“Where is Grouchy?!” – Some French Units for Waterloo

And so to the French…

While I already had a pile of French troops for Waterloo, quite a few were looking very tired and in need of refurbishment or replacement (most notably my ancient 1980s-vintage Battle Honours artillery and Guard Lancers with barely a lance left intact, as well as my Young Guard, which I’d converted from line troops during the early 1990s).

Above: With an eye on the upcoming Waterloo Bicentennial, AB Figures had released a stunning Marshal Ney figure, which I HAD to get!  Combined with AB’s ‘Superior Officer of Hussars’ figure (based on an Edouard Detaille painting) and a Carabinier command pack, he looks very much like the famous painting of Ney leading the massed French cavalry in the Waterloo Panorama painting (above).

Above: A close-up of Ney in profile.  Tony Barton’s sculpting of Ney’s facial features is truly exquisite.

Above:  Ney’s escort is provided by this officer and trumpeter of Carabiniers.  The late-war Carabinier figures are among my favourite AB Napoleonics; the detail, from the rivets of the officer’s cuirass to the crowned ‘N’ on the front of the helmets, is truly astonishing.

Above: An anonymous cavalry corps commander (either Kellerman or Milhaud).

Above:  Général de Division Charles Lefebvre-Desnöuettes commanded the Guard Light Cavalry Division in 1815.  As former Commanding Officer of the Guard Chasseurs à Cheval, he is here depicted in that uniform.  He may well have been wearing a simpler version of the uniform or even the standard blue General’s uniform, but he looks pretty magnifique in full Chasseur rig!

Above:  Général de Division Jean-Jacques Desvaux de Saint-Maurice commanded the Artillery of the Imperial Guard at Waterloo.  He had previously commanded the Horse Artillery of the Imperial Guard and as such, I’ve used a figure of a Guard Horse Artillery officer in full dress to depict him.  In reality, he was probably wearing a regulation General officer’s uniform with aiguillette signifying his Guard status.

Above:  An anonymous Général de Division of the Imperial Guard.  His Guard status is indicated by the looped aiguillette on his right shoulder.

Above:  An anonymous Général de Division of heavy cavalry.

Above: The Empress’ Dragoons of the Imperial Guard were the largest Guard heavy cavalry regiment present at Waterloo, serving as part of Guyot’s Guard Heavy Cavalry Division, alongside the Grenadiers à Cheval and the Gendarmes d’Elite.

Above:  These beautiful new models have replaced a unique unit of Battle Honours Empress’ Dragoons that had never been released to the public.  Tony Barton sculpted them just before Battle Honours self-destructed and for some reason they never became part of the AB figures range.  As far as I’m aware, I have the only examples in existence, so I couldn’t throw them away and they now live in Martin Small’s collection.

Above:  Another view of the Empress’ Dragoons.  The flag is by Fighting 15s.  I used to paint such things, but now not so much…

Above:  The 2nd (‘Red’) Lancers of the Imperial Guard formed part of Lefebvre-Desnöuettes’ Guard Light Cavalry Division, alongside the Chasseurs à Cheval of the Guard and small remnants of the 1st (Polish) Lancers and Mamelukes of the Guard.

Above:  In full dress, this regiment would also have worn tall white plumes, yellow cap-lines and red overall trousers with blue stripes.  However, Tony Barton generally likes to sculpt Napoleonics in ‘field service’ dress – somewhere between full-dress grandeur and campaign dress scruffiness.  Consequently I’ve painted these in blue field service trousers.  That said, the trumpeter should really be wearing a sky blue coat for field service, but I do like the white…

Above:  A rear shot of the Guard Lancers to show the cap-tops and equipment.

Above:  The Horse Artillery of the Imperial Guard.  Again, Tony Barton has sculpted these in ‘field service’ dress, retaining some elements of full dress, but lacking the full plumes, cap-lines, etc.  In 1815 the Guard Horse Artillery were actually wearing their typical campaign rig, being a blue Chasseur-style coat with red distinctions, very much like that of the Horse Artillery of the Line, though with the unadorned fur colpack.  My old Battle Honours Guard Horse Artillery were dressed in that style and I understand that AB Figures will shortly be releasing such figures (along with Mamelukes of the Guard).

Above:  The 7th Cuirassiers, along with the 14th Cuirassiers, formed part of Travers’ Brigade, Wathier’s 13th Cavalry Division.

In my opinion, Cuirassiers are THE epitome of Napoleonic cavalry, but to be honest, they are something of a millstone as they hardly ever come out of the box!  99% of the time they were all massed in the main theatre of war as the Emperor’s main striking force.  This of course, also means that you need stacks of them for those occasions where they do turn up…  So even though I already had a reasonable number of Cuirassiers and Carabiniers (early and late!) in my collection, I still needed more…

Above:  The 10th Cuirassiers, resplendent in their pink facings… The 10th were grouped with the 5th Cuirassiers in Vial’s Brigade, which formed part of Delort’s 14th Cavalry Division.

Note that the flags for these two regiments are wrong for 1815, as they should be 1815 Pattern tricolour flags.  The majority of my collection is actually geared for the 1809 Campaign, so I’ve given them the 1804 Pattern ‘lozenge’ flags, in common with the rest of my collection.  In any case, the long coat-tails on the Cuirassiers are more suited to the pre-1812 period.

It’s just occurred to me that I don’t have any photos of my new line artillery, so I’ll keep those for another time.  In any case, I’m presently building my forces up for the 1809 Campaign, which has required even more stuff!  So more Imperial Guard, Cuirassiers, Generals and more coming soon… And a stack of Austrians…

This entry was posted in 15mm Figures, Napoleon's Battles (Rules), Napoleonic French Army, Napoleonic Wars, Painted Units. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to “Where is Grouchy?!” – Some French Units for Waterloo

  1. Benjamin William Champley Waterhouse says:

    AB are just so lovely.

    • jemima_fawr says:

      Yes, they’re second to none in 15/18mm and to be honest, they’re better than the majority of 28mm! 🙂 Sometimes the detail is simply too small to paint (like the earring that is actually sculpted on the French Old Guard figures).

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