The armored Cuirassiers continued after the restoration of the monarchy in France. They served throughout the various regimes into the late 1800’s for France, both King and Empire. The uniform was modified over the years, but retained many of the basic elements from previous generations of the heavy cavalry. The cuirass of front and back armor plate, the high crested helmet, heavy saber and powerful horse, would all have been very familiar to this officer’s predecessors.
The reverse view of this figure, with officer’s eppaulettes. This figure is in parade dress, again as seen in the pages of”Vanished Armies” from AE Haswell Miller, who was stationed for a time in Paris and could see this officer on parade prior to the outbreak of the Great War.
This figure is a beautiful kit representation for American Toy Soldiers. It paints well with great detail and seems very true to scale, if not just a little large. The industry trend seems to be moving more toward 1/30th scale figures which are almost 21/2″ tall as opposed to the 1/32nd scale soldiers that are 21/4″ tall. This seemingly small variation can look quite a bit larger when the figures are side by side. In this case as a single Cavalry figure the scale works nicely.
Carabinier, Left and Cuirassier, Right formed the majority of Napoleon’s heavy cavalry throughout the many battles leading up to and including Waterloo. The Curassiers, 14 regiments strong, named for the front and back armor they wore, known as the Cuirass, were the shock troops of the cavalry. Large armored men on large horses, they were designed to smash through the enemy lines. They were less designed for picket duty, or the exploitation of broken infantry, since the heavy mounts became winded, or ‘blown’ easily after a charge. These latter duties were best left to the light cavalry and Dragoons.
The Carabiniers consisted of two regiments which were held in the strategic reserve. These very elite troopers were originally designated by Louis XIV as the picked men of the cavalry in much the same way Grenadiers were the picked men of the infantry. The Carabiniers were a seasoned, elite and favored cavalry. These men were usually sent in to the battle at a strategically important moment. They received their armor of polished brass late in the battles of the French Empire, after 1812. Both divisions have the armor, the high crested helmet adorned to make them look even more imposing.
These kits are wonderfully sculpted once again by Imrie-Risley Miniatures. The history and coloring are directly from one of my favorite books(of which I have many),
“Les Uniformes de l’Armee Fancais 1660’a 1845”, by Charles Vernier and Colonel Paul Willing.