Sunday, April 17, 2011

In Progress: 28mm Foundry 1er Regiment de Carabiniers (early uniform)

I've always admired the early uniform of the French Carabiniers with their plumed bearskins, buff trousers and long-tailed coats. Except for a few details, their uniform was very similar to the Grenadiers a Cheval of the Imperial Guard. Personally, I think these were some of the most elegant uniforms of the period.

Close to ten years ago I painted a unit of ten figures from Foundry but I thought I'd at least double it up so it would better conform to the big-battalion rules we're now using. I'm finding it interesting revisiting these figures, seeing how aspects of my painting style has changed over the years. I certainly had a steadier hand back then! Nonetheless the 'Old Warhorse' has learned a few tricks and I've noticed a few areas where I would now do it differently. So I'm touching up the original castings and slowly grinding out another group.

I'm also redoing the bases and groundwork to better blend in with the rest of the collection.

I did a slight conversion of a Foundry cavalry casualty, cut off a carabinier bearskin and drilled it out. I'll make a vignette in the second rank of a downed trooper with his horse (in the front rank) faithfully continuing on with the charge. 

I'll post an update when I get the unit completed (update: visit here to see the new full unit). 


  1. They look fantastic, I really like them! I also love the muddy field look, are you going to leave it like that? I think you should, I'm sure a muddy field is actually more realistic than some of the quarries/flower shows I've seen!

  2. Thank you M'Lord! :)

    Hmm, never thought of leaving the groundwork more or less 'raw'. I can see how the transition of the uniforms against the dark mud gives an interesting contrast. I'll have to ponder on that as I'm so used to doing full-on groundwork.

  3. Very nice Curt, I will look forward to seeing the full unit. ?16 figures.


  4. Thanks John. The unit ultimately have 24-30 castings (still deliberating). I can only paint 4-5 cavalry models at a go (thus the pic) otherwise my progress seems so glacial. I have the attention span of an eight-year old!

  5. Hi Curt,
    I have always like the look of the early carabiniers. You've done a cracking job of them!

    My thinking of the early carabiniers and the grenadiers of cheval has always been as soon as their horse does, so does their bearskin right off the back of their heads. It has always puzzled me even with a chin strap how did they keep them on?

  6. Thanks Paul!

    I had the pleasure to see a few nice examples of bearskins at the Musee de l'Armee last autumn and I can say that they seem quite heavy and I imagine having one crammed onto your head, down to your ears and then strapped under your chin would make it fairly hard to dislodge (hot as hell, though).

    Nonetheless, I think the risk of loosing them was still there and that is why they had such complex cordage attaching the bearskin through their right epaulette to their coat.

  7. Ah mystery solved. Sounds like they were well pinned to the man.

    Again great looking unit and very interesting with the guy falling off.

  8. Dude - these are magnificent. I hear you on revisiting old figures - I find myself thinking "how did I manage that before"? I'll have an Austrian unit up soon that will encompass almost 10 years between rounds of painting!


Thanks for your comment! As long as you're not a spam droid I'll have it up on the blog soon. :)