I’ve mentioned before that my favourite-ever military paining is Henri Félix Emmanuel Philippoteaux’s 1873 painting, The Battle of Fontenoy, 1745: The French and the Allies Confronting Each Other.
I first came across saw this picture many years ago on the cover of Charles Grant’s 1975 book The Battle of Fontenoy. To me the painting instantly reflected the feel of 18th century warfare, with its glorious colour and pageantry, its mannered politeness, and also its timeless horror.
I’ve now at last begun painting a battalion of the Gardes Françaises based on this painting. They’ll form part of my Barryat of Lyndonia imagi-nation. I’ll just have to think up of a suitable cover story as to why the Gardes Françaises have joined the Barryat’s army!
I’m using 1/56th scale figures from Crann Tara Miniatures, and as you can see in these pictures, they are simply superb! The posing, sculpting and detail are some of the best I have ever seen. Click on the pictures to study these exquisite figures in close-up.
I’m trying something different with the way I paint my figures for this project. Normally I undercoat in black, then drybrush in light grey before painting. However, this time I have undercoated in Citadel ‘wraith-bone’ spray, and plan to paint the figures with GW’s new Contrast paint range. It will be interesting to see how they turn out. Painting those drummers is going to be a particular challenge!
I am converting the officers from wearing gaiters to wearing stockings, as per the panting. I successfully filed off all the gaiter buttons, but my shoe-buckles haven’t worked out quite as well. I initially tried making them from Green Stuff, but having never worked in that medium before, I ended up with buckles about a foot wide in scale! So glueing on small squares of paper, along with careful painting, will hopefully do the job.
Anyway, I’ll report back once I’ve painted this first batch of figures for what will eventually be a battalion of 54 guardsmen, along with another dozen officers, NCOs and drummers.