Friday, September 25, 2009

1806 Project Update

I have been on a Napoleonic roll of late, with regard to my painting production, and one thing that I have learned is that sometimes you just need to go with the flow and paint what you feel like painting. How is that for some good old country advice?

This month (September) I completed a 72-figure battalion of the original Elite Miniatures French in bicornes and they will eventually go into service as the 25e Regiment de Ligne in General Gudin's division of Davout's III Corps in 1805 to 1807. Now all I have to do is find another 60 or so more of these figures so that I can paint the second battalion of this regiment. So if anyone has some of the old Elite figures, painted or unpainted, drop old Fritz a message and he'd be happy to take them off of your hands at an outrageously high price. What a deal! Failing finding more of these figures (and I will post some pictures over the weekend), I could use the 72 figure Eureka French Revolutionary War French in bicornes as the sister battalion for the 25e de Ligne.

As of now, I have 4 battalions of French in bicorns, one battalion in the spray primer booth, and two more of the new Elite French figures in an advancing pose that need to be cleaned and primed. So I am half way home on the French infantry since Gudin had 8 battalions in his division.

After I finish some more infantry, it will be time to turn my attention to the cavalry. I currently have 40 dragoons and 40 cuirassiers completed as well as 24 chasseurs a cheval. This chasseur regiment has 20 more figures to add at some point - they are the new Elite Chasseurs. I also found 36 of the old Elite chasseurs, which are noticeably smaller in size. For some reason, I like the older figures better. So if anyone has some extra or unwanted old Elite chasseurs, you know the drill, give me a call.

I was going to post some pictures this evening, but Blogger seems to be a bit fiddly tonight and won't let me upload the pictures for some reason. Hopefully, this will sort itself out in another day.

On the reading front, I just finished James Arnold's "Crisis in the Snow" which covers Napoleon's Eylau campaign in the winter of 1806-07. This was a very enjoyable book to read as Mr. Arnold has a nice prose style of writing that keeps you interested, doesn't overwhelm you with minutia, but gives you plenty of interesting tidbits and anecdotes. For some reason, Eylau has not been covered very well by the historical writing community. James Arnold's excellent book fixes that problem. I am looking forward to his pending companion book about the Friedland campaign in 1807. I liked this book so much that I also bought his two books covering the 1809 campaign, sight unseen, from On Military Matters in New Jersey. I'm looking forward to some quality reading in the near future.


  1. Might I suggest a side-by-side photo of the two Elite Chasseurs so that people can tell which one they might have?

    As you know, I think of Napoleonics as a "black hole", but since you (and a great many others) do not, I hope that you find someone who can supply the figures that you seek.

    -- Jeff

  2. RE: Crisis in the Snows: I agree that this campaign is often overlooked by gamers and authors.
    Arnold's book was one of the books I brought along on a recent vacation and with 11 hour one-way flights, I had plenty of available time to complete my reading.

    Although I enjoyed reading the book and it provided me greater insight into the campaign (and whetted my appetite for gaming some of the battles), I found a few issues. In no particular order, they are:

    1. The justification detracted from the layout. In many cases, the full justification resulted in all of the extra padding being added between only two words.

    2. Maps Issue 1: For me, many of the maps were too small with practically meaningless titles (i.e. "Map 32: xxxx"). I would have preferred seeing a time associated with the map that lends a bit more context to the graphic.

    3. Maps Issue 2: I would have preferred original map artwork rather than simply scanning existing maps and pasting bitmap unit icons onto the map. This resulted in masking some of the underlying detail.

    4. Often repeating the same quote within the span of a page or two.

    5. Some of the sections repeated themselves as if each section was written independently and then brought together to make the whole rather than intertwining the story.

    The book really emphasized to me that the Russians may not have been the bumbling, lumbering, inefficient army that is normally portrayed on the wargames table. Seems to me that the Russian grenadiers and many of the horse regiments outclassed their French adversaries. I found the various descriptions of the large, manly, Russian grenadiers time and again sweeping away the small weak French infantry interesting.