Friday, August 29, 2008

Enter the French

This is the first of hopefully four or five posts showing the French in my AWI figure collection. All of the French figures were painted by my uncle Ralph, who in addition to being a fantastic painter has also been a mentor to me in wargaming since he got me started the hobby. Ralph painted these figures over a decade ago and at some point decided he wasn't going to finish the army and he sold/traded/gave them to a mutual friend of ours. I obtained them from that friend in a trade for a large collection of 20mm ACW figures as I was switching scales to 15mm. Since I didn't buy or paint these figures, I'm unsure of their manufacturer.

This is a mounted French general, and a single stand of French Marines. The marines are based, as all my French infantry are, on linear bases, but with a more dense figure population than stands from all other countries. I did this to represent the fact that the French didn't adopt the loose 2-rank formations that the British, German and Americans did. I should have put them on deeper massed bases but this didn't look right. I'll still allow them all of the V&B factors for infantry Brigades, I just didn't like the look of the deeper bases.

The French marines fought in several skirmishes along side Lazun's Legion at Gloucester Point during the Yorktown campaign. Although they fought in smaller formations than this stand represents in some scales of V&B, I can use this stand at lower (Wing scale and lower) scales or I can use it at the higher scales to represent a unit of converged marines for 'what if' games. I actually have a good idea for an alternate Yorktown game that I'm planning on using them for in this role.

7 comments:

Giles said...

Lovely! I do like the French uniforms generally, and these ones in particular - I suppose they could also double up as Virginia regiments that took delivery of French uniforms?

Best wishes

Giles

Allan (AJ) Wright said...

This stand might be able to, if any Virginia units received French marine uniforms. The regular infantry have lovely hand-painted French flags that will probably prohibit them from being imposters of Virginians. That does bring up an interesting painting project however....

Fire at Will said...

Something to consider

"Eight hundred French troops lent by de Grasse to serve at Gloucester (1781) are usually described as ‘marines’ in most Anglophone publications, but these troops were actually detachments from French army regiments"

More details on:
http://xenophongroup.com/mcjoynt/800.htm

So I'm not sure if these "marines" wore a marine infantry uniform or their normal regimentals.

Allan (AJ) Wright said...

Thanks for the extra information Fire, since I have the figures I'll assume the position that they wore Marine uniforms. It's nice to know they're infantry detachments, that will allow me to treat them as regular infantry, which simplifies things.

Frostydog said...

My marines are a mix of marines in marine uniform and regular army uniforms. Its good to see someone else doing the French. Will have to post some on my blog as well. Like the hand painted flags I prefer them to printed ones. Hand painted flags are more individual and add character to the unit.

Cheers

M

Fridericus said...

The 800 "marines" at Gloucester were actually soldiers from ten regular infantry regiments serving as marines on different ships. They almost certainly wore their regimentals. Their uniform was the usual white with differentiating facings. The regiments in question were: Colonel gèneral = Provence, Picardie, Bresse, Brie, Maine, La Sarre, Bourbon, Monsieur, Angoumois, Rohan-Soubise.

Fridericus said...

I think I know who some of the little men are. The mounted officer and the rank and file are by Foundry from their series "Early Napoloenic Infantry" (EFN 1 and EFN 5). The officer with the telescope I do not know, however. Perhaps someone else can help.