‘Imperial & Royal’: My 15mm Napoleonic Austrian Army (Part 1: Infantry Regiments)

I was going to post up some more Cold War stuff this week, but Erik Salvador has been prodding me on Facebook to post my Austrian Napoleonics, so here they are, starting with the Infantry Regiments.

These have all been painted in the last four years or so.  Prior to this I had a very small Austrian army painted in the 1990s (3x Infantry Regts, 2x Hungarian Infantry Regts, 1x Grenze Infantry Regt, 1x Jäger Bn, 1x Chevauxleger Regt, 1x Hussar Regt, 2x Kürassier Regts and some guns and generals – all looking a bit battered now) that was just enough to provide the Austrian contingent at the Battle of Austerlitz, but not really enough to be an army in its own right.  That was a shame, as the 1809 Danube Campaign is probably my favourite Napoleonic campaign (my house is called ‘Aspern‘…) and I remember very fondly those first teenage Napoleonic 1809 battles fought with Sidney and Chris Jones’ wonderful collection of 25mm Minifigs figures, when I first joined WASP in the 1980s.  However, I quickly discovered that I hated painting white uniforms and the project soon ground to a halt…

So in 2016, with the Waterloo Bicentennial games well out of the way, I was determined to get my Austrian army painted.  I set myself a fairly ambitious goal… The entire order of battle for the Battle of Wagram at roughly 1:100 ratio for Napoleon’s Battles rules, with the secondary goal of painting enough to play the Battle of Aspern-Essling and the tertiary goal of at least painting enough for a corps-sized game or the smaller actions of the campaign, such as Eggmühl, Raab and Neumarkt.  Four years on, I’ve managed to finish the III Korps, VI Korps, Reserve Korps and Advance Guard Korps for Wagram and my good buddy Martin has shown solidarity by producing the VI Korps.  The II Korps is now under the brush…

When the weather improves and I can get out into the garden for some photography, I’ll set up the whole formations en masse, but for now here are the individual units.  All figures are 15mm AB Figures, which are now available in the UK from Eureka Miniatures UK, following Ian Marsh’s (Fighting 15s) decision to give up the UK end of the AB Figures/Eureka franchise for a quiet life (though he still has a lot of figures left, so have a look there first if you want a bargain).  Thanks for all the superb service Ian!

In terms of painting, I use only Humbrol Enamels, with metallics by Liquid Leaf.  Yes, it’s old school, but it works for me; I know exactly which paints to use for which job and I can buy them locally from a few shops.

I undercoat everything with heavily-thinned Humbrol matt enamel black and then paint the white uniforms with a bottom-coat of Humbrol 64 Light Grey.  I then block-in the white, starting with the cross-belts first and then the coat and breeches.  This may seem bizarre and somewhat counter-intuitive, but I find that it works better to do the belts first and then leave grey shadows around them, rather than paint the coats first and then accidentally fill in the shadows that I’d intended to leave underneath the belts.  I then add a second layer of white as a highlight – this intensifies the underlying first coat of white and makes it brighter on the highlights (belts, folds, etc).  I’ve tried to illustrate this method with the closeup photo below.

Grenadier Battalion ‘Melgum’ in closeup

The flags are all printed by Fighting 15s.  These were formerly known as ‘Flags for AB’, but Ian will still be selling these despite the departure of the AB Figures side of the business.  The subject of Austrian flags is slightly complicated and many pixels have been expended on the subject, so here’s the simple version:

Up to 1805: All Austrian line infantry battalions carried two flags.  The 1st (or Leib) Battalion would have one Leibfahne (white flag) and one Ordinährfahne (yellow flag).  The other battalions of the regiment would have two Ordinährfahnen.  Grenadiers were not issued with flags, but in time of war would be massed into independent grenadier battalions and might receive a spare Ordinährfahne if one was available.  Grenadiers would never receive Leibfahnen.

1805-1806:  Following the ‘Mack Reforms’, all battalions of line infantry regiments carried a single flag.  The Grenadiers briefly became the Leib Battalion of a regiment and therefore carried the Leibfahne, while all other battalions carried an Ordinährfahne.  This brief interlude was the only time that Austrian Grenadiers were permanently issued with flags and was the only time that they carried Leibfahnen.

1806-1808:  Following the disaster of Austerlitz, the infantry reverted to the old organisation and reverted to the pre-1805 system of flags, so two flags per battalion and none for the Grenadiers except in wartime, when massed Grenadier battalions might receive a spare Ordinährfahne.

1808 Onward:  The number of flags was reduced to one per battalion, with the Leib Battalion carrying a single Leibfahne and the other battalions carrying a single Ordinährfahne.  Grenadiers were still not issued with a flag in peacetime, but massed Grenadier battalions would receive a spare Ordinährfahne.  With the reduction in flags there were now a lot of spare Ordinährfahnen sloshing around, so massed Grenadier battalions could now pretty much guarantee to receive a flag and spare flags were also issued to Landwehr and Freikorps.

As I only paint one ‘battalion’ per regiment, the flags are issued randomly, with every third unit getting a Leibfahne.  My Austrians are geared for 1809, so each battalion receives a single flag and the Grenadiers NEVER receive a Leibfahne.

Anyway, here are the Infantry Regiments.  Note that these are all ‘German’ regiments, who in 1809 were mostly wearing the 1798 Pattern crested helmet, as opposed to the newly-introduced shako.  The Hungarian regiments had apparently all transitioned over to the shako, as had a few German regiments.  My next batch will all be wearing shako, as I’m sick to the back teeth of painting those bloody helmets…

Above:  Infantry Regiment #1 ‘Kaiser Franz’.  The facing colour for this regiment was Pompadour Red (‘Pompadour Rot’) and the button metal colour was white.  At Wagram this regiment served in Lilienberg’s Brigade, as part of St Julien’s Division of III Korps.  The regiment was not present at Aspern-Essling.

Above:  Infantry Regiment #7 ‘Karl Schröder’.  The facing colour for this regiment was Dark Brown (‘Dunkebraun’) and the button metal colour was white.  I used Humbrol 29 Dark Earth for the facing colour, but upon further reading it should probably be more of a dark red-brown, akin to the coats of Grenze infantry (Humbrol 160 German Camouflage Red Brown).  At Wagram this regiment formed part of Grill’s Brigade, in Vukassovich’s Division of III Korps.  The regiment was not present at Aspern-Essling.

Above:  Infantry Regiment #8 ‘Erzherzog Ludwig’.  The facing colour for this regiment was Poppy Red (‘Ponceau’) with yellow metal buttons.  At Aspern-Essling this regiment formed part of Grill’s Brigade of Neustädter’s Division of IV Korps.  At Wagram the brigade was commanded by Swinburne and was part of Rohan’s Division of IV Korps.

Above:  Infantry Regiment #12 ‘Manfredini’.  The facing colour for this regiment was Dark Brown (‘Dunkebraun’) and the button metal colour was yellow.  Like IR #7 above, the brown could probably do with being a shade darker.  At Wagram this regiment served with Grill’s Brigade of Vukassovich’s Division of III Korps.  The regiment was not present at Aspern-Essling.

Above:  Infantry Regiment #22 ‘Koburg’.  This regiment’s facing colour was Emperor Yellow (‘Kaisergelb’) and the button metal colour was white.  This regiment was brigaded with IR #8 (above) at both Aspern-Essling and Wagram.

Above:  Infantry Regiment #38 ‘Herzog Ferdinand von Württemberg’.  This regiment had Rose Pink (‘Rosenrot’) facings and yellow metal buttons.  At Wagram this regiment formed part of Bieber’s Brigade of St Julien’s Division of III Korps.  The regiment was not present at Aspern-Essling.

Above:  Infantry Regiment #46 ‘Chasteler’.  This regiment had Dark Blue (‘Dunkelblau’) facings and yellow metal buttons.  At Aspern-Essling this regiment formed part of Riese’s Brigade, of Reinhard’s Division of IV Korps.  At Wagram it was still part of Riese’s Brigade, but that brigade was on temporary attachment to Nordmann’s Avantgarde Korps, which came under the command of IV Korps.

Above:  Infantry Regiment #50 ‘Stain’.  This regiment had Violet (‘Violett’) facings and white metal buttons.  To be honest, I’d have preferred a deeper, more purple shade of violet, but Humbrol don’t do a decent purple.  I do have a stash of Vallejo acrylic purples for jobs like this, but I think I was being lazy on the day in question… The regiment was absent from Aspern-Essling, though at Wagram served as part of Weiss’ Brigade, in Radetzsky’s Division of IV Korps.

Above:  Infantry Regiment #56 ‘Wenzel Colloredo’.  This regiment had Steel Green (‘Stählgrun’) facings and yellow metal buttons.  This regiment was absent from Aspern-Essling, though at Wagram formed part of Grill’s Brigade of Vukassovich’s Division of III Korps.

Anyway, that’s it for now.  More to come…

Lastly, this blog has this week hit a milestone with it’s 50,000th view!  OK, it’s taken 22 months to reach this point, but I’m easily pleased!  So Jemima Fawr is not exactly ‘Viral’, but I think we’re beyond Fungal and can perhaps now be classed as a Persistent Yeast Infection…  Thanks to all for following my tedious ramblings…

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

8 Responses to ‘Imperial & Royal’: My 15mm Napoleonic Austrian Army (Part 1: Infantry Regiments)

  1. Martin Radcliffe says:

    Wow, what a superb looking army. Austrians may not be much fun to paint but they certainly look good en masse.

    • jemima_fawr says:

      Cheers Martin! Yeah, I do like them and I’m not so bored with painting white now I’ve got into the swing of it.

  2. Norm says:

    Yep, white is a tough one to get right (for me at least), but you have nailed it. I like the Austrian army.

  3. James Fisher says:

    They are some of the most beautiful Austrians that I have seen. Hats off to you!

  4. Jim Hull says:

    Best painted Austrians I’ve ever seen

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