Saturday, 21 September 2013

Armies and Enemies of Louis the XIV and the The French-Dutch War of 1672-1678

The French Army: I've already completed two Dutch foot Regiments for my French-Dutch war, (see previous posts) I decided to start on my late 17th century French Army specifically the French Generals command base. I used a couple of paintings for inspiration, one of Grand Conde (battle of Seneffe) and one of general Turenne (battle of Turckheim), though until a manufacturer makes these specific generals I had to make do with generic officers manufactured by 'Front Rank.
'The officers on foot could represent any personalites or regiments as officers generally wore whatever clothing they wished.
I try to add some campaign/battlefield items but find you can easily overdo it, too little is often better than too much.
A sense of urgency has been injected into the vignette by the pointing officer on foot. He is a Guard Francaise officer from 1672 this is before they adopted the famous blue uniform.
A grey coated subordinate officer hands over a map to the blue coated officer on horse
I have painted eyes on each miniature but my photography skills leave much to be desired

Painting Method.

After I primed these 'Front Rank' minis in black enamel to give a good flat opaque undercoat, I wanted to start on the faces first as these give character to the miniatures almost immediately. 

After undercoating the flesh areas with matt white enamel, flesh was mixed from red + yellow + white and painted thinly over the undercoated areas, then a wash of burnt sienna oil paint was applied giving the faces a somewhat suntanned effect. 

 I worked through burnt sienna acrylic mixed with white building up the flesh tones. 

Each stage was allowed to dry fully, then the blacks and greys of the leather straps, shoes were painted. The metals were dry brushed on (gold acrylic) then cleaned up with oil washes flooded over to give a worn look (burnt umber oilpaint) then highlighted with acrylic gold paint. Oil paints Enamel paints and acrylics were used to produce various effects.

The basing was the almost last stage, the miniatures are supaglued to a 80mm round mdf base resulting in a compact vignette. Polyfilla was added to level off the ground, then PVA glue was liberally brushed on with an old no.2 brush,  rocks were sprinkled over the area then sawdust of various grades applied. The dirt/earth effect was obtained by mixing burnt umber oil paint with enamel leather colour, then dry brushing in lighter tones of burnt umber oil paint/leather enamel/yellow enamel/white enamel building up to the lightest colour.

Grass and flowers and a scrub bush were added before the final coat of 'Testors Dullcote' matt varnish which flattens the painting effects.

The mdf base is from the grass is from 'War Painter' available from most wargames online stores and ebay. The small bush I made myself.

Next will be The French Infantry Regiments Picardie and Navarre.

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