Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that


Thursday, 3 January 2013

Colonel of French Dragoons


A very small painting project completed – this is Colonel Piquet, of the 6eme Dragons, who is required to command one of the dragoon brigades of my Armée de Portugal, circa 1811-12. No big deal, and – as ever – my painting isn’t much to write home about, but I find this little figure quite interesting.

The officer himself is by Phoenix Model Developments – previously Les Higgins Ltd – and was mastered by Tim Richards around 1975. As I keep mentioning, the Higgins/PMD Napoleonic horses were not wonderful, and I regard them as particularly unsuitable for a brigade commander, so I have mounted Monsieur Piquet on a more sedate animal, courtesy of NapoleoN Miniaturas. The reason this is of some interest is that, during the brief spell (2008/9?) when they were producing the Higgins/PMD Napoleonic range, NapoleoN were giving serious consideration to offering their own horses with the PMD cavalry, as an option. I have always thought this would have been a good idea.

This particular pairing is not as brilliant as I had hoped – the rider comes from the period when PMD were trying a bit of sneaky upward scale creep. No matter – it is a well-known fact (disprove it if you can) that Piquet was quite a tall man, who had a favourite small, wiry horse which was ideal for the rough conditions in Spain.

Anyway – say bonjour to the colonel – I like him well enough, and the combination of castings gives a little glimpse of what might have been if NapoleoN had possessed stamina to match their flair.

13 comments:

  1. He's a fine looking fellow - and it is nice to see a horse that isn't at full gallop for a change.

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    1. Thank you, sir - Good New Year to you.

      NapoleoN did some rather heftier horses for general officers, but I have none of the French ones left. I have received an email pointing out that the plume should be red, and he should have a portmanteau. A colonel on the regimental staff would wear a white plume, as shown (I have a Vernet plate of just such a colonel). As for his bags - they'll be in the regimental wagon, I guess!

      Cheers - MSF

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  2. A fine looking fellow indeed and congratulations on having at least picked up a paintbrush so early into the new year. I will no doubt take until mid-March just to even think about such a thing.

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    1. Picking up the brush wasn't hard - the trick for me is to try to avoid making such a cobblers of the paint job that I need therapy before picking it up again!

      Good New Year, young Steve - I am still a bit shocked by the hammering Stoke gave my team of choice recently, but have no compaints.

      Cheers - Tony

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    2. General Foy,

      Well you know officers had more than one horse so maybe his second horse is a Clydesdale?

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  3. Looks a great figure to me, a nice pose. Is he saluting or ordering another Brandy from his aide??

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    1. I think it's supposed to be an imperious wave, but he may be troubled by the flies!

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    2. Maybe his horse has been at the thistles again?

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  4. If I remember correctly the horse's name was Morcelette. I know you like attention to detail.

    HNY - Lou

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    1. Thank you, Lou. I've put that into the database.

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  5. Dragoons never got the best of the horses anyways. We can always say this horse was near the end of a long campaign and thus why a bit under fed.

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    1. One of my favourite Peninsular War stories is about Marmont issuing heavy decree that all officers had to give up extra pack horses and make them available to the dragoons. Because of lack of time and men to train them, this meant that many remounts had never been in action, and there was much excitement when the shooting started, with horses panicking and running away. Something about the road to Hell being paved with good intentions?

      Cheers - MSF

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  6. Very nice indeed, you have a lot to answer for, my first 20mm ECW regiment is almost complete and I have recently purchased 20mm Napoleonic samples! And I had done so well, keep up the inspiring work

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