Although I had a command stand for my Austrian forces as seen in Post 38, I did say that I would probably have to convert a figure if I wanted one looking more like FML Rosenberg- Orsini in Johann Krafft’s Aspern- Essling painting (right). Sometime last summer I set about making myself a Pendraken Rosenberg by converting an Archduke Charles figure from Pendraken’s Austrian High Command pack (NPA26). The model has Charles waving his hat in the air, revealing a rather too bald bald-head for the Archduke – he wore a toupee to protect his forehead against the sun. First, I trimmed down the crown of his head to see if the hat freed from his hand could be fixed to his head. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it fit fore and aft – so out came the modelling putty. As I was pushing putty around, giving my Rosenberg a new hat, I took my eye off the job, distracted by a phone call. That’s my excuse! In the cold light of the following morning, it was obvious that I had failed to capture the
essential shape of the bicorne, especially how it was worn tilted back. Mine was much too flat- bottomed and upright. And somewhat comical in its shortcomings. The very same day (it also happened to be my birthday) I visited the
National War Museum and the regimental museums within the historic setting of Edinburgh Castle. There I chanced on Sir John Moore’s cocked hat from 1809 that was kept by Lord Lynedoch, Moore’s aide-de-camp who was with Moore when he died. It was the type of bicorne that staff officers throughout Europe wore and Moore’s was very similar to those worn by Austrian officers. So there I was looking at the real 1809 deal. How those feathers must have flown about in any sort of wind!
ABOVE Sir John Moore’s cocked hat in Edinburgh Castle, unfortunately behind glass that reflects a video presentation.

The Story of a Hat

POST 132