David Bickley's Wargames Blog

The occasional ramblings of an average gamer, journeyman painter, indifferent modeller, games designer, sometime writer for Wargames Illustrated and host of games in GHQ.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Republican French cavalry

I've managed to finish six more figures for my French Revolutionary War project, in this case the 8th Cavalry, still wearing the cuirass at the time. I think that the units will eventually number eight figures: they are currently without any Command figures in the Trent Miniatures range. {That's also the case with the British Heavy Dragoons, which I'll return to later.}
8th Cavalry ~ Trent Miniatures

The Brigade as it stands
Now, it seems unlikely that there will be new Command packs for the range in the near future from what I can gather from Duncan, so I needed to decide what I might look at as a possible source. The officer figure in the second photo above is from the Dixon Miniatures range for the FRW. I ordered a few sample figures to collect at Vapnartak, as I thought the style might be compatible with Trent's. Although their website lists them as 25mm, I was hopeful that they might do. Now, while the mounted officer will do just fine, the foot figures are noticeably small in comparison. I don't think they could be mixed within a unit easily, but I think as distinct units on the table top battlefield they might look OK. I have three General/Officer figures on foot from Dixon to paint next for a command stand, so I'll have a better idea then. In the meantime, a closer look at the mounted officer so you can judge for yourself ~
Dixon Miniatures mounted French officer
I've spent a good deal of time searching the net of late looking at other folks' collections for ideas of suitable ranges, as well as scouring on line catalogues for figures which might suit. One such gamer's site is here ~
There are numerous entries here under the FRW theme, from painting themes to battle reports. Its well worth a look if you have n't seen it yourself before.
As a result of all this trawling the net. on Thursday night I ordered a few pieces from Front Rank, which look as if they will do the job. For the British Heavy Dragoons I ordered an officer and a standard bearer, for the French a Cuirassier General in bicorne. {I also ordered some Austrian high command figures for longer term use in the project.}
Now other ranges seem to be available: from  Eureka, Old Glory, and Elite in the main. Old Glory have a range of French in Egypt which could be useful and Elite a range of Austrians ~ which I hope to add to the project in due course as funds permit. Eureka I've mentioned in an earlier post as having both French and Austrians, but being very much slighter/smaller than the Trent figures.
Now of course its a matter of personal preference, taste, opinion and just plain prejudice on everyone's part when it come to choosing figures, we all know that I hope. Its also a matter of what figures seem to suit what painting style as well I think. As an example or two, to illustrate my point, I like Gripping Beast figures a lot, but I don't own one now! I've never been satisfied with the ones I've bought and painted myself, they just don't look like I want them to. I've also attempted to add Old Glory figures to my ACW armies, mostly in the form of personality figures and some command figures from the infantry packs. Again, I've never been pleased with the results of my efforts and I think I only have one Iron Brigade sergeant left on a command stand now. Neither style of figure seems to gel with my 'style', such as it may be, yet they sell in droves to others who find them more than acceptable. My point? Well, choosing which figures I will add to the project is a minefield really for me. I have no skill for conversion, nor the patience, and only limited painting talents, so I have to be very certain I can do the job before money changes hands.
So, what have I decided at the present will be my approach? If the Front Rank figures measure up then they will fill the gaps in the existing cavalry units for the project. Trent have some Hussars which I can deploy for the French army I'm planning, as well as other cavalry lacking command packs at present, which Front Rank might help with again. I feel sadly that Dixon will be just too small, but I may have a unit of his Dragoons, as the bulky horses will compensate for the slighter mounted figures if the officer is anything to go by. From Eureka I'll just get the French limber teams, hopefully at Salute in April. Old Glory I'll probably pass on, mainly for the reasons I've outlined above, but also because they always seem to me to have such awkward poses: its all in the eye of the beholder though, I do recognise that, and many will disagree completely with me on that.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice cavalry! Love the look of bicornes and breastplates!