28mm Napoleonic French Project Pt. 5

My next update as I slowly but surely press on with my French 6ème Division d’Infanterie at Quatre Bras. There’ve been a few changes. Most importantly, more gamers have gotten involved with the project, so we’re able to split up who does what. I’ll focus first on 6ème Division d’Infanterie, and then go from there.

With the release of Foundry’s Napoleon rules (I’m still waiting on my copy, but we like what we’ve seen so far), we decided to maintain the base sizes, but increase the number of figures per battalion. The compromise number is 5 stands of 20 figures for infantry, but I’m going to go ahead and do 6 of 24. It’ll be easier to remove a stand than to come up short come gametime.

The first unit I’m working on, as I’ve mentioned, is 1ère Régiment d’Infanterie de Ligne. This is an interesting unit. During the Bourbon restoration of 1814, it was redesignated “The King’s Own” Regiment of the line (rough translation). New colors were introduced, most noticeably the drummers, who wore a blue jacket with white and red trim. The jacket front was also tailored differently. Because the miniatures I have don’t have that tailoring, I painted them the same as drummers from the 1ère Régiment d’Infanterie de Légère, which used the same colors and patterns, but kept the old jacket design. They look almost identical. The reasoning I had behind using this scheme is that things were so rushed during Napoleon’s return and march into Belgium, that there’s a very good chance that these regiments (along with the 2nd Line and Light regiments) wouldn’t have had time to switch uniforms. Speculative, but why not?

My painting is amazingly slow, though. It’s not the process itself, really, but having (or making) time to paint. Besides days when I don’t, I also have days where after 15 minutes of painting, I decide to do something else. Oh well. I paint when I feel like it and I’m enjoying it. I figure the minute I make “work” out of it, I’ll burn out and never finish.

This batch consists of the Officers, Standard Bearers, Drummers, and NCOs that I’ll use for the 2nd and 3rd battalions.


2nd Battalion Officer, Standard Bearer, Drummer, NCO-



3rd Battalion Officer, Standard Bearer, Drummer, NCO-



Closer shots-









14 thoughts on “28mm Napoleonic French Project Pt. 5

  1. Looks great! I am working on my first battalion of 1st Legre as we speak. I have about 4 companies done and one to go plus skirimshers. Mine battalion is 30 strong 3 for voltiquers so takes me a little longer haha. How do you do the weathering look with the dirt? I always have liked this but have no idea how to accomplished this. Also any tips on painting techniques? I am a decent painter but I like your style and wanted to know if you have any tips.

    Once again great paintings looks like you have the line and I have the light brigade haha

    • Hey Mike

      That’s alot of figures. I’m going to be close though. After gathering a few more interested players, and debating the rules and basing we were going to use, we’ll be doing 24 figures per battalion.

      The mud is probably the easiest part of the whole process. It’s the second the the last step, spray varnishing being the last. I use Tamiya Weatherine powder to do it, the mud color. The container comes with three coloas, and a sponge and brush applicator. I use the sponge end, and rub the powder onto the pant cuffs, boots, knees, and coat fringe. Anywhere that might get dirty or grass stained from walking through or kneeling in wet soil. After that, I varnish. You need to use a spray varnish here…a brushed on varnish will wash it off or make it streak.

      As far as my “style” goes, honestly, I’m still learning, and I’m never satisfied with the results. I always think I can do better. But somebasic things I do-

      *White primer, washed over with Games Workshop/Citidel Badab Black wash. This gives the figure a very light grey prime, with black in the recess. A similar effect could be done priming black and drybrushing white, but I like the gray.

      * 3 step painting, somewhat like the Dallimore method. I pick a shade, base, and highlight color, and start painting with the base, working my way up from the shade to the highlight. The difference for me is, my base is well watered down, at least half and half, and the highlight even more so, usually 3 parts or more water to 1 part paint. I also add drying retarder into the paint…just a drop, but enough to keep the paint wet longer. Then I use a basic blending technique with the base over the shade as I paint, spreading thin layers into the shaded area, and building up layers over the area. I repeat this with the highlight, leaving base and shade showing in the recesses, and blending in with very thin layers. That’s about the best way I can expolain it. Generally speaking, because I’m working on large groups of figures, I only use the 3 steps- shade, base, and highlight color. If I was woking on single pieces, I might do it in 5 or more steps.

      Question for you. You’re doing the 1st Light? I saw some psitures showing their uniform was a little different…mostly white pants instead of blue, unlike most light infantry. Are you doing yours this way? I think I might go ahead and do mostly blue on mine when I get to them, so they can be easily identified as light infantry, but I’m not sure yet.

  2. I do mine mostly in blue pants and this is the main reason I picked the light infantry because I can never seem to paint white correctly. I try to stick to the 3 layer painting system but depends how much effort i want to put into the figures. Usually I try a little harder for the officers. I tend to use washes a lot though and just pick the shade color then put a wash over it and then highlight the area as my painting is not that great and makes it much easier for me to get a decent looking mini. Also thank you for the mud recipe i always see people using this and I thought it looked great and might make doing white look half way decent by covering it up a little with mud haha. What are you doing for your staff? I am using the Perry set of 2 officers writing orders as my division staff with a light infantry ADC and regulation ADC. Also for Jerome Napoleon do you know how you will represent his Hussar looking ADC\’s? I am using one of the standing ADC\’s from the staff officer set but want to give him 2 ADC as my Brigade level general gets one.

    Good Luck and great painting!

    • I think I’m going to do mostly blue too. I’ll be sick of white by the time I get to that regiment, plus I want them to stand out as “different” a little more.

      Definately try the Tamiya. I see alot of people muddying up uniforms, but somehow, to me, it looks off. The limitation of paint I think. The powder just goes on better for smeared, random, stained look.

      I’m doing almost the exact same thing for my divisional staff as you are. All Perry figures. We decided on a figure number for various levels of staff. 2+ for brigade (if used), 3+ for division, 4+ for corps, 5+ for army.

      For the Division, Im using the mounted Jerome Bonaparte, plus the figure from the “Hangers On” pack, (the hussar with his foot up on a drum), the hussar from the “Support Staff” pack, and I was thinking of adding the adjoint from the “Mounted and Dismounted Officers” pack, the one dismounted looking through his telescope resting on the saddle of his horse. Either that or one of the other generals from the pack Jerome comes in, used as Lieutenant General Guilleminot, Jerome’s second-in-command. Or heck, maybe both.

      Am I right thinking that Jerome Bonapartes ADCs wore the Hussar uniform? from the Mont St Jean sight, it seems that way, but I’m not certain. They’re going to be a real challenge to paint. LOTS of lace and trim. I might need to learn a new technique for doing that…

      I’m actually using the table set in a different vignette…one with Napoleon, and using the table that comes with Napoleon’s set with Ney on a seperate stand for my Corps command stand.

      Do you have a website with pictures of your stuff? I’d like to see what you\’re doing to compare notes. It seems as though we’re on the same track.

      • Oh no I do not have a website sadly I just started painting a year ago and just graduated college. Soon I am going into the Marines so just painting for fun and there is little if anyone around here in Virginia to game with. I have actually never gamed but I have friends that could be interested but not sure so right now I am painting for my enjoyment as well as maybe hoping oneday someone comes along.

        Yea I was thinking of using the Hussar from the ADC pack with the men giving orders and have him holding horses of the other hussar from the hangers on pack with Jerome pointing. Only reason I picked his division and this brigade was due to the fact it had 2 light infantry regiments which are my favorite. Question for the staff orders pack how are u going to paint the ADC who is receiving the order? I am thinkin of painting him as a staff officer of one of the light infantry regiments. I am not sure if that would be correct though but would be easier to paint. Anyways hope to see more pics soon and good luck! I am about to finish my battalion with 1 company left and then starrt on my divisional orders set which I cant wait to do!

        Good Luck

        • The Marines, eh? Good luck to you. I did a stint in the Army back in the late 80s- early 90s. Take good care of yourself.

          Careful on the OOB for the 6th Division. When the Army of the North was formed for the campaign, the 6th had the 1st and 2nd light divisions, but before Quatre Bras the 2nd light was transfered to to the 5th Divison, and the 6th picked up the 3rd Line (2 battalions) in its place. This is how it was made up for both Quatre Bras and Waterloo. Some OOBs reflect this, and some don’t. It took me a bit to figure out what the discrepency was. After talking to a few people , I figured it out. The Shako II Quatre Bras scenario reflects this, and GMB flags puts their 6th division flags together reflecting it also.

          That being said, there’s no reason not to do both light regiments. If you ever do get a chance to play, though, you might want to model the 3rd Line Regiment as well, just so you can cover both versions of the OOB.

          I don’t see any reason why you can’t paint the ADC as a light infantry officer. I figure ADCs and staff were coming and going from all units, and it might add something to have that one representing an ADC or staff officer about to return to his regiment with orders.

  3. Hm interesting that actually makes painting the 3rd regiment a lot easier since it only has 2 battalions intead of the 4 battalions from the 2nd light. One last question… My guys look pretty good until the very end when I paint the flesh. I can never seem to get it right I have tried everything and nothing seems to work very well as the Perry Brothers faces on their miniatures are very smooth and harder to paint for someone like me. Any hints on how you paint your flesh and what colors you use? Sorry for all the question I am just trying to improve right now as I have finally started to paint everynight for a little which I can see a small improvement!


  4. Just wanted to let you know I decided to use my staff orders pack and paint one in the regulation ADC uniform, one in light infantry uniform for the 1st Light and then I decided to paint the guy who is a wearing a light cavalry uniform as the ADC for the Chasseur Brigade most likely the 6th Chasseurs. The uniform has a little difference but I am sure the ADC as young officers wanted something to show off and make sure they were visable to everyone. Any ideas for yours yet?

  5. That sounds like a good plan.

    I still haven’t figured out what I’m going to do with all these figures. I’m wanting to work on a Napoleon vignette, so I’ll use quite a few on that. Beyond that, I haven’t really decided yet.

  6. Great painting! You have developed your own style and it is very eyecatching. Looking forward to seeing more of your work…..especially some nice hussars!

    • Thanks! That means alot to me, coming from you. I still think, hands down, you’re the best I’ve seen. I’ve been spending the last 3 days staring at your gallery trying to figure out how to do NMM gold and silver like you’ve done. It’s just such a “clean” look, and is far superior to metallics, in my opinion. Now if I can just manage to do it!

      Funny you should mention hussars…I just recieved 2 packs of Perry Brunswick Hussars today! So alot more staring at your gallery until my eyes are bloodshot is in store.

  7. The Brunswick hussars are some of Perry’s best and a little larger I feel. Have fun highlighting black!! Drove me nuts! Have done a quick NMM tutorial on my site, hope it is useful to you.

  8. Very inspiring figures – I’m impressed with the shading that you’ve achieved with three colors without getting a clearly layered look.

    Perrys are nice figures to work with, too. I’m on the verge of getting their Hussars set.

  9. Jesse-

    Thanks! Yeah, these are strictly 3 layer…anything more and I would never get a unit finished. As it is, it’s time-consuming for me, because I do a slight blending with them to avoid that heavily layered look. So it’s 3 shades, but multiple thin coats/layers.

    I’m looking forward to the Hussars as well..hopefully mine will be here tomorrow.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s