HäT 28mm French Légère – Painting Never Was Easier

Earlier this year I speedpainted HäT Bavarian Napoleonic infantry for our club to use as club army. Club mate Eltjo bought a box HäT French Light Infantry as personal project. As always, this was added to his Mount Everest, aka his pile of future projects, never to be seen. Unpainted plastic soldiers never die. They just fade away. He painted only one of them.

So recently he asked me to quickfix the rest of these bastards – 31 only, a small step for a man, a big step for mankind. He was busy organizing a Napoleonic club event and because I’m one of the participants, I was happy to help him out. French light infantry is blue on blue, I can do that while sleeping.

Below a great example. I can only drool. Metal Franznap miniatures painted by Francesco Messori.

As usual with single piece hard plastic HäT miniatures, proportions are excellent, better than the 30mm multipiece competitors, the heroic fatboy sculpts like Victrix. However relief is less visible, which can be countered with a more contrasting painting style. I combined Contrast Paint and Quickshade dipping to get this result. I speedpaint, therefore I am.

I primed them mid blue (Army Painter Crystal Blue). Next step was pre-highlighting and then contrast painting them. A dash of light grey on the trousers, dark grey on shako front and top. And a rain of Tallasar dark blue contrast paint all over. Raindrops kept falling on their heads.

I painted my steadfast tin hard plastic soldiers while still framed. Layer by layer, line by line. I was a little more ambitious and precise in my painting than usual, inspired by the Franznap examples.

My preferred painting method is dipping. I don’t paint showcase models, I paint miniatures that are stacked in boxes, touched by dirty little fingers and often fall on the floor. I added the backpacks, made last corrections, based them and dipped the miniatures in Dark Tone (black) varnish, best dip for dark blue.

Final result

Another satisfying experience with HäT 28mm for wargaming. Perfect for a perfect army. I paint like a devil and not like God, as Francesco Messori, but my hellish minions are good surrogates for his heavenly angels.

In comparison, HäT figures are just as good as multi-part plastic from other brands. Other models are fatter and a few mm larger (I wouldn’t mix them, see below) The slender HäT miniatures have IMHO more realistic proportions and are cheaper (12 euro for 32 figs).

I’m more into smaller scales, but if I ever start a 28mm Napoleonic army myself, this would be my first buy.

I would, however, combine this Hat28004 (32 figures in marching poses) with Hat28016 (32 chasseurs in action poses) and Hat28017 (command set). The 32 figures come in only 4 marching poses, and that’s for a large group a bit dull. The three Légère boxes together make a vivid unit..

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