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Thursday, April 29, 2021

"1er Bataillon 3e Regiment Les Grenadiers Hollandais"

 

French Imperial Guard

3rd “Old Guard” Infantry Division - Dutch Grenadiers

3e Régiment de Grenadiers à Pied de la Garde Impériale

1er Bataillon

1812-1813

The 3rd "Dutch" Grenadiers of the French Imperial Guard is one of those iconic regiments I have always wanted to model, so it was with a bit of trepidation that I embarked on this project.  The white uniforms of the Dutch, and the splendor of their dress makes them a challenge to paint and to do justice to their reputation.  I hope I have accomplished that here.

The Battalion is modeled from Der Kriegspieler castings number 220, with what I believe are DK command figures as well (number 20).  The pose for the figure DK 220 was originally facing forward, in a somewhat awkward knock-kneed stance.  I therefore painstakingly rotated each head about 90 degrees (thank goodness for the soft metal!), detached the lead foot from the base, rotated the foot 90 degrees and bent the knee to give the figure a more aggressive and natural position.  The leg/foot was then simply reattached with super glue, and in some instances reinforced with super glue as the twisting did stress the metal.

It was not until I started work on the back side of these figures that I realized how much detail is required to paint a unit of the old guard.  I realized that the buttons on the gaiters alone amounted to in excess of 650-700 buttons to paint!

Interestingly, the drummers wore a blue coat in 1812, not the traditional white.  The Guard had flags that were recently reissued, so used the older diamond pattern flag until 1813.  While I did not have official guards for the eagle bearer, I opted to flank him here by a couple of gristled sergeants, distinguished here by gold stripes on a red background on the lower left arm.  The chevrons on a black background above that represent ten years of service for each chevron.

 
The weight of a 36 figure battalion was too much for my light box, causing it to sink into the stool on which I was photographing them.  Yet another reason not to go down the path of 36 figure battalions!

Of course being able to form a reasonable looking square in which the colonel can shelter is an argument for painting 36 figure battalions.

The Battalion is currently lead by the subordinate Colonel, who will be replaced by Colonel Ralph Dundas Tindal as soon as he is finished.  This figure is an old guard Colonel by Franznap.

 
I love the long legs of the Franznap horses!
 

Franznap figures are beautifully sculpted, though a bit more realistically proportioned than Hinton Hunt figures, which tend to be more robust in comparison.


Colonel Tindal is in progress, made from the same Franznap figure that has had a different arm attached (the model comes with three choices), the greatcoat over the shoulder removed, and the head swapped with an SHQ old Guard command figure.  He will take his rightful place at the head of the battalion soon, and the presence of his subordinate will be a constant reminder that in time I will need to paint the second battalion of this illustrious regiment.


Next up on the painting desk, the 5th Bavarian Chevauleger!



22 comments:

  1. HH were more designed to be handled. I love the Franznap figures, but they are a bit fragile...well suited to dioramas!
    Roy

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    1. You are correct there Roy, hence the wide bases for handling.

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  2. Gorgeous unit - you have definitely raised the reputation of DKs, although really it should be your re-modelling skills that get the recognition. BUT! I'm horrorstruck that you're going to replace the Colonel en second - you haven't even given him a name. I fell in love with the figure as soon as I saw him; the horse pose is good but his is perfect - the only drawback being he's waving a sword around when I'd rather he rested it on his thigh, a bit like that Bavarian chappie's right arm.

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    1. Not to worry Rob, He will continue to serve with the 1st Battalion until the second battalion makes an appearance. It's too nice a figure to just put away.

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  3. Absolutely splendid David...
    I am impressed that you intend to paint a second battalion... they should look incredible together...

    All the best. Aly

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    1. Its Dick Tennant's fault. He started this madness of big battalions and regiments with 2 battalions each, so don't figure I can stop now. I do plan on doing a few other battalions first, before I go back to them though.

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  4. Very, very smart looking unit.

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    1. Thanks Matt. Those pristine white uniforms are hard to beat!

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  5. They are mighty fine indeed. The time you have taken on them has paid off. They look lovely.

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  6. Thanks Mark. They would make a formidable accompaniment to your Polish Lancers!

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  7. Hmm, I'm not sure the 36 figure battalion will catch on here. Just because they look superb and businesslike, and justify the production of more personality commanders....but How Many Buttons???? and then a second battalion....I can't even contemplate the hours of personal surgery to achieve that great pose. Respect, Sir.

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    1. Hah! It is only conceivable to do because Mr. Tennant provided such an incredible head start! The availability of figures is not an insignificant obstacle either...Thanks for the kind words Archduke.

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  8. These are most impressive David and the 36 figure battalions look great. However, you can see now why I only paint buttons on my officers!

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    1. Thanks Stryker. After this experience I may well come over to your way of doing things!

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  9. Very nice indeed. Great conversion and painting. I’m a fan of big regiments. But I fear you have only fed my desire for a Dutch Grenadier regiment in 28mm. I have been perusing catslogs online. You may have tipped me over. Cheers!

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    1. Happy to serve as a facilitator. Wellington Man's work on the Hinton Spieler blog had the same effect on me!

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  10. Magnificent David!
    Regards, James

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    1. Thanks James. Always good to know my efforts are appreciated!

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  11. Replies
    1. Thanks so much. Next up are Bavarian Chevauleger, for which I took a page out of Peter Gilder's playbook, and replaced all of the stumpy DK swords with some hammered pin swords. Much improved!

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  12. Wonderful unit David, a joy to behold. Great job on the white uniforms, a tricky thing to get right.

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    1. Thanks Lee. I actually thought the bright white highlighting would be more obvious, but I guess the beige I used as the basecoat for the uniform was really just a hair too bright for the highlighting to be truly successful, but no worries. I am still quite pleased with them.

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