Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Régiment de Chevaux-Légers Lanciers de la Garde

When I first started reading about the Napoleonic wars and collecting wargames figures, I knew the day would come when I would one day have to own some Chevaux-Légers Lancers of the Guard. As I learned about collecting and commissioning units, I realised that with the Lancers there could be no short cuts. I was looking for:

The full Brigade

  • The full Brigade at 1:20 General de Brigade scale
  • The best 28mm metal figures available (Perry)
  • Custom work on all of the uniforms, so that every detail of the staff, NCO's , etc could be captured
  • Excellent horses, the best I could find
  • Custom lances and pennants using hard, sharpened metal, not cast-lead lances
  • A very experienced studio to execute all of this
In other words this had to be one of my very best units and I felt that Leuthen Studios had the ability to do all of this. I hope you will agree they did so spectacularly

I also wanted to show the Polish squadron and one of the four Red lancer squadrons in full dress; the uniforms are just too magnificent not to. However, reading that most of the Brigade wore campaign uniforms, I decided on equipping the remaining three Red lancer squadrons in such uniforms. My assumption is that the 2 elite squadrons would have broken out their full dress for the eventful day of Waterloo.

The composition of the squadrons was also challenging. Here I followed fairly closely the excellent organization diagrams of JC in his Blog, the Waterloo Campaign in Miniature:

Although the Polish squadron was only 109 effectives (just 5 figures to scale), attached to the Red Lancers,  I gave them 2x3 figure stands AND a 1x3 command stand. I divided up the remaining 4 Red squadrons into 9x3 figure stands and 1x8 figures. this gives 44 stands for the 880 total effectives at Waterloo. This achieved a better visual balance.

The Régiment de Chevaux-Légers Lanciers de la Garde was commanded by lieutenant-général Baron de Colbert-Chabonais and formed, with the 1er Régiment de Chasseurs à Cheval de la Garde, the Cavalerie Légère de la Garde Division under Charles, Comte LEFEBVRE-DESNOUETTES.

The squadrons were commanded as follows:
  • 1er Escadron d'Escadron Polonais: chef d'escadron Gaëtan BALINSKI
  • 2ème Escadron (1ère et 5ème compagnies de "Lanciers Rouges"): major Marie Michel Balthazar DE TIECKEN de TERHOVE
  • 3ème Escadron (2ème et 6ème compagnies de "Lanciers Rouges"): chef d'escadron COTI
  • 4ème Escadron (3ème et 7ème compagnies de "Lanciers Rouges"): chef d'escadron DE BRIQUEVILLE
  • 5ème Escadron (4ème et 8ème compagnies de "Lanciers Rouges"): major Joseph Marie Hyacinthe Siffrin Exupert Eleazard, Marquis DE LA VILLASSE D'AUDIBERT.

The Perry "Colbert" figure is used twice. Once as his wounded self and again with the arm removed from the sling as chef d'escadron Balinski in Polish uniform.

Please note: the lance pennants appear red and cream/yellow in some images due to lighting distortion. They are all red and white.

The full Brigade

The Polish Squadron in full dress


chef d'escadron Gaëtan BALINSKI

Red Lancers squadron in full dress

Lieutenant-général Baron de Colbert-Chabonais

Red Lancers, three squadrons in campaign uniforms

One final note. I have wanted to produce the Guard Lancers in this fashion, i.e. based per General de Brigade, ever since I saw the pro-forma diagram of the Regiment on JC's Blog, referenced above. I would like to acknowledge all of the inspiration I have received from this Blog as I built my Napoleonic collection. It is a great disappointment that JC discontinued his opus maximus in June 2009. I wish him well.


  1. 'Amazing' doesn't even begin to describe this unit of figures. They are wonderful.

    Best Regards,


  2. To me there's nothing more inspiring than a big bunch of colorful Napoleonic cavalry.
    Thank you for sharing these.

  3. HOLY CHEVAUX-LEGERS MOLY, MICHAEL!!! They look astounding. Now I see why this was the most popular, hit-generating post in the history of your fine blog. The detail on your lancers is meticulous, and the paint-job truly gorgeous. Congrats, an thanks for posting!


    PS And thanks again for lunch!

  4. Ethan, thank you, your comments mean a lot. Great to see you again. Michael