Monday, January 20, 2020

Russian Napoleonic Pre 1809 Sapper Conversion

A short post about a conversion I put together recently. Finding Russian sappers in 15mm scale for the more common armies isn't a problem. I was unable to find a suitable sapper outside of a possible Capitan/War Modelling figure. Not finding a picture of what I might be getting from that shifting company, I declined to experiment with my money. So I needed something to work with as a base for a conversion.

Does a pre 1809 Russian sapper take on the appearance of a grenadier? Unable to find anything written about their uniforms, I decided that the Russians probably imitated other armies in having sappers with grenadier hats. A French sapper seemed like a possible good start, but I settled with using the British AB sapper. Removing the little tuft, I then carefully fitted a Russian grenadier plume in place along with a small amount of green stuff to smooth it out. Primed and painted, it is now a part of my Russian Lasalle army.

Does anyone have a similar dilemma with figures that have to be converted to fill in a gap?


  1. I agree with Phil, excellent conversion.
    I have a copy of 'L’Armee Russe Sous le Tsar Alexandre 1er de 1805 a 1815' by Marcel Gayda and Andre Krijitsky. It was first published in 1950, but mine is a 2016 Ken Trotman publication with English translation of the captions to the uniform plates by Stephen Summerfield, text in French. Anyway, in there they say that sappers and pioneers were organised in two regiments of two battalions each (a third being added in 1806). Each battalion consisted of a company each of sappers and miners (the √©lite) and three of pioneers. They wore uniforms like the artillery with black facings piped red and white buttons in two rows. White belts. In 1808 the trousers were like the infantry, white in summer and grey in winter. The round, black pack was replaced with the haversack. The epaulettes were red for the first battalion, white for the second (doesn't say for the third) with numbers embroidered in yellow for the first and red for the second. In 1809 the shako (still the early, cylindrical version) had a white metal grenade (three flames for miners and sappers, one for the others) and no cockade. The shako had a red pompom for the miners, yellow for the sappers and white for the three companies of pioneers. The shakos only had a pompom without any sort of plume. Shako chords red for all other ranks, three-coloured for NCOs (white, orange, black).
    Sooooo, if you were really keen you could remove the plume from your fellow, but why would you as it looks so grand?!

  2. This is really great work. Thank you for sharing such a useful information here in the blog. I have something to share here. |