Chevaux du Roi

Back to the 1/72 scale horse and musket era, so that means, ah, horses. Not just any old horses. Horse Grenadier horses!

If these equines are familiar it will be because I painted the same very recently as Strelets’ British / Saxon Cavalry from the War of the Spanish Succession era. Strelets have used the same horse sculpts for this French set.

This small herd wear blue-edged white horse cloths as can be seen on the cover French Royal Horse Grenadiers box. Illustrations show double white edges but I’ve gone with painting a single line as I value my sanity.

Box art from Strelets French Royal Horse Grenadiers

Their distinctively-dressed riders are well-advanced in their painting so hopefully should be united with their exotically attired human companions soon.

Lace Wars Cavalry

I have greatly enjoyed painting Strelets new War of the Spanish Succession-era British cavalry. In fact, I think this is one of the best sets I’ve painted of theirs for a while.

The sculpting of Strelets has gone through some changes over the years. Initially, their figures were considered a little ‘ugly’ by some but were infused with lots of character. More recent sculpting has seen their figures become much more anatomically and proportionally accurate but at the loss of some of that personality. This latest set happily seems to combine a little of both.

My regiment of horse has black facings and white hat lace around the tricornes (except the officers who have gold).

Having painted much Saxon infantry recently, I declared in a recent post that I’d paint them as Saxon cavalry – Beust’s regiment. This move was also inspired by my misplacing a key War of the Spanish Succession source book. I’ve now recovered it and have discovered that my figures could also possibly pass for the Schomberg’s Regiment of Horse (later in the century becoming known as the 7th Dragoon Guards).

There are four command figures, including two officers, a trumpeter and a standard bearer.

The two officers:

For the standard bearer below I’ve provided a guidon freely downloaded from the Tacitus website. I’ve changed the colour to a black to match their facings. Lit by lamps and photographed, it appears a little grey in images. The flag bears a very good resemblance to the regiment’s black damask flag from 1788.

The trumpeter:

Schomberg’s Horse had the origins of its lineage going back to December 1688 as one of a number of regiments of horse raised for William of Orange after he took the throne to replace James II. The regiment was present at all of the Duke of Marlborough’s major battles of the War of the Spanish Succession – Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenarde and Malplaquet.

Troopers at the trot or canter:

Troopers at the charge!

All in all, a fine addition to my Lace Wars project. I’ve a couple more boxes of cavalry to paint from Strelets for this era, so happily there are more to come!

Saxony Soldiers VII

Slogging on and finishing my fifth of my 18th century Saxon infantry regiments of the Great Northern War. This is Reuss’ Regiment of infantry, wearing the usual red coat and this time having light blue distinctions.

The principal figures used are the firing line figures. They are some of the more awkward poses to be found in the box. For starters, the poses are a trifle gawky and the kneeling figures are almost the same height as the standing. What’s more, they all seem to aim far too high. Perhaps charging cavalry are closing in or perhaps the enemy is marching towards them steeply downhill!? I’ve counteracted that effect to a small degree by tilting those figures slightly forward on their bases.

The grenadiers and their NCO:

The regimental flag:

Some officers of Reuss’ Regiment:

The musicians:

I realise that these constant Saxon army posts must blur into one! I’d like to say that I’m working on something completely different – but I’m not. One final battalion to go and then it’s on to some Lace Wars cavalry which – err – also wear red coats…

Best wishes,

Marvin

Saxony Soldiers VI

My fourth completed Saxon infantry regiment of the Great Northern War is Martinière’s Grenadier Regiment.

The Martinière’s Regiment is one of two all-grenadier formations I’m creating which together allow me to make maximum use of the two grenadier poses in Mars Saxon Infantry box. There are sixteen figures in total for this regiment which includes 9 grenadiers, 1 NCO, 3 officers, 1 flag-bearing ensign and 2 musicians (a fifer and a drummer).

The grenadiers and their NCO:

The regimental flag:

The officers:

The musicians:

I particularly like the blue stockings of this regiment but I painted the musicians with white leggings to provide for a little extra distinction for them. And then I got carried away and accidentally painted one of the officers with white stockings too. Never mind, blame uniform shortages in the stores.

Two more infantry regiments to go, one of which is well advanced already and I’m ploughing resolutely on with the final one too!

Saxony Soldiers V

Yet another infantry regiment is completed for my Lace Wars Saxon army, the third out of six for the infantry corps (apologies if I’m boring my more regular visitors). The Zeitz Regiment now has its full compliment of officers, musicians and troops.

Now, I say ‘full compliment’ but it seems as though the drummer and fifer – ah – forgot to make parade for the purposes of this photoshoot. Both are up on a charge.

Those who did manage to turn up for parade involve a front rank firing their muskets and another loading.

The flag bearer I displayed in a previous post but as he made the effort to turn up – here he is again with a few extra views. As before, his flag is based on the elite Polish Guards flag but with a green background.

The officers of Zeitz’s Regiment:

I’m already well into painting two of the remaining three regiments and I will share progress when they’re done. In the interim, I’m also pushing on with that Saxon regiment of cuirassiers, Beust’s Regiment, so plenty keeping me occupied with the brush of late. Spring very belatedly seems to have decided to put in an appearance lately, although so late as to be more accurately called early summer. Nevertheless, it is most welcome and when not hiding away from the nice weather painting toy soldiers, I’m out working on my new garden.

Back in the Saddle

I’m back painting cavalry again. The last cavalry I painted were Ottoman Sipahi back in November last year. This is the first cavalry regiment for my Lace Wars armies. The figures I’m using are Strelets new “British Cavalry” of the era 1701 to 1714.

With my 2021 being so focussed upon painting Saxon infantry, I immediately thought about painting them as Saxon cavalry. The Saxon armies infantry and cavalry colours being so similar to British regiments, figures could be easily used interchangeably on the wargaming field of battle. Once again, the glorious Tacitus website has lots of information on Saxon cavalry and after mulling over the options I’ve decided to paint them as Beust’s Regiment of Cuirassiers which had red coats and black distinctions.

I’ve started on the horses first and it felt good to be back painting them again. Strelets horses have not traditionally been rated very highly, their principal problem (I always felt) was that they were too chunky being very over-fed equines with seriously stocky legs. Strelets equine sculpting has certainly improved over the years, I think. These horses are very decent indeed and much better proportioned.

Strelets have mostly sorted the legs out. Always a tricky challenge for the sculptor, these horses are much better proportioned while the gait seems more natural and sensible than inn previous sets. I’m also particularly impressed with the detail on the horse tack, cheek pieces and bits being very clear and detailed.

At the moment, my horses are majority reddish bays but I recall Stokes over at The Grand Duchy of Stollen mentioning some time ago that he had painted the majority of his horses for a regiment as chestnuts because he recalled it being described as the most common horse colour in the Napoleonic era. So, with that in mind, I’m going to make a few changes to some to make the manes lighter or the same colour as the coats (i.e. true chestnuts). I may leave some Bays with dark manes and legs.

The all-important riders are next and again Strelets seem to have done a nice job!

Regiment de Toulouse (Lace Wars)

Introducing the fourth in my series of French infantry regiments from the War of the Spanish Succession, the Regiment de Toulouse!

Described by C.S. Grant’s “Armies and Uniforms of Marlborough’s Wars” as having light blue stockings, cuffs and collars. With wide variations as to what ‘light blue’ could be interpreted as, I’ve chosen a shade I simply liked the look of.

At Blenheim, under Tourouvre’s Brigade, the Regiment de Toulouse consisted of two battalions in a total of 1000 men.

The officer looks pretty relaxed, but then his large wig could probably stop a well-aimed musket ball or two.

His sergeant looks a little more animated, bellowing orders at his men.

Pleasing figures once again from Strelets. I was a little concerned that being sideways on the sprue would make them less effective to painting, but I think they’ve come out very nicely.

I may boring regular visitors with these figures, but I am enjoying this project very much. My desire is to continue with another regiment but something tells me that I should go for some variety and do something else for a bit. So, I’m at that pleasurable stage of wondering what to paint next. I’ve certainly plenty of figures to choose from, so I better go and check out my enormous unpainted pile!

A Field Day!

It’s a Field Day for my Lace Wars legion! At the suggestion of Suburban Militarism friend and follower Markus Sharaput, I thought I’d parade my 2020 vintage War of the Spanish Succession troops as an indication of overall progress:

The Royal Scots – “Damn forward fellows with a bayonet!”
The Regiment de Champagne advance with typical French elan.
The Foot Guards convincingly demonstrate that frilly lace is no defence against hot lead.
Right back at you! The 1st Poitou let loose a shattering volley in reply.
Ooops, looks like somebody forgot to load and is hastily putting it right…
The Foot Guards prepare to halt the onward advance of the Champagne.
The Regiment de Montfort in action. Their black flag reminds me that I really need to get around to finishing something…
Patiently awaiting a flurry of lead ball are men of Sankey’s Regiment.

Well, the good news for the French is that reinforcements are on their way! As I type this, another regiment of white-coated Gallic infantry is already well advanced with paint. More on that anon…

Le Regiment de Champagne Marche!

“By the left… (wait for it, wait for it!)… quick march!”

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been very happily painting more Strelets French infantry figures from the War of the Spanish Succession. Being mostly a shade of white, it might be thought that these could become a little dull to paint. On the contrary, with a number of different poses to choose from, and being so nicely sculpted, I’ve been very content to keep on painting these.

I’ve previously painted two firing lines for the following regiments:

Crack open the bubbly for my latest addition to the Sun King’s steadily growing army – the Regiment de Champagne. The uniform is virtually all white (or more particularly a white-grey) even including the hat lace (which I now realise my source book informs me is yellow but, hey….) The only concession to any colour is a small glimpse of their red waistcoat.

Another key difference is that these men are all marching rather than firing. What’s more, they’re marching in step, which was apparently not a practice that had been adopted by the French army by this time. Nevertheless, I’ve used the same pose to give them that extra visual cue of being a single regiment.

The pose is a well-animated one by Strelets and I like it. Rather than stiffly marching forth, these Champagne soldiers have something of a swagger about them suggesting either an easy confidence or a bone-tired weariness, or even both.

As with the previous regiment, I’ve settled on Vallejo Sky Grey for the coat’s base colour. It contrasts nicely, I think, with the more wholly white looking stockings (actually Vallejo’s off-white).

Les Beatles, “Route de l’abbaye”, non?

I’ve painted an officer for the regiment to also join the march. It’s another very nicely sculpted officer by Strelets and I like him!

The regiment’s sergeant:

Strelets have been issuing / developing a number of new boxes of French WSS infantry in recent weeks including;

  • “French Grenadiers”
  • “French Musketeers on the march” (which strangely only partially includes marching figures)
  • “French Pikemen” (another odd one given the generally accepted notion that pikes were virtually abandoned as a weapon by this time).
  • French Musketeers Firing”

Both the “firing” and “march” sets have been the subject of pretty intensive criticism over the markedly short muskets, virtually musketoons. I’m keeping well out of this particular nerd’s bun fight, but basically it seems Strelets believes that French musketeers had these short muskets but many others do not. The “firing” set also features the old ‘matchlock’ musket rather than the newer ‘flintlock’, the former (like the pike) all but abandoned by the time of the WSS. Controversy aside, the sculpting is remains top notch and the pike and matchlock figures could at least stand for some earlier conflicts.

For me, it’s back to the War of the Spanish Succession and I’ll just conclude with some more views of my ‘Champagne’ boys.

Big Wigs

I’ve been happily painting up another French infantry regiment from the War of the Spanish Succession. As these near completion, I’ve also been casting my eye over some other figures from the same Lace Wars period which could nicely enhance my collection.

The figures I have in mind are from Strelets’ Court and Army of Peter the 1st (aka the Great), some of which (above) I used for this year’s FEMbruary challenge which included the Empress Catherine, two ladies of court, an officer and some guards.

The figures I’m planning to paint this time are described by Plastic Soldier Review as being:

Boris Sheremetyev (1652-1719)

Perhaps Peter’s best commander.


Baron Pavel Shafirov (1669-1739)

“Another senior government minister who became a privy councillor. He successfully negotiated a treaty with the Ottoman Empire but eventually fell from grace.


‘Officer of Cavalry’

“Carrying a very short, stubby sword and apparently wearing a cuirass under his coat, so perhaps an officer of cavalry?

You may note that I’ve removed his odd-looking “very short, stubby sword” so that he simply stands to attention. Helpfully, the end of his scabbard is hidden under his arm, so the absence of a sword won’t be a problem.


To accompany these ‘bigwigs’, I’ve assigned some additional guards to be painted also:

Part of the attraction for painting these personality figures is that they offer some possibilities for creating personalities of an imagi-nation of some sort. I’ve been thinking of how my burgeoning collection of early-18th century armies could be used to game the military travails of such an imaginary nation. Indeed, I have a specific nation in mind, but more on this perhaps in a future post…

Before and after: another Russian musketeer awaits attention with the brush to join his comrade.