Monday, July 7, 2014

Happy July!

Hello everyone!

Happy 4th of July Weekend! For those of us who live in the States, this last weekend held our Independence Day celebrations, complete with fireworks, parades and cookouts. It's a patriotic time of year that makes me feel proud to be an American. The coming of a new month also reminded me that I haven't updated the blog since May, and I felt that it was high time I did so.

Today I finished up a small command stand that has been languishing on the bench for a long time now. Here I present General de Division Auguste Etienne Lamotte, a French light cavalry division commander.

(Remember to click on the pictures for bigger versions.)

Lamotte will be the divisional commander over the 3e Hussars that I have half painted. I've been using the orders of battle from the back of Philip Haythornthwaite and Michael Chappell's Uniforms of the Peninsular Wars, 1807-1814 to flesh out divisions, brigades, commanders and whatnot. In the orbat for the Battle of Busaco, in Ney's IV Corps the 3e Hussars are brigaded with the 15e Chasseurs under the command of a "Lamotte." Naturally, I had no idea who Lamotte was when I first read this, and so I started doing a little Interweb research as I looked around for suitable minis in my plastic pile to represent him. I had already found a pair of nice looking hussar minis when I finally stumbed across Lamotte's full name and original regiment: General Auguste-Etienne-Marie Lamotte of the 4e Dragoons.

"Hold up there, Chuck," I says to myself, "Why in the world is a Dragoon officer commanding a division of light cavalry?"

A good question. As it turns out, Lamotte was a highly decorated Dragoon officer who had commanded the 4e as well as having been made a Baron of the Empire in 1808 before he was promoted to General de Brigade in 1809. I'm assuming that, in need of a command, he was given the cavalry divison under Ney in the Peninsula, where he fought at Busaco. In 1814 he was made a Commander of the Legion of Honor, and he survived the Napoleonic Wars, dying in 1836 at the age of 64. That's the sum of what I know about the man: if someone knows more about him I'd love to hear it!

However, all this great information didn't help the fact that I had already primed two hussar-uniformed figures. Desperate, I turned to my old standby as far as French 1/72 officers go: the Italeri French Imperial General Staff set No. 6016. Luckily, there is a single figure in the set wearing a dragoon uniform. Unluckily, he is dismounted and staring through a spyglass supported by only one hand, making him look like a dumba$$. But I think that in the end he came out looking alright: adding the grazing horse to the base made it all come together. The mounted figure standing behind Lamotte is an officer from the Italeri French Line/Guard Artillery set No. 6018 painted up as an officer in the 3e Hussars.

Coming up: who knows? Plans are so overrated. Though Manley Power keeps staring at me from the workbench, just daring me to paint him...

Questions, comments and criticisms are always welcomed and appreciated. Thanks for looking!