Military review in the Barryat of Lyndonia

Barryat of Lyndonia army on review

A military parade of the entire army of my ‘imagi-nation’, the Barryat of Lyndonia, has been long overdue.  But today a combination of being on childcare duty at home whilst my wife works, and some lovely autumn light for picture-taking, inspired me to set out all the 1/56th scale Minden Minatures figures I’ve painted so far.

To fill in those who don’t know about the Barrayat of Lyndonia (ie nearly everybody in the world), it is an imaginary nation – or ‘imagi-nation’ – I’ve created for my wargaming army, based on the Stanley Kubrick movie, Barry Lyndon.  

The Barryat does not recruit its own army, but instead contracts regiments from other states in Europe – which provides the backstory to allow me to mix and match whatever real-life nations’ units I wish.

Instead of pursuing historical accuracy when painting my figures, I’ve attempted as much as I can to depict my soldiers as they appear in the movie, historical inaccuracies and all.  Therefore when some expert in military history tells me that the turn-backs on my Prussians should  be red, not white, or that they can’t possibly have those three flags together in one regiment, I can point out my figures aren’t representing real Prussians, but rather Kubrick’s take on them.  

So, for your delectation, on with the photos of the military review (don’t forget to click on the pics to see them in their full glory):

Austrian and Prussian staff,

The guests of honour are some famous personalities from nearby real-life countries, including the Prussian King Frederick the Great and the Austrian Prince Charles of Lorraine.   Also present are a number of the local gentry and their ladies.

Gale's Regiment of Foot

A long line of red emerges from the trees, as Gale’s Regiment of Foot, a fictional regiment from the movie, approaches the parade ground.  By the way, I think that the above picture is especially cool when clicked on to bring it up to full size.

Gale's Regiment of Foot

After having marched onto the parade ground in line, they’ve now deployed into column of companies (my infantry regiments have three companies per regiment). Headed by Lt Colonel Charles Gale, the officers include the Irish adventurer Captain Grogan, the foppish Lieutenant Jonathon Fakenham and his ‘particular friend’ Lieutenant Freddie, whose surname is not disclosed in the movie.

The movie depicts the drummers wearing tricornes instead of mitre caps, but I’ve kept to the latter because I like their mitres so much – and because that is the way the Minden drummers come.

Gale's Regiment of Foot

In the movie, the regiment has no grenadiers, but I have added these, again simply because I like their colourful and intricate mitres so much – and what better reason could there be than that?!  They were tricky to paint, but I think the final effect is worth the effort, and they’re my favourite figures in the whole army.

Gale's Regiment of Foot in the movie 'Barry Lyndon'

Somewhere in the ranks will be Private  Redmond Barry, the main character in Barry Lyndon.  He joined Gale’s Regiment of Foot after being tricked into a duel back home in Ireland. Captain Grogan has now taken young Barry under his wing, and Lieutenants Jonathon and Freddie will later provide him with an intriguing opportunity for Barry to improve his status in life (you’ll need to see the movie to find out exactly how this happens!).

Royal Cravattes

Following Gale’s Regiment of Foot,  the Régiment de Royal-Cravates enters the field.  In the movie, this is the French regiment that Barry faces in his first taste of battle, “only a skirmish against a rearguard of Frenchmen who occupied an orchard beside a road down which the English main force wish to pass”.  The narrator in the movie goes on to say that though this encounter is not recorded in any history book, it was memorable enough for those who took part.  

The drummers in their royal livery were tricky to paint, with all that red and white lace.  But I’m pleased how they came out in the end.

Royal Cravattes

Whilst un-named in the movie, in the original 1844 William Makepeace Thackeray novel, the French regiment that Barry marches against is called the Régiment de Royal-Cravates, so that is who they are in the Barrayat of Lyndonia.

Royal Cravattes

The Barryat of Lyndonia’s French regiment replicates the incorrect facings and flags as per the movie.  The flags are actually those of two real French regiments, the Grenadiers Royaux and the Régiment de Flandre, yet the uniform facing colours are incorrect for both.

Kubrick Regiment

The last foot battalion onto the parade ground is the Kubrick Infanterie Regiment, led by Captain Potzdorf on his distinctive white horse.  The movie doesn’t name this Prussian regiment, which Barry is forced to join after being captured as a deserter.  So in the Barryat army it is named in honour of the movie’s famous director, Stanley Kubrick.  I hope he looks down on this with approval! 

Kubrick Regiment

OK, so the movie doesn’t have any grenadiers in mitre caps.  But, like Gale’s Regiment of Foot, I really wanted some of those smart-looking guys, so I’ve conjectured how Kubrick would have shown them, had he wanted to.  Basically, they’re the same as his somewhat inaccurate Prussian musketeers, but wearing mitre caps instead of tricornes.

Prussian column led by three flags

 The movie’s inaccuracies are all faithfully recreated!  The soldiers’ coats have the wrong coloured turnbacks, they wear incorrectly coloured straps, and carry mismatched flags (the orange, black and white flags in the movie are actually from three different real-life Prussian regiments).

Prussian dragoons

The sound of jingling bridles and trotting hooves announce the arrival of the only cavalry regiment in the Lyndonian army, the  Truchseß Dragoons. This regiment is the first unit that veers away from the movie.  While there were some small numbers of rather plainly-dressed Prussian cavalrymen in some scenes in Barry Lyndon, I went for the real-life Prussian Truchseß Dragoons merely because of their splendid light blue and pink uniforms.  Another perfectly good reason!

French battalion gun

In the finale, the whole army masses behind the two guns of the Barryat of Lyndonia army as they prepare to fire a salute.  The French gun in the foreground is modelled on one that appears briefly in the  movie.

French cannon

The gunners in the movie wear the standard white infantry coats rather than the blue and red French artillery uniforms.  This is actually correct, because small battalion guns such as these were manned by men assigned from the regiment, not Royal Artillery gunners.  I’ve done the same with the British gun, manning it with crew assigned from Gale’s Regiment of Foot.

Minden Prussian staff

The visiting Prussian king, Frederick the Great, is so impressed with the turnout of the Barryat of Lyndonia army that he has instructed his hussar general, von Zeithen, to write a note of congratulations, which the latter is now handing to a courier to convey post-haste to the Lyndonian palace.

Barryat of Lyndonia army

38 thoughts on “Military review in the Barryat of Lyndonia

    1. Thanks, Simon.

      At the moment I am considering this project mainly complete. While it would be nice to add more units, you’ll see from another of my recent posts that I’m going off painting at the moment, and certainly the idea of creating another such large unit wouldn’t do much to restore my painting mojo!

      However, watch this space … I’m nothing but changeable!

    1. Yes, it was fun to put them all out together – the first time I’ve done that. Took a while to set them up, though. All those freestanding officers, NCOs, standards and drummers, whilst I think they’re attractive being separate, are very fiddly to put into their places.

    1. Thanks, Andy. I find the theme useful too, as it means I can pretty much do as I like – any foreign unit at all can be contracted into the Lyndonian army!

    1. I’m sure they won’t look drab, Ian. The light and photography make a big difference. If you look at my miniatures close up, they’re really quite impressionistic. I’m no Dallimore!

  1. Bravo, standing applause, encore and please build a transporter machine so we can game together!
    Bill P.

    1. Thanks, Bill.

      Actually, I haven’t gamed much with these. They’ve only played in one battle in their lives, and even then they were broken into smaller 24-man units to match the rules we were playing.

      Truth to tell, with such large battalions, and few other locals collecting similarly large units to be my opponents, the battling opportunities for this army remain very limited. But that doesn’t worry me, as I love them as display pieces.

  2. Great stuff Roly, wonderful to see them all arrayed.
    Itrs been a long slog no doubt but well worth it.

    I look forward to seeing what you turn your brush to next!

    1. Thanks, Scott. Yes, a long slog indeed, but I do love staring at them as they stand in their ranks in my display case.

      Next projects are the Renadra barn and church plastic kitsets, which arrived yesterday. .

  3. A lovely collection , nicely presented and photographed, You are right to be proud of them. Hope you will eventually find some suitable opponent across the wargames table, Wish i was near enough to offer my services with the Duke of Deuxchevaux’s fictional army!

  4. Absolutely superb, Roly! Those large battalions actually look like battalions should. The work on the grenadiers mitres is outstanding. If the Barryat of Lyndonia came under current New Zealand law Lt Fakenham and his mate Freddie would be able to formalize their relationship through marriage, something that certainly would not have been contemplated in the the great Age of Reason.

  5. An excellent collection – thanks for sharing! You’ve done some fantastic model-making & photography here!

    I haven’t ever seen the Kubrick movie, though I’ve seen some of his others. Unusual he had minor detail errors – he was pretty punctillious, usually – but I guess it’s difficult on a movie to keep track of details to the deepest level. The question is whether it affects the thrust of his themes and ideas – which I guess not.

    1. True, I had also heard Kubrick was a stickler for detail. However, in terms of military historicity, the detail in ‘Barry Lyndon’ is definitely incorrect in a lot of [albeit small] ways.

      But, hey, he does capture the right feel, and that’s what counts more than lots of small details.

    1. Yes, it is a great movie. As I said above, quite slow-moving and not at all an action movie – but so exquisitely done. A movie to savour rather than to merely watch.

  6. Wonderful! Absolutely wonderful! I’ve enjoyed gazing at your Napoleonics for some time, but these 18th century figures are captivating.

    Best Regards,

    Stokes Schwartz

  7. Excellent work, looking down the lines gives a real feel to how batallions should look
    thanks for sharing

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