Wednesday, 4 February 2015

From JohnM: 1/55émé Régiment de Ligne (116 Points)

This is the first Napoleonic infantry unit I have painted since last year's Challenge and my god, I had forgotten how difficult painting Napoleonic's is. I just checked and I think this is the 80th Napoleonic battalion I have painted over the last 7 years.

Here we have a pre-Bardin uniformed unit from Crusader Miniatures, these are the only Napoleonic figures they sell which is a pity as they are nicely sculpted and well cast. Very similar to Foundry, I think in pose, but a little larger thus fitting much better with Calpe, Front Rank and Perry lines. I think the mounted officer is from Warlord Games, but I am not absolutely sure.

These 28 mm troops will join my French Order of Battle as the 1/55e. This completes Quiot's 1st Division at Waterloo. They join Jérome Bonaparte's 6th Division, as well as the 13e Régiment de Légère (3rd Division). I think that maybe 24 French regular infantry battalions are enough. I will paint one more Garde battalion to complete Petit's Brigade of the Imperial Guard but that is it for the French blue!

But back to painting Napoleonics, when I started I had no idea what I was doing, I got better after awhile and by last year I had evolved a method of painting thin shades over a white undercoat, applying AP Dark and then finishing with some highlights. It was pretty happy with this method as it produced good looking war games standard troops in a fairly quick time.

The unfortunate bit of course is over the last two years I have started to paint mostly skirmish figures and when having to paint only 30-40 figures for an army, I started to spend much more time on each figure using various shades and highlights. I still used AP as it gives a nice hard coat but I would not shake the tin, so the polyurethane was essentially minimally tinted. I found it pretty hard to go back with these troops. I noticed I was painting much more detail etc etc. They are still not great but they took a lot more work.

The dreaded close up with all the warts!
I have also made some major changes in basing. I was finding storage increasingly difficult and damaging to the troops. I have finally settled on some high grade cardboard 2" high filing drawers, they are quite nice and sturdy, but the troops were moving about in them when a moved the box. A couple of years ago we had a Napoleonic game with Curt and he had brought some of his own troops which were based on low profile metal bases. I really liked how they looked, but maybe it was Curt's painting. With these I can glue in a magnetized sheet in the file drawer and viola the metal bases would stop moving. I really like the low profile over the 3 mm Litko plywood bases.

I have stuck with 40x40mm bases (although Curt tried to persuade me otherwise), but am now going with 4 figures to a base, so essentially 6 bases for a regular battalion rather then the 4 I had been previously using. My friend Iannick, with whom I have played most of my Napoleonics, recently switched to this convention, so I said why not. I have to admit though I somehow doubt whether I will ever get those 79 battalions re-based!

From Curt:

Eighty Napoleonic units in 7 years?! Wow. That is an amazing achievement in of itself John. I knew you had a good sized collection but not THAT large. Fantastic. 

These fellows look marvelous John. I've always had a soft spot for the pre-Bardin uniform and you've done all those tails, turnbacks and waistcoats great justice. I think you'll like the steel bases in the long run (I like the low-profile they afford as well) - just be sure to sand down the edges a bit so they're not so sharp. 

Hey, general question to all who use his stuff: Has anybody been able to get an order filled recently from The Flag Dude? Greg and I have tried these past few months and have had no luck at all. I hope nothing is wrong...

Again, wonderful  work John.

PS: The mounted officer is from Perry Miniatures I believe.


  1. Thanks Curt, that was about 30 minutes from posting to publishing.

    Remember that is 80 infantry battalions, it does not include cavalry, artillery and command stands. No wonder I am reluctant to put a Napoleonic unit on the painting table!

    In respect to Flag Dude, I have learned to be patient. When he does not respond to emails, I phone him. He is always quite friendly on the phone, and will usually push your order to the front.

    I suspect he is fine.

    My last Napoleonic order included all possible flags I may need, but of course famous last words!


    1. Yeah, I thought it might be just your infantry units. That makes it even doubly impressive.

      I'll try giving the Dude a call. Thanks for the info. (I thought my last order from him included all possible things I may paint - what a foolish thought...)

  2. Excellent work John. Eighty units of Nappies? That's quite a collection for anyone, especially if it's only taken 7 years to paint them. :)

  3. 80 units is an outrageous amount given these are larger miniatures. If they are all as pretty as this one it must be a marvellous sight. Can we see them all together???

  4. Very nice - and that is a staggering amount of Napoleonics!

  5. My mind is blown by the very thought of that many units. I have 300 french infantry sitting in boxes and don't know where to start. You've painted so much more than that.

  6. My mind is blown by the very thought of that many units. I have 300 french infantry sitting in boxes and don't know where to start. You've painted so much more than that.

  7. Excellent work John! I like the look of the unit with the new basing scheme. While the should to shoulder look might be more historical and does look good, I find the 20mm frontage allows to see the painting better. So its appropriate you spent more efforts on painting them than you used to.

  8. These are great, well worth the extra effort


  9. Oh dear, I hope Flag Dude is still in business - I'm nearing needing a stockup!

  10. I shy away from Nappys, I just can't be bothered with the intricate webbing and uniforms. But that in no way diminishes my enjoyment of these figures.

  11. Lovely! Great finish. Hadn't even heard of that company, they look like great figures. Of course everyone should have at least 80 battalions with appropriate support in my view. :)

  12. Congratulations!
    the details are top!
    great paintwork!

  13. Fantastic looking unit but the 80th, my word.

    I thought my Napoleonic / War of 1812 collection was good sized at 29 infantry units! - Color my impressed!

  14. Nice looking battalion of Frogs John! John has a roll of his units on his blog having seen a descent number of them in person they are quite impressive.

  15. Great painting and pics - really nice