Wednesday, August 27, 2014

More French Napoleonic Artillery

My recent orders of Essex and Connoisseur figures needed for my Historicon games were rather small, so I added few extras to make the shipping charges seem more worthwhile. That resulted in some figures lingering on my painting desk, which I have no finished off. Here they are for your viewing pleasure!


This battery is made using the Connoisseur figures. State of the art in their day, they aren't quite up to modern standards, but still have a charm of their own. They are also the only artillery figures I have that are wearing covered shakos. 


So, uh, what's with the medium green pants, lapels, collars and cuffs, Peter? A moment of hitherto unrecognized red-green color blindness perhaps?


No, this unit is based upon an illustration in Fred and Liliane Funken's Arms and Uniforms of Soldiers of the First Empire. It depicts an artillerist of the Coastal Artillery in 1809. Presumably, these were the men that manned the guns of the many fortresses and batteries protecting French harbors from the scourge of the Royal Navy. I've found the wonderfully eccentric colors fascinating since I first acquired the books (French language versions) back circa 1970. I have no idea of the accuracy, and the illustration doesn't really show the turnbacks well, so I went with red (they look like they might just be white in the picture, which would be odd as well). The cuffs are also shown to be dark blue with medium green piping and cuff flaps, but I just went with solid green. In for a penny, in for a pound!  Anyway, I figure it is plausible some of these guys may have been pressed into service opposing the British invasion Walcheren in 1809, or in the later phases of the 1813 to 1814 campaigns. Unfortunately, the same plate shows another coastal artilleryman from 1812, wearing a dark blue uniform with red piping etc like pretty much every other French Napoleonic artillery uniform! In any even, with their unusual uniform, they will serve as conscript/militia artillery, as well as a unit to baffle wargaming grognards with!  :-)



These are some excellent Essex artillerymen purchased with the clear-out discount at Wargames, Inc. They were piggybacked onto an order of some additional New Kingdom Egyptians for Ramses' army.


They are the Artillerie a Pied de la Garde Imperiale. The Foot Artillery of the Guard was a relatively late addition, six companies being formed by a decree in April, 1808, and belonging to the Old Guard. Three companies of Young Guard Artillery (or Concrit Artillerie) were added in June 1809. By 1813, the Young Guard component had increased to 16 companies!


The shako was worn until the introduction of the better known bearskin headdress (Old Guard companies only) in 1810, so these troops are wearing the earlier uniform. Guard insignia include the brass eagle plates on the shakos and cartridge boxes. Both are nicely sculpted on these figures. The guns of both batteries are Sash and Saber 12 lbers. 


Canine Corps - Annie scores bonus points for height with her jump to get the "shark" in the pool.


Whilst Zoe score points for distance and accuracy! "You're going DOWN Sharkie!"
(Piper, 10 years old, looks on from a distance, seemingly unimpressed. She's OK with some swimming, but doesn't jump into the water, which was her late half sister, Cricket's,  obsession!)



"I got it first.... No, I got it first!"
They aren't called Golden Retrievers for nothing!

20 comments:

  1. I like the artillery, especially the coastal guns. The Funken books show that and I've never seen another view of those gunners.

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    1. They were fun to do as they are rather unique!

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  2. Coastal Artillery with green facings? I never heard of such before. A quick look in Knotel and sure enough, French coastal artillery had green labels and collar in 1809. I learn something everyday.

    Sash & Saber guns are terrific, are they not? I love the French S&S guns I have. They really are big beasts.

    As for your retrievers, what great teamwork!

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    1. Interesting to have confirmation of the Green form another source; likely Knoetel was the reference the Funkens used themselves!

      I love the Sash and Saber guns - excellent models and outstanding value!

      Zoe and Annie are in training to be amphibious Limber Dogs! :-)

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  3. Didn't know about this green, coastal gunners look great!

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    1. It is unusual, isn't it? Of course, primarily limited to fortress artillery, so not likely to be seen in the field often in real life!

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  4. Lovely job on the artillery Peter. I love the photos of Zoe and Annie, and especially the bottom one.

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  5. Interesting post and nicely painted figures, the dogs are nice too!

    John

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    1. Glad you enjoyed them. Now I actually see few more details to add (suggest dark blue grenades on the red turnbacks of the Guard, for example).

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  6. Blue & green...special! S7S guns are the best, only one in my collection.
    Nice dogs, 3 of them must be a handful!

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    1. Thanks, and agree about the Sash and Saber guns. Under ordinary circumstances, we just have two, Piper and Zoe. When my younger daughter is home, she has her two, Annie and Rory with her. My older daughter has two 1 year old Beagles, too!

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  7. Why did it take you so long to do the fellows in green pants? ;-)

    Looks like the dogs are having fun.

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    1. I'm not Irish? :-)

      The dogs love the water!

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  8. Very nice figures, those dogs seem to know how to have fun

    Ian

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  9. They look terrific. The blue on the tunics really pops.

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    1. Thanks. Michael. It's a bit darker than it appears in the pictures, although still lighter than the actual uniform color would have been for better look on the miniatures.

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  10. Those Connoisseur figurse look great Peter, especially as something 'different'!

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    1. Thanks, James! They are a twist on the usual in a number of ways.

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