Wednesday, 1 February 2023

6mm Napoleonic French

 The great rebasing is now complete, and all my 6mm Napoleonic stuff is on the same 30mm frontage as my nineteenth century figures. Which means I can use my Austrians and Italians for both periods. First up, the French. 

Tbh they don't actually look very impressive out of their box! There seemed to be a lot of them at the time.... These are all my old H&R figures from the mid 1970s. I think this is what might be classed as a 'pocket army', a concept I like. Certainly enough to play Neil Thomas type games, Horse, Foot and Guns etc and I guess even older rules like WRG which we used to do with a dozen units a side (reinforced division stuff).

Cavalry. Four bases each of Line Lancers and Cuirassiers, plus six bases of 'Dragoons' converted from Lancers. I also have a ton of cavalry with my nineteenth century stuff which can fill in. 

I did a certain amount of repainting on these. The Lancers needed a few extra figures which had to be repainted to match otherwise they and the Cuirassiers just needed some tidying up of the flesh, hats/helmets and saddle cloths. The Dragoons took more work as I'd done them in yellow facings originally (maybe they were meant to be Hussars?) so I repainted all their jackets in green with red facings.  

The horses were all pretty basic so they got my full 21st Century horse painting method - base coat, manes/tails etc, inkwash and then various highlights, mainly socks and nose flashes. They suddenly looked much, much better.

Eight bases of artillery, three of them have extra gunners so they can be 'heavy'.  Again, these can be supplemented by the dozen or so French artillery I have for the FPW. 

The guns were completely repainted in Olive Green (they were a wierd dark blue/green before) and all the metal work redone with the barrels in brass with a dark ink wash. The gunners just needed their crossbelts and flesh renewing (on some of the older figures it had faded to a sort of grey so they looked like zombies) and I added cuff flashes, cap badges and pom poms.

The infantry. 32 bases of Line, 8 bases of Grenadiers and four bases in skirmish order. The basic uniforms were OK but I touched up their flesh, weapons and hats and then based on the Russian figures I have, I added cuff flashes and their pack straps. The pack straps really make them pop, but are essentially just tiny blobs of white. I have some of the very first HR castings in here and their packs are tiny, at most 1.5mm across. The later castings are better defined with bigger packs and also have blanket/greatcoat rolls on the top which are easier to paint.

These are the only actual French Generals, some of the generic Irregular ones, plus Napoleon and an Aide (HR). Back in the days of WRG I just used to use single cavalrymen for leaders. I have zillions of generic mounted leader stands so they can be added as needed. The Generals had some bling added to their hats, uniforms and saddle furniture and I redid their flesh and hair (some are bareheaded). The horses got the same treatment as the cavalry.

If I need to make the cavalry up to four bases units (eg for Neil Thomas) I can just add some leaders.  Or use the masses of FPW cavalry. 

I didn't bother with loads of skirmishers bases, as I generally play Army level actions. They can be added to flesh out units as required. These started as Voltiguers, but I repainted them as Chasseurs with blue trousers and I even managed the split yellow/green hat plumes.

For more tactical games I like four bases units. I arranged the figures in two ranks with some all in close order and others with a skirmish line. This allows different combinations. 

These are the eight bases of Guard/Grenadiers  in Line formation with two four base units. I had to add some more figures from the spares box (I seem to have an awful lot of indivdually based Guard Grenadiers in there!) and they needed a total repaint as the original paint jobs were just awful. For the others, they had the same touch ups as the Line Infantry. Funny how doing the flesh, bayonets and cuff flashes makes them stand out. 

Attack Column with a four base unit. It is still too deep really as Attack Column is essentially a thick line but allowing for skirmishers it is close enough. 

And march column. With eight ranks this actually looks like a march column. 

Square (with room for a leader inside). You can do all these formations with two elements of course, but march column can be a bit challenging, either putting the elements sideways or leaving gaps. 

A rear view of one of the Guard units. You can maybe just make out the pack straps on these.

I based up various permutations of Line Infantry. The lead four bases here have the rear rank in close order and the front as deployed Voltigeurs. The eight bases behind have two ranks in close order.

These can mix and match of course. So two four elements units in attack column each with the lead elements as the 'skirmishing' ones.

Mixing the various element types up is one way of denoting troop quality. I tend to have raw/conscripts as all close order, line with some skirmishing and elites in obviously different uniforms (like the Grenadiers) or have two command elements or something.

Anyway, I was glad to get that lot done, and being French, they will undoubtedly see lots action.


  1. The 30mm look much more versatile, I wish Warlord Epic had used that as their base size instead of 60mm.

    1. If you were brave I'm sure you could cut them in half. 60mm does seem to be a bit of a standard for Napoleonics now thanks to Polemos, but I prefer smaller bases so I have the option to do different formations etc.