Pendraken French Line Drummer

One of the many fun reasons to collect a French Napoleonic army of the early rather than late Empire is the more relaxed attitude to uniform regulations summed up nicely by Rousselot’s description of French line musicians in his Napoleon’s Army: “perhaps to use up material of other than the regulation colour which might be lying in store, the lapels, collar and cuffs, and even the turnbacks were of various colours” – giving the wargamer a perfect excuse to go wild with the paint box! I painted a Pendraken line drummer similarly to Rousselot’s depiction of a fusilier drummer of the 42nd regiment, 1809-10. The Pendraken figure has twin fringed-epaulettes as worn by elite company drummers, meaning that the figure is more accurately a voltigeur or grenadier drummer. Fusilier drummers would normally have had ‘swallows nest’ wings as were worn by elite company musicians under their epaulettes.
I gave the figure brass drumstick retainers on the drum sling and copper ferrules – metal reinforcements – on the end of the drumsticks. I also gave him a regimental blue pop-pom and a staff white plume with a red tip that turned out very tricolour-esque. The idea was that the drummer was destined to join the 56th line infantry regiment that defended the village of Essling. LEFT Pendraken French line drummer. BELOW Figure 21: French fusilier drummer of the 42nd regiment, 1809-10, from Lucien Rousselot’s Napoleon’s Army. Copyright Andrea Press.