Monday 21 February 2011

French and Swiss Guards

I’ve just finished two battalions of the Gardes Suisses (Foundry figures) and I’m showing the entire Guard brigade with its commander, Le marechal de camp Marquis de Conflans.

On the left are two battalions of the Gardes Francaises, in their blue coats, and on the right, two battalions of the Gardes Suisses. I have made the tiniest of errors when painting the latter – I had simply assumed that they were entirely reversed colours from the Gardes Françaises, so I had painted them with red trousers whereas both regiments wore blue trousers. Still they are done now and would you have noticed if I had not pointed it out? Yes? Sure….

As for the Foundry figures they have two failings. Firstly, they tend to lean to the left and I’ve had the devil of a job straightening them up. In fact this problem is even worse in the Foundry Line figures as you will see when I paint two Irish battalions next week. Each of those figures will need a cardboard wedge to straighten out their tendency to lean! Secondly, some of the figures, particularly the command figures, have no necks. This can be a problem in the human condition although that fact may save them from Madame Guillotine in the near future.

In terms of painting, my suggestion, for the officers at least, would be to black undercoat them (I always use a black undercoat for all my figures anyway) and then dry brush the silver detail which is very well sculpted. Then cut in the coat colour around the profuse silver lace.


  1. Beautiful figures, very nicley done!!

  2. I´m glad you told how you did the lace first I thought you had painted the pattern directly onto the coats!!! Excellent painting,,,the command group in the third picture looks brilliant

  3. Fortunately the gaiters cover a lot of the leg. It's hard to notice even when looking.

    Lovely job on the lace.

  4. Great painting, making the most -and more- of somehow 'Orcish' miniatures.

    Seemingly the officers of the Swiss Guard wore red breeches, at least in n° 1 dress.
    Seemingly their sergeants wore reversed coats until after the SYW.

  5. Problematic or not, they look utterly splendid! Well done :-)

  6. Lovely job Nigel - the officer's lace is particularly good.

    I've been meaning to tell you how much I like your new blog banner - hard to tell if Frederick is being amusing or sarcastic with his remark about the guns! A great piece of artwork nonetheless.


  7. Yikes - those officers are pretty - how heavy must those coats have been in real life!