Wednesday, 16 November 2016

More Napoleonic Purchases

Recently I have been purchasing more second hand Napoleonic figures to refurbish and use for Volley and Bayonet. These figures have been a mix of 20mm plastic with some 25mm metals as well.

A vast horde of very nicely painted Airfix and Esci figures.
 The plastic refurbishment I hope to cover in another post, but the metal figures have been quite fun. While most are true chunky size 25mm Minifigs, some are possibly either part of the older S rnage of Minifigs that were a smaller 25mm figure, or even possibly from other manufacturer like Hinchcliff (or is it Hinchliffe?)

Back to Front: Minifig French Dragoons, Some Chasseurs?, and  French Cuirassiers.
 The Dragoons required little in the way of refurbishment, just touching up some paint, basing and and then given a brown wash. The Chasseurs (please feel free to provide a better identification) required a little more work, but not much more. The Cuirassiers will need some reinforcements before I can base them up.

Bare metal: Minifig French Lancers, Red circled figures discussed in the text below, and three Minifig French Dragoons.

I've circled a number of the figures above as I hope to use them as command stands for V&B. The rest should find an eventual home in the legions of the Archduke Piccolo. The encircled figures are I believe (from left to right), A French General, a Minifigs Murat, a Grenadier Officer, and a Dragoon Officer. Please let me know if I have misidentified anything.

Minifigs Murat. I had fun with painting the tiger skin.

Chasseurs? or not Chasseurs?

Nice big chunky Dragoons!
I'm quite looking forward to using these figures on the tabletop, as they have a nice heft to them. I suspect the Dragoons will eventually become a display piece as they dwarf my 1/72 plastic Dragoons, but they do have a great deal of charm about them.

18 comments:

  1. Let me know if you need any Napoleonic plastics. I've reluctantly chucked in the towel on my Napoleonic ambitions and have hundreds of 'em - mostly unpainted.

    Cheers, Dave

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    1. Hi Dave,

      I would be very interested. What is the best way to get in touch with you to discuss this further?

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    2. Drop me a line at woodyzinbox(at)gmail(dot)com

      Cheers, Dave

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  2. I just did an image search on French Napoleonic Marshals, and found that Saint-Cyr habitually dressed as a cuirassier. Depending on the dragoon officer's sculpting, you might be able to repaint him as Saint-Cyr. (It would give you another French commander at least!)

    Best regards,

    Chris Johnson

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    1. Thanks Chris!
      I googled him and he sees like quite a character! I will certainly investigate further!

      Cheers,
      Brian

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  3. Hi Brian! After your phone call yesterday, I was very interested to see what you would have here. I think you're right about the Minifigs 'S' Range - what I call second generation Minifigs. The light cavalry and cuirassiers look like 'S' range to me. The dragoons at the top of the picture are what I call third generation Minifigs.

    Chris's comment about Gouvion St-Cyr is interesting - I didn't know that! Dear old Murat I recognise - I have Minifigs of him too.

    The light horse can be Elite Hussars (Busby-hatted Elite Hussar companies stripped from their parent units and brigaded together in regiment-sized units) or They could be Chasseurs-a-cheval of the Guard. They look to have been painted as the latter.

    I'd use those 'big chunky drogoons' with a plastic army, no worries. But then, I'm fairly easy going about such things. My Pruussian Army is 20mm plactic - the only metal figures being artillery, and a Minifigs General Gneisenau figure. My French, British and Austriam almost entirely metal except for 2 grenze and one hussar unit in my Austrian army. My WIP Russians are metals, and the Minifigs jagers are dwarfed by the line infantry and grenadiers. Those guts are a big 25mm or possibly 28s.

    Looking at those cuirssiers, by the way, you might find they don't really 'fit' with the more 'gracile' Hinchliffe figures I mentioned. They are of a size with Minifigs, though, I have just recalled that one of by Cuirassier units has two Hinchliffe 'command' figures and 10 Minifigs...

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    1. Hi Ion!
      It was a good conversion - and it spurred me into making a blog post too!

      I think you are right about the Hinchliffe figures - pity that. I will send the lancers down though as they will find better employment in your service than just sitting unpainted in drawer here!

      The ID of the figures as being Chasseurs-a-cheval of the Guard, seems to be the best so far (supported by both you and Anon.) so I am very inclined to agree!

      I agree regards the use of metals and plastics in varying scales - it works if you think it works, and stops doing so when you you think it doesn't work! The addendum to that would be the same as that on using something to represent something else - Does your opponent know you are doing that, and agree to it happening? Having fun with toy soldiers shouldn't be a zero sum game.....

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    2. I was wondering about the likelihood of your being in this part of the world any time soon. One of my reasons for asking was that if you could make use of those Hinchliffe (correct spelling, by the way) figures, you could uplift them. They do have a wee weakness about the swordblade, And I'd hate to risk packing them and giving them over to the tender mercies of whatever delivery services this country has to offer. The two missing horses are still missing, BTW.

      To my mind, things have to be what they appear to be. I have always thought, though. that with the right kind of paint job, you could 'do' ESCI cuirassiers as French Dragoons, and Italieri Franch Carabiniers-a-cheval - bally nice figures - as Austrian cuirassiers. (My Austrian Hessen-Homburg Hussars - everyone's favourite Hussar unit are Italieri French Hussars with the suitable paint job...).

      I have 3 French Dragoon regiments. Two of the Dragoon Regiments are Hotspur, and one Minifigs.
      Of course the figures would never mix within a unit, but as different units, although they look different, one scarcely notices what the differences are. They are both obviously dragoons.

      But then, I wholly agree with the Russian notion that quantity has a quality all of its own... :-D

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    3. At this stage it is I am hoping to make a trip down before the end of the year. I think you are right about uplift being the way to go:)

      Paint conversions are looking very likely to produce a number of troop types for the Dutch/Belgian forces I need.

      And yes quantity does indeed have a quality all of its own:)

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  4. The smaller cuirassiers and the busby hatted Chasseurs of the Guard are almost certainly S Range or their immediate successors. They were available until the mid/late 1970s when they were replaced with the current range (the larger cuirassiers). The easy way to tell them apart is the saddle. If it part of the figure, then it's S range and if it is on the horse- it's the current range. If you go to the Minifigs site, they have pictures of the current range and a scanned catalogue is available if you dig around on the internet. The Vintage20mm and Lone S Ranger sites have more detail and some pictures. Out of interest, the saddles were supposed to be moulded on the figures to allow the wargamer to have fewer horses and swap them for different armies- interesting business model.

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    1. Thank you very much Anon.!
      The saddles are indeed part of the rider on both the Chasseurs and the Cuirassiers - so S range they are!

      The fewer horses thing is quite an interesting business model indeed! Thanks for the information!

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  5. I think you've had this question answered already but if those Chasseurs are the Guard Chasseurs a Cheval then strictly speaking, I don't think they had the Pelisse commonly.
    They could also be elite company hussars, as already said.
    I've been looking into this recently as I was hunting the Revell plastic set of these guys (no pelisses), which is hard to find now BUT I accidentally discovered that Acorn models in Chch has some in stock, and you can buy off their website (which I did, haha).
    You probably already have that set though.

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    1. Hi Frank!
      Yes, you are right about the pelisse - but I will fudge them as that at least for the next few games!

      Interesting about Acorn Hobbies having that set. I may have to track it down. I don't actually have that set, and I have been finding that while I do have a number of Napoleonic figures, assembling all sides for the 100 days campaign has required me to obtain more.

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  6. The Guard Chasseurs are often depicted with the red pelisse, and my own Minifigs Guard Chasseurs are so depicted. But it is true that the line chasseurs a cheval did not wear a pelisse at all. My own attitude is that they are what they purport to be - in much the same way my British Grenadier Guards and Fusiliers wear bearskin caps - quite anachronistically!

    Having said that, you still have the option of hussar elite companies brigaded together into 'provisional' units.
    Cheers,
    Ion.

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    1. Interesting stuff! Indeed they are often depicted as having the red pelisse, in both picture and prose, well after they are meant to have lost them. I wonder if this is a case of artist license, or of the well known trait of troops to ignore regulations they don't agree with?

      In any case I will use them as such, and will conduct further research into the matter!

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  7. Nice basing Brian. I know nothing about Naps, except for they are good when you get home!

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    1. Thanks Paul! A good nap is hard to beat!

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