Saturday, 28 January 2017
From AlanD - Women from the Retreat from Moscow (35 points)
In a shameless bid for the coveted Sarah's Choice, I present some women from Napoleon's Retreat from Moscow in 1812.
The experience of women in Napoleon's invasion of Russia is very difficult to reconstruct, given the nature of our sources. Certainly hundreds of women at least accompanied the Grande Armée, ranging from officers' wives to cooks and providers of other services to the troops. They suffered terribly along with the men during the Retreat, and none more so than the unfortunate young mothers trying to protect their children, some of whom were born during the campaign. Memoirs written by (male) survivors of the retreat, such as that by General de Segur, often include poignant episodes of the suffering of women and children, and the efforts made to protect them.
Kudos to the Perry twins for not shying away from this aspect of the Retreat, but including a number of women in their figure range for 1812. They range from women acting as combatants, to those trudging wearily through the snow, as well as a young mother sitting in despair.
I have also included a vivandiere, from Westfalia Miniatures. She isn't really dressed for the Russian winter, but is too nice a figure to go unpainted.
Assuming the vignette of the cuirassier and his (perhaps) wife count as two figures, these should add 35 points to my total.
Ahh, you've beat me to the punch on these Alan. I had a few of these models racked-up and ready to go, but as you've done such a marvelous job I think I'll quietly tuck them aside for another day.
What a poignant and themed entry. We've chatted in the past about the Perry's Retreat figures, and I think we both agree that they are probably the most evocative range of miniatures that the brothers have produced. The abject misery and suffering is so readily apparent in both their facial expressions and their postures. One looks at these castings and can almost feel the freezing wind and muscles ache at each laborious step taken through the snow and ice.
Your snow basework looks excellent and I like that you've added frost to the cuffs and hems of their clothing along with their faces and scarves. The entire set gives a snapshot of many of the emotions these women must have felt during the retreat from Russia, from terror to bitter resolve, misery to grim companionship. Really good work here.
35 well-earned points for you, sir.