Friday, February 26, 2021

Painting Challenge Submission 13 - 10mm French Cuirassiers for FPW

10mm French Cuirassiers for the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. Figures from Pendraken.

Hello again blog visitors! I continue to play blog-posting-catch-up with my submissions to Curt's Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge. For this submission, we return once more to a familiar setting for my brushes: the tabletop battlefields of 19th century Europe. Here are some 10mm French Cuirassiers from the Franco-Prussian War. These are metal figures from Pendraken. 

As always, the castings from Pendraken are amazing.

With their beautiful uniforms and bright, polished/burnished helmets and breastplates, the French Cuirassiers are an iconic military symbol, of both France's military prestige and the idea of heavy cavalry from the so-called "black powder" era of war. Through the Napoleonic wars, these well-trained, hard-hitting heavy cavalry were called on to make a decisive impact in a number of battles - and they did so, many times cracking the enemy when the Emperor called them forward.

Reverse-pattern uniform on the trumpeter in the foreground...I just noticed that I forgot to paint the stripes on their pants...oh well, they are only 10mm...

In the time of the Second Empire, the Cuirassiers strove very much to maintain this tie to earlier times, and the French army retained several regiments of these bad-boys, ready to deliver a knock-out blow on the battlefield. But as many accounts will share, technology and doctrine were evolving. Many sorts of cavalry found they could not overcome the massed fire of bolt-action rifles and artillery, and the Franco-Prussian War saw mostly empty saddles when cavalry went into the main battle. This was an issue for the cavalry on both sides, but the losses suffered by these glorious French cavalry troopers seem somehow more dramatic to me, especially as they often occurred in the context of a broader defeats underscored by the incapability of a French general staff to truly grasp WTF was going on while the Prussian forces enveloped them. The shattered regiments of Cuirassiers were a fitting symbol for fate of Napoleon III and his Second Empire.

Glory awaits on the tabletop...

Whatever the lessons of history, on a wargaming table, launching heavy cavalry is always fun, and I was looking forward to painting these figures. I just love the uniforms of the French Cuirassiers - they are among THE sharpest uniforms out there, and the Pendraken sculpts are fabulous, showing the troopers in reserve, ready to follow their commander along into one more glorious charge...these are great castings, and I really had fun working on them.

As with all of my previous 10mm FPW work, these are based for the "1871" wargame rules, in which two bases comprise a cavalry regiment. So there are meant to be two regiments here, but of course there are many ways to configure these for different rules. Thanks for reading everyone - stay sane and safe out there!


Bluewillow said...

Bloody supurb looking chaps,
I am slowly getting some more completed today for another entry for myself, flags are holding me up on a few more


Phil said...

Gorgeous figures, impressive 10mm job!

Neil Scott said...

Superb figures

Dallas said...

Nice cav there man!