Thursday, 10 December 2009

Neapolitan 1st Line

These are some of the first examples of a new unit being painted up for Lasalle. I have a rather large pile of French infantry waiting to be painted - both in the 1807 and Bardin uniform, and I need to decide which to concentrate on. I have painted a few of the lovely Perry figures up, now it's the turn of Victrix. Instead of painting up another French line battalion, however, I decided to paint them as the 1st Line Infantry of the Kingdom of Naples, sometime around early 1810.

Since I've got the Victrix 1804-1807 box as well (impulse buy - what else?), I was also looking around for a unit that might still be in the bicorne. Plate 58 in Uniforms of the Peninsular War, 1807 - 1814 has long been a favourite, and sprang to mind. I also wanted to practise a bit of painting white. I have long been a fan of the beautifully painted figures of ArchiducCharles and others on TMP, but have never really managed to capture the white they achieve. I have also been to a couple of re-enactment events recently, and have seen quite a variety of "whites", so I wanted to see if I could get close to any of them.

Notice the differing shades of white and cream in evidence here.

Another reason I chose the Neapolitans is the fact that I imagine they were rather low on the food chain when it came to resupply. Quite apart from the venal nature of the contractors of the period (I remember reading somewhere of one such who only escaped execution on the Russian campaign by crawling on hands and knees, grovelling at Napoleon's side over a distance of several kilometers!), I don't imagine that QMs then were much different to those today, their credo being "These are Stores. If we were meant to issue things, they'd be called Issues, wouldn't they?" This gives the perfect excuse for a bit of variety.

Pointing at it won't help, mon brave, it says here I don't have any shakos, so you can't have one. Come back in a few weeks and I'll see what I can do, hein?

The Neapolitans are thus a perfect choice. The unit is in a wide range of headgear, with some of them having secured the new shakos, others not. There is also a variety of cloth in use for trousers, waistcoats, and even a couple whose jackets have had to be replaced with the ubiquitous brown Iberian cloth.

I'm still not sure about the basing. I have some 60mm x 40mm Litko bases , but I'm not sure whether I should mount them on a 15mm or 20mm frontage. I'm a slow painter, and it's obviously cheaper to mount them 6 to a base, but I am leaning towards the 15mm. We'll see...
I'm still relatively new at this malarky, so any hints, tips or criticism (constructive or not!) most welcome. One thing I will say is the camera is the scariest critic of all - these figures seemed ok to me, but now I see them up close...


  1. Nice Job!

    Wishing all a Merry Holiday Season - and a healthy, wealthy and most importantly a Happy New Year


  2. Thanks:)

    And a wonderful holiday season and a happy New Year to you too, sir!

  3. Nice work, they are fun to paint these victrix figures

  4. Love the photos. I'm planning to use some Victrix figures for Italian infantry circa 1813-1814. By making a couple of battalions light infantry instead of line, I can get a couple units in white coats, and a couple in green.

    I agreed with your post on TMP - the Osprey book on the Italians is quite useless.

    Just as a caution - be careful using any reenactor photos for clues to coloration. Modern reenactor garb uses chemical dyes that were unavailable to our ancestors. If I had a nickel for every painter who painted his Union ACW infantry a slight purplish shade....

    Keep up the good work!