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Saturday, January 11, 2020

French Pontoon Train and the 39thin L'orde Mixte

Before embarking on a description of my project for the new year, I think it only appropriate to show some finished pictures of the French pontoon train, masterfully painted by Richard Tennant and lovingly restored by myself.  Of course there is no reason to build a pontoon bridge if you don't have troops to cross it, so I am pleased to add the second battalion of the 39th Line Infantry Regiment ready for action!

 Many thanks to my daughter who spent four hours watching Bob Ross and recreating one of his landscapes on canvas.  It amazes me what she was able to do in that time!  Equally impressive is how well it works as a backdrop for the miniatures!

 The pontoon train consists of a 3 wagons; one for tools and hardware, and the others for the lumber and the pontoons themselves.


 As usual, Dick painted a company in march formation and one deployed for construction.

I always think my highlighting looks a little heavy handed in these pictures, but at actual size it reads very well and appears much more subtle.

Ever since seeing the description of the L'orde Mixte formation in the Airfix guide I have longed to recreate it in miniature.  With the 39th Regiment complete I can finally do so.

 Here we have the regimental Colonel, Louis Thevenet, and his subordinate, the Chef de Battalion of the 2nd battalion.  These are lovely figures from Franznap that I ordered to fill out the leadership of the regiment.  I was very pleased that my painting of these seems up to the standards set by Mr. Tennant.


 Here the 39th descends from the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains ready to do battle!

General de Brigade Chemina, as yet unpainted, has climbed a small hill to get a better view of his magnificent troops.

 Suddenly the way back machine ala Wellington Man, gives the troops the appearance of having stepped out of the pages of Bruce Quarie's Airfix Guide to Napoleonic Wargaming, which is only too appropriate since these are the very same figures that were featured in that guide more than 40 years ago!

 And back to the technicolor present.

 I don't think I have shown off the 13th Cuirassiers since they replaced the tattered blue of their uniform coats with locally obtained cloth of Spanish brown.

 Colonel Guillaume Francois d'Aigremont leads his troops in review.

 It is hard enough to find troopers in these vintage figure lines, not to mention Colonels.  For Colonel d'Aigremont, I have actually used a figure from the the plastic set by Zvezda.  While I much prefer the feel of metal figures, I was quite pleased wit the quality of the sculpting, and of the casting of the Zvezda figures.  I am actually considering incorporating some of their Old Guard Grenadier figures into the that illustrious battalion when it hits the painting table.

You have to love the animated pose of the figure!

And the nicely proportioned sword!

Next post will feature some British at long last, as the French have all of the necessary troops ready for the battle of Rolica.  I will be substituting Bavarians for the Swiss and will of course feature different battalions than those actually present, but the basic troop types are now well represented and ready for combat.  Below is the OOB taken from the Napoleon series:

The French force consisted of about 4,350 men:
Commander: General Delaborde
70th Ligne Regiment (2 Battalions)

1st Provisional Light Infantry:
1 battalion from the 2nd Légère Regiment 1 battalion from the 4th Légère Regiment
4th Swiss Regiment (1 Battalion)

26th Chasseurs (250 men)

1 Company of Artillery (5 guns)
Up Next, the 71st Highland Light Infantry will be going through its paces while I also work to bring the 17th Ligne and Fuslier-Chasseurs up to strength given the gigantic battalions Mr. Tennant created!


  1. I just love this collection and you're doing a beautiful job restoring them.
    I looked at all the pictures first before reading the blog and seeing the 39th in l'ordre mixte it immediately reminded me of a photo in the Airfix/Quarrie rules, mainly due to the skirmishers figures out front. Then on reading the text I find that was exactly your intent - so you clearly got that delightful bit of nostalgia spot on - thank you, I enjoyed it.
    My OCD wouldn't let me mix in a plastic figure but the 13th look really good and are a unit I would like to get - can't quite put my finger on why the figure sculpts look better than WMs? Maybe it's just viewing them from the other side?
    Keep it coming!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it Rob. I have six more Cuirassier to add to this unit and they are in horrid condition. You may take back what you said about the sculpts after you see them!

  2. A splendid start to the year!

    1. It is indeed Matt. I am quite excited to see the armies unfold on the way to recreating Rolica. My hope is that I will have the basement cleaned out by the end of the year so that I can put up a table down there and host a gathering of wargamers - still a lot to do!

  3. A most beautiful collection, and parade, under our eyes, congrats from France!

    1. Thanks Phil. Now to work on some British to see if those pesky French men can't be ushered back within their own borders!

  4. Bravo, David. I suspect that one of the reasons (apart from the tremendous paintjob) your DK cuirassiers look so effective is because they're conducting a proper charge with outstretched arms and straight swords, unlike the HH originals!
    I can only echo Rob's words about your beautifully sympathetic handling of the Tennant Collection. I was never very convinced by Quarrie's reconstruction of the Ordre Mixte, however. Surely this was a regimental/brigade formation requiring at least three battalion?

    Best of luck with Rolica. Those are very ambitious targets!

    Best regards

    1. Now you point out the difference it's blindingly obvious - why did I not see that?
      I think I need to find some DK Cuirassiers - even if that is heresy

    2. Thanks WM. I do like the outstretched arm of the DK Cuirassiers. As for the L'orde mixte, I could always slide the 17th de Ligne into the formation once they are up to strength! That would be a formidable wall of Frenchmen! I hope the British muskets will be up to the challenge (That is if I am commanding the British!).

  5. Splendid shininess David...

    All the best. Aly

    1. Thanks Aly. I am a true convert to the shiny look for these old school figures. Being able to see them side by side with the troops who have not gotten the shiny treatment yet, really hammers home the appeal of the gloss coat. The gloss brings out the detail and richness of the painting and just adds a sense of depth to the figures. I don't know why, but it does!

  6. Fusilier Chasseurs! I have a yen to them at some point. Are yours in the early uniform with side mounted plume or the later uniform with front mounted plume?

    1. I posted pictures of the back in Feb of 2019 if you want to take a look. Front mounted plumes. I used DK 16s I believe.

    2. I looked them up and yes now I remember them - Topic a hazelnut in every bite! They are nice and those large plumes with a vibrant green and red really make the statement 'hey look at us we're elite!'.

    3. No pint in being elite if you can't scare away the enemy before firing a single shot!