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Napoleonics: A French Brigade

 Not a massive amount to say this week, so I've taken a lot of photos instead. 

I've managed to find a bit of time off work and threw myself into finishing off my Napoleonics to-do pile. In a week I chunked through two half finished light infantry units, and a full battalion of line. 

This brings me up to having the bare minimum for playing some Black Powder! Yes, Black Powder, and Napoleonics in general is massive in scale and the forces used where huge. Which looks amazing on the tabletop but is a daunting task to paint. 

To add a little perspective what I have here is an Infantry brigade of four battalions + command. It also has an attached artillery battery and some Hussars (for giggles). This amounts to about 250pts. To quote the Black Powder rulebook "in a typical encounter battle, we’ll have three players on each side with each player controlling a brigade. A brigade might typically be four infantry battalions, a gun, and two cavalry regiments together with a commander. this is purely an example and is given in order to give the reader an idea of the size and type of forces we might use in a typical game."

All of these where painted using contrast paints (plus a few regular paints for some highlights) to keep things speedy.

What I would like to do next, and what I've already started is to make a similarly sized British force so we can actually play some games! Crazy right? I currently have a battalion of British redcoats on the work bench and Emma is insisting on painting a regiment of the Scot's Grays. Just because she wants a lot of gray ponies running around, and I for one won't stop her.

I also have started peeking down the rabbit hole of small scale Napoleonics. Yup, I'm going to do some 6mm stuff. This is to statify the need to see huge lines of infantry, sweeping cavalry formations, and massive gun batteries, all without needing the NEC to play in. 

I'm going to leave you with a dump of photos of each units. Just because...


  1. Lovely!

    If you have the time, a how to do Frenchies with contrast paint would be useful. I can not be the only one with delusions of painting up a massive army and fighting out Wagram or similar.

    1. Thanks!

      I can certainly put together some kind of step by step for painting this lot. There a couple of good videos on the yoo toobes as well.

      You aren’t the only one. It is one of the reasons I’m experimenting with the 6mm thing, so I can actually do something getting close to the full scope of those epic battles. I’ve ordered the 1809-1812 French/British starter set thingy from Bacchus. It hasn’t actually arrive yet but I’ll do something with that as well.

    2. I did most of a battalion in 15mm (at 1:10 ratio) before I decided that it would take too long to paint a whole army the way I was doing it, so maybe contrast paints would get me there faster?

      And of course we must always balance our megalomania with practicalities... which works sometimes anyway? 6mm might be a good way to balance that out.

    3. Contrast massively speeds things up. Everything except the white is a single colour/stage. The bit that slows things down is working from light to dark, rather than from lowest layer to highest. Just means that one needs to be neat with the later stages. It gets a bit slow cutting in the blue or red for the coats, but in the end is easier than trying to get to pure white from a blue or red base.

      I should have done Austrians in their plain white uniforms.

      I am doing both. 28mm to the size of a division because it looks pretty and 6mm to capture the epic scope. 6mm should be a easier paint job. Every guide I’ve read or watched just states keep it simple and keep it high contrast. No subtle layers.


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