Month: December 2017

Seven More Swithlands

Seven More Swithlands

The 2nd regiment in the Duke’s army are the Swithland Fusiliers. I completed the first batch earlier in the year and I’m very pleased to say that today 7 more have been added to the regiment, making a grand total of 15 painted and varnished.

Just a handful more will complete the regiment and I may even aim to do that before the end of the year.

Swithland Fusiliers 2nd batch (16)
The officer and flag bearer are amongst the figures I’ve completed. Here’s the officer:

The flag I’ve chosen is from the Prinz Maximillian regiment. I’d used this regiment’s Leibfahne flag for the Charnwood Grenadiers as this is what the design of the uniform was based upon. The Swithland Fusiliers are based upon the Rochow Fusiliers, but not knowing what the Rochow’s flags were I’ve instead chosen the Prinz Maximillian’s Kompaniefahne instead. The flag has a green background (appropriately) with a rich yellow embroidery, a gold cipher on a stone pedestal surrounded by a dark green wreath and surmounted by a red and gold crown. You might be able to observe that I’ve added the word “Swithland” just below the wreath!

As the Duchy of Charnwood’s army grows, the coming of Christmas marks the 1st anniversary of this blog’s inaugural post! I always knew this would be a slow-burn project and I think steady progress has been made. Furthermore, Santa will be bringing some more figures for some more regiments. More on that in a future post!


Duchy Personalities: The Bishop of Quorndon

2. The Bishop of Quorndon of the Diocese of Charnwood, the senior cleric in the Duchy.
John Thomas
John Thomas, Bishop of Quorndon

John Thomas has been incumbent as Bishop in the Duchy of Charnwood for longer than many care to remember. His initial appointment met with some dismay in the Duchy,  and continues to provoke controversy today, chiefly as a consequence of his peculiarly liberal attitudes and eccentric interpretation of the Christian liturgy.

Chief amongst his “eccentric” beliefs is the bizarre concept that warfare and soldiering were not, in his opinion, strictly in keeping with the fundamental teachings of Christ. His predecessors were always at pains to emphasise warfare as being central to Christian teachings. Everyone in the Duchy seemed perfectly happy with this arrangement. Bishop Thomas however, has distressed many with his quasi-heretical interpretations, examples of which are reproduced below:

Biblical text – “…If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

  • John Thomas’ heretical interpretation: One should resist the urge to take violent vengeance against an aggressor.
  • Traditional Charnwoodian bishop’s interpretation: If one attacks you on the right, bring about the other flank also so as to bring to bear a greater concentration of musketry upon the enemy.

Biblical text – “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the children of God.”

  • John Thomas’ heretical interpretation: Jesus’ teaching is one of love and those who seek peace instead of war are blessed.
  • Traditional Charnwoodian bishop’s interpretation: Blessed are those who win a victory on the battlefield and thereby put themselves in a position to enforce a peace upon the beaten enemy. A previous incumbent in the role of Bishop even went so far as suggesting that Jesus had intended to say “blessed are the munition makers”.

John Thomas has been present at many of the important services in the life of the Duke of Charnwood and his family. He married His Grace the Duke to the Duchess, baptised their daughter Lady Eleanor and saw to the funeral services of both the Duke’s parents.

Charnwood Church
The Bishop is a regular preacher at the Gracedieu family’s own chapel set in the grounds of the Duke’s family home.

He is considered to be a warm and friendly man, one in no manner excessively conscious of his senior clerical position, and one who readily engages everybody in witty, humorous and relaxed conversation. It is, perhaps more than anything else, his charming manner which has done much to preserve his position in the face of significant clerical, military, no to say mercantile outrage to his pacifist teachings.

“The devil’s chaplain” – A contemporary illustration of the bishop depicted shocking the congregation with his vile and sickening words of peace!

A curious hobby of the Bishop has emerged into public domain in recent years. It appears that John Thomas, despite his pacifist leanings, is an avid collector of artworks graphically depicting historic battles. When challenged, Bishop Thomas retorted that warfare should be graphically captured on canvas where it can do no harm save for instructing passing admirers of the horrors that await future participants on the field of battle.

Amen to that!


Guarding the Duke

ducal guard (4)

Guarding the Duke

In a recent post, it was announced that I would be developing a life guard for the Duke and his family – The Honourable Company of the Ducal Guard. I ordered a handful of figures from Redoubt Enterprises. Although fine enough with bags of character, on close inspection I didn’t feel that they quite had the ‘right stuff’ to be the Duke’s guard.

ducal guard (5)
Left: Redoubt Enterprises Grenadier. Right: Black Hussar Grenadier.

In the meantime, some other figures captured my attention, however. Black Hussar Miniatures are a German manufacturer based in Berlin. Their sculpting is excellent and the figures more slender and in proportion than many other manufacturers I’ve seen.

ducal guard (3)

Furthermore, I was attracted to their Prussian grenadier figures which unusually were depicted as standing to attention and presenting arms, aside from the more usual action and marching poses. Standing to attention seemed to me to be a far more appropriate pose for the Ducal Guard than any more active poses.

ducal guard (1)

So, here they are primed and ready for paint whenever I get around to that! Ten in total should be a nice quantity for now. Hopefully, with the Christmas break a matter of weeks away, I shall get some time to begin that process.

And Christmas in the Duchy is always an eagerly anticipated time of year…