Monday, May 7, 2018

28mm Empress Miniatures, Family Defending Homestead

Once again I've borrowed miniatures from Empress Miniatures to take them far from the New Zealand setting for which they were intended. The children have been flung back to 1812 to participate in Napoleon's invasion of Russia.
Father's been shipped off to my Victorian London collection. But here's the pack contents as assembled by Empress. Available here:
It's estimated that there were at least 50,000 women and children who accompanied the Grande Armée in 1812. (If you can find any data for that I'd be grateful.) There are certainly many eye witness accounts describing the perils the camp followers suffered. Here's a good one from the great, but now discontinued, blog Napoleon1812:

Colonel Lubin Griois is cut off from his guns and finds refuge in a hollow square formed by the Italian 92nd regiment.  The mass of stragglers among the ranks makes maneuvering and issuing orders difficult.  “This mass of isolated men, recognizing neither chiefs nor discipline and only heeding it thirst for pillage, was sorely tried.  At first the cannon shots it had halted, not knowing where to go in the fog that surrounded it.  Swollen by…  vivandières and a multitude of little carts laden with children and foodstuffs, it was throwing itself now to one side, now to the other, according to where the last projectile to strike in its midst had come from.  This flux and reflux of round shot, ploughing furrows in every direction and from which arose screams of despair, presented a horrible spectacle.  For very good reasons the units that were fighting repulsed these fugitives who were trying to take refuge in their midst, so that the poor wretches found themselves exposed to the enemy’s fire and sometimes to our squares’ too.  They floated in disorder over terrain littered with dead, wounded and shattered vehicles.”

That account and dozens of other mentions of women and children on the campaign made this an easy purchase. Apart from the very young Cantiniere, whose "uniform" I devised through paint alone based on contemporary illustrations, the other two would have served as washer women or would have fulfilled any number of functions. For most people, for most of the time, children worked in some capacity the moment they were able.

The pepperbox revolver? Probably not an anachronism here if you imagine in place a flintlock mechanism.

By the way, for the blue on the gal at left, that's the Napoleonic triad from Foundry called French Blue. I think I've come up with an even better recipe, but I do like it. The color swatches they show at the link are inaccurate and the paints themselves provide a more natural progression than pictured. More on that later. (Fences by Renendra)

Mes filles sont en danger! 

For a size comparison I've added an old Foundry sculpt at Left and the Warlord Vivandiere at Right. I honestly thought they were women when I snap purchased them at Historicon not realizing how small they were. They probably should have slightly bigger heads, but that's nit-picking of an extraordinary nature.

Another shot of the girls in peril. These will make great scenario fodder for this campaign. (Warlord Mule in foreground, Old Glory Cossacks in the roles of Heavy #1 and Heavy #2.)
I also have the Perry 1812 Campaign stragglers primed up and ready to go and I'll be folding them in at a later date, continuing my apparent strategy of painting EVERYTHING but the actual French infantry. In 15's I can handle it, but painting over 100 near identical troops at once intimidates me, so I'll continue to stall a bit. After all, I still don't have any voltigeur cornetists in greatcoats!
Thanks for looking- questions, comments and followers are welcome and encouraged!

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