Yes I know, it’s all been a bit Cold War here just lately, so here’s an antidote: some AB Figures 15mm Napoleonics I painted back in the spring and summer…
French & Polish
Above: I had a couple of Polish Chasseur à Cheval figures left over, so thought I’d stick them together with a general of cuirassiers to create a Franco-Polish cavalry corps commander base. This represents Général de Division François Étienne de Kellermann, son of Marshal Kellermann and often referred to as ‘Kellermann the Younger’. In the latter half of 1813 Kellermann was placed in command of the French 4th (Polish) Reserve Cavalry Corps and commanded it during the Battle of Liebertwolkwitz (prelude to the Battle of Leipzig) on 14th October 1813. Shortly after that battle and before the start of the Battle of Leipzig ‘proper’ on 16th October 1813, Marshal Murat elevated Kellerman to command a wing consisting of his own 4th Reserve Cavalry Corps (now commanded by the Polish General Sockolnicki) and Pajol’s 5th Reserve Cavalry Corps.
Kellermann is wearing the uniform of a Général de Division, though ‘accessorised’ with the addition of an ornate cuirass and helmet and a leopard-skin shabraque. There is a portrait of Kellermann wearing cuirassier kit of this ornate style and the painting at the top is based on Kellermann at the Battle of Quatre-Bras in 1815. The officer on the right is wearing the uniform of a Duchy of Warsaw staff officer. The escorting trooper on the left is wearing the uniform of the Duchy of Warsaw 1st Chasseur à Cheval Regiment.
Above: A couple of skirmisher bases for the French 9th Light Infantry Regiment. These are from one of the four Chasseur (Centre) Companies in each battalion, as signified by their red-tipped green plumes and green fringed epaulettes with red crescents. Most regiments had slight variations in terms of the fine details of cuffs, epaulettes, plumes, elite company distinctions, etc, many of which are not recorded or changed so frequently that they are near-impossible to research. However, the 9th Light Infantry were recorded in 1809 as having the plume and epaulette colours shown, with white shako-cords (these were very common colours anyway, though some regiments had plain green, without the red details). Their cuffs were plain blue ‘Brandenburg’ style with a red cuff-flap (yellow cuff-flaps for the Voltigeur Company). The gaiter lace and tassels were white for all companies.
Above: I’ve posted them here before, but here is a full battalion of the 9th Light Infantry in close order, showing the elite Carabinier and Voltigeur Companies:
Above: Some time ago, I did an article on some ‘Foreign Legions’ that were fighting with the French Army in the Peninsular War. However, one slipped through the net, so here is the Regiment de Prusse, which was raised in November 1806 from men who had deserted the Prussian Army. Somewhat unsurprisingly, the regiment suffered heavily from desertion (who’d have thought it…?) and had a very poor fighting reputation, even losing its colour during one engagement without firing a shot. In 1811 they were re-designated as the 4th Foreign Regiment.
Eighty men from the regiment were present at the Battle of Salamanca and we therefore needed them for one of our General de Brigade Mega-Games at the National Army Museum in Chelsea (which I used to help organise, along with Dave Brown and Mark Urban). General de Brigade is played at 1:20 ratio, so we just needed a small skirmisher unit of four figures. I quickly slapped the paint on to these on the night before the game, so the painting is definitely not up to my usual standard, with no shading or buttons! 🙁
These are Chasseur (Centre) Company men. I’ve given them green campaign trousers, but their regulation legwear was green breeches and light infantry-style gaiters with yellow lace and tassels. Some sources show ‘Spencer’ coats with square lapels and no fringed epaulettes. The elite Carabinier and Voltigeur Companies had red and yellow distinctions respectively and officers are shown in cocked hats with black plumes. Drummers apparently had white coats with red facings, green breeches and white plumes.
Above: Lieutenant General Karl Phillip von Wrede. This model is based on a portrait of Wrede (right), showing him wearing a French-style single-breasted coatee without lapels, but with lots of silver foliate lace down the front. Bavarian generals normally wore double-breasted coats with square scarlet lapels, edged in silver foliate lace, but it’s rather difficult to match a suitable figure from the AB Figures range (though I have seen some 1806 Prussian generals used for the job). For this figure I’ve used a French general, but filed off his fringed epaulettes.
Above: The Bavarian 1st Light Infantry Battalion. Each Bavarian infantry brigade typically consisted of two Infantry Regiments (each of two battalions) and a Light Infantry Battalion, for a total of five battalions per brigade. There were two brigades per division, plus a cavalry brigade. As previously mentioned, I use Napoleon’s Battles rules, where every unit on the table typically represents a brigade rather than a battalion. You might therefore be wondering therefore, why I’ve painted Light Infantry, as there were no Bavarian Light Infantry brigades. However, I do occasionally play other rulesets such as General de Brigade, so each of my ‘brigades’ then becomes a ‘battalion’ and it’s therefore handy to have every fifth Bavarian unit painted as Light Infantry.
Above: All Bavarian Light Infantry Battalions had essentially the same uniform of a dark green coat, grey breeches, white belts and leather crested helmet. Battalions were distinguished by the colour of the collar, which in the case of the 1st Battalion was red. Note that the green plume indicated the elite flank company, while the centre companies had small coloured tufts to identify the company. However, all of AB’s firing Bavarian figures have plumes, so I’ve painted them green. A second elite company, designated ‘Carabiniers’ was added in 1811 and these had red plumes as shown above.
Above: Bavarian artillery. These are actually Battle Honours models, which were sculpted by Tony Barton during the 1980s, long before he started his own company, AB Figures. These models belonged to my old Napoleonic collaborator Richard Boulton. He tragically died of leukaemia around 23 years ago, aged only 28 and after his death, his wife gave me a few packs of unpainted Bavarian artillery she’d found at the back of a drawer. It’s taken me a while to get them painted, but they’re finally done and I used a few more for Baden artillery.
Above: Brunswick Horse Artillery 1815. At long last earlier this year, Mr Barton finally got around to finishing off the Waterloo Brunswickers, which along with the Ottoman Turks, was the very first range of figures to appear in AB figures’ catalogue. For the last 25 years I’ve made do with some Old Glory 15s gunners, but my AB Brunswickers are complete at last! However, looking at the zoomed-in photos I can now see that my eyesight is starting to let me down when painting the fine detail, such as the yellow piping and death’s head badges on these. So it might be time to get a magnifier… 🙁
Above: In Napoleon’s Battles only heavy and horse artillery is represented, so light foot artillery isn’t normally needed. However, I have a few friends who play Age of Eagles, which is set at the same level (each unit representing a brigade), but does include the light foot artillery. Consequently, I’ve been getting some additional foot artillery for my collections, starting with this one for the Brunswickers.
Anyway, that’s enough for now! 🙂