French Napoleonic Carabiniers, 1809–1815

Italeri 1:72 Scale Figure Review

French Napoleonic Carabiniers, 1809–1815, 1:72 Miniatures Italeri 6003.

The eaglebearer is shown using his sword in combat, with the flag securely attached to the eagle-belt. The conversion uses an Italeri Carabinier, eagle and flag from an ESCI French Fusilier and a flagpole made from 0.6 mm pianowire. Rider and flag were painted separately and later joined with white glue. The eagle-belt was made from a narrow strip of paper. For wargaming purposes, the eaglebearer is based in the center of a carabinier formation to avoid handling and possibly damaging the converted figure.

Carabiniers in the French cavalry date back to 1679 when two men in each company were armed with the carbine. The Carabinier complement was eventually increased to one company per regiment, and in 1693 a regiment of Royal-Carabiniers was formed. In 1788 two regiments of Carabiniers were raised.

The Italeri Figures are in the white uniform with light blue facings, yellow cuirass and metal helmet with red caterpillar crest, which was introduced in 1809. The 1st and 2nd Carabiniers wore this uniform in the 1809 campaign against Austrian, while serving in Comte Nansouty’s 1st Heavy Cavalry Division.

  • 1809: Brigade Defrance, 1st & 2nd Carabiniers (8 squadrons, approx. 1700 men)
  • 1812: Brigade Berkheim, 1st Carabiniers (4 squadrons)
  • 1812: Brigade l’Héritier, 2nd Carabiniers (4 squadrons)
  • 1813: Brigade D’Augeranville, 1st & 2nd Carabiniers (8 squadrons)
  • 1815: Brigade Baron Blanchard, 1st & 2st Carabiniers (8 squadrons, approx. 800 men)


17 carabiniers in 9 Poses – 24 mm equal 173 cm Height

  • Carabinier Officer (1)
  • Carabinier Trumpeter (1)
  • Carabinier holding Carbine (3)
  • Carabinier firing Carbine (1)
  • Carabinier with sword, striking to right (3)
  • Carabinier with sword, striking to forward (3)
  • Carabinier with sword, charging (3)
  • Carabinier, pointing sword forward (1)
  • Carabinier, sword lowered (1)

17 horses in 5 poses – 22 mm equal 15.2 Hands

  • Officer’s Horse, ambling (1)
  • Heavy Cavalry Horse, ambling, reigning in (4)
  • Heavy Cavalry Horse, ambling at the gallop (4)
  • Heavy Cavalry Horse, ambling at the gallop (4)
  • Heavy Cavalry Horse, ambling at the gallop (4)


Superb Detail. Folds in the clothing, sabre hilts, rivets and fittings on the cuirass, stirrups, chinscales and the imperial emblem on the helmet are clearly visible.

Riders fit onto the horses very well and they have their legs pressing into the flanks of the mount.

Beautifully sculpted horses shown at full gallop, with flying manes. The animals are correctly harnessed and saddled, except for the officer’s horse, which should be equipped with pistol holsters and covers in the same colour as the shabraque, instead of a sheepskin cover. The horses are obviously heavy cavalry mounts, they are much taller and significantly stronger looking than the hussar horses produced by Revell.

Useful historic poses. The miniatures may be deployed in attacking and skirmishing units. Sadly, there are no standing or walking horses available on which to mount the skirmishers. The trooper attempting to fire from the saddle is a very nice figure which would have deserved a calmer horse for this purpose.

High casting quality, there is practically no flash. Even the horses may be painted straight from the box, with no clean-up work required.

All of the horses are ambling at a full gallop, an obviously unnatural gait for a cavalry horse and very uncomfortable for the rider.

The carbine-belt has been omitted on most of the figures.

No eaglebearer!

Inaccurate painting instructions on the box. Shabraques and rolled cloaks should be light-blue, edged in white. Sheepskins should have light-blue edging.

Historical Employment

  • French Carabiniers 1809–1815
  • Dutch/Belgian Carabiniers 1816–1820
  • Westphalia Kürassiers 1810–1813
  • Bavarian Kürassiers 1815

Possible Conversion

  • Equipped with a regular cuirassier helmets from ESCI or Airfix, these figures make suitable French Cuirassiers. The valise on the horse also needs to be changed from round to square.
  • The unique Carabinier helmet was worn by several other Napoleonic troop types:
    • Deuxième Porte-Aigle (second Eaglebearer) of the French infantry
    • Württemberg Chevau-Légers and Infantry
    • Saxon Kürassiers and Garde du Corps
    • French 1st – 6th Chevau-Léger-Lanciers

Italieri’s Carabiniers fill an important niche in the available 1:72 plastic figure ranges. Elegant riders and beautiful horses make this a very attractive set of figures for collectors and wargamers alike. The caterpillar crested helmet is a unique piece of Napoleonic equipment which lends itself to many interesting conversion projects. Using this helmet and Italeri’s 1806 Prussian Kürassier figures which are about to be released, the famous Saxon Zastrow Kürassiers and Garde du Corps may be built.


Italeri Miniatures

French Napoleonic Miniatures