Saturday, 26 January 2013

An Imagi-Nation Legion

In the previous post I mentioned my big packing up session and that I had painted some new units back in August. Among those receiving their marching orders to the packing boxes in early January was my own version of Lauzun's Legion for the 1760 period. The original idea for them seems to date back quite a long time to the very early days of my "blogging" career - late 2011. Please take a look at this if you need a reminder more-feasting-on-light-blue-uniforms.
In it Jean-Louis suggested I could make Lauzun's 1780 Legion part of my French/Savoy Imagi-Nation army, so that's exactly what I've done. So far it consists of one unit of Grenadiers, one of Hussars and a "galloper" gun.
Here they all are.

The small infantry battalion was made from the remainder of my box of Victrix Austrian Napoleonic Grenadiers.

I'm not sure what kind of flag they would have had but the illustration of the lancer in the Digby Smith book (see Ian's comment on the "light blue uniforms" posting referred to above) has a sabretache with a nice anchor symbol and so I scanned and adapted that with my Serif Photoplus program and added it to a standard French infantry style quartered flag in the classic light blue and yellow. The anchor, of course, was because of the navy association of the Legion Etrangere but when I came to fix it to the flag staff I seem to have forgotten this and thought the curved motif was a scroll and put it upside down!!! The sharp eyed might notice this in the photo but here is the real thing - feel free to copy it for your own personal  use.

The Hussars were mostly converted from a batch of  very old Hinchliffe Napoleonic Russian Hussars I got cheaply from a friend. They had shakos but I applied "Procreate" sculptor's putty to make the fur colbacks and the yellow bags.There are also three figures though that are Foundry Seven Years War hussars.
They have a rather disreputable looking leader in the form of a Foundry mounted officer with an eye patch,
and there is also a guidon, being a smaller version of the infantry flag described above 
 Well if that isn't all dashing enough we come to my favourite piece in this ensemble, entirely fictitious but it seemed to fit - a galloper gun with both mounted and dismounted gunners.

The gun model is a 17th century galloper from Parkfield Miniatures, a nice little piece and Parkfield are very good value for money. To me it still looks the part for a 100 years later, it has a split trail designed to be pulled by a horse. The draught horse and rider are from the Old Glory range of  Seven Years War gun teams with civilian drivers, I've swapped his tricorned head for a mirliton and painted the drab civilian clothing  in the Lauzun colours. A strategically placed curved piece of wire holds the gun in a pragmatic, if not historically correct, embrace round the horses rump for transit. The mounted gunners are rather too energetic looking Foundry Hussars. 

As can be seen in these photos (apologies for the over exposure from flash) for firing the gun just unclips from the wire on the horse and fits into the space in the long base  (which reminds me of a joke ....a horse goes into a bar and says to the landlord ...."why the long base?", I don't think I've got that right!).  Anyway, after the groans....these gunners are all heavily converted from Hinchliffe Napoleonic Russian Horse Artillery crew. Their sturdy helmets have been sawn off and replaced with mirlitons, although in the officer's case I shaved his helmet down to hair and gave him a mirliton to hold.

To finish here is final view of the Legion on its only battlefield to date.

This was in my "Incursion to Grandheim" mini campaign in which the Legion was the advanced guard of a French strategic flanking movement. Under Graham Ward's leadership, and with the help of an infantry brigade and a couple more guns, they successfully wrested a key bridge from the clutches of an Austrian Cuirassier brigade without losing a man.

It has since been suggested to me that to complete my legion I need a small battalion of light infantry. So I'm on the lookout for some compatible "Arquebusier de Grassin" in their fur-lined jackets which I think would look just fine painted in light blue and yellow.

Now the troops are firmly boxed and seeing through their enforced exile in the loft I turn my hand back to Hussarettes. So next time I'll bring you some news of that project and, if you stick around a  couple of weeks, a new painting featuring more tight trousers and gorgeous uniforms.


  1. Eureka makes Arquebusier de Grassin. They look nice.

  2. Thanks for posting the pictures and reminding us about the place of legions.Splendid work indeed!
    best wishes

  3. A beautiful, flamboyant inter-arms self-sufficient Legion! It would be perfect for long range patrols and raids.
    A nice idea to have distinguished the horse artillery with the red trousers of Lauzun's compagnie colonelle; and with the hussars with busby the Legion is not a mere copycat of its historical model.

    Best regards and wishes,

  4. Yes, the Grassin in light blue and yellow: mmmm, they would look very good!

  5. PS: good job on the driver!
    Of course such daring unit would not use civilian ones; the short coat is reminiscent of the habit-dolman of early Revolution French Chasseurs à cheval, perfect for the man's role in such a light unit.

  6. Thank you chaps and Monsieur for your very supportive comments and the Eureka suggestion, I'll have to look them up.

  7. Super post Chris. Lots of great modelling tips there, and good work on getting these boys to the table.
    I can certainly vouch for the Eureka Arq de Grassin. They are lovely figures... great poses and lovely to paint.