French Napoleonic Dragoons, 1804–1810

Italeri 1:72 Scale Figure Review

French Napoleonic Dragoons, 1804–1810, 1:72 Miniatures Italeri 6005.

Readers of Military Miniatures Magazine voted for French Dragoons as their second choice of the Wishlist 98. The list was forwarded to popular manufacturers and two of them, Italeri and HaT Industrie, have since produced a set of French Dragoons. Reason enough to keep sending suggestions for the M3 Wishlist.


17 miniatures in 9 Poses – 25 mm equal 5’-11″ Height

  • Colonel
  • Officer (2)
  • Eagle-bearer
  • Trumpeter
  • Dragoon with Musket (3)
  • Dragoon with Sabre (10)

17 horses in 5 poses – 22 mm equal 15.2 Hands


Detail and casting quality is of the high standard we have come to expect of Italeri. Some mould lines will have to be removed prior to painting.

Useful poses. All of the miniatures are charging, with the horsehair tails of their crested helmets flying, and they will look very attractive when deployed in formation. There is still scope for a set of dragoon figures in stationary poses and dismounted. Dragoons were often used for picked duty which can be an interesting subject of a diorama.

The uniform is of the pre-1810 pattern, with long tails. This may be changed to the 1810–1812 uniform style by cutting the tails back so that the false turnbacks are square at the lower edge.

The pockets on the turnbacks are horizontal, making the figures suitable for only one half of the French regiments. The other regiments had vertical pockets.

The guidon is incorrect, it should have an inscription in the central diamond, not an imperial eagle.

The trumpeter, eagle-bearer, one of the officers, and all of the troopers are wearing cavalry carbine belts, but there are no dragoon muskets attached to them. The trooper holding the musket in his hand is correct, except for the fact that he is galloping. This figure would have been much more suitable as a skirmisher or cavalry picket, mounted on a stationary or walking horse. If muskets are not sculpted on the figures directly, manufacturers should at least provide spare weapons which may be glued or soldered to the figures later.

Most of the horses are modelled with the cloth pistol covers over the sheepskin saddle cover. The other way around would be more appropriate.

The grenade badge on the shabraque is correct for officers. The troopers carried the regimental number in the same place. Carefully remove the grenade badge and paint regimental numbers in the corner of the shabraque.

The horses are modelled in the wrong gait, as is typical of Italeri cavalry until now. One horse is almost in a proper galloping pose, but its left hoof is incorrectly tilted backwards, not ready to be placed on the ground. One can only advise the sculptor to study Revell’s superb Swedish Cavalry, consult one of numerous books on the subject, and show the master figures to someone familiar with horses.

Historical Employment

  • Italian Guard Dragoons 1806–1814
  • Italian Dragoons 1806–1814
  • French Dragoons of the Imperial Guard 1806–1810
  • French Dragoons in the pre-1810 uniform, and with horizontal pockets 1804–1810

Possible Conversion

  • French Dragoons 1810–1812
  • French Dragoons of the Imperial Guard 1810–1815
  • French Guides of the General Headquarters
  • Gardes d’Honneur, Italian Royal Guard 1806–1815

Italeri’s French Dragoons are a welcome addition to the growing range of Napoleonic cavalry now available in 1:72 scale. As new troop types appear on the market it may be possible one day to raise complete wargame armies in this scale.


Italeri Miniatures

French Dragoons of the Napoleonic Wars