Chasseurs à Cheval de la Garde [Nappy Cavalry Project Regiment #33]

I have already presented the painted horses for the latest regiment in my Napoleonic Cavalry Project, so now it’s time to show them with their riders in-situ. I can announce that the 33rd regiment is Napoleon’s Chasseurs à Cheval of the Imperial Guard.

Wait a minute! That regiment has already appeared in the project, so I’ve got some explaining to do. I felt it was worth attempting this set for a number of reasons;

  1. When they first appeared it was as a mere 5 mounted figures, (certainly not a full ‘regiment’) and were acting simply as an escort to Napoleon himself.
  2. Those figures were by a different manufacturer; Italeri, not Revell.
  3. Italeri’s figures had the men wearing full dress uniform with a pelisse and a plume and bag on their kolpaks. Revell’s men appear in plainer service dress.
  4. Finally, both figures were of sufficient quality as to demand inclusion, these Revell ones being just too good not to attempt.

Unlike the 5 mounted and 2 unmounted figures in the Italeri French Imperial General Staff set, there are plenty of figure in Revell’s Mounted Guard Chasseurs set – a whopping 18 in total which includes a single standing figure.

Did I say they were of ‘sufficient quality’? That undersells it a bit as these Revell figures are very good. My only observation is that the detail is just so finely produced that it makes the painter’s task very tricky. Larger, crisper details may not be reproducing details accurately to scale but it makes the details pop out better to the eye. I’ve matched the basing to my original Italeri versions from 2015. They go together pretty well, I think, the difference between the styles of dress and sculpting can be seen when comparing them to the crisper Italeri versions I painted.

I was particularly impressed with Revell’s officer figure. The pose of his rearing horse with it’s leopard-skin shabraque is an audacious piece of sculpting and works well, I think, with the officer mounted. It’s a piece of dramatic hero posing that’s really memorable.

Other unique figures included in the box was this chasseur below standing on guard with musket and fixed bayonet. The trumpeter meanwhile is unmistakable with his dramatic white colpak and sky blue uniform.

It’s been a pleasure to work with these figures. What a shame that Revell aren’t producing any more Napoleonic cavalry – these guys are over 26 years old now! They didn’t make many Nappy cavalry sets, (aside from reissuing Italeri figures, their only other original set being the excellent British Life Guards), but what they did produce was a real boon to the hobby.

In time-honoured tradition, that just leaves me to share more of the finished figures with a regimental biography to follow:

Note: As I already created a regimental biography for this regiment when they appeared with Napoleon (Regiment #14) back in 2015, I have simply reproduced once again here;

Biography: Chasseurs à Cheval of the Imperial Guard [France]

The Chasseurs à Cheval of the Imperial Guard originally began life as a part of a regiment of Guides raised by Napoleon when just a general in the Revolutionary Wars in 1796. They would go on to become one of the most prestigious regiments in the army, providing the personal guard to the Emperor and nicknamed by some ‘The Pet Children’!

In 1800, a single company was raised of Chasseurs, commanded by the emperor’s stepson, which formed a part of the prestigious Consular Guides. This company took part in the narrow victory at the battle of Marengo. By 1802, they finally became a full regiment consisting of around 1000 men with a single company of Egyptian Mamelukes joining them as a part of the regiment later.

Richard Knotel’s illustration of a Chassuer trumpeter and Chassuers in both full parade and service dress. Uniformenkunde, Lose Blatter zur Geschihte der Entwicklung der militarischen Tracht, Berlin, 1890, Public Domain.

They performed a distinguished role at the battle of Austerlitz, badly mauling the Russian Imperial Guard. Missing the battle of Jena in 1806, the 1st Hussars (a regiment painted earlier in this project) had the privilege of escorting Napoleon on that occasion. They would return to personal escort duties in time for the triumphal entry into Berlin. They later took part in the great charge of Murat’s cavalry at the battle of Eylau in 1807.

During the Spanish campaign, this regiment performed well but was surprised, outflanked and badly cut up by British cavalry, their commander, Général de Brigade Charles Lefebvre-Desnouettes, being wounded and captured.

“La Revue 1810” by Auguste Boulard. Public Domain.

In the war of 1812, once more under the command of the returned General Lefebvre-Desnouettes, the regiment (as with the rest of the army) lost heavily over the course of the campaign, though distinguished themselves protecting their emperor from a particularly threatening attack by Cossacks.

Guard Chasseur a Cheval re-enactors. Photo by Steffen Prößdorf – Own work.

During the final campaign that led to Waterloo, they formed part of the Light Cavalry Division of the Imperial Guard, numbering some 1200 sabres. Though leading the initial advance on Quatre Bras, they were not seriously engaged and suffered light losses. At Waterloo, they were deployed as part of the cavalry reserve. The Guard Chasseurs were sent in leading the 2nd wave of fruitless attacks against the Allied squares in the afternoon and thus their proud history as Napoleon’s favoured cavalry regiment would finally come to an end.

Notable Battles: Marengo, Austerlitz, Wagram, Eylau, Somosierra, La Moskowa, Quatre Bras, Waterloo.

15 thoughts on “Chasseurs à Cheval de la Garde [Nappy Cavalry Project Regiment #33]

  1. Well done again mate ! It is amazing how a little bit of paint can transform theses figures from something I would normally bypass to something I would really like on one of my dio’s .in my early days when I got back into modelling( 2013)I bought up big on Italeri figures only to find out later when I wanted to mix them up for a large group show only to realise they stood out like old sore thumb(I do recall one PSR comment was that they looked to well fed ) .So I guess that’s when I moved away from them ,your comparison shows this up well ,and what you say about painting is so true. I had another peep at your Life guard guys to see how you had handled the horses ,the way they look on the PSR put me of purchasing the some time ago ,but seeing what you have done has changed my opinion entirely .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like Revell’s output, but the subtlety of the sculpting is a real challenge.

      If these figs have helped you find inspiration for another dio, then it’s ‘mission accomplished’ for these guys! I think the horses are the best features of the Revell sets, great anatomically and very natural poses too.

      Thanks for your support as always!


  2. Well mate I was inspired with what you can do with these guys and I did look at buying the Life guard set but they are a bit pricey so I’m going to have concentrate on all the other things first ,having said that I could just say ,hang it all and buy some tomorrow Ha ! .
    One thing you have taught me is to make a bit more bloody effort on my painting ,which I’m doing and surprise surprise they are looking better and I’m feeling better for it ,so thanks mate ! .
    Of to the Australian model show tomorrow to have a look see if there has been any improvements since last year ,it was mainly WWI/WWII models which is mainly what they do over here ,but you never know I might be in for a surprise! .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! That’s great! I think we dedicate the attention we each feel we want to our figures which is as it should be. I don’t wargame and I haven’t got the additional task of constructing a large diorama, so it makes sense for me to pay a figure a bit of extra attention. I absolutely love to see well-based figures but can never really dedicate the attention to do it properly. That’s my limit, once I’ve done with the figure itself – I’ve no patience left!

      Love the Life Guard figures. They need a steady brush hand but are nicely done. I think they look better painted as The Blues.

      Enjoy the show! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey mate we have returned from the show ,some really interesting work on show ,a lot more than last year but overwhelmingly WWI and WWII themes ,not a Napoleonic figure in sight .The good news is there were a lot fo fantasy figures like IRO and AZAZEL and the other crew do ,and boy seeing these in real life just showed me how much work these guys put into painting them .
    I was doing ok with the resist bit when I was looking at your post on the Life guard set from Revell but when you directed me to the Blues my willpower broke and I now have to buy a set !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve seen enough of IRO and others figures to understand something of that detail work required, seeing them close up must be an eye opener though.
      Someone down under needs to get some nappies on show. They’d stand out for sure!
      Aside from the individual boxes, you may know that Revell reissued the Life Guard figures as part of a “Waterloo” set which (somewhat randomly) includes their Prussian infantry and French Grenadiers. A little more expensive but worth it if the other figures are of interest to you. Occasionally, sellers over here split the box and sell them individually too.


  4. You are right about showing some nappies mate and it should be me but I’m hopeless at organizing anything let alone submitting something in a show ! .
    Here’s a good example ,went on Ebay and put in a bid for the above set ,now to wait eight days and see what happens ,then I was looking through all my figures and low and behold there’s a set of them I’d bought four years ago and forgotten !!.I keep a record of everything I buy and checking it would been the sensible thing to do ,but oh no not old dunderhead .Well all’s well even if I don’t win the Ebay set I have some to play with .
    As to splinting sets ,we have a guy over here who is doing it , great idea, I bought a single sprue of him when I only wanted a few Japanese troops for the little WWII dio ,it was all I needed at the time and suited me just fine .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve done that myself before now! When the duplicate box comes through the post. the misses takes an interest and asks if that’s another box of soldiers. I just sheepishly mutter a ‘yes’ and hide it away feeling ashamed…

      I bought a single Strelets sprue recently for a gun crew. I’ve no intention of doing anything other than a single group only sometime so, as you say, it suits my purposes well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Have you seen the tv show The Crown? In one epsiode (season 2) a former queen adviser to the queen had a hug table set up with terrain and toy soldiers depicting the battle of Salamanca. Very cool. What made me laugh is that Queen Lizzy picked up one of the soldiers and when she put it back down it was out of place so her adviser, without the queen seeing, placed the miniature back where it belonged haha.

        Liked by 1 person

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