Saturday, 19 September 2020

French Line Lancers

Line lancers or light horse lancers are, a bit like the horse chasseurs, a type of cavalry that was a major element Napoleon's armies that remains criminally underrepresented. Since they don't seem to be as iconic as the cuirassiers or hussars, they sadly have much less coverage in sets. I can hardly think why, as I find them both iconic and interesting.

Thankfully, Waterloo 1815 produce an excellent set for them, which is what I've used here (Set 054). I was very happy with Waterloo's British Heavy Dragoons, and I would say this set matched the high expectations the first one gave me. The models are well sculpted and the poses are dynamic, interesting and natural.

I do have one criticism of the set, and it is that command figures make up half of all the models, with only six troopers in total. Given that I'm wanting to field them in a unit of twelve this becomes a little awkward, as I have to have two buglers, two officers and two standard bearers in one unit. I think my longer-term solution to this will be to pick up HaT's French Lancers, where all the figures are troopers, and combine them with these figures to get two units. For now though, I think the quality of the miniatures themselves makes up for the overabundance of command figures.


Tuesday, 15 September 2020

French Chasseurs in Open Order

Skirmishers seem to be one of those tricky things in Napoleonic gaming. I've seen them represented as separate units, attachments to regular infantry, or even abstracted off of the table altogether. In Over the Hills you're given a few different options, with dedicated light infantry battalions that can deploy in open order and with a 'Skirmish Rating' that regular battalions have, representing the skill of their attached light infantry company.

I quite like this idea in theory (although I've yet to really test it in practice), as it seems like it can represent the way skirmishers were used to both advance ahead of the force as a whole and contribute to fire fights between individual units. To that end I've painted up a pair of four-base battalions of Chasseurs (representing around 400 men each). These guys have only two figures on a base to make them look more spaced out.

The models aren't strictly Chasseurs, but rather come from Zvezda's excellent Voltigeur set (Set 8042). I decided on doing these guys as Chasseurs because HaT do excellent sets for Light Infantry Voltigeurs and Carabaniers, so some time in the future I'd like to add an extra base to these units from each of those sets. Being Zvezda they, of course, painted up very well (in my humble opinion).

Most of the other figures from this set were set aside to be painted as Voltigeur companies for line battalions. I should have posts on those up in the coming weeks.

And here are a few British to cap things off. There were hardly enough here to justify giving them their own post, so I figured I'd tag them onto the end of this one. The infantry are from Italeri's British Infantry 1815 (Set 6095). If I'm not mistaken these particular figures are Foot Guards, so they'll be needing a few more bases in the future to get them up to full strength (six more, as it happens). For now they can stand in just fine as regular line infantry.

This mounted figure is a hussar from Airfix's Waterloo British Cavalry (Set 01743). He was floating around alone in one of my miniature drawers, so I've painted him up as a kind of cavalry officer (or else an aide de camp, if I ever need any).
I've been a little slack on posting updates, but I have actually been getting stuff painted. I'll try to catch up on my backlog a little over the next few weeks.

Thursday, 9 April 2020

Chasseurs, Cuirassiers and some reordering

Hello everyone, it's been a while hasn't it? Not long after my last post I found that I was distracted and absorbed by other things and other hobbies. Myself and my group of friends did quite a bit of experimenting with 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons in 2019, and since I was the dungeon master for most of our games it took up a lot of my 'hobby time'. 

But, a few weeks ago I swung back around to my Napoleonics. Naturally I laid some plans to order in more models. As luck would have it my shift in interests took place at the beginning of a global pandemic, so I wasn't able to order from my usual supplier in the UK. Thankfully I was able to make an order via an Australian store, even if it wasn't for all the kits I had wanted. In particular I was after Waterloo 1815's Highlanders in Square and HaT's Peninsular War British Infantry.

A lot of my recent order has focused on expanding my French army then, rather than my British. You can see in these images one of my recently completed units: a regiment of Chasseurs a Cheval. The set is Italeri 6080, French Light Cavalry. I had considered getting HaT's set for Chasseurs instead, as the posing of the horses in this set is a little spastic for my tastes. In the end though, the Italeri set is sculpted and posed more dynamically, and the inclusion of command and elite figures adds some nice variety to it. Perhaps in the future I will get HaT's set as well and have a unit of both.

In a previous post I mentioned that I would be painting another three bases of French Cuirassiers. I thought I had made a post about them, but apparently I did not. So here is the completed six-base regiment, now including an officer as well as a bugler.

On a side note, I ran a few numbers and discovered that my original sizing for cavalry units was too small. At the 1:33 ratio I've been using for my infantry, three cavalry bases equates to about 200 men, which is more of a squadron than a regiment. Plus, Over the Hills (the rules system I'm hoping to use) seems to encourage cavalry units of four to six bases. A three base unit can't neatly adopt all the possible formations. I don't mind this size increase as much as I thought I might, but the downside is that several of my cavalry units are now too small to function as full units and at some point I will have to try and expand them.

I had also mentioned in the past that I would be repainting and rebasing my old British infantry. I have done so, and they worked out to four battalions. The first lot are Airfix while the others are Revell. I've owned these figures since I was very young, but it wasn't until recently that they were all properly based and painted as actual British soldiers. Back when I was obsessed with Quatre Bras, a lot of them served different roles. Some of the Airfix acted as Black Brunswickers, while some of the Revell figures had to wear blue as Dutch-Belgians.

(I think I have made a small error here by painting the flag as the pre-1801 Union Jack without the cross of St. Patrick.)

I also painted up another officer from the Waterloo 1815 line officers set to act as a brigade commander for the British. Running out of mounted officers is a particular concern of mine, as they can be tricky to find in 1/72nd plastic. For now all is well though, and after seeing Waterloo 1815 release a set dedicated to Prussian commanders I'm hopeful that they may give the British and others a similar treatment.

I mentioned Over the Hills earlier as being the rule set I'm hoping to use. I haven't done much actual wargaming with my Napoleonic collection, aside from sporadic attempts at writing my own rules (they all became over complicated, unclear, boring, messy or a combination thereof). I actually bought the rulebook for Over the Hills back in 2018 and did a brief experiment with it then. Since coming back around to Napoleonics again I have done some more testing, though I still have yet to play a full test game as I simply don't have enough units painted. I'm hopeful that after getting through the current lot of figures I can try playing a game and get to grips with these rules, which seem promising from the tests.
I look forward to making more progress with this project in the coming weeks. Perhaps I'll even have a battle report in there somewhere. Stay safe everyone.


Wednesday, 12 December 2018

A lot more French Infantry

Well, for me it's a lot more. Two more battalions of French line and a second battalion of light infantry. With these guys done I have six battalions of French Infantry total, along with a loose unit of Italians. I'd say that's a pretty big improvement on the one battalion I started with, though its not quite the divisional level that I'm aiming for yet. As these were the last of the Italeri and HaT figures I had, I'll be needing to get some more in! But I've decided to restrain myself until the new year arrives. Besides, I have plenty more work to do. More on that in a bit, for now, here are a few pictures:

The officer is from the Waterloo 1815 'Napoleonic Mounted Line Officers' set. 

I went for a brighter blue on the Line Infantry this time, and I think they came out a lot more vibrant because of it. The army is finally starting to have a bit of weight to it when its all set up together, but we're not quite there yet. The next thing is another regiment of Cuirassiers to match the first, and then I'll have to set to rebasing and repainting a bunch of my older stuff, mostly British infantry.


Friday, 7 December 2018

More British Light Dragoons

Yet another regiment of cavalry completed: a second unit of Light Dragoons by Italeri, to match up with the first one I painted several months back. I chose to paint these guys with the same facing colours as the first unit, so that in future I could potentially increase the size of my cavalry units by combining two regiments into one. For the time being the two will just form up into a light cavalry brigade.

And here we have the full brigade, ready to go ride down some frogs! 

I've had rather a dearth of infantry recently, with what I think is four units of cavalry in a row. However, the next post should be concerned with a great multitude of French foot-sloggers, so stay tuned for that (or don't, as you please).


Monday, 3 December 2018

British Heavy Dragoons

I have just recently encountered a problem I never thought I would have: I am painting new units faster than I post about them! Still, having a backlog of posts to make is hardly a terrible weight to bear. For today, I have another unit of heavy cavalry, this time from the British. These figures are by Waterloo 1815, and are in my opinion the best depiction of this unit out there (at least in 1/72nd plastic). My British have been rather short on cavalry for a while now, but with this and the regiment of light dragoons I painted earlier this year that is starting to change.

There should be another post within the week, most likely more cavalry. I'm starting to get to the end of my current stock of unpainted Napoleonics, though once I do I'll still need to go back and repaint some old figures that are very much not up to snuff. I will tentatively say to expect a good deal more stuff through the month of December.


Sunday, 25 November 2018

French Cuirassiers

Yet more Napoleonics march off the painting table; this time a regiment of French Cuirassiers. Funny story about these guys though: I started painting them out of procrastination, as I didn't want to finish prepping a bunch of other models (hopefully more on those at a later date) and I also didn't want to keep working on my Knights of Minas Tirith, as I was tired of painting horses. In my great wisdom I decided it would be easier to, uh, paint some other horses?
When all's said and done I'm pretty happy with how things turned out. Napoleon's Cuirassiers are among my favourite units of any period, so I'm very happy to have some painted. To cap it off they are Zvezda, and so are sculpted to a delightful standard.

I've based and painted this figure as an officer, since I felt his pose was appropriate and I couldn't fit him into any of the three regiments I'll be making up from the box. I find officers can be tricky to acquire in sufficient numbers, so an extra one is very welcome.

There's more French Line being finished at the time of this post, with a regiment of Waterloo 1815's British Heavy Dragoons lined up after that. Of course, knowing me there's a good chance I'll be side-tracked before I get to them, but with the semester over I shall I have a lot more free time on hand. We shall see, but I am quite pleased with how my Napoleonic Project is progressing-specifically, that it is progressing at all.