More paintings of ships and planes

I’ve been doing more painting … but painting paintings, not miniatures! Well actually that isn’t quite true, as I have actually been painting miniatures as well, but they’ll be the topic of another posting.

As I develop into the hobby of painting pictures, I’m finding that I am increasingly drawn to ships and planes. I’ve already featured a few of these in earlier postings on this blog.

So let’s look at my latest efforts.

I came across a picture of a sailing ship against a sunset on an old CD cover, and thought that it would make a wonderful subject for a painting. But I also wanted my picture to tell a story.

So this is HMS Herald in 1840, sailing off Kāpiti Island on the west coast of New Zealand. She was taking Major Thomas Bunbury of the 80th Regiment around New Zealand to get as many Māori chiefs as possible to sign a copy of the Treaty of Waitangi (an agreement between the British Crown and Māori).

Off Kāpiti Island the Herald met the canoe of famed chief Te Rauparaha, who came on board and signed the treaty (actually, he signed it twice, because unknown to Bunbury, he had already signed previously!).

I was quite pleased with how the frigate came out, especially the translucence of the sails back-lit by the sunset. Though that sunset is pure artistic licence, as I don’t think the meeting between Bunbury and Te Rauparaha would have occurred in the evening!

I learned one valuable lesson from doing this painting. If you are going to tell a story, make sure the subject of that story is large enough to see. My Māori canoes are so small that some viewers don’t even see them until I point them out!

Above you can see a slideshow showing the stages of completing this painting.

My next painting is also a scene from New Zealand’s nautical history. It depicts the ships of Dutch explorer Abel Tasman, the war-yacht Heemskerck (right) and the smaller fluyt Zeehaen (left).

In 1642 Tasman was the first European to sight the shores of New Zealand. But he never landed, after a cultural misunderstanding led to four of his sailors in a ship’s boat being killed by Māori.

Painting the ornate stern of the Heemskerck was an enjoyable challenge, in which my experience of painting miniature figures really helped.

I chose to show the Heemskerck with its top-masts cropped off. I feel this makes the picture more dramatic than if I had portrayed the entire ship.

I’ve had lots of compliments about my portrayal of the sea. I was trying to get the effect of the sun glinting on the swells.

I’m also really pleased with how the fat little fluyt Zeehaen came out in the background!

Above are the stages I went through to paint these two ships.

This painting is based on an old Air New Zealand publicity photo I came across, which I figured would make an unusual painting. I must admit I was as much taken by the wonderful Morris van as with the plane itself!

I am particularly pleased with the metallic effect on the plane’s engines. This was a case of trial and error, and there are many coats of paint under the engines, each one unsuccessful until I came up with final effect.

In researching this painting, I found out more information than anyone could ever need to know about as prosaic a subject as air-stairs! For those interested, these stairs (with their natty Cadillac-style wings) were made by Hastings-Deering.

My wife worked for many years as a cabin crew member for Air New Zealand. Though I hasten to add that she isn’t old enough to have worked on this DC8 in the 1960s!

Above you can see how the DC8 picture was put together.

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Finally, here is a sneak peek at my next painting. Once again, a part of New Zealand’s marine history – Her Majesty’s Bark Endeavour – the ship that Captain James Cook sailed round the coast of New Zealand in 1769.

This is still a work in progress, as the sails and rigging needs lots more work. It is also the largest work I have endeavoured to do so far (see what I did there?!) – at 28 inches across, it is twice the size of my other works.

Flying the friendly skies of Kent and Antarctica

I think I will have to divide this blog into two soon, as I am now posting about two disparate hobbies since taking up painting pictures in addition to my original pastime of wargaming.

However, I guess today’s posting may just pass muster, as one of the subjects of my latest paintings is indeed military: an LC-130 Hercules of the United States Navy. By the way, the initial ‘L’ in the name refers to the fact it is a C-130 that is ski-equipped – how they got the ‘L’ out of ski-equipped, I don’t know!

I took this photo back in 1976 when I was employed as a mess attendant at McMurdo Station, Antarctica (I have previously posted about my time there).

This was one of three LC-130 Hercules aircraft that were recovered after they all suffered severe damage during attempted takeoffs from an isolated part of Antarctica called Dome Charlie. Following major structural repairs and replacement of engines in the field, the three LC-130s were flown to McMurdo, with 319, the last one, arriving back on Christmas Day, 1976.

I must say that I always wondered about the cost-benefit ratio of sending a team of engineers to one of the most inhospitable places on Earth to recover what were essentially just dime-a-dozen transport aircraft. I have heard a theory it was because the Americans were worried about the Russians obtaining the secret of the retractable skis – but surely it was something less prosaic than that?! Maybe there is a good wargaming scenario to be found in this story?!

For my painting I moved a mountain! I wanted a more interesting background than in my photo, so I added in Mt Erebus, with its wisp of smoke and halo of cloud. This isn’t entirely fantastical, as in real-life the volcano can actually be seen from the runway. It is just that from the angle I took my photo, it wasn’t in frame.

I also wanted something in the foreground, and what better than contrasting the modern with the old in Antarctic transport. This dog team would have come from New Zealand’s nearby Scott Base, as the Americans didn’t use dogs at this time. Nowadays you won’t find any dogs in Antarctica at all, after a clause added to the Antarctic Treaty in 1994 required non-native species to be removed. Dogs could potentially spread distemper to the native seals of Antarctica.

The above slideshow demonstrates the process I used to paint my picture. As with all my paintings, I used acrylic paints on stretched canvas.

Now let’s move from freezing Antarctica to the sunny skies of a summer’s day in Kent, England! Early in his flying career, my late father-in-law was a pilot for Skyways of London, based at Lympne Airfield just out of Hythe. I wanted to paint another of the aircraft he flew (I have previously posted a painting I did of his Constellation).

I came across this photo of a Skyways DC3 in Issue 19 of The Aviation Historian. Of course, there is no mention of who was piloting this aircraft on the day – but there is no reason it mightn’t have been my father-in-law! And I loved the view of the lane and farm buildings. So I just had to paint it.

The article included some great shots of the sky-blue-and-white Skyways colour scheme. That’s a lovely fuel tanker too – maybe another painting one day …

Funnily enough, my father-in-law eventually returned to flying DC3s after a long career flying jet airliners, piloting an old DC3 air-freighter backwards and forwards across New Zealand’s Cook Strait for his semi-retirement!

Again, here’s a slideshow that depicts how I put my painting together.

I’ve been asked several times if my paintings are for sale. But just as with my wargaming models, I have an aversion to selling what I put so much soul and effort into creating! However, I am investigating the process for getting art-quality prints made.

An interlude with a Connie and two Airbuses

Whilst taking a brief pause with painting my Landsknechts (I’m waiting for an Old Glory order), I’ve returned to my other hobby of painting pictures with acrylics.

My latest three paintings have all had an aviation theme, though of a civilian nature rather than military.

My late father-in-law was a pilot with a now-defunct airline called Skyways of London. This Lockheed Constellation was one of the aircraft he flew.

The Connie is in my opinion one of the finest looking airliners ever, with its fish-shaped fuselage, triple tail and stalky undercarriage. I copied the basic shape from a photo I found online.

My picture shows the aircraft landing at Manchester Airport, recognisable by its distinctive multi-story control tower visible in the distance.

In the foreground are a trio of enthusiastic plane-spotters! Their bicycles were actually one of the hardest parts of the painting, and even now I’m not sure I’ve got the angled wheels on that left-hand bike correct.

If you’re interested in how my pictures come together, here is a step-by-step slideshow.

The colour quality changes with some of the pics, as they were taken at different times of the day. But you get to see my method of layering the different components of the painting.

This painting shows an Air New Zealand Airbus on its final approach to Wellington Airport. The passengers will be having a bouncy ride as the aircraft lands in the face of a gusty southerly wind blowing up Evans Bay!

The large fern design on the side of the fuselage was challenging to paint. Air New Zealand’s ‘koru’ logo on the tail, based on the Māori symbol of a new unfurling silver fern frond, was also quite tricky.

The Hollywood-style WELLINGTON sign on the hill is real, with its fly-away design reflecting the city’s nick-name of ‘Windy Wellington’.

My brother-in-law is an avid wind-surfer, so I sought his technical expertise in how the sail should be angled in these wind conditions.

Again, here is a step-by-step view on how I created the above painting.

And here’s another Air New Zealand Airbus arriving at the gate on a drizzly night.

I worked off plans to depict the front-on view, but it still surprised me how boxy the bottom of a sleek Airbus looks from this angle.

I thought the reflections from the anti-collision light beneath the plane would be difficult to depict, but in the end when you simplify them down, they are basically just dry-brushed orange downward strokes under the wheels, engines and fuselage.

The beam from the white taxi light worked quite well, more-or-less by accident when I haphazardly slashed in a diagonal white streak on the ground. I do have to fix the light source though, as the taxi light should be at the top of the nose wheel strut, not the bottom.

I was quite pleased with the marshaller. I’ve never been good at painting humans, but this simple view from behind came out quite well. His arms may be a little long, but that could be just an optical illusion because of his batons!

And here is the step-by-step slideshow of how I painted the layers of this picture.

I may have time to do another painting or two before my Old Glory order arrives – and I have some ideas of other interesting subjects to depict. I may even pluck up the courage to try a military painting some time. So keep watching …

Painting 40mm figures, and some tugs

After a long hiatus, I’ve finally painted a few more miniatures. They are 40mm metal figures from a New Zealand supplier, Triguard Miniatures, so I feel I am doing my patriotic duty to support them!

On a whim, I bought two sets of these figures to try them out. I chose two of my favourite uniforms of the 18th century. Firstly, the Gardes Françaises.

And secondly, some British grenadiers.

Each pack contains twelve figures, basically two variants of the privates, and one officer.

Here’s the final result of the grenadiers. As you can see, they look pretty good, even just quickly painted with GW Contrast paints, and with no attempt at basing.

There was a small amount of assembly required (heads, arms and swords). I really hate glueing together metal figures, as I always worry how sturdy they will be. Though I did manage to pin their heads on, so at least they shouldn’t come off in a hurry!

To face my grenadiers, here are the Gardes. The complex lace on their uniforms was quite easy to pick out in this scale.

Again, some assembly is required, and I must admit I wasn’t so happy with how some of the head-to-neck joints turned out – some of them look quite gawky!

The muskets also look rather precariously balanced on their shoulders so as to fit around their tricornes. How in the world did 18th century soldiers ever shoulder arms without knocking their hats off!

Here we see the 40mm figures arranged beside a base of 1/56th (roughly 28mm) figures by Crann Tara Miniatures. They are indeed very hefty models!

I don’t know if I will ever actually game with these large figures, but they will look gorgeous in my display case.

I’m actually dithering whether to make them look more like traditional toy soldiers by gloss varnishing them and leaving the bases untextured – something I would never do with my 28mm miniatures.

So why has my figure painting been in a bit of a hiatus, as I mentioned in my opening sentence? Well, its because I have been spending time painting pictures, a new hobby I have taken up in my retirement.

This is the tugboat ‘Natone’ moored at the Wellington docks in the very early 1900s. She was actually skippered by my wife’s great-grandfather. I did a lot of research to find photos of her, and then spoke to several steam-tug enthusiasts to get the colours right. The buildings in the background are still there today, though of course ‘Natone’ has long since gone to that great shipyard in the sky.

One of the enthusiasts I consulted for ‘Natone’ was so impressed with the final pic, he gave me my first ever painting commission. He wanted a picture of the steam-tug ‘Toia’ in Wellington Harbour during the mid-1900s.

I depicted her backing over her prop-wash as she manouevres out of the tug berth. Again, the background is researched to be as authentic as possible.

I’ve also painted a couple of birthday presents. This one was for my wife. It shows, Mount Ruapehu, her tūrangawaewae.

The tūrangawaewae is the Māori concept of tūranga (standing place), waewae (feet), often translated as ‘a place to stand’. Tūrangawaewae are places where we feel especially empowered and connected. My wife has been coming to this mountain for skiing ever since she was a child, so it is a very special place to her.

For my 94-year old mother, I painted her childhood home in the town of Weert, the Netherlands, where she lived until she emigrated to New Zealand in 1953. Her house is the one with the round window in the attic.

Excuses, excuses, excuses! Why my wargaming has lagged

The last couple of months have seen little wargaming activity in the ‘Dressing The Lines’ household (though not absolutely none at all, as you’ll see further down in this posting). This despite the fact that I retired from my career late last year, so one would’ve thought I’d have more time to spend on the hobby.

There are several reasons for this pause, which I’ll explain here.

The first reason is that I have taken up a new hobby to sit alongside my wargaming: painting. Not painting miniatures, but pictures. I’ve already posted previously about my first efforts.

My latest work (which you can see above) depicts a church on the island of Santorini. This is intended as a wedding present for my daughter, who got engaged on Santorini just before COVID.

Another picture I completed in January is of the town of Riomaggiore in the Cinque Terre district of Italy. My wife and had four wonderful days in that tiny yellow pension (‘Scorci di Mare’) during our last trip to Europe.

I really want to build my skill in painting water, so was trying something quite challenging with this picture, namely semi-transparent water. The seaweed-covered parts of rocks on the right are supposed to be under the water.

Now, before you get too excited, the above picture isn’t one of mine. But it’s what I aspire to. The reason for my earlier comment about learning how to paint water is that I would love to take up the art of marine painting.

I’m inspired by works such as this one showing Captain Cook’s famous barque ‘Endeavour’ being greeted by several Maori waka (canoes) in Mercury Bay, New Zealand.

I saw the inspirational ‘Endeavour’ painting on a plaque marking exactly where Cook landed in 1769 to observe the Transit of Mercury. This spot was just down the beach from the house where we spent our recent two-week holiday.

And now that I have brought up our holiday, this was the second reason for not much recent wargaming action. I mean, really, how could wargaming compete with spending an idyllic two weeks with my lovely wife in Mercury Bay, one of the most beautiful parts of the world?

Sand, sea, sky, uncrowded beaches – mmm. This is my favourite of the beaches we visited: Hahei, in Mercury Bay on the Coromandel peninsula. Click on the picture to enlarge, and you’ll almost feel you’re there!

Actually, we fitted in two holiday trips last month, as we also spent a couple of days in the central North Island. The highlight was a bike ride that included cycling across this spectacular decommissioned railway viaduct. Again, this adventurous activity hindered my wargaming!

Now, this pic is a blast from the past! This is me back in 1986, when I helped develop the New Zealand Police Museum. I was responsible for this display of worldwide police paraphernalia.

So why this photo? Well, since I retired from the police at Christmas, I have decided to volunteer at the museum, where I spend one day a week cataloguing their huge collection. Another chunk out of wargaming hobby time!

For those of you who want a closer look, here is the display. Sorry the picture is a bit blurry, but this was before digital cameras, so this is actually a digital photo of a paper photo.

And now for the ‘piece de resistance’ for why my wargaming hobby time is depleted. Last week I managed to break my ankle!

I have to keep the leg elevated at the moment, so it is too awkward to sit and paint. Though I hope once I get used to the cast that I may be able take up my paint brush again – for both seascape paintings and gaming miniatures!

And I do actually have some figures undercoated and ready to go once I myself am also feeling ready.

Firstly, these are some 28mm eighteenth century civilians from Russian sculptor Ratnik Miniatures. They’re splendid models which should be fun to paint. I am particularly looking forward to doing the sedan chair, and then somehow including it in my fictional ‘imagi’-nation, the Barryat of Lyndonia.

My other awaiting project is to paint a few 40mm figures I bought recently on a whim. Here’s a bunch of British grenadiers.

They’re from a New Zealand supplier, Triguard Miniatures, so I feel I am doing my patriotic duty to support them. I don’t know if I will ever actually game with these large figures, but they will look gorgeous in my display case.

I couldn’t resist a group of their Gardes Francaises too, one of my favourite-ever uniforms.

So, lots happening, but not too much of it has been wargaming-related. But hopefully as I settle into my retirement (and my leg cast!), I will gradually get more organised with my various pursuits.

A sideline into the hobby of landscape painting

Yeah, I know it has been a long time since my last posting. And to make matters even worse, this posting isn’t even of a wargaming nature!

I’ve got some figures on order from the UK to complete the big battalion of 18th century infantry that I have been working on. However, they must be caught up in the current supply chain problems, as they are a month or so late now (especially considering the first half of the unit that I ordered earlier in the year made its way here to New Zealand in a matter of days).

So whilst I’m waiting, I’ve decided to give a new pastime a go. I’ve always quite fancied painting a landscape, but have never really had the time. So, armed with a new box of artists’ acrylic paints and three blank canvases, I’ve made a start into this sideline hobby.

Oh, don’t worry, I’m not giving up wargaming! With retirement due at the end of the year, I’ll have more than enough time for two hobbies.

My first painting was inspired by this lovely photograph of the Tararua Ranges as seen from the Wairarapa side, which I saw in an online newspaper travel feature (oddly, in a British online paper, The Guardian!). I really liked how it portrayed so much in one deceptively simple scene.

Because of the long shape of the three canvases I had bought, my painting would need to based on just the middle third of the photo. But I thought this might give a really cool forced perspective effect, with the road and telegraph poles, rolling fields, foothills and mountains in layers, one above the other.

I worked from the top down. I found the mountains worked well, and was especially pleased with the folds in the hills and the misty effect at the bottom of the foothills. Whilst the end result is quite different from the photo, I guess that’s what the phrase “artist’s licence” means!

My road is not quite as bumpy as the photo either. In hindsight it would’ve been more interesting if I had tried to copy some of the bumps. And I wish now that I had left out every second telegraph pole, as I think there are too many of them.

Nevertheless, for a first effort at landscape painting, I was happy. I think the forced perspective that I had really wanted to recreate from the photo worked very well.

Having painted one mountain scene, I decided that my other two paintings would also be of mountains so as to make a series, and would feature other places that my wife and I love here in New Zealand.

My wife was actually away on a skiing weekend with her friend, so I picked the mountain where she had gone, Mount Ruapehu. OK, she wasn’t staying in the lovely Chateau Tongariro (she was staying in a much more modest ski lodge), but it is such an iconic scene of Ruapehu, so that is what I chose to paint.

Again, I worked from the top down. The mountain and its lower slopes worked OK, though maybe the lighting is bit odd, as if something is shining from behind the second and third ridges. However, that effect does add some drama to the painting.

I loved doing the Chateau. I guess having made so many wargames buildings, I’m a bit of a detail man. And I love how its angular lines are such a contrast to the irregular shape of the volcano looming above it.

For the last of my three paintings, I decided to portray one of my wife and I’s favourite places in New Zealand – Queenstown. Its backdrop of the rugged Remarkables Range would continue my mountains theme.

There was also the added bonus of being able to try my hand at painting water, and also depicting the gorgeous old lake steamer, the TSS ‘Earnslaw’. This was going to be fun!

I tried something quite different with the mountains this time, using somewhat different colours than what you would usually think for snowy mountains. I also tried out a poster-like effect with lots of hard edges to the ridges and valleys.

The trees were fun, especially that Norfolk pine on the right. But, as I suspected it would be, my favourite part was painting the old Lady of the Lake, the ‘Earnslaw’. And, boy, I’m pleased with how she turned out.

The water worked quite well too. I was especially happy with the slight reflection of the steamer, though this was really the result of a ‘happy little accident’ than an actual planned part of the painting!

So here they are, the three paintings of my ‘Mountains Triptych’, which fit nicely above our mantelpiece. And you can see that one member of our family seems suitably impressed!

By the way, the other painting hanging on the wall to the right isn’t one of mine, but was a birthday present from some years ago. And, no, those aren’t wargaming houses on the mantlepiece, but glossy porcelain souvenirs from our travels to the UK and Europe!

Now, hurry up with my British fusiliers, Mr Deliveryman – I want to finish that big battalion!

At last! My favourite painting in miniature

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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Fontenoy – my favourite battle painting

I remember many years ago seeing this picture for the first time on the covers of Charles Grant’s 1975 book  The Battle of Fontenoy in the Background Books for Wargamers and Modellers series.  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. Click on the above picture (and the others in this posting) to see a much enlarged version.

Since then I’ve remained fascinated with Henri Félix Emmanuel Philippoteaux’s 1873 painting entitled The Battle of Fontenoy, 1745: The French and the Allies Confronting Each Other.  In fact, the first historical wargames troops I painted were the Gardes Françaises as shown in the painting [an embarrassed shrug at the quality of these early efforts at painting 25mm miniatures!].

But recently Philippoteaux’s painting came to my attention again when I stumbled across a second-hand copy of that same Charles Grant book that had started it all off for me way back when.

According to trusty old WikiPedia, the Battle of Fontenoy, 11 May 1745, was a major engagement of the War of the Austrian Succession, fought between the forces of the Pragmatic Allies – comprising mainly Dutch, British, and Hanoverian troops under the nominal command of the Duke of Cumberland – and a French army under Maurice de Saxe, commander of King Louis XV’s forces in the Low Countries.

The battle was one of the most important of the war, and is notable on several accounts: for the French it is a famous victory and the masterpiece of Marshal Saxe; for the British it is remembered for the stout-hardiness of their foot, and as one of the great infantry advances of the 18th century.

[above] Philippoteaux’s painting depicts a famous incident that took place during the battle.  A large Allied column had clambered up to the crest of a rise and found itself facing the first line of French infantry. The Gardes Françaises, along with several other French regiments, rose and advanced towards the crest, whereupon the two forces confronted each other at a distance of 30 paces.

Voltaire’s version of what happened next has become proverbial. He wrote that the English officers saluted the French by doffing their hats.  The French returned the greeting.  Then Lord Charles Hay, captain in the British Guards, cried, ‘Gentlemen of the French Guards, fire!’  The Comte d’Auteroche,  lieutenant of grenadiers, shouted back, ‘Gentlemen, we never fire first; fire yourselves!’

In the end, the French fired first, but the volley was somewhat ineffective, although it threw the Third Guards into some confusion and wounded George Churchill, the commander of the Guards brigade.

Captain Lord Panmure then led the unbroken companies of the Third Guards to the flank of the First Guards, and the Allied infantry fired a devastating discharge into the French. The volley of musketry, along with the battalion guns delivering numerous rounds of grape-shot, swept away the French front rank, killing and wounding between 700–800 men, reducing the rest to a shambles which were driven back by the British advance.

[above] These officers graciously take up the salute to their enemies.  I think the blue coats with ornate rococo trim and the red breeches and stockings worn by the officers of the Gardes Françaises reflect the epitome of the resplendent uniforms of the 18th century.

[above] The tall drum major stands steadfastly in front of his corps of drummers, some looking decidedly nervous.  Philippoteaux has carefully depicted the royal livery worn by the drummers – picking out that intricate lace pattern must have been a painstaking job for him.  Those drums look pretty big, too, compared with the drums in most wargames figure ranges.  Note also how the drummers are standing as a group massed behind the lines, rather than dotted in the lines as we wargamers so often have a tendency to do.

[above] One of my favourite characters in the painting is this sergeant using his spontoon held horizontally to keep the men in his company from shuffling back nervously under fire.

[above] Here’s another (but somewhat less energetic) NCO, standing behind his men.  You can also clearly see the flag of the Gardes Françaises fluttering above the line.

[above] The British line can be seen in the background of the painting.  Standing in front is Lord Hay, doffing his hat.  In actual fact, Lord Hay allowing his enemy to fire early was not as silly as it sounds, as it then left the French unloaded so that the British could at their leisure make ready and fire a much more telling volley.

Despite their diminutive size in the painting, the British redcoats are quite clearly wearing the distinctive blue breeches of the Guards. And if you look carefully, you can also see one of the battalion guns on the left.

[above] Notwithstanding its colour and pageantry, on an individual level war in the 18th century was just as nasty a business as at any other period in history.  Despite the eventual French victory, this guardsman will never return to his homeland, having met his end bloodily from a shot to the head.

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The day my favourite maker of 18th century figurines, Minden Miniatures, ever produces the Gardes Françaises (hopefully including that NCO shoving his men into line, and the gaudy officers in their stockings and breeches), I’ll be ordering myself a 60-man regiment!  Sadly I’ll probably be waiting a while for that to happen, as Minden are now planning to concentrate on the Prussian and Austrian theatre of the wars.

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Attribution for photo of painting: Valerie McGlinchey.