French Napoleonic General Staff

Italeri 1:72 Scale Figure Review

French Napoleonic General Staff, 1:72 Miniatures Italeri 6016

Readers of Military Miniatures Magazine voted for Napoleonic Personalities as their first choice of the Wishlist 98. The list was forwarded to manufacturers, of whom Italeri and HaT Industrie appeared most interested in following the suggestions. Finally, here is the long awaited French General Staff which will make many collectors, diorama builders and wargamers happy. It is hoped that Italeri will continue the series and give us a range of Austrian, British, Prussian, and Russian generals to oppose the French.

Contents

13 riders in 7 poses – 25 mm equal 180 cm height

  • Napoleon I.
  • 3 Marshals
  • 2 Aides de Camp
  • 2 Mamelukes
  • 5 Chasseurs á Cheval

13 Horses in 5 Poses – 22 mm equal 15.2 hands

8 dismounted miniatures – 25 mm equal 180 cm height

  • 4 Generals
  • 1 General of Dragoons
  • 1 Aide de Camp
  • 2 Chasseurs á Cheval

Evaluation

The detail and casting quality is of the high standard one has come to expect of Italeri. The miniatures are cast in blue. This choice of colours will make collectors happy who do not paint their figures, but who like to see the French army in blue.

Napoleon is depicted in the familiar grey greatcoat he seems to have worn at Borodino and Waterloo. The painting instructions show him in a blue uniform, but the green chasseur uniform should be used for the later periods of the Napoleonic Wars.

The figure of Napoleon's Mameluke servant Roustan may be mounted on one of the chasseur á cheval horses. Roustan is wearing a rather tight pair of cavalry breeches in place of the baggy Mameluke trousers one would expect. His sabre is defying gravity, and he is holding a rolled map the way a trumpeter would rest his instrument.

The two mounted, and one dismounted general are wearing the aiguilettes, shoulder cords, of a Colonel-Général of the French Imperial Guard. They may be painted to represent the following Marshals:

  • Marshal Berthier, Major-Général de la Grande Armée.
  • Marshal Lefevre, Commander-in-Chief of the Infantry of the Guard
  • Marshal Davout, Colonel-Général des Grenadiers á Pied de la Garde
  • Marshal Soult, Colonel-Général des Chasseurs á Pied de la Garde
  • Marshal Mortier, Colonel-Général of the Artillery and Marines of the Guard

The mounted and dismounted capitaine aide de camp depicts an ADC to Marshal Soult, 1808–1809, wearing a hussar officer's undress uniform, called habit de petit tenue. The figure is taken directly out of Osprey Book No. 87, Napoleon's Marshals, Plate B2. The shako on both figures is noticeably too low, and the arrangement of shako cords is wrong. The mounted ADC does not have the typical brassard on his left arm. This figure may be converted to represent a General of Cavalry by replacing the shako with a bicorne. If an aiguilette is added to the right shoulder the figure may represent a Colonel-Général of the Cavalry of the Guard.

  • Marshal Bessières, Colonel-Général of the Cavalry of the Guard
  • Général de Division Grouchy, Colonel-Général des Chasseurs á Cheval de la Garde

The two mounted and one dismounted chasseurs á cheval are modelled incorrectly with epaulettes. The painting instructions on the box show the proper uniform without epaulettes. These figures may be painted as officers of the Guides or Guard Hussars of the Kingdom of Naples. Otherwise, carve the epaulettes off and paint them as chasseurs à cheval. The figure with drawn sabre could also be used as an aide de camp to Marshal Murat and many other general officers. Unfortunately, this figure has a mould line running through the middle of its face.

The dismounted marshal with map in hand has a likeness to Marshal Lannes, although he may be painted to represent a number of marshals and generals. The figure may be converted to represent Russian, Prussian and Austrian generals.

The dismounted general of dragoons may represent a brigadier or division commander, depending on the colour of his sash, light blue and gold, or red and gold. The man is in the ridiculous one-handed telescope pose so popular with figure designers. Don't try this at home, you will seriously damage your eye. The general is wearing the habit-veste with long tails which were shortened in 1810. The tails may be cut back to represent the change in uniform style.

The horses are posed more realistically than ever before, most of them are standing or walking. There are still some minor problems with the gait, but these mounts will be found acceptable by most modellers and wargamers. The chasseur horses may be used to mount hussars and other light cavalry skirmish troops who did not previously have a standing horse in their boxed set.

Historical Employment

  • French Marshals and Aides de Camp

Possible Conversion

  • French line brigade and division commanders.
    Remove aiguilettes and give the figures a plain bicorne hat.
  • Prussian and Russian generals.

Bibliography

Wargamers and diorama builders will find the French General Staff very useful. There are enough figures to create a few command groups, and some of the marshals may be converted to represent generals. The horses, too, may be used for conversion projects.

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French Napoleonic Miniatures