Saturday, November 4, 2017

A Few Napoleonic Cavalry

A good result from maintaining a Painting Log is that accountability is easily verified.  The bad thing about keeping a Painting log is that accountability is easily verified.  What do I mean by this statement?  While work on the 28mm Peninsular War project has seemingly been absent from the painting queue for some time, I did not realize exactly how long until I checked the records.  

The last unit for the project crossed the painting desk in May 2016, exactly 18 months from today when a battalion of Badeners (see Murawski Baden Infantry) mustered out.  Well, that is hard to believe but the evidence is undeniable.
To give the project a little attention (yes, I mean a "little" attention), into the painting queue went four Front Rank French Chasseurs a Cheval.  These four troopers muster out as the third squadron of the 21st Chasseurs a Cheval.  Why only four when a typical BMU for the project consists of eight troopers?  
Several years ago, I bought a bunch of unpainted Front Rank Napoleonics from a fellow via TMP.  He would only sell figures in blocks of twelve cavalry or twenty-four infantry.  What that means is I wound up with several packets of lonely foursomes in The Lead Pile.  While I could order more figures from Front Rank to fill out the ranks, I am leaning towards building a provisional unit or two that combines two disparate squadrons into one ad hoc unit.  It happened in the Peninsula so why not on my gaming table?  I think I will pair these chasseurs up with a squadron of hussars.  Which hussars should I consider?  Any way, when I do decide to field homogeneous BMUs, I will be half way finished.

37 comments:

  1. Lovely figures and worth the wait🙂

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    1. Thanks, Matt! Time flies when you are having fun...

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  2. Nice job, lovely saddles and bases, and love the dynamic poses...

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    1. Thank you, Phil! These troopers look determined to bear down on their opposition.

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  3. Lovely painting Jonathan. Nice to see more Nappies!

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    1. Thank you very much! Nice to see you dropping by and leaving a comment more frequently.

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  4. like those tones and the saddles have come up a treat. The extra ‘fours’ may be useful when representing large units.

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    1. Norm, glad you like the way in which the saddles came out. I assure you, most of that effect was due entirely to application of stain. The extra fours will come in handy somewhere, sometime, no doubt.

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  5. Front Rank are always beautiful casts, and that's a superb paint job. They will look great on the table. Have you a Peninsular battle in mind?

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    1. Front Rank produces my favorite 28mm Napoleonics. I especially like the newer reinforcement packs. A person would be hard pressed to find a better figure on the market.

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    2. As for a game, nothing on deck as of the moment. The last time the troops were out for battle was three years ago. Three years? Can that be right? The collection certainly needs to get out on the table with more frequency!

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    3. Yes I love their figures. I did pick up some cavalry from the Grand Alliance range for my next game. Best castings on the table, though they are a little bigger than my Dixon and old foundry - but you don't really notice the size difference unless you are looking for it. Mind you, the figure quality stands out (perhaps not the painting though, in my case) :)

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  6. The sets of 12 cavalry (24 infantry) thing is quite familiar to me--seems to almost be a default setting for 28mm Napoleonics on ebay. Front Rank are superb--can't go wrong. Nicely done!

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    1. Since the guy I bought them from collected in 12/24 batches and both you and Iain vouch for this grouping, it must be a standard. With my groupings of eight horse, I guess I am "sub" standard...

      Glad you like them!

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  7. Lovely looking chasseurs, I dabbled with other sizes but I'm afraid I'm also a 12 and 24 type as far as napoleonic gaming is concerned!
    Best Iain

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    1. Much appreciated, Iain!

      I clearly see at least two camps developing here: those who prefer 12 figure cavalry BMUs and those of eight. Peter and I seem to be in the minority.

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  8. Lovely looking miniatures and well done on the painting!

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  9. They look great, and just like French Line, you can never have too many Chasseurs. 8 figures per French "regiment" for me; thus 1 two figure stand = 1 squadron, and one figure = 1 company, neatly allowing one elite company figure per unit. Perfect! :-)

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    1. Thanks, Peter!

      Quite good observation regarding never having enough CaC. I bet you say that about all of your projects!

      We have the same number of cavalry figures per BMU but I drop mine down one level from you. Each of my stands represent one troop with two stands equating to one squadron. Therefore, my cavalry BMU of eight figures represents two squadrons having about the same frontage as an infantry battalion in line.

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  10. Nice looking Chasseurs, Jonathan. I also have a problem with the Perry box sets of 14 cav. I would like to use them in units of either 6 or 12, so they'll be 2 left-over figs. I was thinking of them as being on detached duty. Anyway, I haven't played a Napoleonic game in a long time - hoping to use a variant of Lion Rampant for them someday.

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    1. Thanks, Dean!

      Cavalry vedettes sounds like a suitable use for this surplus figures.

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  11. Lovely work Jonathan. I have been in the 24 infantry 12 cavalry camp for many years, but for my newer projects (Carlists, Crimean War and French in Egypt) I have moved to a different model. Embracing the fact that most manufacturers now sell figures in packs of six infantry and three cavalry, I now base my units in stands of six foot, three mounted (instead of a 2,4 combination that we as a group have used for twenty or thirty years). And I have moved to a standard three stand unit where I don't have to interact with armies that are based in the old way. Why? Because I like the look of the 6,3 stands better - the figure spacing looks right - and when I form a unit in line the command stand is always in the centre.

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    1. Thanks, Mark.

      Peter and I are beginning to look like the minority here with respect to cavalry unit size.

      My 32mm ECW cavalry are mounted three per base with three figures per base too. For the ECW project, that just made sense to me.

      After following along on your Carlist and Crimean projects and seeing your excellent three per base cavalry, I have have been tempted many times to do likewise. That is, scrap the two per base 28mm Napoleonics in favor of the three per base. That, of course, would require I paint up one more figure for each of my cavalry formations. Certainly doable but changing from two figures per base complicates my organization (but not much).

      Painting one more figure per unit and rebasing in BMUs of 3 x 3 would provide a use for some of the surplus figures already in The Lead Pile. What am I saying?

      For me, 18 figure infantry BMUs is preferred to 24 figure BMUs. I find not much motivation to tackle 24 x 28mm figures in one go. Mine tend to vary between 16 and 18 depending upon organization.

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    2. The Crimean cavalry I did on bases of two and I regret it. They just look a bit light. I may have to boost these in the future.

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    3. Advantages of smaller units - more units fro the same amount of painting, allows more variety of units and facing colors, flags, etc, smaller footprint on the table top, lower costs per unit, less painting time per unit. Of course, if the aesthetics don't work for you, it matters not! Since I've used those sizes (and 3 - 4 crew with 1 gun, 2 stands per battery) since about 1970, it looks right to me! :-)

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    4. Impeccable logic, Peter! I do like the look of Mark's cavalry in threes, though.

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    5. I concur with Peter. One of the key differences for me in painting 28 versus 6/10mm armies is that smaller scales lend themselves better to high figure density. There you are going for the overall look of the unit. At 28mm, I like using lower figure densities as you want to highlight the look of the individual figures over the look of the mass. Just my $0.02...

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  12. Great work as always sir!Tell me please, hoe tuffs on bases you use?

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    1. Thanks, Michal!

      Tufts are from Tajima1. Excellent, self-adhesive tufts. The best!

      http://www.tajima1.co.uk/index.asp?pageid=282517

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  13. Lovely work on these. I find myself to be a 16/20/24 and 9/12/15 gamer, but 24 is definitely a stretch for me. I have some 32 figure Austrian battalions waiting, so that will be interesting.

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    1. Thanks, Lawrence! For the Great Game project, my compatriot in the project builds in 12 cav and 24 infantry so I have been forced to conform. I find myself getting bogged down in those numbers when tackling them at the painting desk. 32 x 28mm would be difficult although I do tackle 40 figure pike blocks. Not too frequently, though!

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  14. I agree with both you and Lawrence - 24 does sort of trip over into the tedious basket. When I did the Crimean Russians, alrhough they were in battalions of 18, I painted full regiments of 4 battalions in a stretch...the result was great but the task seemed never ending.

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  15. I like the looks of these guys. The details on the horseblankets really make the unit 'pop'

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