Wednesday, 22 February 2017

French 1814 National Guard - Perry 28mm

By 1814, with forces of the 6th Coalition closing in things were getting very desperate for the French Empire. Looking even more raggedy than the Marie Louises in the previous post, here's some National Guard of the time. Conscription was expanded to a wider age range, and equipment was in short supply. 

These are Perry National Guard figures and a Perry French mounted officer who is no doubt thrilled to be in charge of this rabble. Also included is a scrappy but enthusiastic one eared dog from Westfalia Miniatures.

The figures are in a variety of clothing and poses, from some to none in terms of military gear excepting that all are equipped with a musket and cartridge belt.

Kudos also to my wife who suggested they needed a dog, reminding me to start using the Westfalia dog pack I had forgotten I had. A nice addition to the unit I think.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

French Marie-Louise Infantry - 28mm Perry

Added to the late French Empire ranks, here's some Marie-Louise infantry. 

At the sunset of Empire in 1813/14, Napoleon was desperate for troops and young conscripts formed an increasingly large part of the French army. They were referred to as "Marie-Louises" in reference to the fact that the young Empress Marie Louise signed the conscription orders. And as I understand it, also perhaps because many of them looked as young and small as the Empress.

Increasingly often these troops did not have proper uniforms, instead being equipped with a grey greatcoat and Pokalem headgear instead of the more expensive shako. That's how I've chosen to depict them here.

Most of them would have been added to regular line units to help make up numbers, but I wanted to have some separate units to clearly represent provisional infantry regiments, so did them up in their own units.

Each box of Perry French Line Infantry contains 18 spare heads with Pokalem, so you end up with heaps of them lying around. You have to snip off the shako head, trim the collar area with a craft knife, then stick on the pokalem head. It's pretty quick after the first few, though it also generates a slightly disturbing feeling like you're guillotining the little chaps!

This is a closer look at a Pokalem. Apparently the term 'Pokalem' comes from 'Poka = Polska, Lem = helm', the 'Polish helmet'. Though of course it was made of felt. Not very pretty but quite practical. Having done the blue, I decided that adding the very fine red trim was not worth the time investment for the moment given how hard to see it would be on the table. Maybe later! 

And lastly here is a portrait of Marie Louise, Empress of the French 1810-1814, after whom these troops take their name.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

French Dragoons - 28mm Perry

Finished these a few days ago. Some French Dragoons added at last. These are Perry plastics which are very nice models and assemble easily.

For the Dragoon Green of the coats I used Vallejo Black Green highlighted with Vallejo Deep Green.

 4th regiment.  Elite company still with bearskins.

15th Regiment.

22nd regiment.

Picking out the sawtooth lining of the sheepskin is a little challenging with these, but not too bad!

Also using a new photography setup for these with start of 2017. Phone camera rather than tired slow old digital camera, and on wargames table rather than desk. One day I might get a proper lighting set-up, but today is not that day... :)