Winter Walkers

It’s midwinter here in the UK and that means it’s time to paint my Strelets French Infantry on the March. I started the two unloved but very, very cheap boxes (a closing down sale) back in 2014, the first year of this blog. I never thought I’d paint any of them but for some reason, the thought that I’d probably never paint them spurred me on to make a start on a sprue.

And I’ve been painting them ever since.

“gauche… droite… gauche… droite…”

The first dozen of these early Strelets creations were painted and shared back in 2014, blog post number 22.

2014’s recruits: the very first batch of 18 French infantrymen either “in advance” or “on the march”.
By 2017, we’re up to 44 of these perambulating poilu!
It’s 2018 now, and that line of line infantry is growing ever longer. What’s more, they are now joined by…
…a sledge train and a line of stragglers!
In 2019, another 14 marchers are now also joined by some of the newer Strelets marching versions wearing their grey greatcoats…
…as well as another sledge with it’s accompanying strays and invalids!
It’s 2020 and fourteen more of my Gallic ramblers are now added to the expanding cohort.

Last year, I even produced a short film involving one of these marching men for a seasonal family entertainment event. I did not enter it into Cannes.

Whenever the winter nights draw in, and we’re approaching midwinter here, I am always reminded that it’s time to paint some more of those cold, great-coated infantrymen again; frozen, struggling refugees of Napoleon’s bitter retreat from Russia.

The latest group:

And here’s what ninety six marching Napoleonic Frenchmen looks like.

And so, eight years on, I have finally reached the very last sprue of these two boxes of figures and have completed my seasonal efforts on these marching monsieurs.

Or have I?

Despite being sold out a long time ago, I found another box online last year. This was much to my surprise as Strelets replaced these sets by a newer and more delicately sculpted version. So, there are years more of these French amblers to keep me entertained during future winters – at which point I’ll probably start on those new versions. Like many a retreating French infantryman during the winter of 1812, you may ask – “will this ever end?!”

9 thoughts on “Winter Walkers

    1. Hi Bill! Not having painted so many of the same figure before, it’s fascinating to see them grow every year into a larger force. Because I only paint a dozen or so every year I can maintain a little higher quality of painting than I would care to do if painted all in one go.


  1. I was just thinking about writing “Well done getting them finished” and then I got to that last paragraph! So, it’s going to have to be “Well done with getting so many nicely painted and hope you enjoy painting the next box”! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks mate. This is one of those projects that we keep on returning to. They’re not the most elegant sculpting but they have a vibe that I really like. 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Oh mate! this has brought it all back to me when had to paint these guys some years back, well done for getting so many!! looking forward to seeing you pump out more of these guys over the coming years!Ha Ha !!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Pat. Sounds a bit like a weird obsession, doesn’t it? Mind you, our entire hobby is a bit of a weird obsession so maybe that’s ok. It’s funny – I’d never paint that many in one go so it’s a method of painting large numbers, if you don’t mind waiting a long time…

      Liked by 2 people

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