Wednesday 26 June 2013

Chevau-légers de la Garde

These look exactly the same as the Gensdarmes but there are some small differences - the musician's coat is blue not red and the rankers have silver buttons amongst that clutter of gold lace. The officers and musicians rode grey horses, the rankers bays.
This regiment was almost wiped out in the WAS at the battle of Dettingen.
That completes the French guard cavalry although I'll be doing the Gendarmerie later on in the year.

Sunday 23 June 2013

Gendarmes de la Garde

Oh the bees' knees of Guard Cavalry!

What a magnificent unit and pleasure to paint. This unit, as well as the Chevau-legers de la Garde, had the priviledge of placing their standards in the King's bedchamber every night. I'll be showing the Chevau-legers soon.

Both units rode Bays - and I had to check with Wiki on this horse colour - although the officers and musicians rode greys. You have probably seen pictures of Prince Soubise and wondered why he was in a red coat with black cuffs - the answer is that he was the 'lieutenant-captain' of this unit so effectively Colonel. Note that officer's had black Soubises as well - 'soubise' was a contemporary name for waistcoat and in my mind that makes our Soubise quite the Beau Brummell of the age.

The last picture shows how I have painted the figures. Because the coat lace is so finely sculpted (by Front Rank) I think that the best way to paint them is to give them a gold dry-brush first and then cut in with the red coat colours. That is a labourious task but well worth the effort as it makes the gold stand out better.


2nd Company Mousquetiers de la Garde

Known as the Black Musketeers because of their horse colour, this unit was made up from the old Cardinal's personal guards in the time of Louis XIII. But Officers and musicians of all the units of Guard cavalry rode greys.The other main difference between the 2nd and 1st company lies in the lace colour - the latter was gold and the former one was silver. There were also tiny differences in the detailing around the cross on the front and back of the soubreveste.
Figures are by Front Rank.

Wednesday 19 June 2013

1st Company Mousquetiers de la Garde

Here we have the 1st company of the Mousquetiers de la Garde, part of the Maison du Roi.
They were also called the Grey Musketeers due to the fact that all were mounted on greys. This famous regiment was founded by Louis XIII and Athos, Porthos, Aramis and d'Artagnan, famously and fictionally, served in their ranks. They duelled with the Cardinal's guard and Cardinal Richelieu eventually gave his guards to the King who formed the 2nd company from them.

The figures are from Front Rank. The open right hand comes with an option of a carbine or, if you ask Alec nicely, he might send you a sprue of the pistol-sword-carbine option which used to come with these figures. It is a slightly tricky operation puting the sword into the open hand and I'm not totally convinced of the result, but the figures are incredibly detailed and a joy to paint.

As a brief aside, d'Artagnan was a Gascon and I live in Gascony. It is also famed for its douceur de vivre ("sweetness of life"), not to mention the rude things that the rest of the French population have to say about bull-headed Gascons.

Shortly I'll show a post of the 2nd company of this regiment which, surely, was one of the most colourful of the SYW. It was also present at the battle of Vellinghausen so it did serve in the war!

Saturday 15 June 2013

40mm SYW Austrian (Hungarian) Haller 2nd BTN

This is the 2nd battalion of the Hungarian Regiment Haller, with flags from the 1740's. The first battalion you saw back in September 2012 and that now completes the 10 battalions of Austrian infantry for 'Phase One' of these WAS/SYW armies.  In August 2011 I posted pictures of 5 squadrons of a dragoon regiment - Sachsen-Gotha - and I have now bought more figures to add to the cavalry. One more regular squadron to add to this regiment plus a squadron of Horse Grenadiers as well 7 more squadrons for a new regiment. That will give me 14 squadrons of cavalry. After that I'll shift emphasis to the Prussian army.

My new wargames table is ready too. I've shrunk down to 6' x 15' which is still a respectable size. I've also ordered a new backdrop from the US so I'll be able to photograph against a scenic background of forested hills and blue skies. More on that soon. Next week it is back to 25mm SYW French cavalry.

Sunday 9 June 2013

Two French SYW 12pdr batteries

As in the previous post, these are Foundry figures and Elite guns.
Note that I have used different blues for the guns on the basis that there was very little standardisation in this period.
As for the painting of the gun barrels I have used the Foundry Triad 36A-B-C which is supposed to be various shades of gold. The 'A' is almost a bronze and works well as the base coat. Then I touch up the detailing with 'B' followed, when dry, with just a sparing amount of 'C'. The final covering is a dirty acrylic matt varnish. On that subject I have stopped using Armypainter as I was wasting so much. The tins are very hard to keep sealed as they are such a tight fit. This new 'dirty varnish' is just an ordinary bottle of artist's matt acyrilic varnish with a added 'rust' paint (from Coat d'Arms 241 Rust) and it works just as well.

Two French SYW 4pdr batteries

Here are two French SYW 4pdr batteries. The figures are from Foundry and the lovely guns are from Elite.

Monday 3 June 2013

40mm Austrian SYW High Command

Back to my own 40mm WAS/SYW armies, here I've done the mounted command base for my Austrian Army. In terms of personalities, I've not been sure who to represent but I have ended up by doing Wilhelm Reinhard von Neipperg in the uniform of a Feldzeugmeister  or Full General of Infantry. He was, of course, commanding in the disaster that was the Battle of Mollwitz but, had he won, he might not have 'retired' and might well have served in the SYW.

The figures are from Trident and have had to be converted substantially with greenstuff on the cuffs and pistol covers. The issue of turnbacks presented a problem as most of Trident's figures have them and, supposedly, officers in the Austrian army did not. But as it was often more comfortable to ride a horse with one's coat 'turn backed' I have used these figures unconverted.

Neipperg died in 1774, just one day before his 90th birthday.