At last! My favourite painting in miniature


“Gentlemen, we never fire first; fire yourselves!”

Voltaire’s version of this famous episode as the British approached the French line during the Battle of Fontenoy has become proverbial. He wrote:

The English officers saluted the French by doffing their hats . . . the French, returned the greeting. My Lord Charles Hai, captain in the English Guards, cried, ‘Gentlemen of the French Guards, fire!’ The Comte d’Auteroche, then lieutenant of Grenadiers, shouted, ‘ Gentlemen, we never fire first ; fire yourselves.’

I’ve now painted enough Crann Tara figures of the Gardes Françaises to recreate my favourite-ever military painting: Henri Félix Emmanuel Philippoteaux’s The Battle of Fontenoy, 1745: The French and the Allies Confronting Each Other.


The Gardes are all Crann Tara figures, apart from the mounted officer and the casualty, which are Minden Miniatures (as are the British in the background). Click on the above picture at the top to enlarge it.


This is still only a portion of the figures I am painting for my Gardes regiment, which will eventually have 54 rank and file, along with many additional officers, NCOs and drummers.




10 thoughts on “At last! My favourite painting in miniature

  1. Roly hi stirring stuff These Paintings are inspiring stuff one of my favourites are the British lines marching up Bunker Hill ..That got me into the War of Independance especially the Painting of the Fusiliers marching up the slope and meeting the broken first attack falling back and the famous moment where two officers met and the Fusilier officer says “Sir you are falling back then you must break and let my Fusiliers pass ..
    Great moments in Time

  2. Absolutely wonderful! Many congratulations for this.

    Like you, Philippoteaux’s Fontenoy painting is one of my very favourites. I love the contradictions and tensions in the painting; the politeness before the slaughter; the apparently ordered ranks of the soldiers subject to the discipline of the sergeant’s spontoon as if they might break and flee otherwise; the dead soldier providing an insight into what fear is lurking in every man’s mind. And of course, the beautiful red and blue lines facing off against each other across the landscape.

    So it’s great to see it modelled so very skilfully with such good painting and sculpting. Bravo!

  3. Greetings Roly …you have emulated the painting excellently . The forefront , the body of troops on both sides and the background . Wonderful attention to detail .
    Nicholas John Papadopoulos.

  4. P.S. …
    Perhaps you can photocopy and enlarge the actual background of the painting and add this on -or paint the background with the additional troops yourself and add flank pieces to show the additional French and English troops -just an idea…
    NJP ,Auckland NZ.

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