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"Visual Sacrifices with Miniatures" Topic

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MiniPigs20 Dec 2019 10:02 a.m. PST

How strict are you with period sculpts and uniforms on miniatures in your Napoleonic wargames?

What units do you use as substitutes in your Napoleonic games?

Do you use a regiment of 1805 French next to a unit of 1815 French? A regiment of 1808 British infantry next to a regiment of 1815 British? Do 1805 top-hatted Russian jaegers find themselves fighting snow dusted 1814 Young Guard?

Do you justify Prussians or Austrians as Confederation of the Rhine units for Peninsular battles, French AWI for Spanish in 1805 white uniforms, Spanish junta units used as Swedes in 1813? What visual sacrifices do you make in your games to make sure a certain nation's troop types get represented?

If you do use substitutes for a particular theatre or campaign period, is it based on a lack of appropriate troops painted up or a belief that to a certain degree, troops are troops?

Timmo uk20 Dec 2019 10:17 a.m. PST

I use late period Napoleonic British Dragoons for pre 1812 games as I prefer them in helmets to bicornes.

I have two divisions of French in the Bardin uniform and one division in the longer coat. It really doesn't bother me that much since what we do doesn't really relate visually that much to the look of real battles and we tend to paint them to look more fancy and colourful than real troops on campaign.

As an example, most cavalry regiments didn't carry a flag on campaign but many model units have them. If you make that compromise does it really matter if the headgear is wrong as well? I think not.

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP20 Dec 2019 10:25 a.m. PST

We substituted Prussians for Dutch-Belgians for a Quatre Bras action once.

And all my 1813 Russians are wearing kiwers even though some of them should still be in the older shakos.


Mike Petro20 Dec 2019 11:44 a.m. PST

I am going to paint up some 1807 Russians in bicorne in 3mm. I am giving them the universal 1814 Russian national flag.

Personal logo War Artisan Sponsoring Member of TMP20 Dec 2019 12:24 p.m. PST

I do a bit of more-or-less subtle proxying, mostly to make the most efficient use of what I have painted. It's easier to get away with in 10mm than with larger figures. Jaegers in basic green and black might be Brunswickers, or Prussian, or Russian. Portuguese infantry in British-supplied blue might temporarily become a Prussian reserve battalion. Prussian National Cavalry might serve as Portuguese light cavalry.

As for the evolution of national uniforms over the years, my usual criterion for the suitability of a particular figure is something like "Can you tell they're French? Good enough."

Rod MacArthur20 Dec 2019 12:27 p.m. PST

All my British Line Infantry wear Belgic shakos, both for Waterloo and Peninsula. My Portuguese are all in Barretina, regardless of year.


robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP20 Dec 2019 3:34 p.m. PST

I will not usually use one nation's troops for another, nor go out of period. But of the possible uniforms within that, I want ones which make nationality and troop type very clear. I also want good-looking uniforms (very few overcoats) flags if they had them, whether they carried them in the field or not, and anything I can get away with by way of distinctives for musicians.

As far as eligibility, I tend to regard the satellite kingdoms as interchangeable, but not the great powers.

John Edmundson20 Dec 2019 7:53 p.m. PST

I'm making very slow progress because I sadly combine insufficient time, poor pace and low skill in painting. However I am trying to get my 1809 Austrians right. That means most in helmets, a few, especially where I can find specific evidence, (which some helpful people have posted here) in shakos.

My Grenze 1st and 2nd battalions will mostly be in white for the Western campaigns, despite the temptation to put them in brown, but mainly to distinguish them from the Hungarians, I will have some red cloaks and I will probably include the odd figure in brown as the Grenze were notoriously under-supplied so I hypothesise that some replacement troops might have turned up in the Hausmontur.

I did run this past David Hollins and he found it plausible.

I'd hoped I could justify a few French still wearing bicornes when I get onto them but sadly the expertise on this list suggested that transition was probably pretty complete by 1809.

So I'm trying to "do the right thing" with my Napoleonic armies. I have to admit to being a lot more cavalier when it comes to Ancients :-(

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP21 Dec 2019 6:52 a.m. PST

I mostly do 6mm so you have an awful lot of leeway

SHaT198422 Dec 2019 3:56 p.m. PST

Not whole units but the odd figure, NCO (MdLC) and officers could certainly be depicted to lessen the shako binge. (Spanish horse make a reasonable dragoon/ guide/ ADC in bicorne too)!

Other excuses for variants may well include; the grenadiers left their bearskins in depot; captured germanic headgear, greatcoats and legwear; campaign-wear dumbed down elements like unplumed/corded voltigeurs/ chasseurs etc.

All good variety to spice up monotony of "bleu et blanc".
regards dave

ThePeninsularWarin15mm22 Dec 2019 8:00 p.m. PST

I rarely try substitution. As far as I go is to use my Ottoman Nizam-i-cedid troops as militia. I'm the only one that knows what that is at the table and so no one is the wiser. In general, I could accept some substitution if they were for a specific scenario. I had to use Cossacks as hastily raised Wallachian Arnauts. Since I could not find any uniform information on such troops, how would anyone reasonably object? One flee-bitten mongrel is as good as another.

In some cases, it is not so relevant such as a shako where a bicorne should be or a Belgic where a stovepipe shako would be correct.

Trajanus23 Dec 2019 7:25 a.m. PST

I think you would have to be pretty well heeled or have a very restricted interest within Napoleonic period to be totally inflexible over uniform detail, particularly if you collect both sides.

I ran this past a friend, who has two good size 28mm Peninsular forces, all in metal, and he nearly had a seizure!

Bagration181223 Dec 2019 9:16 a.m. PST

I dislike proxies and have a very large (35K+) collection of 15mm figures and play a 1:60 scale game, but there are still occasions where you have to sub. Fortunately, play with a bunch of guys who don't care.

The button counters are a large part of why Napoleonics gets a bad rap.

Timbo W23 Dec 2019 10:29 a.m. PST

My take on it is that I try to do reasonable units in the 1812 – 1814 era uniforms and will happily use them for earlier battles,

14Bore23 Dec 2019 10:49 a.m. PST

Broke myself from it but was getting tired of painting 1812 Russians so have a few units in the 1807 period uniforms. Did stop doing that last couple of years.

Markconz23 Dec 2019 11:25 a.m. PST

Mix of 1809-1813 uniforms as takes my fancy. I want to do large scale battles throughout Napoleonic wars and certainly don't have time to duplicate figures unless there are just a few of them and very significant uniform differences, e.g. early vs late Carabiniers.

Fredloan24 Dec 2019 7:49 a.m. PST

Almost everything I have is 18mm AB figures. I will mix 1806 and 1815 French, and I mix 1807 and 1812 Russians. Too expensive to create each uniform period for each nation. In reality all units did not switch uniforms at the same time.

SHaT198411 Jan 2020 2:50 p.m. PST

>>The button counters are a large part of why Napoleonics gets a bad rap.

Bleeped text. Seen the discussions around ancient designs or Medieval 'armour', their no different.
And IMHO it [used to be] because others could get away with any old scrap and colour; whereas Napoleonics at least had a 'standard' to attain. Ask a WWII modeller whether their happy with their camo effect- sheesh…

Besides , we're button POLISHERS, not counters…

forwardmarchstudios11 Jan 2020 4:23 p.m. PST

The furious anger when my 2mm figures' jackets are a shade too dark or light….

Chad4712 Jan 2020 4:21 a.m. PST

I struggle with shortage of 15mm figures for the French Revolution, specifically Hanoverian and Hessian. I will probably use British for Hanoverian and Prussian for Hessian. In 15mm the differences are small so not too important.

von Winterfeldt12 Jan 2020 4:26 a.m. PST

Sho Boki does Hessians – see his online shop

Jabba Miles15 Jan 2020 1:49 a.m. PST

Some substitution, have used Dutch/Belgian cavalry as stand ins for Spanish a few times. For our larger battles tend to use what figures are available not too concerned about year of uniform but try to be correct where we can. apart from stand in Spanish don't mix up nationalities too much.

dogtail15 Jan 2020 2:41 a.m. PST

I used WSS French to fight SYW French niniatures in my first 28mm napoleonic wargame that I hosted. And those troops had Imagi-nation uniforms.
Napoleonic is still horse & muskets.

nugrim24 Jan 2020 5:52 a.m. PST

Since I only have painted 1805 french I go with them plus 1809+ artillery

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