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!
Through the post has come a number of figures to swell the ranks of Charnwood’s fledgling army! Quickly cleaned and primed, here they are:
Two mounted officers arrived from Front Rank Figurines, the first I’ve purchased from this manufacturer. These personalities represent two British officers; the Marquis of Granby and another senior officer. For the Duchy of Charnwood, I think they may represent;
Left: Sir Arthur de Lisle – baronet and colonel of the 1st Charnwood Grenadiers. He is a flamboyant leader of men who doesn’t always take his duties completely seriously, Sir de Lisle’s chief interests being the pursuit of both ladies and foxes (though, to his regret, never at the same time). His somewhat carefree attitude to soldiering has yet to cause any friction with the Duke hitherto. Both men get along famously and the baronet has always displayed astonishing degrees of both luck and skill on the battlefield.
Right: Captain Normanton-Turville, the 1st regiment’s adjutant. The captain is as serious and diligent a soldier as his colonel is an inattentive one. Consequently, the Captain is held in high regard by his grateful C.O. The Normanton-Turvilles are a local family of strict Calvinists renown for their puritanical attitudes. In this regard, Henry is typical family member. His personal and moral austerity however are compromised by one shameful indulgence; a small hip flask of gin always secreted about his person (to keep out the cold, he assures himself).
My other purchase is from Crusader Miniatures, suppliers of my first regiment in the Duchy of Charnwood project. The first regiment comprised grenadiers, but these new figures will go to make up the second regiment; the Swithland Fusiliers.
As a comparison, below is a grenadier and fusilier side by side. The grenadier is nicely sculpted as being slightly taller, an effect exaggerated by his taller grenadier cap. Grenadiers were intended to be big, imposing men in an elite unit; conversely, the fusiliers were smaller men with a speciality in skirmishing and marksmanship.
I’ll reveal more about this 2nd regiment in a future post as they begin to get painted, but for now there’s the beginnings of a dedicated page available here.
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…
The recruiting sergeants have done their work and the drill sergeants are beginning theirs. The very first regiment in the Duchy Of Charnwood army is being primed and painted, so let me tell you about it…
The first regiment will be known as the 1st (Charnwood Grenadiers) Regiment of Foot. Being numbered as the first regiment, it enjoys the most prestigious position in the infantry’s order of precedence. These grenadiers will be the pride and joy of Francis Gracedieu, the Duke.
The figures are 28mm scale and made of metal, all being designed and sculpted by Mark Sims of Crusader miniatures. These are actually their Prussian Grenadiers I’m using (only the best for Duke Francis). I must say that I’m very impressed with the sculpting and intend to use other figures from their extensive Seven Years War range.
The Duke and his advisors have spent days prevaricating over plans for the Charnwoodian infantry uniform. The Duke variously requested lucious greens, shocking reds, rich blues and stark yellows… but he couldn’t decide upon a main one. Eventually, his wise and patient Field Marshall, Lord Ulverscroft humbly proffered a suggestion. If His Grace simply couldn’t decide on a colour, perhaps he might consider neutral white? With such a bright uniform, His Grace then might enjoy a range of starkly contrasting colours used as regimental facings. The Duke, at first taciturn, slowly came to concur. “Ulverscroft, I do declare that the Duchy’s enemies will soon learn to fear ‘the men in white coats’!” he averred. Ulverscroft barely suppressed a smirk.
The inspiration for the uniform of the Charnwood Grenadiers are the Prinz Maximilian Infantry Regiment of Saxony, details taken from the excellent Kronskaf website. I envisage therefore that much of the infantry will look like Saxons!