"A principle requisite in painting up any army is self-discipline. Of course you want guard units. But stop and think for a moment. If you are just beginning, the quality of your figure painting is going to improve as you gain experience. So if you buy guards units first, in a fairly short while they will begin to look positively shabby in comparison with your newer line infantry units, which is not all the effect you want. By the same token, most people prefer painting cavalry to infantry figures. But cavalry only accounted for about a third, if that, of the total strength of any Napoleonic army. So my advice, in al seriousness, is to start with a line infantry battalion. Paint this and see how you go. Then you can get yourself a couple of squadrons of cavalry to go with it. Paint a second line battalion, add an artillery battery. Paint a third, and get some more cavalry. If you discipline yourself like this. and force yourself to paint at least one line battalion for every other unit you acquire, you will end up with a reasonably balanced army for which you should easily be able to find an opponent."
Garde Impériale by Funcken
~Bruce Quarrie, Napoleon's Campaigns in Miniature, p. 20
I had followed Bruce's advice almost from the start of my Napoleonic painting action.
Research proved that his observation of 2/3 of force being foot troops as accurate, so I had embarked upon a quest of grand proportions to have large numbers of line troops before taking on guard units.
The last guard units I had painted were the Empress Dragoons, now with the bicentennial of 1814-15 and the defense of France and 100 days campaign looming large, it was time to finish off the planned guard units. From the mound-o-lead came a unit of Hinchcliffe guardsmen, reloading and a force of 18 guard foot artillerymen. Also found were some artillery officers and four minifigs horse artillerymen.
These have been mounted to painting sticks and now they are moving forward to completion - possibly in time to be put on the table in the Campaign of Nations ...
|guardsmen and horse artillery taking shape|
|guard foot artillerymen taking shape|