Saturday, 21 January 2017

From Byron - 28mm French Napoleonic Artillery Teams (105 points)

This is the last of my several posts today going up, the totality of which I believe will count as a points bomb, or as close as I am likely to ever get to one.  I am however breaking them up since they are groups of very different figures in different scales and themes, and in fact in painting styles.

With that, welcome to Byron's Point Bomb(?) Part 3 - Napoleonic madness...

Four years ago now, I started doing some French Napoleonic figures as a promise to Curt that I would at least try doing something historical for my first painting challenge.  It was a unit of Perry line infantry, and my first exposure to painting the madness that is Napoleonic uniforms!

Don't get me wrong, I love the Napoleonic era, the uniforms in real life, and most importantly the games it produces. I also seriously love how amazing ranked up 28mm Napoleonic figures look on the table, even when only half-assed done like mine! The effect of them all lined up is far above the sum of their parts.

However, it is a serious Love / Hate relationship, due to the fact that painting all those fiddly little details on so many figures that are all the same, drives me nuts!  Worse, since it drives me nuts I skip things, hurry past things, cheat details, etc, etc.  Which makes me more nuts as I know that I could do it better, but just can't make myself do it....  Ok, maybe I just have to face facts, I am nuts :-)

Anyway, after doing a unit of 28mm Dragoons earlier this year and dealing with my hate of horses, I figured why not self flagellate some more, and bang off some more Napoleonics!  Ever the glutton for punishment...

The figures themselves had already been purchased as I knew I would need them at some time.  They are the excellent Victrix plastic French Artillery set, which comes with two complete sets of infantry arms and heads so that you can build them as early or late period foot infantry, and both 8 and 12 pound cannon barrels.

I knew that for any game we played I probably only need 1 built, but hell, I had three so I may as well do all of them, right (see glutton for punishment comment above)?  So, I built 2 as 12 pounders and 1 as an 8 pounder.  I also decided to make them a bit more scenic than having everyone standing around them waiting to fire, so I only built one ready to fire and the other two in the process of cleaning and reloading.  While not technically correct to be mixed like that, I liked the overall look, so stuck with it.

I painted all the infantry on sticks and not on the base so that I had 360 degree access.  I was almost done them too, having ASSumed that since they were foot artillery that they would be outfitted the same as foot infantry.  Almost done, I happened to see the packaging sitting in the corner or my table and notice that WTF their facings are blue?  A quick call to the guru Curt, and sure enough, I had screwed up and had to do a whole lot of touch up work and changes.  Due to the way I paint Napoleonics working from the inside out, and the facing being reset behind the jacket, straps, collar, etc, I had to repaint all of those as I inevitably nicked something on each model as I touched things up.

However, as with every Napoleonic unit I have done so far (other than the Dragoons), while I am far from happy with them as individuals, I am OK with them once they are all assembled on the base. I now have 3 completed bases each containing 5 infantry and a cannon. 

Better than anything else though, four years into this, I now finally have a small, but usable Napoleonic force of my own, and I am actually pretty damn happy with how it looks on the tabletop (as shown below), the sum of the Napoleonic parts, far outweigh their individual parts.

Great work Byron.  While I find cavalry can be a bear at times, it is artillery that drives me the most bonkers, so sawing away at three teams in 28mm is well worth some kudos! 

The Napoleonic era (or any gaming setting, for that matter) can be intimidating, but I am often surprised at how the sci-fi stuff we do can be the same way...the blizzard of factions of different vehicles in the Horus Heresy, for example, can make the Napoleonic setting almost seem organized.  The best part is having friends who help you along, and like you, I owe a debt to Curt for that!

That complete force at the bottom looks great - we can do some Black Powder games with my Austrians now! 

Another 105 points, to complete your points bombardment for the day!



  1. Nice artillery Byron! Of course, now you'll have to add the limbers and caissons for them - lots of lovely horses to paint! ;)

  2. Great looking gun teams Byron. You've done well with these - I find the Victrix sets too fiddly for my tastes. I got a chuckle out of the uniform glitch - research my son, research. It's one if the best parts of historical gaming and here's lot of good info out there.

  3. Very nice work Byron. It does make all the frustration of tiny details on each figure worth it when the whole unit is done and assembled together!

  4. you might be nuts... but you paint just fine... great looking battery

  5. Another great submission


  6. Lovely guns Byron! Thats quite a great little force you've collected there.

  7. They do look very good indeed

  8. Great addition to your artillery park!

  9. Great stuff Byron. Now you can get on with making the Emperor proud!

  10. Really nice work here, I agree on how good they looompainted up.... but I've never been brace enough to actually try to paint them!

  11. Impressive artillery unit and VERY impressive army
    This is putting me some urgency to speed up my Hussars and paint some artillery reinforcements

  12. Very nice looking French Byron! No question artillery can be quite a pain in the backside to do so you have my sympathies!


  13. The artillery pieces are very well done ( and the crew). I have peninsular war troops that I am slowly going through, the primer has been on them for almost 5 years now. I think a few more years aging and they will be ready for painting! ;)

  14. Great looking artillery unit and lovely looking figures, I'm building a victrix artillery unit at the moment, so it's nice to see what they should look like and these look fine!
    Best Iain

  15. Great Big guns Byron - glad you're chipping away at a Napoleonic collection

  16. Really nice work, Byron! You really communicated a "mass battle" feel even at this larger scale, something I usually ding 28mm for--at first glance, I could've sworn these were 15mm.

    1. Thanks, yeah the trade off is size though, these bases are huge! They are 60mm x 120mm long, in real life they are quiet big, but I needed them that big to fit everything on. Any smaller and I would have had to just had guys standing around, rather than telling a story with them, not something I wanted.