Saturday, February 16, 2008

A Display of Dazzling Drapeaux for M. le Marquis

I am a big fan of both the GMB and Vaubanner range of wargames flags. I use GMB exclusively for my Napoleonic Russian and French collections, and when the Eureka Miniature's range of Dutch for the War of the Austrian Succession arrive , I will be making use of the excellent (and quite unique) range provided by Vaubanner Graphics. Both offer excellent service.  Brian Homenick at Vaubanner even does Spanish, Bavarian and Piedmontese (Check out the link on the right). 

However, when it comes to WAS/SYW flags for the French infantry, I have had reservations with the offerings from both these of these companies.  The GMB flags seemed too dark- the "aurora" (a very light orange, almost a yellow colour) canton of the flag for the Regt. Touraine, for example, being closer to a reddish orange.  

The Vaubanner flags, on the other hand, while having very crisp detail, lacked shading and some of the colours and patterns were just- well, wrong!  For example, Vaubanner's flag for the Regt. Forez had a yellow background, where every source I have has the original as being a strong orange.  Additionally, there were evidently problems with interpreting the more enigmatic colours of the time such as isabellaventre-de-biche, and fuille morte(literally "dead leaves"), with the latter colour for the Regt. d'Orleans being printed in far too light a shade.   

The flag for the Regt. Touraine and Regt. d'Aquitaine seem to have been printed with the cantons in "reverse" order (although the exact ordering of the cantons for the Regt. de Touraine seems to be problematic with quite a few sources in disagreement. Brian's may well be correct- I am looking into it).  

I should say that Vaubanner's French cavalry flags are excellent, though- those for the French dragoons in particular being quite gorgeous.

02/17/08- After I made an inquiry to the "Lace Wars" Yahoo group about the flag for the Regt. de Touraine, I received a reply from Mr. Michel Mazzoleni who had access to a number of French authoritative works on flags, that although there are indeed differing accounts of the order of the cantons, the Vaubanner flag may indeed be correct according to some of the more reliable authorities.   He also mentioned that there are accounts of some regiments being quite haphazard about attaching the flags to the flagpoles the right way up!  Thank you to Mr. Mazzoleni for the information.
Being the picky sort, I decided to try my hand at producing my own designs for those flags that I wanted for my own collection.  I sat down last weekend and created some flags using a combination of iPhoto and PowerPoint.   I started with some French regiments from the Battle of Dettingen (as well as the flags for the Regt. de St. Vignobles, of course!) with a few extra thrown in because I liked the designs!   I referred to the Pengel and Hurt booklet on the French Army as well as my copy of Lucien Mouillard.  I also received a lot of useful information from a French site on art and design for guidance on the more esoteric colours.  

There are no fancy designs or fleur-de-lys patterns here- I'd have to draw and scan my own, and not only do I not have to time to do that, I'd rather go with the commercial offerings which do just fine for the regiments I needed.

I was quite happy with the results which I share here as a PDF file on the sidebar.  They are scaled for 28mm figures.  If anyone wants a word file, contact me- all I ask is that you use them with permission, and that they not be uploaded onto any other blog or website.  And do check out GMB and Vaubanner Graphics!  I am not about to go into business for myself so these are probably all I'll ever do.


Bluebear Jeff said...

These are very nice . . . Thank you.

I will have to re-size them for 15mm when I get to my WSS French, but they are lovely (much nicer than the Warflag ones which I was going to use).

-- Jeff

andygamer said...

If you have to do fleurs-de-lys, some Wingdings fonts have them and other useful designs, like stars, that you can cut and paste into any flag you're working on from a Word document. I even found one that was an old-fashioned ship that I was able to use to create my own Royal Vessels flag.