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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Perry French Dragoons - WIP #5

Yeah - finished the 25th Dragoons. Haven't finished the base yet but I am extremely pleased with the way they turned out. Nothing like some great quality figures to bring out a good paint job!

One thing I like about the hard plastics is the ability to paint some of the more awkward parts, like scabbards and other accessories, on the sprues before adding them. It definitely makes the painting a lot easier. Here I have painted the dragoon's muskets and scabbards on the sprues.

Some other views of the 25th Dragoons; almost ready to start play testing Napoleonic scenarios for Volley and Bayonet.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Perry French Dragoons - WIP #4

Almost done with the 25th Dragoons. Forgot to mention how I am painting them and as a reminder I primarily use Games Workshop paints:

1. Primed black on the sprues.

2. Skin: Dark Flesh, then Dwarf flesh with a highlight of Elf Flesh.

3. Jackets: Dark Angels Green highlighted with Snot Green (yeah, I love the names too). Facing color is Blazing Orange and the buttons are White.

4. Coveralls: Adeptus Battlegray highlighted with Codex Gray.

5. Helmets: Dry brush metal with Shining Gold. Crest is Black lightly dry brushed with Codex Gray. Fur is Scorched Brown.

6. Gloves: Bestial Brown then wet brushed with Bone White and then White.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Perry French Dragoons - WIP #3

I'm slowly but surely making progress on my Perry French Dragoons. I've decided that the first unit will be the 25th Dragoons and their orange facings. I've made the most progress on the musician; once it is done I'll be able to finish up the rank and file figures quickly.

For years I have been adding labels to the bases to identify the units I use for Volley and Bayonet. I just type the unit name, cut it out and use some white glue to put it on the unit bases. The challenge is putting the label on while holding the base that has figures and terrain on it and, etc, . . . this week it suddenly dawned on me. Put the label on before you mount the figures on the base. What a blinding flash of the obvious! So below is the first one . . .

Monday, September 6, 2010

Perry French Dragoons - WIP #2

The Dragoon General Officer figure is based on General Edouard-Jean-Baptiste Milhaud.

Milhaud was small in stature but well proportioned although he possessed no outstanding physical strength. He was an expert horseman and always seemed to have a fierce determined facial expression and was a committed revolutionary

His military career really got started when he joined the 14e Chasseurs-a-Cheval with the rank of capitaine on 9 May 1793. He became Chef-de-Brigade of the 5e Regiment du Dragons in January 1796 and joined l'Armee d'Italie where he remained until the end of 1797.

He was with l'Armee d'Angleterre during 1798 and 1799 and served as Commandant at the Palais du Luxembourg during the 18e Brumaire and followed this by being appointed Chef d'Etat Major to General Joachim Murat at Saint Cloud in November of 1799. On 5 January 1800, he was promoted to General-de-Brigade.

In October 1805, he was given a brigade comprising the 16e and 22e Chasseurs-a-Cheval in General Frederic-Henri Walther's 2e Division des Dragons. His regimental commanders were Colonel Antoine-Jean-Auguste-Henri Durosnel and Colonel Marie- Victor-Nicolas de Latour Maubourg.

He was present at Austerlitz, where his squadrons harried the Austrian Artillery who were seeking to damage the French occupying the plateau of the Pratzen Heights.

On 1 January 1806, he was appointed to succeed the wounded General Pierre Margaron in command of the Cavalerie Legere in Soult's IV Corps where his command comprised the 8e Regiment des Hussards under Colonel Jean-Baptiste Deban de Laborde together with the 11e and 26e Chasseurs-a-Cheval under Colonel Jean-Baptiste-Nicolas Jacquinot and Colonel Alexandre-Elisabeth-Michel Digeon respectively.

In September, he took over a brigade made up of 1er Hussards under Colonel Rouvillois – this officer has not so far been traced and research continues – and the 13e Chasseurs-a-Cheval under the 37 year old Colonel, Jean-Baptiste Demengeot.

Milhaud was promoted to General-de-Division and on the same day, 30 December 1806, took command of the 3e Division des Dragons which consisted of six regiments, the 5e, 8e, 9e, 12e, 16e and 23e succeeding the General Marc-Antoine Bonin de la Boniniere Beaumont. It was during 1806 that Napoleon congratulated Milhaud on both his service record and the overall turnout of his command.

He was present at Eylau then, on the 16 February 1807 Milhaud's command was surprised by a marauding, relatively small band of Cossacks who inflicted considerable damage and casualties, before being driven off. Milhaud was furious with his regiments' performance and complained to Murat that they had disgraced themselves and that he was ashamed to be associated with them. They subsequently went into winter quarters, during which time Milhaud had them drilled day and night.

In March of 1808, Milhaud was decorated as Comte de l'Empire and awarded a pension of 30,000 francs drawn on the reserves of Westphalia. During this period he also bought himself an apartment in the exclusive Quai Voltaire, a very fashionable district of the Paris

On 7 September, his division joined l'Armee d'Espagne where his four Regiments des Dragons and an artillery company were attached to le Marechal Soult's IV Corps. Here Milhaud met with more success, inflicting a series of defeats over the Spanish, under the command of 49 year old General Joachim Blake, who was a soldier of Irish descent.

Milhaud was also a strong disciplinarian and punished severely those who stepped out of line. He would even execute those found guilty of rape, theft, arson, and other serious crimes.

In June 1812, Milhaud became Commandant de la 25e Division Militaire at Wesel in Germany. He took part in the Russian Campaign of the same year, but held no specific command – he became, for a short period, Military Commandant in Moscow under le Marechal Mortier.

Following Pajol's terrible wounds suffered at Wachau, command of the 5e Corps des Cavalerie was handed to Milhaud on 11 November. Under Marshal Victor, he was present at Sainte Croix, Saint Dizier, Brienne, la Rothiere, Mormant, Troyes, and Saint Dizier again.

He was made Chevalier de Saint Louis, just one of 56 of Napoleon's senior commanders to be so honoured by the returning Bourbon Monarch. He then acquired by auction, a substantial property at Saint Maure Defarse on 28 September 1814, for 100,000 francs.

It was about this time that he felt some discomfort as he was denounced as a regicide having been implicated in the death of Louis XVI, but le duc de Berry spoke out on his behalf.

The Emperor approached Milhaud and placed him in command of the 4e Corps de Cavalerie which totalled some 2,800 sabres and comprised eight cuirassier regiments and two batteries of artillerie-a-cheval, with a total of twelve guns. During the Campaign of 1815, Generals Dubois, Travers, Delort, Farine du Creux as well as Milhaud himself, were all wounded. In addition Milhaud's Chef d'Etat Major, Colonel Victor-Frederic Baron Chasseriau was among those killed.

Most commentators suggest that it was Ney who lost his head and ordered the cavalry to charge. Milhaud, Delort and General Guyot of the Grenadiers-a-Cheval were among those who were opposed to the order but could do nothing about it.

After peace had been restored, Milhaud found that there was considerable pressure on him to retire, and worse, his pensions severely cut by over 75 per cent. He was to be removed from Legion d'Honneur and an act was passed that regicides were to be exiled and their assets confiscated. He fell on hard times and had to sell his large property at Saint Maur in favour of a smaller residence.

The highly controversial but talented soldier died at Aurillac on the 8 January 1833, at the age of 66.

I was unable to find any images of Milhaud (or the English version Milhoud) so the figure is pure conjecture. I have found some images for generals in dragoon uniform, so I am using them as a basis. Below is the completed figure:

And now on his base for Volley and Bayonet:

Meanwhile, progress is made on the first brigade with orange facings. I need to do some research to determine which regiment to paint.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Perry French Dragoons - WIP

Alright! Time to break into the new box of Perry Brothers Miniatures' French Napoleonic Dragoons 1812-1815. Perfect timing for my French Army of the Napoleonic Peninsular Campaign. The box (all for a fantastic price of $29.99 from comes with 13 mounted dragoons, 8 dismounted dragoons, 3 French infantry casualties, 3 British infantry casualties and various packs, muskets and shakos (hats) to add flavor or to use as markers on the Napoleonic battle field. The mounted figures come with a variety of options: officer with our without eagle, Elite company bearskins or helmets, trumpeters, numerous arm options, etc. Have I mentioned the new trend in providing hard plastic miniatures for historical wargamers? I love it - the right price and the modeling and conversion of figures have never been better.

Here is what the sprues look like:

To the left is the officer sprue which allows you to have a company grade officer or a Eagle bearer. To the left is the dismounted dragoon sprue; you get 4 of them.

This is the mounted dragoon sprue, 4 also included. Note the 4 center company helmets, 2 elite company helmets and the 2 elite company bearskin hats.

Close up of the dismounted dragoons.

Here is the sprue for the horses; this also has the casualties and battlefield debris. There are also 4 of these included.

The box also comes with plenty of hard plastic bases, a painting guide for all of the dragoon regiments and two 1812 version flags for the 2nd and 7th Dragoons.

What to start on? Many times I will add units just to add some color to the battlefield. I've been building my armies for the rule set Volley and Bayonet which is designed for grand tactical play. Each 3" x 3" stand in the Napoleonic period represents a brigade; I usually mount 3 cavalry figures per stand. With the box set, this will give me 4 Brigades which can usually be deployed as two divisions. The dragoon regiments had various facing colors depending on which number (and which year!) they were. Virtually ever dragoon regiment served in the Peninsular campaign so I am going to do a unit with orange facings, yellow facings, pink facings and red facings. The unit with the red facings will get brown coats, made with local fabric in Spain.

The first three figures will belong to a unit with orange facings. I have also decided to include a trumpeter and I have given the trumpeter one of the elite helmets to have him stand out more with the plume.

The first 3 horses. One thing I like is that the cartridge box for the mounted dragoon is already on the horse. When the figure is placed in the saddle, the cartridge box looks like it is on the dragoon's belt - and it makes it easier to paint!

As I mentioned earlier there are 13 mounted figures; what should I do with the extra figure? Time to take the officer figure and convert him into a General officer to lead the Dragoon division. I took the officer upper body piece and carefully trimmed off the epaulette that designates the figure as a company officer. By adding an arm for one of the elite company figures, I now have given the figure two epaulettes designating him as a senior officer. Now to add some putty to give a general officer sash. Gotta love the ease of converting hard plastic figures.

Putty is still wet and needs to be shaped a bit.

With a little paint and a start on the officer's horse, he is starting to take shape.

As a General a' Division, he will have a gold sash with red weaved into the sash.

Finally Finished the British Foot Guards!

Nothing like getting some new figures (How 'bout those Perry French Napoleonic Dragoons!) to motivate you to finish a unit. These will be my British Foot Guards' Brigade for the rules set Volley and Bayonet in the Peninsular War during the Age of Napoleon. All of the figures are Wargames Foundry except for the two Front Rank standard bearers. Flags are free downloads from