Saturday, 29 April 2017

Compagnies Franches de la Marine

Hello again.

The great thing about certain conflicts, such as the majority of the French & Indian Wars, and skirmish wargaming in particular is the speed with which one can throw together a force to use, often with a lot of inherent variety. This, for me at least, is the main attraction of the aforementioned French & Indian Wars, but also games such as Sharp Practice, Muskets & Tomahawks, the various SAGA incarnations, etc.

So here, hot on the heels of the Highlanders I posted about earlier this month, are the "French light infantry" contingent for my own FIW forces, in the form of some Compagnies Franches de la Marine.

The figures I got as part of the North Start "French Wilderness Force" for Muskets & tomahawks. The other components are Indians and Coureurs de Bois. What I specifically like about these particular figures, and the make up of this box, is that you get several figures that are identifiably Compagnies FDLM and some that are a mix and, therefore, useable not just as Compagnies FDLM but also as militia or Coureurs de Bois, to boost  their numbers.

Two for the price of one you might say, but I view it more as options to vary the force a bit more.

To finish on a slightly our note, I must confess to having painted nothing in the last month or so. Work, work, work is the lot of many of us, but a boost in role coupled with a change in hours to perform said role has left little or no time to crack on with the brushwork. I have managed to finish a number of units' bases (such as the Compaginies, Highlanders and others I will show soon enough), but have barely touched a paint job throughout the tail end of March and all of April. This also means that the lead and plastic mountains are getting no smaller and the roof joists will continue to wilt under the weight...

Actually, to sweeten the sourness of that final note a little, as this is the first year in several when I have not had a defined project on the go, with concomitant deadlines, it s not too much of a disaster after all. Silver linings and all that! The solidity of the house will just have to soldier on for a little while yet.


The whole 11 figures I can use as Compagnies FDLM

Sous-Lieutenant du Plicity

A couple of the "Either/Or" figures referred to above. The centre one clearly has a Compagnies hat, but the other two could be militia or Coureurs de Bois.

A few of les garcons in close up

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Inspiration and motivation

Hello again.

When I started painting my fledgling French & Indian Wars collection, I already had a few articles and even books covering suitable subjects - Rene Chartrand's Osprey volumes on Louis XV's army, North Star's boxed sets. the "Muskets & Tomahawks" rulebook, etc.

They enabled me to varying degrees to cover all I had done up to that point.

But then I bought some Highlanders...

And then my generally useful memory kicked in and I knew I had a suitable picture somewhere. Where? Hm...It was definitely in a Wargamers' Annual. Hm, which one?

Found it!

"Wargamers' Annual" volume 1, with artwork by the late, highly talented Bob Marrion, had an article on light troops in the 18th Century. The first plate was the exact picture I had recalled, of a member of the 42nd Foot in their initial uniform, 1758. Spot on!

Now these figures, all six of them, came via Ainsty from the North Star "M&T" range and, a tad annoyingly, are in a mix of uniforms and with mixed equipment. One figure alone is a ringer for the picture in the annual, two are sort of intermediate Highland infantrymen and the remaining three have the light infantry equipment with tomahawk, etc. Nevertheless, I was good to go and have now been and gone.

I should also say at this point that not only does Bob Marrion's work inspire me whenever I see it, but the whole Wargamers' Annual project has been a massive boon to me and all credit to the authors, contributors, publishers, etc. I make use of this material simply to show my admiration for what this series has done in my opinion for the wider hobby and in no way seek to tread on toes or anything untoward. I hope they will not mind me using the material and also hope it might in some small way also inspire anyone reading this to go and find the books and buy them.

So, for your perusal, on the very eve of that most English of saint's days ("Cry God for Harry, England and Saint George!" and all that), I give you some Scotsmen...

The very tome, the first of the series, and the source of the picture I had stored away in the grey matter just for when it might become useful.

And the picture in question.

My version of the very figure depicted in the picture

And the complete unit, ready to take on the Frenchies in North America