Monday, 15 July 2013

French 20th Dragoons - AB, Part One

I already have three regiments of French dragoons in my collection, but to play some of the scenarios I have planned I will need at least six possibly eight. The first of these scenarios is to put the Vimiero battle as a whole on to my table, see my Vimiero full fat scenario in the down load section. This game will require six regiments and so I am into putting together the next three.

I have decided to model my French units on those that spent much of their time taking on Wellington's army. Thus the next Regiment of Dragoons will be the 20th, one of the regiments at Albuera.

I thought it might be interesting to show this unit coming together as with the Portuguese I painted earlier in the year and so I will record the process as I go.

The "block painting" begins with the dark base coat applied to the riders and the base horse colours to their mounts

AB figures are a work of art and lack no attention to detail. This requires a bit of homework before starting if you want to get the best from them. I turn to my own library of reference books and colour plates, such as Rousselot where I can make sure I know what each part of the figure is before painting.

However with the resource of the Internet available to most of us, there is no reason not to spend the time getting familiar with the subject.

The Officer and trumpeter get their horses in stand out colours with the bulk of the regiment in chestnuts and browns

I am using the Coat d'Arms range of horse colours for my base colours. I have been really pleased with the coverage and colours.

Picture taken in the evening with all the block work done and ready for the first highlight colours

The great part about three colour block painting is that once you have the foundation colours in place you get a psychological boost knowing that the fun bit, applying the highlights, is coming next and that the models will require less paint as you move through the stages.

Getting into a "painting groove" is all about managing the mind. I try to explain to friends, who have difficulty sitting down and painting, that you have to begin with the end in mind and then get motivated by the completion of each stage. The first stage for me is always a bit laborious, but as I get ever nearer to completion, I find myself getting more enthused imagining how the models will "pop" as the next colours are applied.

AB figures are full of detail that require close attention to get the most from it

The horses after the artists oils have been applied. They will need at least 24 hours to dry thoroughly before further painting

So to summarise the work so far:
The Dragoons, Dark Green coats, saddle furniture, Dark Yellow facings, turn-backs, tops of riding cloak on the valise, trumpeter's coat, Mid Stone, riding breeches, Buff, gauntlets, cross belts, waistcoats, tops of boot leggings, trumpeter's helmet horse hair, Chocolate Brown, muskets, helmet turbans, leather work of saddle, Black, all metal work on helmets, swords, scabbards, boots horse hair main on helmets, chin scales, gilt ornaments on officers horse furniture, trumpeter's trumpet.

For the horse colours just refer to my Portuguese Dragoons post.


  1. Looking forward to seeing these finished Jon. You might find the skirmishing dragoons worth doing as well. These are on my workbench now.

    john B

    1. Hi John, thank you.

      I'm very keen to get hold of the new skirmishing dragoons but they're not in stock with Fighting 15s yet. I will need some for my Corunna game.