, to prevent Russian forces from removing captured Turkish guns. However, somewhere along the line, the orders were misconstrued and the Brigade was ordered to charge a different but well-defended battery. The result was disastrous and the light cavalry, led by Lord Cardigan, was decimated.

The Model

The model itself is a huge diorama and shows the British light cavalry in full charge attacking the Russian gun positions. It is on the 1/72 scale and the detail that it possesses is incredible. To my eye, it is clear that a lot of customisation went into the model. Horses are normally in full charge gallop, but many of these are falling to the floor dead or injured. The work to customise the kits must have been painstaking, to say the least.

The diorama also features cannon explosions. I asked how the effect was achieved and the answer was quite surprising. The palls of smoke were created by airbrushing balls of cotton wool with light grey paint.

Even though the model is on a 1/72 scale, the uniforms are historically accurate and each and every piece on the diorama was painted by hand. The gold braiding on the cavalry uniforms, in particular, was something which really stood out and set this model apart as being something unique and special.