From left to right: Kennington Spanish Infantry, Hat Dutch Line Infantry, Minifigs French Dragoon Officer, Der Kreigspieler (nee Hinton Hunt) Dismounted French Dragoon. As always click to embiggen.
The Napoleonic collector faces something of quandry - there are so many Frenchmen. In much the same way that the collector of the Second World War will usually have a collection of Germans that surpasses his needs even at their most extravagant, the Napoleonic gamer is haunted by visions of Chasseurs, Lancers, Grenadiers of the Guard and six different kinds of hussar.
I have achieved most of my purely personal goals in Napoleonic toy soldier collecting; I have vivandieres for many of my regiments, I possess a good supply train, I can field the "Die Hards" and a troop of the Sixth Light Dragoons. There are other goals and to be honest, I add more all the time, but one that has dogged me for years is the desire for a regiment of Dragoons.
Left to right - Minifigs French Dragoon Officer, Minifigs French Dragoon Ensign, Minifigs French Dragoon Drummer, Der Kreigspieler (nee Hinton Hunt) Dismounted French Dragoons. As always click to embiggen.
Easily done you say, there is the fine Italeri set, go to it young man - but I am an awkward sort and want Dragoons mounted, dismounted and horse holding. This is more difficult - I had Italeri Dragoons and the Strelets dismounted set had some good (and some very bad) figures in it, but it didn't completely scratch the itch. My chum John C was able to provide me with some Der Kriegspieler French dismounted dragoons. I had been pondering what to do with these, should I convert some of them into horseholders?
I have since learned that the original figure was a horse holder that was converted by the addition of a musket.
This did leave me with the tricky question of what to do for officers, musicians and other such harmless persons?
Left to right - Hat Dutch Line Infantry, Minifigs French Dragoon Officer, Minifigs French Dragoon Ensign, Minifigs French Dragoon Drummer. As always click to embiggen.
By an incredible stroke of luck, I got to corresponding with Mr J of Chicago, who had in his collection not only some more Kriegspielers, but also some Minifigs in the shape of an officer, a chap with an eagle and a drummer. These he sent off and they are now tromping around my wargames table, sowing panic and dismay in their wake. They are of a height with the other figures, though considerably bulkier, but I think with a lick of paint and the same basing they should do the job. The tricks the eye can play are extraordinary.
I don't think it can be too long before I have a troop of Dragoons, charging and on foot. Just in time to do some damage when the Command & Colours Spanish supplement arrives.