Monday, 19 July 2021

Back to Napoleonics

 Every couple of years I find myself propelled from my shelf of books of Napoleonic history and uniforms towards the section of the lead mountain devoted to that period. The current cause for this enthusiasm is the book "A Waste of Blood and Treasure" by Philip Ball.


This describes the Anglo-Russian invasion of the Netherlands in 1799, a campaign I knew very little about. In the latest mining into the unpainted figure storage I found the tiny part that is made of 6mm figures including a test stand of French artillery. 



These did remind me of my lack of satisfaction in painting figures of this size. I like that they do look much more realistic in the way they represent the unit and the ground that it would take up. I think the problem is that the basing become much more of the focus and my skills in that area would need some major improvement.

The other figures that I took another look at, are the excellent sculpts of the sadly departed Richard Ansell, that he did for the period. These were initially a range of Austrians  that  The Assault Group (TAG) released, which is where I first saw them and where the original denizens of my lead pile came from. Later this range was sold to Alban Miniatures who had started a range of Peninsula War French and British, again using Richard as the sculptor.  When Alban closed they had moved on to a sculptor with a different style, so the opportunity to refight the entire conflict in these excellent miniatures had gone for good.


Setting aside the problem about the availability of figures for another time, I decided to paint some of the French Legere (or light infantry.)  Despite the Alban offerings being more suitable for skirmish type games I reckoned I could get a small formed unit from the available figures. The uniforms depicted are a mix of campaign and full dress for a pleasingly irregular look to the unit. 



I am currently straying towards such heresies as "imagi-nation" style games in my plans for Napoleonics, so the precise regiment and year of the uniform chosen counted for very little to me. I was attracted to the earlier incarnations of the Legere regiments with natty white waistcoats and that was a good enough basis for my choice.



 

I did include voltiguer and grenadier variations on some of the figures, as my current thinking is to have units representing battalions on the tabletop. Despite their slim stature all the detail was there on the figures to pick out and any failures to do so lay purely at my door.






Peltasts

The second unit on deck is the frequent companion of the Thracians, a unit of Greek peltasts. They tend to carry out a similar function; cle...