His Grace the Duke of Charnwood cordially sends his greetings!
What’s this? A post after a 7 month hiatus? Well, I’ve said before that this will be a slow-burn project. In the interim, I’ve been very busy with this blog’s big brother “Suburban Militarism“. But I’ve finally taken some time out this week to at last finish off the last of the Charnwood Grenadiers. The remaining figures to paint include four grenadiers and a drummer.
These are progressing well, but there was something else that I’ve been meaning to get around to – creating the Charnwood Grenadiers flag! And here it is:
The flag is based on the Saxon Prinz Maximilian Infantry Regiment’s Leibfahne (the colonel’s flag) from 1760, information found on the excellent Kronskaf 7 Years War website. You may notice that I’ve added the name Charnwood discretely at the bottom in a fancy French script!
An update is intended soon (really!) once the remaining grenadiers are completed. Next up will be the Swithland Fusiliers or the 3rd Regiment of Foot (The Beacons).
Slowly but surely the Duke’s elite Charnwood Grenadiers regiment expands up to full strength. The sculpting of these figures make for a pleasurable painting experience. At present, I am only painting these figures when I get some spare time from my more usual 1/72 scale figures and when the mood takes me. I’ve said it before, The Duchy of Charnwood is a slow burn project! I have about 8 figures remaining before I move on to the next regiment; the Swithland Fusiliers.
One of the enjoyable aspects of painting these figures is the details and expressions on the faces of the figures, making it a regiment of individuals rather than identical copies of one template.
One of the figures is an officer. So allow me to introduce to you Captain Edward Carillon of the Charnwood Grenadiers. He wears a gorget (a crescent-shaped sign of rank beneath his neck), and a red sash about his waist. Unlike his grenadier cap wearing men, Captain Carillon also wears a tricorn hat and an expensive pair of knee-length boots. I like his features which suggest an unflappable presence on the battlefield, perhaps tainted however by a certain world-weary cynicism?
Also making an appearance is this axe-wielding maniac. I believe that he represents what is known as a pioneer sergeant. He wears a stout apron and carries an axe, he marches at the head of his company ostensibly to clear a path for all who follows. The apron serves to protect the pioneer sergeant’s uniform from the vicissitudes of hacking people to pieces. Again, one can see a ‘robust’ personality in his ‘resolute’ features. I for one wouldn’t dare describe him as murderously psychotic.
I’ve also painted this fellow below who appears to be carrying a very long halberd or pike. He’s actually missing a flag! I intend to add his standard shortly as soon as I’ve worked out what kind of flag I’m going to put on it.
Finishing this batch of figures has given me the impetus to polish off the remainder of the regiment, so watch this space!
The day after the New Year ball, the Charnwood Grenadiers returned to their barracks with the pleasing news that the Marquisate of Bosworth had awarded the regiment some hand-stitched fabric oak-leaves to wear on their caps (oak leaves being a feature of the Bosworth family Coat of Arms). These had been made personally by the Marchioness and her ladies. The Duke pronounced himself delighted with the kind gesture and instructed that local seamstresses should make more as the regiment fills its ranks.Furthermore, the Charnwood Grenadiers would henceforth be always required to wear them when on parade.
Lady Eleanor had enjoyed the experience immensely until she was finally found by her governess asleep on a duchesse brisée chair, long before the end of the dancing. Her mother, the Duchess, was reportedly also found similarly exhausted on another chaise longue just prior to the evening’s conclusion, being attended to by a number of gallant male guests.
The Duke, meanwhile, couldn’t resist talking politics throughout the evening and showing off his new grenadiers to impress visitors from neighbouring states.
The Duke spent New Year’s Day meeting with a delegation from the Chamber of Commerce amongst a number of other mundane administrative chores. Her Grace the Duchess, Charlotte Augusta, spent a far more pleasant day by riding out with the Earl of Rutland who had stayed over at the Duke’s residence after the ball. The Duchess was well-known for enjoying riding with many other gentlemen. Indeed, Charlotte would frequently spend most of the day in this activity, returning (it is said) quite exhausted at the close of day…
Meanwhile, the training of new recruits to the Charnwood Grenadiers continues apace…
The first batch of recruits for the newly raised 1st Regiment of Foot (Charnwood Grenadiers) have been painted. As indicated in a previous post, His Grace the Duke had been persuaded to put his new infantry regiment into white coats (their appearance bearing an uncanny resemblance to this regiment of the Saxon army.
Originally, I had planned to gloss varnish the figures, giving them an old toy soldier look. Ultimately, I changed my mind however and matt varnished them instead. I’m pleased to get the first soldiers completed so quickly. I’m awaiting another regiment to come through the post so as to give me a bit of variety – hopefully more news on those soon.
Here are the first cohort of grenadiers. Lord Ulverscroft had them paraded for the Duke’s inspection on their parade ground at the Charnwood Barracks.
Men of the 1st (Charnwood Grenadiers) Regiment, on parade earlier today.
Lady Eleanor was most excited. Her father, the Duke, had earlier in the year agreed to her suggestion of hosting a celebratory ball on New Year’s Eve. And now the time was almost upon them. Being only ten years old, Lady Eleanor would not be formally taking part in the evening’s events but she would greatly enjoy the whole occasion nonetheless, watching from the wings under the care of her governess, Miss Browne.
With just a day to go, food and drink was being stockpiled at Gracedieu Hall, extra serving staff had been arranged, and the stable block was being made ready for all the expected guests and dignitaries. Amongst those expected would be Lord Welby and his eligible young daughters from Ragdale Hall in the Wolds; also corpulent Sir John Garendon, Lady Garendon and his dashing young son (an Ensign in the Swithland Fusiliers); from the northern reaches of the Duchy was the inscrutable Lord Castledine and party; and not forgetting the dependable old soldier General Sir Henry De Soar, 6th Baronet of Mountsorrel.
Of greatest interest to young Lady Eleanor was the news that a party from the Marquisate of Bosworth, ever-dependable ally of the Duchy in times of war, would be attending. The Marquis himself was due to attend with a considerable entourage.
To Lady Eleanor’s disdain, dull and haughty Lord Ulverscroft would also be there with a detachment of his newly raised regiment, the Charnwood Grenadiers. The newly recruited Grenadiers were nearly fully equipped with their new uniform and much was expected of it. A rumour had reached her ear that the Marquis of Bosworth was to grant a special honour upon the new regiment. As servants scurried about making ready the guest’s rooms around the Hall, she idly wondered what it might be…
More pictures of the first batch of Charnwood Grenadiers to follow in another post…