New releases: The Generals! Wellington, Blücher, Murat and Kutuzov are coming to Aliexpress (LEGO-Compatible Minifigure Release)

Hot on the heels of the latest Uhlan release, we now have some famous faces from the Napoleonic Wars represented in LEGO-Compatible minifigures. In a step away from the troops we've seen so far, we will now see individual leaders take to the field. In this article we'll find out a bit about who they are, and you'll find affiliate links of where to buy them. (Update 25/02/2024 - Kutozov is currently unavailable, but you can pick up the other three in the same pack here).

44 figures have passed so far in the series, but these are the first of such esteemed rank, and to wear the bicorne hat. As opposed to how you would expect a commander on a campaign to dress, these models are certainly wearing the most formal version of their attire, and we'll see in this article how the uniforms are very much based on how they sat for portraits at the time.

N045: Joachim Murat

Joachim Murat was a French military officer who rose to prominence during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Born on March 25, 1767, in La Bastide-Fortunière, France, Murat initially pursued a career in law before joining the French Army in 1787.

During the French Revolution, Murat demonstrated his military prowess and loyalty to Napoleon Bonaparte. Murat served under Napoleon in numerous campaigns, including those in Italy and Egypt. He became one of Napoleon's most trusted generals and played a significant role in several key battles.

Murat's career reached its zenith when he was appointed as Marshal of the Empire in 1804 and became the King of Naples and Sicily in 1808. As a ruler, he implemented various reforms, modernizing the administration and infrastructure of his kingdom.

However, Murat's loyalty to Napoleon eventually led to his downfall. Following Napoleon's defeat in the Battle of Leipzig in 1813, Murat switched sides in an attempt to secure his throne. His decision proved disastrous, and he was ultimately captured and executed by firing squad in 1815 after his failed attempt to regain power in Italy during the Hundred Days.

Murat can be seen here in a fine uniform with plenty of embroidery and a red sash. It appears to be based on this portrait of Murat depicting him as King of Naples, but trades the fancy hat here for an elaborate bicorne hat. 

The minifigure also shares a lot of similarity with the below painting which depicts Murat in 1805. He is listed here as wearing the uniform of the Admiral of the Empire, which Napoleon gave him the position of in 1805, despite him having very little knowledge of naval warfare. He was, however, a fine cavalry commander. 

I think this minifigure will be be a popular release, especially for those forming their own French army and wanting a spectacular unformed officer to lead it. You can pick him, and the other commanders up from Aliexpress 

N046: Mikhail Kutuzov

Mikhail Kutuzov (1745–1813) was a prominent Russian military commander and statesman, best known for his leadership during the Napoleonic Wars, particularly during the French invasion of Russia in 1812. Kutuzov served as the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian army during that critical period.

Before his role in the Napoleonic Wars, Kutuzov had a long and distinguished military career, serving in various campaigns against the Ottoman Empire and Poland. in 1774, During the first Russian-Turkish War he was ordered to storm the well-defended town of Alushta. When his troops' were on the verge of stopping their assault, Kutuzov grabbed the fallen regimental standard and led the attack. While charging forward as an inspiration to his men, he was shot in the head with what was expected to be a fatal shot. The bullet went right through his head and exited near his right eye. Amazingly he recovered, and after a couple of years out of the army returned to active service, but with a permanetly twisted right-eye, which is represented on the minifigure by a closed eye.

During the French invasion of Russia in 1812, Kutuzov adopted a strategy of avoiding direct confrontation with Napoleon's forces, instead employing a strategy of strategic retreat, scorched-earth tactics, and attrition. This strategy culminated in the decisive Battle of Borodino in September 1812, where Kutuzov commanded the Russian forces against Napoleon's Grande Armée. While the battle was bloody and inconclusive, it ultimately forced Napoleon to advance deeper into Russia, where he faced logistical challenges and the harsh Russian winter.

After Borodino, Kutuzov continued to lead Russian forces in their pursuit of the retreating French army, eventually pushing them out of Russian territory. His leadership played a significant role in Napoleon's defeat in the Russian campaign.

He is shown in a green uniform which looks to colour-match the rest of the Russian line with his various medals. Portraits of Kutuzov seem pretty consistent in his uniform which is matched very well by the LEGO-Compatible minifigure above. He's also appropriately missing his right eye.

N047: Arthur Wellesley

Sir Arthur Wellesley, famously known as the Duke of Wellington, was a British military leader and statesman. Born on May 1, 1769, Wellesley came from an aristocratic Anglo-Irish family. He entered the British Army in 1787 and served in various campaigns, gaining experience and recognition for his leadership abilities in Flanders, India and Denmark.

Wellesley's most famous victories came during the Peninsular War (1808–1814), where he commanded British forces against the French in the Iberian Peninsula. Here, he led the British along with their Portugese and Spanish allies to victories such as that at Talavera, which I recreated myself recently as a stop-motion animation, and most notably at the Battle of Vitoria in 1813, which resulted in the French withdrawal from Spain. In 1814, he entered France with his army and fought the Battle of Toulouse, after which came news that Napoleon had actually abdicated four days earlier.

A year later in 1815 he was back in action during the Hundred Days, and Wellesley's most celebrated triumph came at the Battle of Waterloo, where he led allied forces to victory over Napoleon Bonaparte, effectively ending the Napoleonic Wars. This victory solidified his reputation as one of Britain's greatest military leaders.

In addition to his military career, Wellesley was also involved in politics. He served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom twice, first briefly in 1828-1830 and then again from 1834 to 1835. He was also a prominent figure in the House of Lords.

As with all of these figures, he is dressed very much in his full formal attire as opposed to field-dress, and this is particularly noticeable for Sir Arthur, who is famed for his rather plain blue outfit that he wore on campaign after 1808. The uniform on this figure is splendid however, and is certainly great if you were to be making a scene of Wellington sitting for a portrait, or him attending the Dutchess of Richmond's ball before Waterloo. It is a nice bicorne he wears! I personally will probably use the head of the French Officer (N015) model, which features impressive sideburns, as I did in my Battle of Talavera stop-motion.

N048: Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher

Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher, fully known as Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher, Fürst von Wahlstatt, was a Prussian field marshal who played a significant role in the eventual defeat of Napoleon. Born on December 16, 1742, Blücher became renowned for his aggressive tactics and relentless pursuit of the enemy on the battlefield, known to his men as "Marschall Vorwarts" (Marshal Forwards).

Blücher was a fascinating character. He originally fought as a Hussar with Sweden against Prussia, before being captured in 1760 and subsequently commissioned into the Prussian army. In 1773 he was forced to resign by Fredrick the Great on the grounds of insubordination and became a farmer until the death of Fredrick in 1786, when he returned to the army and was promoted to colonel, and fought in key battles against Napoleon, including the Battle of Leipzig.

By the time of Ligny and Waterloo he was 74 years old but continued to pursue Napoleon with a fanatical enthusiasm. At Ligny, the Prussians were defeated and the elderly field marshal was trapped under his dead horse for several hours, saved as a result of his aide-de-camp throwing a greatcoat over him to conceal his identity, and he was ridden over by several French horses. Battered and wounded, he rejoined his army and his army marched to the aid of Wellington as the Battle of Waterloo hung on the balance, and dealt a decisive blow, before his Prussian force continued the pursuit of the routed French.

He was prone to bouts of mental illness, including one particularly famous episode of believing himself pregnant with an elephant fathered by a French infantryman. It has been argued that this quote was actually misinterpreted in it's translation to the mutual French language by Wellington, as a Prussian phrase for "Those French Infantry gave me a headache". Reportedly, it was a favorite anecdote of the Duke of Wellington whenever he spoke of his ally who ultimately was instrumental in the defeat of Napoleon by the Prussian arrival at Waterloo.

This is probably my favorite model of the four releases, and I think shows Blücher's character (and mustache) particularly well. Some additional sideburns would have been a nice touch.

Final thoughts:

It's fantastic that we finally have some famous faces added to this wonderful line of figures! I would love there to be a field-uniform version of each, but maybe that's a later addition. If you are planning of having a parade of your army, then a general in all spendour of full-dress uniform will just add to the sense of occasion!

Remember, you pick up the figures through this affiliate link and support this website, and I look forward to seeing what you think of these figures in the comments below, or commenting on the Facebook post for Napoleonic Bricks Blog.