Are you old enough to start collecting Napoleonic wargames miniatures? There must surely come a time in one’s life when you have no interest in reading romances or Scandinavian murder mysteries. Not for you pre-pubescent Wizards, you need only concern yourself with the campaigns of Bonaparte. Have you read the latest Harry Potter? Xxxx off, I’m nearly fifty, have you read Eagles over the Alps?
This week’s project was a dragoons unit for my Marengo collection. Napoleonic uniforms often put wargamers off due to their complexity but we of course are made of sterner stuff. The unit I started on was the 9th Dragoons, there is a huge amount of info out there on dress and undress uniform, rank distinction and officer’s braid but really? Let’s be realistic, I went for an approximation. Hopefully they will look good on the table and would Bonaparte’s Alpinists really be in parade ground order?
My regular reader will know about my struggles with ruleset choice. I bit the bullet and went for a large unit in Black Powder, Lassale, Blucher and General d’Armee. Eighteen figures costs a fair bit but that was not all. I wanted Paul Hicks miniatures from the USA ( Brigadegames) . In order to shield myself from unpleasantness, I didn’t even look up the dollar exchange rate- gentlemen never ask the cost of course…..
One immediate problem , not evident from the advert, was that the dragoons were designed for Napoleon in Egypt. A few of the castings had a neckerchief and they had to go. I had ordered the figures based on Lassalle unit strengths so had more command figures than I needed. A quick order to Perrys gave me the required number but the uniforms and figure size are different. But, it was too late now, this unit would be on campaign…
The purists will note that they carry the 1804 guidon. What is four years amongst friends. I will get Elite miniatures standards for the Chasseurs but if anybody does know where to source flags for dragoons? I notice that the Chasseurs carry colour coded squadron colours so perhaps I just need to get the regimental number right?
I used the PaintingWar book throughout. The ninth Dragoons were distinguished by having Crimson collars, turn backs and cuff flaps. Unfortunately I also need the Eighth Dragoons who are also in Crimson, but not exactly the same locations. As these are still stained by the older spirit of the Revolution, I allowed myself the odd tricolour cockade, with more Republicanism evident on the general staff.
So there you have them, they may not win any prizes but they are done. As with most things I would suggest, if you are toying with the idea of Napoleonics, stop prevaricating and just start! Below is a trial figure by Trent miniatures, noticeably more “chunky” than my favourite Eureka minis ( in background with standard) readers may also note a new Kickstarter Revolutionary miniatures which is offering some very impressive sculpts, again slightly larger than Eureka and Perry.