Mar 1, 2016

Les Grognards


Much like a World War Two miniature collection could not do without the Evil Germans, there is little point in gathering Napoleonic armies without the Emperor's boys in blue. The very real problem I had to face therefore was that my collection includes Brits, Austrians, Prussians, Russians, but only a handful of Frenchies. Fortunately this can be remedied on the cheap with Italeri and HäT sets, as I intend to do this month or the next (currently under the spell of 6mm SYW again, I have to make tough choices in the near future). 
On the other hand, it seemed entirely proper to begin building a painted French army with the famed grenadiers of the Old Guard, although their use on the battlefield would be very limited. I had a box of Zvezda figures at my disposal, so a 24-man, six-base unit was created.



The usual painting methods were employed, and while the Vallejo acrylic varnish turned out at a satin shine, I found the figures adequate enough to leave them be. 


A rather different approach than is required for tricorne era troops, but not as challenging as it first seemed. Zvezda figures always give me cause for worry because they are too well detailed, as I explained it before, but the mentality I borrowed from painting 6mm figures dictated that I should worry less about individual detail and create a consistent unit, in which the figures look good together. I believe this goal was achieved. 

22 comments:

  1. Great looking Grenadiers of the Guard, Andras.

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  2. Gorgeous. Am I right to assume that the guy with the telescope is a conversion from the Zvezda French HQ set? (With a head swap so that he is wearing the fur hat.)

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    1. Thanks, and you are correct, except only the bicorne was removed and not the entire head :)

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  3. Splendid looking fellows! :D Cheers!

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  4. Fine looking, well-presented body of troops, Andras!

    For decades I resisted adding any of the Imperial Guard to my French army, even though some of my first metal figures were Voltigeurs of the Young Guard. They ended up as line grenadiers or line voltigeurs. But in more recent times, I did get mixed bag of metal bear-skin toting fellows, which, because I am something of a contrarian, I painted up as Chasseurs of the Old Guard.

    Later I bought second hand a about 100 figures of which by far the majority sported plumes on their shakos. Unwilling to cut them down, I took a fairish while - until I came up with my 'Big Battles for Small Tables' plan, to form two 24-figure 'lots' them also into Guard units, namely one from the Middle Guard, the other from the Young.

    These 'units' represent Divisions, which are in turn represented by a particular regiment or battalion. When completed, my Imperial Guard will comprise a Division each of the Old, Middle and Young Guard, a 12-figure unit of Horse Grenadiers to represent the Guard Heavy Cavalry, and another of 12 Chasseurs of the Guard to represent the Light. Finally, a couple of cannon will be added to represent the Guard Artillery. At 104 figures out of an army of about 800, that is not too unrepresentative, methinks!

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    1. Thank you. My French have just begun to take shape, so the only firm point is that I'm going to use 16 and 24-figure (4- and 6-base) infantry and 6-10 figure cavalry units, compatible with Lasalle. I have ordered the 100-figure HäT line infantry box which would supply me enough manpower to bring the French up to a playable size. Until I can send a large enough contingent of line troops to battle, I would not really think about adding more Guard units.

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