Napoleonic French Army - 1/72 Scale Plastic (Hobby Post)
This is the seventh and last of my Napoleonic Army blog posts which have featured my wargames armies for many of the major participants.
This one covers the most pivotal army of the lot - the 'Daddy' of them all - the French.
Regular readers may want to skip down to the pictures as the initial verbiage has been copied across from one post to another as it applies pretty much the same to all posts.
Originally I had planned to properly finish basing all units, add all flags and photograph the units nicely set out individually before doing this series of blog articles.
(ie Like how I did my 1/72 ACW armies: ACW Union & Confederate 1/72 scale armies )
However given the likely glacial pace that this would have occurred at I thought it best to show you them as they are now and maybe revamp things at a later date. So even whilst lacking close-up pics of individual units you may at least get some ideas on army composition, basing and storage until that revamp.
I house my armies mainly in plastic DIY storage boxes (see above) that I bought and converted many years ago. That involved breaking down multiple boxes into their components and reassembling them just using the larger draws. The smaller draws I sold off or kept for storing bits and pieces.
I haven't added many new figures released in the past few years to my armies hence the relative lack of Strelets units for example. But If I was starting from scratch now they would certainly feature much more heavily.
Many of the troops I had painted for me by Simon Bennison of Painted Napoleonic Armies. I also bought a few off ebay and did some myself as well as all the textured basing and conversions.
If you fancy having a go at painting your own figures you may be interested in another of my blog posts on Painting plastic figures
And if you need paints the ones used on the figures pictured below are Vallejo Game Color water based acrylics
Generally I do a lot more painting, converting and collecting than I do gaming due to time constraints mainly and hopefully this will change in the years to come. I used the excellent Fire & Fury rules for my ACW battles and based my Napoleonics in the same sort of fashion. Black Powder has since arrived on the scene and I may look at using those rules as well or instead.
My infantry and cavalry units are 6 stands strong with usually 6 infantry and 2 cavalry per stand. I use the excellent low profile Victrix 40mm square plastic bases for them and plastic card sheets cut to 60mm x 40mm for artillery.
I did try to limit myself to allowing only 2 storage boxes per army and more or less succeeded - apart from for the Austrians and the French both of which ran away with me a bit.
The aim was to try and keep the armies a manageable size on the tabletop and also even in this hobby you do have occasional moments of discipline / sanity where you try hard to keep yourself under control in terms of time, money and space.
This French army more so probably than any of the others I have shown previously has been added to over the years as new units took my fancy. So it is a bit of a mix and unlikely all to be fielded together at the same time. However having a larger number of units for the main player in the Napoleonic Wars is no bad thing and it allows me to pick and choose a bit more than a smaller force would permit.
As with my other nations progress towards completing the French has been slow and piecemeal. I fit work on it in amongst work commitments and my numerous other gaming interests. Hopefully someday reasonably soon it will be all properly based and sorted out ready to engage all comers on my miniature battlefield.
The first batch of pictures below show my infantry units from storage box #1.
Above: French Line Infantry. The Italeri set #6002 came out at a time when far fewer options were available. Hence I used it for a lot of my French and Allied units. As you can see from the PSR website review although a nice looking set - and one I am personally fond of - it is historically pretty inaccurate. I might therefore get around some day to upgrading these troops but I have a pretty relaxed attitude about what looks good and will serve on my tabletop so that may never happen.
Above. French Line Infantry. Italeri plus Esci Grenadiers.
Above: Third lot of Italeri Line Infantry. Some Revell officers and Airfix casualties in there too.
Above: Last of the Italeri Line to the left with HaT Young Guard on right.
Above: Zvezda's Imperial Guard Grenadiers on the left and HaT's Guard Chasseur on the right.
Above: Various command figures and HaT's Chasseurs on the right.
Above: Storage Box #2 containing mainly artillery.
Above: Skirmishers. HaT.
Above: Guard Foot Artillery. Italeri/Esci/Mars.
Above: Line Foot Artillery. As I said in one of my previous posts there is a need for more sets of French Line Foot Artillery wearing shakos - which can also serve for many of their allies. Zvezda's #8027 is a good effort but has been out of production for a long while now. Hopefully Strelets or Hat may fill this gap.
Above: More Line Foot Artillery. Airfix crews. HaT limber drivers in central compartment alongside some resin damaged battery markers I painted up.
Above: More command figures awaiting sorting and proper basing.
Above: Last tray in this storage box contains some Revell Imperial Guard in greatcoats. Didn't really need them but wanted them anyway! Ammo caisson and wagon awaiting attention to the right of them.
Above: Storage Box #3. "Time for the Cavalry I think...."
Above: Zvezda Cuirassiers and Italeri Dragoons.
Above: Zvezda Dutch Lancers and Italeri Hussars.
Above: Some HaT Horse Artillery and a unit of Italeri Carabiniers I bought off ebay that I have properly based.
Above: More HaT horse artillery crew with Italeri guns to the left and same guns with guard crews on the right. More resin markers in central compartment.
Above: Last but by no means least is a properly based unit of the very nice Foot Dragoons from Italian manufacturer Waterloo1815. Also some more ammo wagon bits and bobs.
Well that's it folks. All seven of my Napoleonic Army overviews are now done until such time as I finally complete them and present them in battle.
It's quite likely that my already poor hobby discipline will break down and as interesting new units become available I'll feel the need to add to or replace what I already have. Napoleonic Spanish, Peninsular War and earlier Austerlitz/Jena/Eylau era armies must also be resisted if I am ever to complete anything.
If you fancy having a go at building some of your own units here's a link to the relevant sets in my webstore: Napoleonic French 1/72 Scale
Thanks for taking an interest.
Rupert - Drum & Flag
nb - Unfortunately the comments section for my blog is turned off now due to spammers but you can message me using the 'Contact' tab at the top right of the page or click here: Contact
Q: I had a question come in about how I got so many of the same poses for my infantry units?
A: I bought up lots of the same set to get the required numbers of the poses I needed. The poses I did not need I then auctioned off on ebay. In doing so the overall cost was kept pretty reasonable.
Whilst I am mostly interested in marching poses plenty of other folk are or were interested in firing or attacking type poses so the demand for my spares on ebay used to be pretty high and the auction prices achieved back in the day reflected that.
Many of my units were bought before the advent of the Marching / Advancing / Command MAC sets from the likes of HaT, Strelets and to a lesser extent Waterloo1815. If I were starting out today with a blank canvass I would have a much wider choice and easier solutions to getting the poses I wanted.