Monday, 15 March 2010
WAS/SYW French Generals
I like to paint up some generals when I’m starting a new project as it’s the character of the individuals that will partly determine how well their troops perform on the battlefield.
The top two pictures show Lt. General the chevalier de Nicholai (a Foundry figure that is meant to be Lt.General Chevert) and an ADC (a Front Rank figure).
Antoine Chrétien de Nicolaï (1712-1777)
Active it the Italian campaign of the War of the Polish Succession, he was promoted Brigadier in 1744 and fought at the battles of Raucoux and Lawfeld in the WAS. Promoted Lieutenant General in 1748 he was again active in the SYW and sustained a wound at Rossbach. Active at the battles of Krefeld and Minden. In 1775 he was made a Marshal of France. He seems like a very experienced officer and sadly, I cannot locate an image of the old warhorse.
This Foundry figure is rather decent, unlike most of the SYW French range, and I like his haughty look. He seems very irritated with the ADC whose arrival has interrupted his train of thought. The sashes are French (red) and Polish (blue) which were awarded to Chevert but probably not to Nicholai, but these are too hard to remove so he has been promoted to membership of these orders. Nicholai will command the first column or division and I see him as solid and reliable, if somewhat lacking in inspiration.
Of his three infantry brigades, the first (which includes Regiment Limousin already painted) is commanded by Brigadier marquis de Voyer.
Marc René de Voyer (1722- 1787) de Paulmy d’Argenson, marquis de Voyer, comte de Paulmy, vicomte de La Guerche, baron des Ormes, then later comte d'Argenson. Son of the Secretary of War during the SYW. Distinguished himself at the battle of Fontenoy on 11th May 1745 at the head of the regiment of Berry where, according to Savory, he was also wounded. He was promoted to maréchal de camp on 10th May 1748. Here he is portrayed as a Brigadier commanding the first brigade, though as he hailed from Touraine, he would probably have preferred command of the second Brigade which includes that regiment. During the SYW he was a Lieutenant General and his specialty appears to have been commanding light troops. His family fell-out with Madame de Pompadour. He seems to me to be brave, even inspirational, but perhaps none to bright.
Its nice to find a portrait upon which to base the figure and the figure himself is by Front Rank but on a Foundry horse. Some of you might notice that officers to be portrayed from the WAS will sport a white cockade while those from the SYW will have a black one. Given that most of these generals will have participated in both wars, and that this French army is designed to serve in either, you will see that I am employing a certain latitude as to their rank in my army.