Saturday, 6 July 2013

2e Legere, Xan Miniatures - Peninsular War

I currently have six battalions of French Legere in my collection and, with planned scenarios requiring twelve battalions, I decided to take advantage of the excellent range from Xan to build up my force.

2e Legere, Xan Miniatures, mounted Colonel, AB and the colours GMB

My other units are AB and I find the Xan range fit in perfectly with them. The mounted colonel in the pictures is an AB figure.

I chose to model the 2e Legere specifically as this was a unit that spent a lot of time in the Peninsula fighting the British and has an illustrious record of battles attended for the war.

The Xan range are available from Empress Miniatures in the UK and I have included a link in the Links bar.

 2e Regiment d'Infanterie Legere
Regimental History
1788: Created 2e Bataillon de Chasseurs Royaux de Dauphine(formed from the following)
2e bataillon de Royale Italien
1791: 2e bataillon d'Infanterie Legere(2e bataillon de Chasseurs)
1794: 2e Demi-Brigade d'Infanterie Legere(1st formation, formed from the following)
2e bataillon d'Infanterie legere
9e bataillon, Volontaires de l'Isere
Bataillon franc de la Republique
1796: 2e Demi-Brigade d'Infanterie Legere(2nd formation, formed from the following)
21e Demi-Brigade d'Infanterie Legere(1st formation)
Compagnie franche de Seine-et-Marne
Eclaireurs 23e Demi-Brigade d'Infanterie Legere(2nd formation)
1803: 2e Regiment d'Infanterie Legere

Regimental War Record (Battles and Combats)
1792: Nice
1794: Nijmegen
1797: Ponteba, Tarvis, Hundsmarck, Leoben, and Bruck
1798: Alexandrie, Le Caire, and Pyramides
1799: El-Arisch, Saint-Jeand'Acre, Nazerath, and Mont-Tabor
1801: Lesbeh and Alexandrie
1805: Ulm, Wertingen, Hollabrun, and Austerlitz
1806: Iles de Wollin and Usedom
1807: Dantzig, Weichselmunde, Heilsberg, and Friedland
1808: Obidos, Vimeiro, Rio-Seco, Gamonal, and San-Vincente-de-la-Barquera
1809: Lugo, Elvina, Corogne, Braga, and Oporto
1810: Busaco, Prierro, and Lombieres
1811: Sabugal
1812: Arapiles and Saldana
1813: Vittoria, Bidassoa, and St- Jean-de-Luz
1813: Lutzen, Wurschen, Katzbach, Dessau, Leipzig, and Dantzig
1814: Montmirail, Dannemarie, Mery, Arcis-sur Aube, Fere-Champenoise, Craonne, and Paris
1815: Ligny and Waterloo
The combat record was taken from The Napoleon Series which has a very extensive collection of articles on the period.


  1. Beautiful miniatures Jonathan, well painted and based & a good incentive to buy some Xan figures in the future.

    1. Thanks John. I've ordered up another 4 battalions of the Legere and 6 battalions of the British line in preparation for my Oporto scenario.

  2. If I were you I would charge way more for taking on painting jobs in Ancients, especially hoplites. It can't be good on the eyes.

    1. Hi Vilec,
      You make a good point. Going from an 18mm Napoleonic to a true 15mm Ancient is quite noticeable on the old eyes. I'm into 36 Greek/Italian hopolites in readiness for this weekend. I'll mention your comments to Steve when I hand them over.
      Thanks for your thoughts

  3. Just curious, Jonathon, but I am in the process of building up French forces for the Peninsular Wars and was thinking of basing my light infantry on the 2e Legere for starters. I currently am using the Hat miniatures, and had based the painting on the box art but I'm looking at your figures, and thinking they should change. It looks like yellow and green plumes for the voltigeurs with yellow cord on the head gear (in the Hat figures they have colbacks) with red cord on the carabiniers' bearskins.
    Also curious about the pompoms on the chasseurs - the HaT chausseurs have plumes and I was hoping to stay with those.
    Any help appreciated!!

    1. Hi Bill,
      The only specific references I have for the 2nd Leger are illustrated by Rousselot in his plates, No.33, based on drawings from a master at arms at Dartmoor Prison in 1814 illustrating soldiers in their uniforms from their date of capture in 1808/09. The details are written up in the Osprey Men at Arms 146 French Light Infantry

      To quote;

      Chasseur, shako with white metal lozenge plate, white chords hung diagonally right to left, red plume with green base, red epaulettes with green fringe, green gaiter ornaments, red sword knot with green strap and fringe.

      Carabinier, bearskin with diagonal white chord, red plume, epaulettes, gaiter lace and sword knot.

      Voltigeur, is illustrated in the Osprey title. Details are, shako with white metal lozenge plate, white chords hung diagonally right to left, red plume with yellow base, red epaulettes with yellow crescents and green fringe, yellow collar (shown white in the Osprey illustration?) yellow gaiter ornaments, yellow sword knot with green strap and fringe.

      Waistcoats for all three soldiers are white if Rousselot's voltigeur is a guide.

      There is also a voltiguer shown from 1810-12 taken from the Boersch Collection described as;

      Yellow plume with red base rising from yellow ball, white metal eagle shako plate and chinscales, yellow chords and upper and lower shako bands, yellow collar piped red, red epaulettes with yellow crescents, red three pointed cuff flap piped white, yellow sword knot with yellow strap and fringe, yellow gaiter lace and tassel with red knot.

      So if you were going for that period look these are your two references. I think I decided to give my guys a more generic Legere look based on references of units serving in the Peninsula.

      I am always cautious with box art.

      With regard to plumes. The long plume was detachable and often carefully wrapped in a water proof cover and carried in the rolled greatcoat or strapped under the ammunition cartouche. Thus on campaign the shako is often seen covered with just the green pom pom showing. In battle and on show, when marching into town, it is thought the soldiers may well have re-affixed their plumes. Although units displaying their plumes during a battle where they could be easily lost or damaged were described as peacocks for appearing so.

      So you can have your guys displaying their plumes and strutting their stuff, why not?

      Long reply I'm afraid, but hopefully helpful. There was a site on the net illustrating the Rousselot plates. I have my own copies from Historex which I have had in my library for years. The Osprey should still be readily available.

  4. Thanks lots, Jonathon, for this information. I forgot to mention, but your work is great and always an inspiration.