Monday, November 18, 2013

French Siege Engineers

Hello everyone!
The Vallejo matt Varnish that I ordered arrived today so I was able to base up the stand of French Engineers from the Stretlet-R set I reviewed in my last post. Here I present for your viewing pleasure a compagnie of Sapeurs du Génie (remember to click on the pictures for bigger versions).

These are 1/72 plastic miniatures from Strelets-R, included in a set containing Polish Infantry. These lads are sappers of Napoleon's military engineers, also known as the Génie. Their uniforms consited of dark blue coats faced in black and piped red and with dark blue small clothes underneath. The majority of this stand is wearing siege armor, which consisted of a cuirass and helmet. These items were worn when they were working within musket range of the enemy, usually when digging counterscarps, mines and trenches during the siege of cities. To diminish their reflections to the enemy, these pieces of armor were painted black, though I chose to paint them in the metallic Boltgun Metal for greater contrast. This was also my first foray with using Matte varnish, and I was rather pleased with the results, especially for a unit that did its utmost not to attract attenion to itself.

These minis carry a number of different tools that would have been useful in a siege. The first man on the front row carries a heavy wooden sledge hammer, the second man a fascine, and the last man is carrying a shovel as he holds aloft a lantern. The engineer officer on the back row carries a telescope for observation, the middle man an axe as well as resting his foot on another fascine, and the last man is hard at work digging with a shovel.

For a base, I've chosen a rectangle 6cm wide by 4cm deep, with its corners clipped. This should make the unit readily identifiable as a specialty unit. These men will be used in-game as a kind of catch-all for engnieer troops, with objectives that could include demolishing structures, blowing up bridges, building/repairing bridges, etc. I've even gone as far as to come up with some preliminary stats for use with the Black Powder rules:

Smoothbore Carbines (12”)

I've given this unit Smoothbore Carbines to represent the musketoons that were often issued to engineer and artillery units at this time, though none of the above figures are so armed. I've given them the rather high morale of 3+ to reflect these sappers' coolness under fire, being used to working under these stressful conditions. I am, however, unsure of any special rules to give them. I was trying to come up with some kind of engineering related rule that could be used to accomplish tasks on the battlefield or whatnot, but have been unable to come up with anything.

Are there any suggestions out there? I would love to hear your comments on special rules and/or how to make them work on the table-top.

Coming up: probably another stand from the 19e. I'll also slowly but surely continue work on the 3e Hussars.

Comments, questions and criticisms are always welcomed and appreciated! Thanks for looking!


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