French Cuirassiers in Progress

Those that were not killed, were so encumbered by their cuirasses, that they could not get up, but lay sprawling and kicking like so many turned turtles.”

(Wellington after Quatre Bras.)

The final regiment in this years project is the French 10th Cuirassier regiment. Wellington may have sneered at the sight of dismounted French cuirassiers as in the above quote, but they were an intimidating sight when mounted and the British Household Cavalry even adopted the cuirass following Waterloo. Furthermore:

“”(Cuirasses) were no longer proof against musketry at short range and even less against artillery, the cuirass was of greatest use in close-quarter melee, proof against sabre and bayonet blows.”

So, in a straight scrap against other cavalry, the cuirassier was a real force to be reckoned with.

I’m using figures from Zvezda, the Russian manufacturer whose outstanding figures I’ve used previously for my Red Lancers and Lifeguard Cossacks. These cuirassiers have not disappointed so far either, being very well sculpted. I’ve chosen the 10th regiment simply because it gave me an opportunity to use the scarcely utilised pink paint that I purchased specially for the 17th French Dragoons earlier on in the year!

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I’ve experimented a little with the painting of the cuirasses. Rather than slapping on the silver paint, I opted for gun-metal with a little silver to bring out the highlights. Has it worked or have I made things worse? Hmm, not really sure. I reckon I should have just gone straight for the silver, but experimentation is ultimately what develops technique, I say!

They are a great style of cavalry to depict and I think depicting them is a must for any self-respecting project on Napoleonic cavalry. Hopefully, I’ll be starting on the horses some time next week.

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