On parade! Le Régiment des Gardes Françaises

d_IMG_0574

Some visitors to this blog will have a sense of déjà vu reading this article, as I only posted about finishing painting this unit of le Régiment des Gardes Françaises back in March this year.

But as they are one of the foreign contingents in the army of my ‘imagi-nation’, the Barryat of Lyndonia, they’re re-appearing here as Part 5 of this series in which I’m reviewing every one of the Barryat’s units.

As I’ve previously mentioned (e.g. in Wargaming Illustrated #385), the Barryat’s army is made up of contracted foreign regiments from all over 18th-century Europe.

I chose the first three regiments, British, French and Prussian, because they had appeared in ‘Barry Lyndon’, the book and movie on which I very loosely based my imagi-nation.

But I’ve now exhausted the ‘Barry Lyndon’ units, so any further regiments in the Barryat’s army are based simply on which ones I like the look of – what amazing freedom that gives me!

the_battle_of_fontenoy_1745

My favourite-ever military painting is Henri Félix Emmanuel Philippoteaux’s The Battle of Fontenoy featuring Le Régiment des Gardes Françaises.

So when I saw that Crann Tara Miniatures had a range of Gardes Françaises figures sculpted in the same 1/56th scale as my other Minden Miniatures regiments, the die was cast!

a_111_IMG_0645

I just had to come up with a good back-story of why a contingent of such a prestigious French regiment was in the Barryat’s army.

Fellow New Zealand wargamer Wayne Stack made the suggestion that they could have been part of the dowry from the marriage of one of the younger daughters of the French king…or possibly one of his favourite illegitimate daughters. That sounds plausible enough to me!

By the way, this particular pic is not of Crann Tara miniatures, but of some old 30mm Willie figures.

a_151_IMG_0649

As with the other regiments of foot in the Barrayt’s army, this was quite some painting effort: sixty-six privates, along with four NCOs, three officer, two ensigns, and three drummers – a total of 78 figures!

I painted this unit almost entirely with GW’s Contrast paints. These worked beautifully, flowing well and providing shading with no effort from me. Just look at the officer’s stockings, the wood of the muskets, and the men’s faces – this shading all  happened by itself!

If you want to read more on how I painted them, take a look at this earlier posting on my blog.

a_121_IMG_0646

Here’s the massed effect of the whole battalion in line, officers to the front, NCOs to the side and rear, drummers on the flank.

And in this short video, the unit looks pretty impressive when the camera pans along the whole line, with its frontage of nearly half-a-metre.  The accompanying music is the actual march of the Gardes Françaises.

d_IMG_0574

Before I based these figures for the Barryat’s army, I just had to arrange them to recreate my favourite military painting. You can see more pictures of this recreated painting here.

Go forward to Part 6 of this series: the Lynden Hussars

Go back to Part 4 of this series: Infanterie-Regiment Kubrick

8 thoughts on “On parade! Le Régiment des Gardes Françaises

  1. Philippoteaux’s painting of Fontenoy has been a favourite of mine too since childhood. These lovely Crann Tara figures are perfect for it. I like the lovely idea of using the regiment’s march on the video.

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

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s