Monday, March 27, 2017

Spanish Civil War Moroccan Regulares Command Team

Here is the first in series of small posts from me this week. 

This time it's a quartet of Moroccan Regulares: an NCO, a rifleman, their officer and his banner bearer. 

These 28mm castings are from the excellent Empress Miniatures SCW range, sculpted by the talented (and astonishingly prolific) Paul Hicks

For ease of identification on the tabletop, I use hex bases for officers, squares for NCOs and rounds for the foot-sloggers.

These four will join the rest of my hard-bitten veterans in the display cabinet.

Thanks for visiting folks!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

'La!' - The Duellists

A favourite movie in our household is Ridley Scott's debut film 'The Duellists', which was based on a Joseph Conrad short story and starred Kieth Carradine and Harvey Keitel. 

To those who've not had the pleasure of seeing the film, it charts the quarrel and careers of two French cavalry officers, Gabriel Feraud and Armand d'Huber, serving in Napoleon's Grande Armee. The two men fight a long succession of duels that span almost two decades, ending in 1816 with the return of the Bourbon monarchy. 'The Duellists' is beautifully filmed, elegantly written and well acted - a real treat to any historical movie buff. We love the film so much that during a past trip to France, Sarah and I purposefully detoured to stay in beautiful Sarlat-la-Canéda, to visit many of the locations which were used in the film (along with its great food and wine!).

Keith Carradin (d'Hubert), Harvey Keitel (Feraud) and film director Ridley Scott on set in Sarlat, France.
The film (and Conrad's short story) are actually based on true events which are more incredible than its adaptations. The characters of d'Hubert and Feraud's were actually Dupont and Fournier-Sarlovèze, whom Conrad disguised slightly, but otherwise the overall story follows the sketch of actual events.

François Fournier-Sarlovèze the true inspiration of Keitel's 'Feraud'
 In 'The Encyclopedia of the Sword', Nick Evangelista wrote:
As a young officer in Napoleon's Army, Dupont was ordered to deliver a disagreeable message to a fellow officer, Fournier, a rabid duellist. Fournier, taking out his subsequent rage on the messenger, challenged Dupont to a duel. This sparked a succession of encounters, waged with sword and pistol, that spanned decades. The contest was eventually resolved when Dupont was able to overcome Fournier in a pistol duel, forcing him to promise never to bother him again.
They fought their first duel in 1794 from which Fournier demanded a rematch. This rematch resulted in at least another 30 duels over the next 19 years, in which the two officers fought mounted, on foot, with swords, rapiers and sabres.

This 28mm set is from Brigade Games. I've painted them in the colours of the d'Huber's 3rd Hussars and Feraud's 7th. For those who are familiar with the film we can place the figures in the 1801 Augsburg duel (fought in a vaulted cellar) due to the men's junior rank, style of hair (their braided cadenettes are awesome) and the comportment of their uniforms.

Thanks for dropping in!


Sunday, March 5, 2017

Italian Wars Spanish Rodeleros/Escudados

I've been working on these figures off-and-on since the start of the Painting Challenge. I was hoping to get them done last Friday (Feb 24th) for the anniversary of the Battle of Pavia, but it just wasn't in the cards.  Nonetheless, I'm still happy to see them off the table and awaiting orders in the display cabinet.

These are Spanish Rodeleros or Escudados Translated as 'shield bearers', or simply shield-and-buckler men, they were an interesting troop type which saw brief prominence during the late 15th and early 16th century. 

The rodeleros usefulness was being able to break the deadlock between contesting blocks of pike (and in this respect they were very similar to the halberdiers of the Landsknetches and Swiss). Once the rodeleros maneuvered past the hedge of pikes, and got in tight with their foes, their half-plate armour, long swords and small shields made them superior to the lightly protected pikemen.

Nevertheless, the rodeleros, like most classes of infantry, were particularly vulnerable to cavalry, especially light cavalry and so had to be cautiously employed and judiciously commanded. 

Though they had a short time of glory in Italy, Cortes' campaigns in the New World was largely made possible by having a host of rodeleros at his back.

This unit is made up of an assortment of 28mm figures from The Assault Group (TAG), Foundry and Eureka Miniatures. I really like the Spanish/Portugues conquistadors from Eureka. They have a great sense of spirit and animation - the commander exhorting his men, seen below in the center, is from the Eureka range. 

The TAG castings were somewhat smaller than the rest, so I made a small rise for them running along the center of the base to serve as a crest, to help mask their slight statures.

I often try to put a boulder or stump at the rear of my large bases so players have something to grip on to when moving them on the table. For this base I've used a 3D printed stump that I scaled down to a useful size (this same design was used for my Francis command stand).

Historically, these bravos probably wouldn't be carrying their own banner, but I like my units to have flags, so they've been gifted one from Pete's Flags to hoist in the breeze.

There you go! Thanks for visiting folks, I hope you have a great week!