Friday, November 8, 2013

I took a RISK on these Infantrymen…

Hello everyone!
I thought that I’d do some more infantry utilizing some new miniatures that I bought on a whim last week. These lads represent the Compagnie de Voltigeurs in the 19e Régiment d’Infanterie de Ligne. This regiment primarily fought in the eastern part of the French Empire against the Austrians, Prussians and Russians, but for a few years it fought in Spain. (Click on the pictures for larger versions.)

The kneeling figures are all the plastic RISK board game pieces I mentioned buying earlier. When I bought them, I had no idea whether or not they would even be usable with other 15mm figures, but I was lucky to discover that the infantry figures could be pressed into service without any difficulty; unfortunately, neither the cavalry pieces (which are way too small) nor the artillery pieces (which are silly looking anachronisms) could be used. The only modifications I really had to do to the infantry was to cut a bit of plastic from the bottom of each base and cut a space between the figures’ shako plumes and musket muzzles.

Before they arrived I also wasn’t sure what nationality I could use them for, but when they came in I immediately noticed that they had the distinctively French bell-topped shakos. The only real problem that I found with them historically is that all of them have the epaulettes and sabre-briquet of elite companies. Though there’s nothing I can do about the molded epaulettes, I did try carving off the sabre-briquet, without satisfactory results. So, when I start doing line companies I apologize to the hardcore button-counters out there as they will have short swords; as a historian I try to paint uniforms as accurately as possible, but sometimes you’ve got to play the hand you’re dealt.

These figures are quite small, almost too small for 15mm figures, but they are kneeling and overall they fit in pretty well with the Heritage figures that make up the back rank. At this scale the eye overlooks the fact that they are a hair on the small side, and besides they were dirt cheap. I got enough to flesh out the entire front rank of a 36 man battalion for less than $10 from eBay. With the whole front rank kneeling, my goal is to have a battalion that looks as if it has formed square. Moral: if you’re looking for cheap kneeling 15mm figures that fit in well with makers such as Heritage and Essex, try the infantry pieces from the 1998 version of the board game RISK.

I’ve painted this battalion in the white uniforms that Napoleon reintroduced in 1806. The 19e was one of only eleven regiments that ever received the unpopular uniforms before they were abandoned.  I think they are very different looking and quite snazzy; I can see why the Ogre tried to bring them back. They are also a snap to paint. The 19e will certainly stand out within a brigade on the tabletop.

Coming up: More French. I’m alternately working on the 19e and the 3e Hussars.

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



  1. Very nice work with this unit, and great blog too, I like 'the Ogre' and 'the pirates'...I'll come back!