The Army of Saxony in the Napoleonic Wars
by Greg McCall

Saxony was created a kingdom by Napoleon in 1806. Joining the Confederation of the Rhine and required to support France with a force of 20,000 men. Rewarded with the Duchy of Warsaw at the end of 1807, the fall of Napoleon was disastrous for Saxony. Ruled in turn by Russia and Prussia, eventually loosing over half its territory to Prussia, Saxony ceased to be a major power.

The Saxon army is unfortunately thought of today as poor. They were a professional body and behaved as well as any of Napoleon's satellite troops. At Wagram, when led into a bad situation by Bernadotte, they were broken by Austrian artillery and cavalry. Napoleon's distaste for Bernadotte as well as his desire to promote French troops at the expense of his allies has colored history's assessment of the Saxon army.

Performing well in the Russian campaign and fighting on when Saxony was invaded in 1813, the army eventually went over to the Allies at the Battle of Leipzig, an action based on political considerations rather than resulting from a loss of morale.

Saxon troops formed the IX Corps in 1809 and the VII Corps in 1812. The typical division was composed of two infantry brigades of two regiments each, plus a grenadier battalion, a foot artillery battery and an engineer company.

Line Infantry Regiments

Organization: two battalions per regiment; one grenadier, four musketeer companies per battalion; company strength 180 men; regimental depot. Grenadiers habitually served in separate battalions.

Uniform: white coat; distinctive color on collar, cuffs and lapels; white breeches; white belting; bicorne hat, bearskin for grenadiers, after 1809 shako; white plumes and cords, red for grenadiers, White over black for officers. Cockade was white with a cornflower-blue center.

von Cerrini
Prinz Anton
Dark Blue
Prinz Clemens
Dark Blue
Prinz Maximillian
von Burgsdorff
Prinz Friedrich August
Light Green
von Low
von Oebschelwitz
von Dyherrn
von Niesemeuschel
von Rechten

Other Infantry

Lieb-Grenadier-Garde Regiment

Organization: two battalions; five companies each, company strength 90 men.

Uniform: red coat with yellow facings; white breeches; bearskin.

Schweizer Leibgarde

Organization: 120 men.

Uniform: yellow coat with light-blue facings; white breeches; bicorne hat.

Garrison and Half-Invalid Companies

Organization: 205 men (Garrison Company); 180 men (Half-Invalid Companies).

Uniform: white coat with black facings; white breeches; bicorne hat.

Heavy Cavalry Regiments

Organization: four squadrons per regiment (one serving as depot); squadron strength 125 men.

Uniform: buff coat w/ distinctive color on collar, cuffs; turnbacks; black half-cuirass; white breeches; bicorne hat.

Garde du Corps
Von Zastrow Cuirassiers

Light Cavalry Regiments

Organization: four squadrons per regiment (plus depot) for chevauxlegers; eight squadrons for Hussar Regiment.

Chevauxlegers Uniform: red coat w/ distinctive color on collar, cuffs, lapels and turnbacks; bicorne.

Hussar uniform: white dolman w/ light-blue trim, light-blue pelisse, white breeches; mirliton hat w/ light-blue Îwingâ. After 1809, shako for all.

Distinctive Color
Prinz Clemens Chevauxlegers
Prinz Johann Chevauxlegers
Herzog Albrecht Chevauxlegers
Von Polenz Chevauxlegers
Hussar Regiment
(light-blue and white)


Organization: two light and two heavy batteries; one pontoon company.

Artillery Uniform: dark-green coat with yellow buttons and red facings trimmed; buff breeches; bicorne.

Train uniform: light-blue coat with black facings trimmed red; bicorne.

Pontooneer uniform: as artillery but with red breeches and waistcoat.


Painting 15mm Napoleonics for Fun and Profit
By Bill Boyle

Many wargamers are put off by trying to paint Napoleonic figures. "All those turnbacks, cuff, collars, helmet cords, etc. will take forever to paint." you say.

I disagree, it is precisely those items that make Nappys easier, and quicker to paint than you would expect. The various painting techniques described here, while simple, will greatly improve the final figure.

It is my goal to show you how to paint above average wargames figures. On a one to ten point scale {10 being the highest} these methods should produce 4s. With a little practice, you should be able to turnout level 5 to 7 figures with no loss in speed.

While I am by no means the fastest. or best painter in town, I do paint an average of 6 figures an hour in 15mm and you can too!

Donât get Discouraged!

Remember the words of Scott Hansen,

"If you paint a 1000 French Legere, the last twelve will look a lot better than the first twelve."

I propose to give an example of the techniques I use using the French Legere figure.

  1. Trim the figures
    I use an excato knife and a bench grinder (for heavy flash on the base). You can also use wire snips on the base. The better cast figures have less flash , but cost more. This is a time consuming and mindless activity, consider the cost of better figures vs the extra time spent trimming. On the other hand, it can be done watching T.V. Editors note: For those of you without a bench grinder, get a Dremel motor tiller.
  2. Base the figures and prime in black
    Many would disagree with both actions. "How can you paint figures already based, some of the figures surface canât be reached with a brush." My answer to that is if you canât paint it, they canât see it, particularly at three to four feet.

    I use flat black auto primer. Three to four feet is the typical distance wargames figures are seen at on the table, and we are painting figures to play with, not to go on display. However, you can always base them after you have painted them , if you prefer. The advantage of priming the figure to the base is saving of time, the figure is more permanently affixed to the base and avoiding damaging the paint job when you base.

    Black Primer: Black priming adds depth and shading , donât worry about the figures being too dark, we will fix that in a minute. It may mess up or alter the exact shade of the uniform color you want to use, So I tend to use primary colors rather than the exact uniform colors and let the wash take care of it. Also, material variations and weathering of uniforms on campaign will create variation in real life. So, if the color is not perfect, it is probably more true to life than you would be lead to believe by fancy color uniform guides.

    !!!WARNING!!! Red can be the trickiest uniform color to use, but there are three ways to overcome this problem:

    1) Paint twice
    2) Use Vajello Red, (buy the best) and it covers it or
    3. Paint the Îredâ area in white and then go back over it in red once the white dries.

  3. The Halo
    I picked up this trick from Rick Nance, who got it from The Lions Den wargamers. After the back primer is dry you over spray with flat white at a 60 degree angle about 10 to 12 inches away from the figure. Donât just keep spraying until you completely cover it. A few deep lines and crevices should still show black.

  4. Wet Brush
    Greg McCall showed me this. This technique has the same purpose as halo but uses white paint brushed on instead. You paint the entire figure in white using dry brush technique but donât use a dry brush. Instead leave some of the paint on the brush. You should have some black showing through once you have finished.

    Dry brushing is when you load the brush and then wipe the brush on a paper towel to take off most of the paint. It is used for highlighting and shading. For our purposes here, we only partly take off the paint, thus wet brush.

    The added advantage of both theses techniques is it is easier to see detail on the figures for painting. Either method will create highlights and shading without the hard work of painting.

    Now that the figure is primed and based, we are ready to start applying uniform colors on our Legere.

  5. Paint the pants and coat in blue
    Just slop it on, donât worry about getting outside the lines. If you hit a cuff or pack, so what, the next color will cover it.

  6. Paint the flesh
    Many times I leave this until last, but often painters have trouble seeing the figures details until they frame the figure by painting the flesh. You will be surprised how much the details pop out after you have the hands and face as a point of reference. We can slop on the flesh color, just take care not to hit the coat. Hitting cuffs, shako, and collars is fine, we will cover up later anyway.

  7. Paint shako, some hair, boots, gaiters, & ammo box black
    Now you will have to take some care for the line between the shako and flesh, coat and ammo box, and gaiter and pants. But its only one line and you can load the brush and then work toward the edge of blue (or flesh) My basic strategy is to never put on a color where no more than one fine edge matters. Use hydrostatic pressure and let it do the work for you. (Hydrostatic pressure is the tendency of liquids to flow toward the edge , but are held by raised surfaces , such as a crease or the surface of previously dried paint.)

  8. Paint backpack in brown and overcoat in grey
    I do the edges and work toward the center of both the overcoat and backpack.

  9. Paint turnbacks , cuff collars, shoulder boards, etc.
    NOW you need to exercise some care. Thankfully you can use a small brush and make one stroke for collars, front to back. For cuffs start in the center and push to edge. Turnbacks should go easy unless it is just piping. If you canât hold the brush steady to do a fine line for piping, there is a solution. Just paint the entire turnback and then after it dries, go back with the coat color and push to the edge to create the piping line.

  10. Paint the gun brown
    And some hair if you didnât make them all black in step 7.

  11. Paint silver or gun metal on the gun, sword hilts and bayonets
    I slop the paint on the bayonet and then make one stroke from gun butt to bayonet with excess paint still on the brush, use a semi dry brush.

  12. Dry brush the straps & Helmet cords
    Use dry brush in white to find them on the figure, then one stroke to finish.

  13. Lightly dry brush gaiter buttons etc. to your taste
    Tart up the officers with gold trim.

  14. Look the boys over and touch up the worst errors
    Generally, the same error will be on most figures so when you find a messed up spot on one figure, you can quickly check the rest for the same error. As part of this step you can also dry brush (optional). Use a slightly lighter shade of blue (or whatever your uniform color is) and go back over the pants and coat to highlight, if desired.

  15. Important! The Ink Wash
    This really sets the figure and covers most minor boo boos. Buy the best inks (Windsor Newton nut brown is good) You do not want a primary shade for inks. You may need to use a smoke or blue/black ink for grey and white uniformed troops.

    Greg McCallâs ink solution: You need to mix up a solution for the ink wash. I use Mr. McCallâs mixture which is 1 oz. Future Floor Wax, 2 oz. ink and 3 oz. water.

    If you put on an ink wash and it looks terrible, have a ready supply of clean water and a big brush and simply wash the ink off before it dries.

    Brush ink solution on the entire figure. Be gentle, and let the ink flow into the low spots. It might take a day to dry. It will be darker when you put it on than what it will look like when it dries, so donât worry.

    What if the figures are too DARK? Use one of the three cures.

    The Three Cures: Let us assume you inked the figure and after it dries it is still too dark for your tastes.

    Cure 1: Dry brush after inking This will dramatically improve the figure at the cost of more time. The average figures you were planning to use next week are no longer average, and probably not won?t be ready for the big game.

    Cure 2: RECOAT Recoat some of the troublesome colors, such as red, the white cross belts and lighter colors in general. This fixes the problem , with the same increase in time you were seeking to avoid.

    Cure 3: PAINT BRIGHTER, NOT HARDER I used to find and buy the exact shade for each uniform. But variations in cloth, and weathering on campaign meant that my band box uniforms probably were not accurate anyway. Now I stick to using primary and secondary colors as much as possible and let the wash do the work. I just paint the figures brighter and use lighter shades than they ought to be and let the black primer coat and inks do the rest.

    What if the figures are too bright?
    Just ink them again.

  16. Painting the Base
    Use slightly watered down brown to cover the base (I use burnt sienna) and dip the wet base into flock to cover the base. Gently shake off the excess.

  17. Seal the Figure
    Apply a spray coat of protective sealant (I use Krylon 1311- satin) and dry.

A lot of steps, but each step is rather quickly accomplished. If you have questions hook up with me at Call To Arms in May, and I will be happy to discuss and demonstrate, if interest warrants.

Final Tips

Buy good brushes and use them when a fine line is required. Older or lesser quality brushes can be used for wet brushing and for the first couple of colors to be applied. Sometimes you will hit a Îpainters blockâ and can not seem to finish a unit. What I do when this happens to me is paint just one color a session. This wonât take long and then you can go on to something else. Before long you will either get inspired and finish them all at once, or eventually knock them all out over time.

Have fun and soon you will be working your way though your backlog of lead in no time. The figures you finish can finance your new projects that you now have a reasonable chance of completing.

I learned all these painting techniques from a lot of great painters who freely showed all they knew:

Rick Nance, who got me to try painting when I thought I couldnât.

Greg McCall, who is a wonderful painter who slowly turns out 10s, but canât paint a 5 to save his life. (He is dead in an arms race with me.)

Bob Vetter, who is a master of the dry brush. No longer paints figures in any traditional way, dry brushes every color for a lovely effect.

Dave Grosdeck, a very good (retired) painter who showed me a lot, particularly in regards to blending and shading.

Mark Duncan, who showed me how to use inks after I had just about given up.

Scott Hansen, who uses the block painting (toy soldier) style. I incorporated several of his tricks into my techniques.