french infantry in greatcoats
The campaign dress was very different from the full-dress uniform fixed
by the regulations of the day. Habitually, the men wore a more
comfortable look covering expensive items such as coats, breeches,
shakos...., that were reserved for parade or inspection days and, in
some cases, for the day of the battle (such the Old Guard)
Greatcoats (redingotes, capotes) and covered shakos were very common items, carried in rainy weather (such during the Leipzig Campaign) and winter days by all armies of the napoleonic era. There many battle narratives describing that look, as well as the frequent confusions ensued when men of different armies wearing such dress, met in the battlefield.
UNIFORMS AND MINIATURES
Whereas a covered shako only implies an easy painting conversion, the greatcoat is a very different affaire. There are few 1/72 plastic sets depicting French nfantry in greatcoat. In this moment, the possibilities are:
HaT 8146 1805 French Line Infantry in Greatcoats
Strelets M023 French Infantry on the March (1)
HaT 8034 French Young Guard
The HaT 8146 option is ruled out because the men are wearing the old bicorne, so Strelets and HaT 8034 are the only viable alternatives. I don't like the Strelets figures (too small in my opinion!) and the HaT Young Guard is not the better sculpting set of the world, so I was left only with the option to try metal figures.
Newline Designs, available by mail from Great Britain, was my option. I bought a bargain-pack with 100 figures (actually 104!) of French Line Infantry in Greatcoat (Reference FR19). The pack contains 12 Grenadiers Advancing (FR23/2), 12 Grenadiers March/Attack (FR23/5), 12 Line Command Advancing/Marching (FR23) and the rest are Fusiliers Advancing (FR23/1) and Fusiliers (March/Attack). I'll paint one half of the grenadiers as voltigeurs, i.e. with green facings.
I am very grateful to the members of the yahoo groups and also to Ximo and Lannes (from ALKAID Forums) for their useful advice. Last, but not least, I wish to thank Matt, the owner of In The Grand Manner blog ant the inspirer of this painting job!
The pictures below are two Rousselot plates covering the 1812 uniform, as well as there pictures taken from Napoleon-series site. These last, although depicting a previous uniform, show very well the main differences between elite and centre companies
Last, I have included a size comparison of the Newline figures vs. several HäT figures (HäT 8042 Bavarian Line Infantry, HäT 8095 1808-1812 French Line Infantry and HäT 8042 Napoleonic French Light Infantry) ans some AIRFIX Waterloo Line Infantry metal-clones. Newline figures, being true 20 mm (measured from soil to eyes), are somewhat smaller than HäT or AIRFIX. A small 'sabot' under the Newline bases will eliminate this problem!
|FRENCH INFANTRY IN GREATCOAT||
BARGAIN PACK FR19
French Line Infantry in Greatcoat
FR23 Line Command Advancing/ Marching
FR23/1 Fusiliers Advancing
FR23/2 Grenadiers Advancing
FR23/4 Fusilier March/AttacK
FR23/5 Grenadiers March/Attack
|The inspiring Matt's version|
|Camparison vs HäT figures|
|Comparison vs. AIRFIX (metal clones)|