Sunday, June 21, 2009

Nassau-Ringgworm auf dem Skree

Just click on map to enlarge
The Marquis needs an arch-nemesis to threaten his holdings on the Rhine. And after mulling over the options for a while, here it is. 

The Principality of Nassau-Ringgworm auf dem Skree, led by its ageing but wily ruler, His Excellency Matthias St. Hubertus von Loseth-Pfaffenhofen, Duke of Avenberg-Pfaffenhofen and Landgrave of Nassau Ringworm-auf-dem-Skree. 

More to follow once I work out how to introduce him into the story!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Dragooned into service... this old Wargames Foundry Marlburian dragoon that I came across in the bottom of my "spares" box, and which I quickly decided would be attached to l'Armée de l'Oise.

I must have bought him back in 1987 or so, from my friend Dave Morgan who ran the late-and-lamented
Sentry Box West Hobbies in Vancouver.

Now, while he was intended for Marlburian armies ca. 1709, he has his hair tied back in a queue, so that he can easily pass muster for service 35 years later.

What's more, he looks a lot like this gentleman who features on my blog header;

So seeing that M. le Marquis must of course have a mounted escort on his command stand, what better choice than brigadier Jean-Claude Boulet, battle-hardened veteran of the Bauffremont Dragoon Regiment?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Je suis revenu...

Just got back late last night from that marathon training session, and allowed myself the luxury of sleeping in this morning. Work will still occupy a lot of my time over the next few weeks, but this weekend I want to get in some hobby "quality time".

On the workbench is this monstrosity which is just about completed, so that will be my first priority. But in between working on drybrushing stone (which kills brushes like you wouldn't believe), I shall continue to work on my French infantry and on M. le Marquis himself.

Here is a close-up shot of Fusilier Pierre la Pierre, simple soldat of the Regt. de Condé.

Note the absence of "eyes". While I am perfectly capable of painting in the eyes, I usually only do this for my command figures, which tend to be the ones that people pick up to look at. This is partly to speed up painting, but also because I feel that at a distance the figures look better with the eye sockets painted in as dark shadows.

The French justeaucorps was left a natural wool colour, so was an off-white hue rather than the mid-grey that is so common in many illustrations. I was originally going to go with an very pale ivory colour shaded with a dark cream. But it somehow just didn't look right, coming out too yellowish.

So I decided to use a grey basecoat which would provide a strong shading, but highlighted with Ceramcoat's Soft Grey as it is as close to an off-white that one can get. I tend to avoid pure whites and blacks anyway, and my blacks are highlighted with the Ceramcoat Charcoal which gives a "scale black" appearance.

The result is a fair approximation of the actual coat colour, if this near-contemporary Hermand plate is anything to go by;

A fusilier of the Regt. Orleans from 1757.
From the Hermand manuscript.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Notes from the campaign carriage...

I'm writing this post from a convention centre where I'm in the middle of running a week-long training course. So no pictures to post and no progress to report, seeing as my miniatures are over 100 kilometres away.

However, I did bring my copy of Reed Browning's The War of the Austrian Succession with me to read over again, and I am once again struck by just how good a book this is.

Lots of ideas for the l'armee de l'Oise. Having placed it just south of Flanders and near the Rhine, I can have it strike at the Austrians under Prince Charles of Lorraine, come to the rescue of the hapless (and temporary!) Holy Roman Emperor Charles VII and his Bavarians in the Palatinate, or have the Marquis pull M. de Saxe's chesnuts out of the fire in the Low Countries in an attempt to wrest the Austrian Netherlands from the Queen of Hungary.

Alternatively, he can send the army south to help the Spanish and the Duc de Conti teach the devious and wily Charles-Emmanuel III of Piedmont-Savoy a lesson.

1744 is a fascinating year from a gaming standpoint, with just about every corner of Europe seeing some kind of campaigning going on. Plenty of opportunity for the Marquis to build on his fine reputation as a warrior, man of letters and bon vivant.

Finally, I sent off payment for the new Koenig Krieg rules, so when things get back to normal by the middle of next week, I'll be checking my mailbox for its arrival, along with my copy of Savory's His Britannic Majesty's Army in Germany in the Seven Years' War.

An 18th Century summer ahead, it seems!


Saturday, June 6, 2009

M. le Marquis...

I have had a fruitful day's painting. I've been working steadily away on the Regt. de Condé, and moreover have finally begun work on painting "Our Hero" himself!

I've had the miniature for a while-the Marquis de Montcalm figure from Front Rank's French and Indian War range- but was in no hurry to get him done until I decided on a paint scheme.

Well, in the end I've decided to give him a mulberry red coat with gold lace, this being the uniform of the hereditary Princes Ecclesiastical of the Bishopric of St. Vignobles.

I was going to give him a brown horse, but in the end I thought that a dappled grey would set off the uniform better. The only hitch was that painting horseflesh has always been tricky for me, and a dappled grey doubly so, and it took me a lot of courage- and a few glasses of red wine- before I got around to checking out online articles about painting horses, and then to actually getting down to work.

It's turning out quite decently, actually. You can see the results so far below.

I've pretty well finished the horse except for the tack and hooves, and I have blocked in the Marquis' coat and face. I tend to start by painting in deeper shades, and then progressivley lighten the top coat so that the final result gives a rich, opaque finish.

The coat was given a base of
Ceramcoat's mulberry, highlighted with an ancient pot of Ral Partha light reddish brown that I've had hanging around so long that the name on the label has faded away!

I really miss the Ral Partha paints; the selection was vast, and I always found them easy to work with.
Iron Wind Metals in the US carries some now, but the selection is a very, very pale shadow of what was once available.

I also worked on one of the standards for the second battalion of the Regt.
Condé. I made the flag myself on PowerPoint, printed it out with a laser printer, and after wrapping it around the pole and gluing the two sides together, I touched up the edges and highlights. I will slip it off the flagpole while I paint the standard bearer, and I still have to prime and paint the final with its cords and cravattes.

Photo's a bit washed out in the artificial light, but lookin' good, I think!

This last week has been pretty hectic. One of my colleagues has had to return home for as spell due to a family bereavement, and tomorrow I'll be heading up country to teach an intensive course for a pharmaceutical company all next week, so I'll be off the radar for a while.

When I get back next Friday I'll try to finish the good Marquis on the weekend, along with his escort from les Dragons du Beauffremont, and a scout from the Hussards de Sarkozy reporting on the enemy's movements. They'll all be mounted on a hexagonal base for Koenig Krieg.