Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Here Be Dragoons

As I continue to build up my Napoleonic forces for the upcoming summer campaign, I have found myself acquiring a number of metal Minifigs figures.

Various artillery crew. 3 French Foot Artillery, 1 French Horse Artillery, and 1 British Foot Artillery. The mounted officer I believe to be a French line Horse Artillery Officer, and the fellow with the telescope a French Horse Artillery Officer of the Imperial Guard. All corrections gratefully received.
At first it was just the odd command figure, but entire units of second hand painted figures have started being purchased - especially if I think they might be old 'S' range Minifigs.

French guns. The one on the right seems to have its wheels put on the wrong sides.
The main reason for this is that I find the figures have a great deal of character - much like I find the Airfix plastics have a certain charm to them, even though there are much better figures available now, the nostalgia value of Airfix figures will always remain high for me. So given that I believe the 'S' Range figures were originally designed to complement the Airfix range, and fill the large gaps in the Airfix Napoleonic line, it seems only natural that I should like  them as well.

These I believe are Minifigs S Range British Light Dragoons painted as the 16th Light Dragoons.


My most recent purchase has been some rather nice figures I believe painted as the  British 16th Light Dragoons (As always please feel free to leave corrections to my identifications in the comments!)

These will rebased  and turned into a V&B stand that will represent the British 4th Cavalry Brigade during the Waterloo campaign
The other group purchased is this rather interesting set of of what I presume are French Dragoons, with their metal helmets painted yellow rather than a more goldy/brassy/bronzy colour.

French Dragoons! These will require a little bit more effort in their refurbishment.
The figures are smaller and thinner than the Minifigs Dragoons I acquired earlier (click here for details), and the horses seem to be a much rawer sculpt, but never the less the effect is one I find pleasing.

Another view of the figures. One can never have too many Dragoons.
I'm still processing through the last purchase of Airfix figures, but I hope to have figured out exactly how I plan to base them up in the next few weeks. The British infantry have largely all been painted with white trousers which may reduce their utility for the Waterloo campaign. One possibility is to paint their trousers grey. I'm reluctant to do this for two reasons: Firstly, the original paintwork is very nice, and secondly, it does start to defeat the purpose of buying prepainted figures.

10 comments:

  1. On the trouser question, I wouldn't worry over much - not unless you are building your collection specifically for Waterloo. Apart from anything else, pictures of Waterloo indicate not everyone wore grey trousers. It has to be said though, that the grey must have been very dark, going by the pics. The Battle of New Orleans painting (the famous one) has the brit trousers black.

    In order to get flags for my own British, which is intended as a Peninsular WAr army, I had to make them Waterloo units (specifically 3rd and 4th Brigades). How about that for historical licence!

    I find the easiest way to identify Minifigs 'S' range is to look at the horse's tails, and the bayonets of the infantry. My own French army has 36 'S' range infantry, two-thirds of them in my 17th line infantry unit (a.k.a. 2nd Division of I Corps), the remainder forming the voltigeur companies of 3 other units. They aren't too bad a 'fit' with 3rd generation Minifigs.

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    1. Hi Ion,
      I've been trawling through various sources and I think that I've found some that suggest that white trousers were wore by the Coldstream Guards at Hugomont, and that Guard Colour Sergeants wore blue grey trousers at Waterloo (and presumably throughout the 100 days campaign) The Ospey on Wellington's Foot Guards has clinched it for me though:)

      Historical license is an interesting thing. Too much and it can get silly, and yet as gamers we are often employing it just to create a functional ORBAT! My own personal view on historical license when making a wargaming army is to just do the best you can in representing the force you are building and if you make errors be aware of them and learn from them. If I have to use a certain amount of licence to make a nice table worthy force then I will, but the less the better:) At the end of the day if both you and your opponents are happy then all is good!

      Good advice on the Minfigs! I shall try and use it in the future!

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  2. Looking good! Where do you find all these figures Brian?

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    1. Hi Frank,
      I currently source my figures through a variety of sources - Trade Me, heads ups from other gamers (often through this blog), and in some cases trawling through the stash of figures I currently have.

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  3. The British Light Dragoons look like S range. There was also an officer and bugler. I think that the French dragoons may be early Lamming. Have a look at this link.

    http://lazylimey.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=french+dragoon

    There is some recent research about the white trousers. My understanding of the latest thinking is that the white trousers are based on paintings done during the occupation of Paris a few months later. Checks on the original clothing issue show that the battalion involved was issued with grey before Waterloo and the white was only issued after the battle. Search on TMP Napoleonic for more detail.

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    1. Hello Anon!
      Looking at that link that you provided, the French figures look very similar in style to to the Lamming figures - So it is quite possible they are Lamming figures.

      Having searched on TMP at your suggestion, it does seem that I am wrong with regards to the white trousers - Bugger! So correct at time of painting (I was told in the 1980s by the person I purchased them from), but superseded by more recent research! Such is the joy of second hand figures, and using secondary sources!

      That being said, it does give me the excuse to paint some replacement figures at a later date. It would seem (based on some of the comments in that discussion) that my use of white trouser-ed figures on March Column stands is still acceptable as a generic road marching markers.

      Thank you very much for commenting, the information was greatly appreciated, and it is nice to get more accurate information on these things!

      Cheers,

      Brian

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  4. Glad to be of help. Napoleonic uniforms are a complete nightmare and I have reached the conclusion that we don't and won't ever really know what they really looked like so feel free to keep them white if that is what you like. Did you know that the Prussians had a battery dressed in British RHA uniforms with the Tarleton helmet?

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    1. Hi Anon,
      I would have to agree with you regards the uniforms, but it does seem that a better picture has been built up over the last couple of years.

      I will keep using them as Guards for Volley and Bayonet, but next time I have a painting and basing binge I will give serious consideration to painting up Guards in grey trousers.

      I didn't know about the Prussians in RHA uniforms, and have been trawling the net for more information on that. Telling me that has seen me start to look at what guns the Prussians were using, and it seems that the 11th battery used RHA uniforms and British 6pdr guns! It also seems that they might of removed the braid from the uniforms to achieve a more Prussian look!

      Thanks again for your input, it is greatly appreciated!

      Cheers,
      Brian

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  5. Hello Brian, do you find that the 25mm fit well with the plastic?

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    1. Hello Anon,

      I find that smaller 25mm figures (such as these Lammings) can work, but bigger 25mm such as current production Minifigs don't work as well.

      I plan on using Minifigs Officers as for command stands for V&B, but they will dwarf 20mm plastic figures. This probably isn't going to to be a major issue for me at this stage - but I can see that it would bug some people.

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