Friday, June 28, 2013

Tirailleurs Corse

Thought I'd get these guys out in short order as I had them on the painting table for the last two weeks.  They are a bit of a hotch-potch and the recruiting sergeant cast a wide net for these lot, drafting them from wherever he could find them!  The figures include Victrix and Perry's plastics, Foundry, Perrys, Elite and even an old Hinchcliffe in amongst them!  Amazingly, they don't appear too out of place together - although that was more accident than design.

Tirailleurs Corses - Voltigeur, Carabinier and Tirailleur companies
Basically I scrounged 24 figures to put together a battalion of the famous Corsican Tirailleurs light infantry (known for obvious reasons as 'the Cousins' - Napoleon himself being from Corsica).  The idea is for a forthcoming game based on the battle of Ebelsberg in the 1809 campaign where these guys were prominent in charging across the 500 meter long bridge over the Traun river against huge odds into the Austrian held town, while under fire all the way.  It was a prodigious feat of arms but they were nearly wiped out in an equally heroic Austrian counter-charge by the newly recruited boys of the Vienna Volunteers Landwehr.  Napoleon was reportedly not well pleased with the horrendous butcher's bill for Ebelsberg which included over 500 men of the 900 strong Corsican veterans.

Voltigeur (yellow plumes) and Carabinier companies (red facings and green plumes)
Tirailleur companies
I have to say that I didn't actually paint any of these from scratch but rather converted them from other French and Italian figures.  As well as a fair bit of re-basing, it required repainting them in the famous Corsican (also shared with their cousins, the northern Italian Tirailleurs du Po) poo-brown uniform.  Actually its almost the same kind of brown as the Austrian artillerymen - a nice reddy-brown rather than tan or earth tones.

Carabinier company (ex-Italian line)
Voltigeur company (also formerly Italians)
Tirailleur companies - mix of figures with Perry's, Foundry, Elite and can you spot the old Hinchcliffe?
The sole Hinchcliffe figure is a survivor of the first metal figures that I acquired in my teens.  He's a real Lazarus and this latest uniform is about his fourth reincarnation!


I do like to use some marching casualty figures 

After Wagram the survivors of both Tirailleur battalions, reportedly around 300 effectives from about 1600 at the start of the campaign, were amalgamated with the 13th Legere, itself largely depleted from the action it saw in the 1809 - particularly at Ebelsberg.

Well, back to the Austrians again - I've still got a mountain of metal to paint up.