Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Napoleon's Neapolitans (Say that 3 times fast!)

Here's the first line battalion in my Neapolitan project. I initially intended for them to be the 1st battalion of the 1st Regiment, but realised I'd used too dark a shade of blue on their facings. So instead of the 1st, they are the 10th Regiment, which was part of the 4th Division at Tolentino. 

I seem to have made a couple of mistakes; that is the poms-poms should follow the French pattern, ie. green, blue, orange and violet, and the elites' epaulets should have white or yellow crescents respectively. The drummers uniform and the voltiguer's pokalem are entirely speculative. I don't think these faults are going to make me go back and start again and will probably continue them on in subsequent battalions just for consistency's sake.

The prancing horse finial caused a bit of a headache. My sculpting skills aren't up to it; the results look more like a sitting bear than a prancing horse!

These are, of course, from Italeri set 6066. I have a love/hate feeling towards this set. I don't like their lack of chins, the way the backpacks, greatcoats and some cartridge cases seem to grow out of their backs and the drunken sway the NCO displays. However, I do love the details like the creases of the fabric especially around the knees and elbows. The buttons and piping details are rather exaggerated and therefore easy to pick out with the brush. I gave one of the voltiguers a head swap using the Lancier Bleu pokalem-wearing heads I still have in the pile, just for a bit of variety.

These figures turned out better in these photos than the Velites did, as I took them during the daytime. The light is a lot softer than the harsh flash-light on the Velites and therefore the contrast is not as pronounced. I also tried dry-brushing the lower legs with the terrain base gel to make them look even more campaign-grimy. I quite like the result!

So it's on with the other 2 battalions of the 10th and then the rest of the army. Francesco of Franznap has some Chevau-leger on the drawing board, so I'm waiting with bated breath for those to reach the production stage. I may even suggest that he produce the Neapolitan finial and cravat as a separate conversion piece. It would certainly be preferable to my lumpy attempt!

Franznap's Neapolitan Chevau-Leger in pre-production phase.
Image from Franznap Miniature Shop

Speaking of Franznap, Francesco got in touch with me recently with another extremely generous proposition; he's willing to send me whatever I want for the cost of postage in return for painting his figures and giving an honest review! He's also featured my work on the Facebook page, which is jolly nice of him. Anyway, this is by way of a declaration that although I'll be receiving the odd package from Franznap, I am in no way receiving payment for positive reviews. The quality speaks for itself!


  1. I know what you mean about those Italeri sculpts. The chins (or lack thereof) drive me nuts. I sold off a bunch of them years ago in favour of mid-period figures from HaT, but that said there's a lot to like and the accuracy of uniform and such is very good. You've certainly made a silk purse out of it with the paint job. I like the muddy trousers, a nice touch. Well done that man!

    1. Thanks Steve! The last photo of the elites really shows the difference, doesn't it? All the originals have their chins tucked in their collars, while Mr. Pokalem jauntily flaunts his for all the world to see!


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