Sunday 19 April 2020

The Napoleonic Collection Takes Shape - French Cavalry

Like many others I have been trying to assemble a useable Napoleonic collection for years, only realising, when it was too late, what a monumental task it is. Probably the biggest stumbling block was finding a set of rules that I liked well enough - we all know that feeling. Only relatively recently has that been resolved with the publication of General d'Armee. Finally settling on these rules has necessitated a certain amount of re-organising and re-basing, which has allowed me to put together the core of a collection and given me the renewed enthusiasm to continue the project.

This wretched Covid 19 business has had the unexpected side effect of keeping me indoors much more, especially at the weekends. Result: a greatly increased output. I have had many of the units for a while, but in different forms and have had to paint up reinforcements to bring units up to strength - most of my infantry battalions were in 24s and my cavalry in 8s. Whilst I am still a fair way off yet, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

To start, here is my French cavalry so far; mainly my own work, but with the odd foray into the transfer market to strengthen the squad!

First up, two standard sized regiments of Cuirassiers (18 figures)

Backing them up is a regiment of Carabiniers. These lads were part of a collection I bought a while back - beautifully painted by Mark Allen. All I did was repair, re-varnish and re-base. The chap I bought them from had them organised in regiments of 12 or 16. The former were just incorporated directly as "small" regiments, the others, like this particular regiment, have been "stretched" to fit the standard format of 3 "squadrons" of 6, by the simple expedient of putting just a couple of figures on two of the bases. I am not going to try and imitate the style of a master!!

A couple of shots of the heavy cavalry component so far.

Next is my only lancer regiment (at the moment). Another Mark Allen production. The sharp eyed among you will have noticed that there are only 11 figures in this unit. The 12th was a standard bearer that I decided not to use - he has been converted into something else - and the base featuring the tumbling horsemen was left with only 2 figures - which is enough I think.

Next is my hussar brigade. The first regiment was painted by me a while ago. There are only 12 figures, but have another 6 to do to bring it up to strength. Old Foundry figures, but still very nice.

This is another Mark Allen unit, again just repaired, varnished and re-based, The same Foundry figures. A nice light cavalry brigade.

Last but not least, the unsung heroes of the French mounted arm - chasseurs a cheval. Again these were consolidated from a load of 8 man regiments, with enough to make a standard and a small regiment.

So there we are, it's a decent start but still a long way to go. Have a couple of Saxon heavy regiments to do and then will need to put in an order with The Perrys for some Guards and some line dragoons.
Next up will be the French infantry.

Take care everyone.


  1. You actually have a LOT of cavalry there! I prefer much smaller units (8 figures like some that you acquired, but that is a very personal taste issue.

  2. Gorgeous, just... gorgeous!

  3. Good luck Sir!
    That's a fine start you've made and you've made an excellent choice of rules too. GdA are our favourites, especially for big games.
    Keep at it, best wishes,

  4. Thanks Guys. Much appreciated. It feels like a massive task, but am enthused by it. Agree about the rules warpaintjj - have been searching for years for a set I am happy with and this is as near as I am going to get in this life!!

  5. Excellent job Steve. Dying for another game of GdA.
    Have you seen the new Victrix French Guard Lancers? They are lovely.
    Stay Safe and well.

    1. Yep, me too. Will arrange as soon as we can. No, haven't seen them, although am a bit old fashioned in that regard - prefer heavy metal! Take care.

  6. You actually have a LOT of (good looking) cavalry there! I personally prefer more, smaller units (8 figures for Cavalry), but it's really what works best for your personal tastes. I can't wait to see the other arms!

  7. They are fabulous Steve. A fine and significant 'start'!

  8. Thanks James. There is a lot more done/nearly done, but with Napoleonics it really is a never ending story - which is half the fun I suppose!!

  9. Blimey Steve, that is a lot of cavalry. I am glad my units are 8 figure units. They look great. I have some old Mark Allan Confederate infantry with steel pin bayonets - they hurt if you pick them up wrong!

    1. Indeed. Mine used to be. I like pin bayonets for that very reason!