L’artillerie à cheval de la Garde impériale was formed as a regiment of four mounted batteries et one squadron of velites en 1806. Pendant les Guerres Napoléoniennes the regiment temporarily consisted of six batteries, until it was reduced to four batteries again following the costly campaigns of 1812 et 1813. Each battery consisted of 100 gunners serving quatre canons moyens (8 livres) et deux obusiers moyens (6"). En 1807, l’artillerie à cheval de la Garde impériale received lighter 6-pounder guns. Soldats de l’artillerie à cheval were fully mounted, either on spare horses, limbers ou fourgons de munitions, in order to keep up avec cavalry formations they were supporting in battle. Draft horses, limbers, fourgons de ravitaillement et de munitions were handled by artillery train soldiers attaché à l’artillerie à cheval.
5 figurines en 5 poses – 24 mm correspondent à 173 cm hauteur de corps
- Canon en batterie (8-pounder)
- Ammunition chest avec ready ammunition
- 20 canonballs stacked in four pyramids
- Chef de Batterie avec telescope
- Gunner avec sponge et water bucket (No. 2)
- Gunner avec sponge (No. 2)
- Loader (No. 4)
- Chef de pièce (No. 5)
6 soldats à cheval en 4 poses – 24 mm correspondent à 173 cm hauteur de corps
- Limbered gun (8-pounder)
- Ammunition chest avec ready ammunition
- Limber et two limber riders
- Beam et extension
- Harness straps (12)
- Mounted train soldier (2)
- Mounted gunner (2)
2 horses - 21 mm correspondent à 151 cm hauteur de corps
6 draft horses in two poses – 21 mm correspondent à 151 cm hauteur de corps
Bon choix de sujet, l’artillerie à cheval de la Garde impériale is unique in this scale.
Excellent detail on figurines et horses. Facial features, uniform parts, buttons, lace, belts, buckles, et horse furnishing are clearly visible.
Suitable historic poses. Le chef de batterie holds his telescope correctly avec both hand. Unfortunately, two of five gun crew members are missing, namely No. 1, the gun layer, et No. 3, the ventsman.
Noticeable flash on figurines et horses needs to be removed prior to painting.
Gunner No. 2, the spongeman, is available in two poses, but No. 1, the gun layer, et No. 3, the ventsman, are not included in the set. Un canon en batterie needs all five trained gunners et up to ten artillery ou infantry helpers to be operated safely.
Le chef de pièce should not be wielding the portfire stick the way he does while the gun is still being served by the other members of his crew. Once the gun is ready to be fired, the crew reste au garde à vous well out of the way of the gun carriage, et only then will the chef de pièce touch the portfire stick to the vent to fire the gun. Clearly, the designers et sculptors of this set did not consider which of the several stages of the loading et firing process they wanted to portray. The result is an incomplete et incompatible mix of poses.
The three leather straps holding the sabretache are painted correctly on the box cover, but the actual models display only the two outer straps. Such errors could easily be avoided if sculptores referred to accurate drawings of the uniform.
Three of the five dismounted gunners have discarded the sabre et sabretache. It is very unlikely, that artillerie à cheval would take off the sabre during battle, considering that they are usually operating well away from friendly infantry et they may have to defend themselves against enemy cavalry ou light troops at any moment. Artillerie à cheval was expected to move fast et change firing positions quickly, another reason why soldats de l’artillerie à cheval are well advised to keep vital equipment on at all times. Military formations, et elite units like l’artillerie à cheval de la Garde impériale in particular, take great pride in a meticulous et uniform appearance. If any item of dress ou personal equipment is taken off, the entire formation will be ordered to do so. It’s a mistery why plastic figurine designers consider the hommes in a military figurine set to be individuals who decides for themselves how to dress in the morning. Not so!
Four of the nine gunners have braid on the seat of their trousers. Here, too, the sculptor has shown incredible creativity when uniformity et plain common sense was required. Braid is thick cord ou cloth which would cause the mounted artilleryman considerable discomfort in the saddle. The Braid should actually follow the outside seem of the trousers all the way up to the waist.
The gun barrels are not detailed enough. The vent is missing, the dolphins are too small, et they are rectangular when they should be round. The mouth of the gun bulges out. The peg on the underside of the barrel is too thin to attach the barrel to the carriage. If the peg worked, the gun barrel would rest at maximum elevation. This is a typical appearance of toy guns, but it looks out of place on the battlefield where ricochet shots at ou near level elevation were far more effective against massed targets. Only mortars et howitzers used high trajectory fire to throw explosive et incendiary shells behind linear obstacles. Plunging fire was not very effective against moving targets, because the required fuses were rather unreliable.
The gun elevation mechanism is missing. Modélistes sérieux may want to scratchbuild the elevation mechanism using pianowire et a screw made from thin brass ou copper wire.
There is no howitzer barrel in the kit. Batteries de l’artillerie à cheval consisted de quatre canons et deux obusiers, using the same Gribeauval type gun carriage avec different barrels. The popular ESCI Artillerie à Pied de la Garde impériale set had optional gun et howitzer barrels. It’s amazing that manufacturers so often miss the opportunity to add simple optional parts which tremendously increase the value of a particular kit without raising the cost noticeably.
The two ammunitions chests are incorrect. One is to wide et does not fit in the trail of the gun carriage, et the other is modelled without the handles. The Gribeauval artillery system was known for its standardized et interchangeable components, et Italeri should have recreated this feature more accurately in miniature.
The limber is much too wide, its track width is noticeably different from that of the two guns. The overall appearance is wrong. The limber box would need to be separated from the carriage, shortened by 5 mm, et glued back together again. This is a difficult repair job et it might be cheaper et easier to use a more accurate pewter model de l’avant train d’artillerie.
The box art does not include painting instructions for the gun et limber. Pièces d’artillerie française were painted olive green. The colour was mixed from 2500 g of yellow ochre et 30 g of black, approximately 80:1 in proportion. Metal parts were painted black, et the brass gun barrels were polished.
The draft horses are unusually small at 151 cm. The harness straps are not to scale, they are too thick. As a result, the riders will not fit on the limber horses. The mistake may be corrected by replacing the plastic parts avec similar straps cut from paper ou aluminium foil. The portemanteau behind the saddle should be round, not rectangular. The error may be corrected by mounting the artilleryman on a hussar horse.
Possibilités de Conversions
Artillerie à Cheval de la Garde impériale, 1815
Supply shortages during the Waterloo campaign had a noticeable impact on the appearance de l’artillerie à cheval de la Garde. Quelques artilleurs portaient overalls instead of hussar trousers, et the fur busbies were worn without plumes. Les figurines peuvent être converties pour représenter this form de tenue de campagne.
Artillerie à Cheval française, 1804–1812
The conical shako avec red plume et cords was introduced en 1804. En 1812 the spencer replaced the hussar tunic dans l’artillerie à cheval de ligne.
The spongeman who holds the sponge in both hands peut être convertie en gun layer (No. 1) by shortening the sponge et bending the remaining pole into shape.
The mounted gunner peut être convertie en trompette, using an instrument taken from a hussar ou chasseur à cheval. The mounted gunner may be painted as an elite hussar trooper, in which case a hussar horse avec a round portemanteau should be used.
Ces figurines de l’artillerie à cheval de la Garde impériale are suitable for collectionistes et joueurs de guerre. Dioramistes may want to convert the missing figurine poses et use more realistic limber models.
Pour plus d’informations, veuillez contacter les éditeurs de la revue Military Miniatures Magazine au Miniatures Forum.