Wagons are a great addition to any Napoleonics collection. For Sharp Practice they can be used as scenario objectives or as thematic deployment point markers, and some carts can even be fielded as support options to deliver water or ammunition to units in need.
The French army made huge leaps in army logistics just before and during the Napoleonic wars, especially through standardizing wagons, carts and limbers. With centralized regulations for interchangable wheels, double files for the horses, and new practical designs, the French could move both artillery, ammunition and supplies better than their enemies could. Napoleon knew how to use this speed to his advantage, baffling his foes with quick and unsuspected marches.
Jean-Baptiste-Vaquette de Gribeauval designed and worked on the first overhaul of the French logistics and artillery wagons during the mid 18th century, before the French revolution, but it took time to fully implement. While wildly successful once fully introduced, there was still room for improvement. Plans for those were made in 1803, with the System of Year XI, but again they took time to implement. However, by the time of the 1812 invasion, the French army were using these further streamlined and simplified vehicles and cannon.
In 28mm you have the option of going for metal wagons, or the cheaper option of wooden (MDF) kits. So let's try both! I usually upload pictures of my finished models, but this time I'll post some WIP pictures.
This engineer cart is from Black Hussar Miniatures, and it'll be accompanied by some French engineers. I plan to use it as deployment point, as well as for scenarios where engineers have to do a specific task such as destroy or repair a bridge. I just noticed that the cart on the Black Hussar website is painted red, so I'll need to double check for sources, as the standard for caissons was a olive or pea green that they got through mixing a large amount of yellow ochre paint with a tiny bit of black.
Next up is a MDF supply wagon from warbases.co.uk. I managed to botch the job of building the roof, which in the kit is made of cardboard. Not satisfied with my messed up cardboard roof, I took out some green stuff (kneadatite) and a dentistry tool, and made a basic canvas roof shape to cover up the scene of the crime. Overall I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, and I think it takes a bit of the "MDF look" out of it.
This supply wagon will get a pair of drivers and a pair of draft horses to pull it, also from warbases. I ended up with a bit of green stuff left over after the roof, so I made some sacks and bags that I plan to attach to the back of the cart, again to cover up the more sharply angled parts of the MDF kit.
"Glory is fleeting,