Wednesday 24 February 2021

French enfants perdús: late XVII c. Assault troops for Gerona 1684


Hello friends,

I have finally finished another unit for my Gerona 1684 project. French "assault troops" and grenadiers, as described by witnesses to the battle:

The French assault was at follows; hundreds of "Enfants Perdús" or Forlorn hopes were formed, armed in the following manner " the first line or row with helmets, cuirasses, buckler/round shields and swords. The second and third lines there were troops with war axes and grenadiers". and after those assault troops,  5000 men.

This assault took place during the summer of 1684, I guess this kind of troops were also used in other sieges in late XVII c. but I was surprised to know that as late as in 1684, there were still in use in the French army such an old fashioned armed soldiers, with the helmet, back and breast plate, buckler and sword. But I fell in love with the description of them and had to paint a unit for myself!

The leader of the unit is Captain Jacques Sauvage, a grenadier veteran of the War of Devolution, and Franco Dutch War ... He was successful in the siege of Lille in 1667, the siege of Maastricht 1673 and the siege of Valenciennes in 1677. He has spent the last two decades fighting the Dutch, Spaniards and Imperials,  and now, in the summer of 1684 his unit was ready and in front of the gates of Gerona, an easy task, or so he had been told...

Well, monsieur Sauvage is a fictional character of my campaign, but  all the rest is historical, I have painted the unit in the uniform of regiment de "La Reine", a regiment present at the siege of Gerona. I thought about using several uniforms in the same in unit, something common in this kind of ad hoc units for sieges, but the miniatures have the French classical helmet, and that helmet was issued only to native French and Swiss, not to German regiments in French service, and there were German soldiers from regiments Furstemberg or La Marck in the general assault against the walls, so I could not paint soldiers from these regiments with the miniatures I had, so finally only regiment "La Reine"

The miniature of the leader, as I said in the previous post of the blog, is by Tercio Creativo, and although it is inspired by a 17th century French soldier, it is NOT historical, since it wears a tabard with the fleur de lis, as if it were a king's musketeer, and a classic helmet typical of france from 1660, but is very nice and well sculpted so I could not resist using him for my enfants perdús.

Following the contemporary description of the French assault on the main breach of the Gerona wall, I wanted to represent an assault unit armed with breastplate and back, helmet, buckler and sword, and behind them soldiers armed with axes or halbers and finally grenadiers in the third row.

Most of them are conversions of miniatures from Northstar 1672 French range and one from Dixons, with plastic weapons from Warhammer (axes/halberds) and Warlord games (swords and pistol) the bucklers, since I didn't have 17th century bucklers on hand, I had to resort to some Sassanid shields from Aventine, and then another one made of green stuff made a from a 30 years war miniature.

Finally, I like to base this kind of unit in individual round bases, in order to use them in skirmish games too.

I hope you like them!

It is one of the rarest units I have made for this period, I will have to create rules for them, as elite troops with great melee capacity assaulting positions and good defensive attributes but little ranged firepower.

Tuesday 2 February 2021

3D Printing, Work in Progress & miniature comparison for GERONA 1684

Hello friends,

 In the last two weeks of January I have been preparing some projects I have, most of them have to do with my "Gerona 1684" campaign, including 3D printing of a Spanish officer's design that I commissioned a while ago and that I have in metal. Build a siege artillery position, make a 17th century military camp, and paint a French siege assault unit. Also some comparison of a miniature brand, Tercio Creativo.

To begin with, 3D printing stuff... As I have mentioned on previous posts, a friend of mine and hobby colleague has 5 3D printers, some of them are resin, that he needs for his profession, and fortunately he also has a dental scanner that can also scan miniatures. After the success of scanning some gabions in the past, we have scanned an officer that I commissioned to a freelance sculptor a while ago. As I have that officer in metal, we have tried to scan him and print him in printer resin.

my friend's basement

For the test we had no gray resin left, so it was done in black resin, and the details are not so noticeable. In my opinion, the detail of the metal miniature is superior to that of the resin printed copy, but If well painted, it can be used without problem.
Of course, with some software knowledge, one can do wonders with the design of the mini, and modify the miniature in the computer! Maybe in the future the conversions of miniatures could be done in the computer...

Next thing I am doing is an artillery position, mostly scratchbuilt, with some plastic gabions from Renedra, and "chevaux de Frise" from Warfare Miniatures .

An Old Glory ECW cavalryman converted into an enthusiastic infantry sargent, using the lower part of the body of a Warlord Games' plastic musketeer (also ECW range).

I also had  a project of a XVII c. military camp, using as inspiration, contemporary paintings, and the core set of the miniature encampment is the nice box of "terrain crate" from Mantic, absolutely inexpensive, just 27 euros for 4 tents, sleeping bags and campfires...  also some spare bits from Games Workshop and other manufacturers, all together can make a nice Renaissance or Baroque military camp for almost every European power. 

Finally, here you have, in resin, a miniature from "Tercio Creativo" a Gallic Grenadier (left), from a game set in a alternative history called "1650 a capa y espada".  Although the miniature has a "fantasy" look, I think it fits  as a leader of a storming party, with his French classic helmet, used from the 1660' onwards. a cravatte, tabard an some armour. So he will lead my French enfants perdús into the breach!

                                               compared to North Star 1672 French Pikeman

                                              compared to North Star 1672 Swiss Pikeman

                                                         compared to Front Rank Pikeman

Some more examples of miniatures from tercio Creativo. I like the look of the swordsman with some plunder bag. Also the officer with pistol in a 1650-60 outfit is quite nice.

This brand is highly recommended in my opinion, its miniatures cost about 8.5 euros, and its quality is very good, both in resin, as well as in proportions and design. I find them great for heroes and leaders of the seventeenth century games.