Friday, August 17, 2012

Command & Colours Napoleonics - Russian Expansion

The Campaign of France by Meissonier 
Not from the Russian campaign I know - but seems suitably bleak to me

I've been giving some thought to the Russian expansion for Command & Colours Napoleonics, which is something considering that we have only played a few of the Spanish scenarios and I haven't even finished the Waterloo collection yet.

The release date for the expansion has gone back to December from November, so General Du Gourmand has already started muttering about "...further delays and another spoiled Christmas..". I have faith however.

Actual picture of General Du Gourmand circa Christmas 2011

However, Tony Curtis at GMT very generously let me know what the counter mix will be for the new set. You'll find it below - along with some notes on what suitable 1/72 scale figures are available.

These chaps will be covering a multitude of sins

Line Infantry 9 units 3 blocks each

I was quite surprised that see that the Russian infantry are a quarter the numbers of regular infantry, but the proof of the game is in the playing. I reckon I should be able to put together two units from the Hinton Hunt Russian infantry courtesy of Old John.

Zvesda, who are without doubt the Rolls Royce of the plastic soldier world, have some wonderful plastic sets for the period, mostly based around the 1812 campaign. Their Russian Heavy Infantry Grenadiers can be used as line, if you snip the plumes off. 

Light Infantry 6 units 3 blocks each 

I reckon I can squeeze two units out of my Hinton Hunt Russian jagers, I'm at a loss as to where my other fellows will come from. Old John has made some very interesting suggestions - but it's all rather castles in the sky until I get the Spanish project finished off. 

Italeri Grenadiers - to be honest I don't see myself using them much

Grenadier 4 units 4 blocks each

I can cover one unit with the Hinton Hunt mitre cap wearing grenadiers, but I'll need a few more to finish the unit. Also, an entire division of Pavlovsky Grenadiers might begin to pall after a little while.

Italeri do a few Russian grenadiers with mitre caps, but they just won't go with the Hinton Hunts.

Zvesda's Heavy Infantry will be doing duty for the other three units, with their plumes gloriously unsnipped. 

Light Guard Infantry 2 units 4 blocks each

I have actually no idea what I'll be using for these chaps as this is one of those annoying periods where I know rather more about the actual campaign then about the uniforms.  Off to the Osprey I think. 

Guard Grenadier Infantry 2 units 4 blocks each

This is another instance of my eyes outstripping my knowledge. Back to the books Kinch.

HAT Russian Militia - how can you not use beard acting like that?

Militia 2 units 4 blocks each - HAT Russian Militia are a very creditable set, though I may try to pick the units up from Simon at Painted Napoleonic Armies rather than buying another large HAT set, half of whom don't get used. It may be shutting the stable door well after the horse has bolted to start considering it a sin of gluttony now, but how and ever...

Zvesda Hussars - I just love these figures, they are incomparable.

Light Cavalry 3 units 4 blocks each - Zvesda Hussars are the only choice for this. I've actually been using Russian hussars in my French army for several years. I bought several boxes of these when they first came out after reading the review on Plastic Soldier Review. They are wonderful, wonderful figures, full of dash and Napoleonic swagger. I still have some left over, so the decision is already made.

Strelets Dragoons - homely fellows, but serviceable.

Heavy Cavalry 2 units 4 blocks each - Strelets make Dragoons, but they're quite lumpen next to the Zvesda figures. Johnny has suggested a number of alternatives from SHQ/Kennington to Newline. I'll obviously be trying to keep costs down, but I think that I'd save for figures I like then make do with figures that I merely tolerate.

Zvesda Russian Cuirassiers

Cuirassier Heavy Cavalry 2 units 4 blocks each 

These are one of the few Zvesda releases that I haven't seen in the flesh. Looking at them on Plastic Soldier Review, they are perhaps not quite as nice as the Hussars, but cuirassiers are such plodding creatures compared to the dashing Hussar that it'd probably forgiveable. 

Zvesda Guard Cossacks

Light Guard Cavalry 1 unit 4 blocks 

These are to honest, the ugly ducklings of Zvesda's Russian output, but they are still quite fine by normal standards. However, they are Guard Cossacks and therefore are quite tame and staid characters. Not the sort of chaps the Zaporozhian host would have writing letters for them. 

Guard Heavy Cavalry 1 unit 6 blocks

I imagine a paint conversion of the Zvesda Cuirassiers will do the trick - but to be honest, I know precious little about the Russian Guards. 

These chaps have the right sort of penmanship for Sultan Mehmet IV

Cossack Militia Cavalry 3 units 2 blocks each

I'm in the habit of using Crimean War figures for Napoleonics and probably will continue to do so. I have a box of these fellows and while they have Strelets usual chunky sculpting, they are also dynamic and shabby and full of piratical style.  Not the sort of chaps one would care to meet down a dark alley, but certainly worth admiring from afar.  

Zvesda Guard Heavy Artillery

Foot Artillery 4 units 3 blocks each

Horse Artillery 1 unit 3 blocks each

Guard Foot Artillery 1 unit 3 blocks  each

It simply wouldn't be fair to saddle the land that gave use Tchaikovsky with substandard artillery and Zvesda have done themselves proud. This is a particularly nice set and will do with minor adjustments for Line and Guard Foot Artillery. Damned if I know what I shall do for Horse Artillery though.  

Italeri General Staff

Leader 4 blocks

I actually have a copy of this set and it's not bad - I have to be fair cannibalised most of the Russian generals at this point for conversions or to represent French generals wearing particularly large hats, but it's not without its charms. However, if there are only four figures required, I may go the whole hog and see what Art Miniaturean or one of the other obscure German fellows do in metal.


  1. Impressed by the number and types of plastic Russian figures ! , much better than my 'Airfix days' !

  2. We live in a golden age of plastics to be honest. The Zvesda stuff in particular is amazing.

  3. For Russian guard infantry, just use those Grenadiers with plumes, and likewise for guard cavalry, same figures as the line. The Russians were nearly as bad as the Austrians for lack of imaginative variations when it comes to uniforms.

    In fact, those Zvesda Grenadiers can do for their entire infantry arm, as you say, take the plumes off and hey presto, instant line. And yes, the Jagers are the same as the line in cut.

    At least the Cossacks and Opelchenie will add variety.

    What, no Uhlans?


  4. Thanks mark - anyone you know make nice Uhlans?

  5. you could use Polish Lancers very similar uniforms.