Thursday 1 June 2023

The Silver Bayonet - The French Unit

Hey all ! So you know how the hobby expands over several genres, settings and made up worlds right ? That's its biggest strength for me. It's a way to escape the real world and create one of your own to project how you'd want to change it. So bottom line, I'm not not historical gaming at all, I don't want to be reminded about atrocities that have existed before, the horrors of war and the vileness of human nature.
BUT, it turns out it only takes a couple of vampires, werewolves and ghouls in the mix to make it perfectly OK. That's where Silver Bayonet comes in. Having had a good dose of Stargrave lately, I'm very much into Joe McCullough's games at the moment and when my partners in crime started eying towards it I took the opportunity of a sale on my gaming shop's site to get a unit of french people because any chance I get to justify my poor accent in gaming is good for me.
So now you know I know pretty much nothing about Napoleon wars, units, famous dates and all that and I just looked briefly at some pictures to justify how I'd paint them to myself.
Northstar happen to offer ready made bands and that was a good appeal to me, I'm not a meta gamer so I'm not looking for the most OP combination or anything, so give me something to paint and I'm good.

I've painted all of these in a batch, the models are definitely thinner and smaller in scale than the heroic scale I'm used to and I have to say the casts weren't the greatest so the painting process wasn't the most enjoyable but since the models are well designed and simple enough, it didn't turn into too big of a chore, there are some pretty cool designs here.

First on the left is probably my favourite model of the band, the officer, oozing confidence and resolve, followed by the heavy cavalryman with his elaborate armour and helmet with the supernatural investigator on the right

Funnily enough, I found a very similar character online but opted for very less flamboyant colours :

Maybe it's being french but I just couldn't paint every cocarde or sash "bleu blanc rouge" since those are already predominant colours.

Next are the Grenadier and Sapper for the dirty heavy work :

ANd two veteran hunters, one from the first unit box and another that came out free with the rulebook which gives me a little room for customisation since I need to pick 8 models.

I think we can all agree on the strong "Brotherhood of the wolves" vibe in the one on the left :

And finally the feminine touch of the band with the Vivandière and the Occultist :

I got to say I just couldn't help myself thinking about a famous voice coach from reality TV a big decade ago :

Which leads me to 2 other references I kept having in mind all the time. If you're not french,n chances are you don't know about Mylène Farmer but when I was a kid, she did release movie clips that had a huge impact, if you like your Napoleonic wars mixed with softcore, fantasy and 80's pop, just take a look at those (pretty mild but NSFW hence why I'm just posting links) clips and remember those casually aired on day time every day at release.


Now, I'm really interested in moving to the real fun part which is the encounters and all the famous monsters amongst them, having a excuse to maint witches, werewolves and all is just too good. I will be basing my set on as many citadel night horrors as I can but I haven't been able to collect many over the years (if you're into them, you know how rare and sought after they can be). 

And since my WHFRP GM kindly gave me a foundry trooper, I might very well paint a prussian band for good measures too !
Speaking of which, my next post might very well be a report of last weekend's game in our ongoing campaign so stay tuned and happy painting !


  1. I love the colors! Each figure has it's own look, but the patterns you picked pulls them together so well; and there's no mistake this is a French force. I was happy to see you paint them up. I've planned to base up the Prussian team for painting soon. My buddy and I are looking forward to trying the game out for the same reasons you have.

    1. I've picked the prussians next because noone's picked them yet in my group of friends and I have polish blood so why not ?
      It's got me to go get all my monster models to see which I could shoehorn into this project and honestly, I intend to make them multipurpose; I reckon a werewolf will be just as good in silver Bayonet or warhammer fantasy !

  2. Lovely work! I find 20th century uniforms really boring, and the Napoleonic setting allows for some cool bright colours. Your guys look as if they could be in The Duellists. I particularly like the Occultist and Supernatural Investigator. A while back I got some mock-Napoleonic models from Durgin Paint Forge, which were great, but probably the wrong scale for these chaps. Anyhow, nice painting!

    1. It's really got me to want to watch old movies again and the duellists is definitely up there (with Iron Maiden's song ;) )
      Thanks !

  3. Wow, this is quite a change of subject on your usual stuff and I have to say you adapted immediately to it. They all look gorgeous! Can't wait to see more!!

    1. It is quite different from what I usually do and it will probably stay self contained (although yuo never know), it's refreshing every once in a while !

  4. I chose the French squadron first too when Silver Bayonet was originally released (heavily converted with a *lot* of gender swaps)! Now I'm rocking a Welsh warband based around the brief Battle of Fishguard and the heroine Jemima Nicholas. 🥹

    I love your take on the French squad! I'm not that knowledgeable about Napoleonic uniform code either, but I'm loving the rich blue you chose! 💙🩵💙🩵

    1. Cheers Becca, I would really love to see your conversions and them put in colour !


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