My 18th century French march again

Looks like my old 28mm eighteenth century French will get an outing again soon. This was the first historical wargames army I painted when I returned to the hobby after a 20+ year break about a decade ago. For the last few years the army has sat in my display cabinet gathering dust, while other projects have come and gone in its place.

But it looks like this year the wee chaps – er, ‘petit garçons’ – will come out of hibernation to fight at FreddyCon, the Hutt Valley Wargaming Club’s annual Seven Years War convention. FreddyCon is to be held at the St Brendan’s Hall in Upper Hutt (near Wellington, New Zealand) on 8-9 October, and will be based around the Die Kreigskunst and Black Powder rulesets for 28mm figures.

Black Powder is, of course, right up my alley.  So FreddyCon will be a great opportunity to test its recent 18th century supplement, The Last Argument of Kings.  

If it all comes off, my gaming buddy, Scott, will join me in dual command of ‘les sujets du bien-aimé Louis XV’, because his own eighteenth century army based on Wargames Factory’s War of the Spanish Succession plastics is not off the painting starting blocks yet. 

Talking about my old French army made me re-visit the website I put togerther back in the early 2000s when I was painting these figures.  I hadn’t been back to the site in quite a while, so it was a nostalgic trip back into my first flush of enthusiasm for this period.  The site’s pics still show the jewel-like characteurish charm of the Front Rank figures that first captivated me back into the hobby.

However, time has taken its toll in some ways.  I now realise that my painting style, of which I was so proud back then, was rather crude, with simple block colours, big googly eyes and messy detail.  My visitors at the time must have shook their heads with disbelief at what I was trying to show off!  Still, everyone has to start somewhere!

It was also one of my earliest efforts at website design using DreamWeaver.  Overall, it still doesn’t look too bad, though the much larger  modern screen sizes do make the text look quite narrow and the background repeat. 

If you also want to re-visit the old My French Army website, click on the screenshot below:  

Click here to visit the 'My French Army' website

10 thoughts on “My 18th century French march again

  1. When I first came across your website back in 200 and dot it was an inspiration, Roly. These are great figures, but as our painting improves we often look back and see all that we could do better now, rather than how we saw things at the time. These little guys have a real charm about them, and were light years ahead of anything I was doing when I first saw them, and it made me want to paint up regiments. So don’t be down on yourself for having improved on a painting style that is still to a pretty darn high standard to a lot of offerings out there!
    Hope they take the prize at Freddycon.

  2. Rolie: I’ve always found your French army site to be inspirational and you have nothing to be ashamed of with respect to your older painting. The figures look pretty good to me.


  3. Roly, I often wander through your old websites to find inspiration, especially as I slowly build up my SYW and Napoleonic French and British forces. I too love your Wild Geese regiment and had a look at them last week to see if you painted their trousers red, green or white. The references vary for trouser colours for the Irish Brigade for the period and I wanted to see what you had done. I also had the same issue with the eyes for units I painted way back then…individual painting styles do develop over the years and I’m just pleased that age has not yet robbed me of the ability to appreciate well painted figures. Keep up the good work!

  4. Looks great Roly, I am looking forward to helping you field these wonderful troops, and giving BP & LOAK an outting.

    On a more personal note, must try harder… 😉

    I am looking forward to getting started on the WSS

  5. Why not have a little Lyndomia civil war battle? Split up the army into units and have at it. Of course, post the after action report with photos!

I hope I've given you something to think about - please do leave a comment with your thoughts or reactions.

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