Thursday, 2 May 2019

Regiment de Provence: Laarden, 1688


From the letters and diaries of the Marquis de Montchevreuil, 
Grand Écuyer to His Highness The King of France, French Flanders, 1688

The Comte de Grignan has never been a man to do things without excess.  As the King's lieutenant-general in Provence, his duties have included spreading the warmth of Le Roi Soleil's rule to every corner of that already sun-drenched land.  His existence is an extravagant one, presiding each year at the opening of the Etats at Lambesc, seated on a throne-like chair with the Archbishop of Aix on his right and the Intendant of Provence on his left.  Nor is he a man who prefers modesty.  I well remember how, after he had taken the town of Orange by siege in 1673, he presented the keys of the citadel to Louis Le Grand in a theatrical ceremony at Versailles involving a silver salver of seven oranges from Valencia.

Wealthy, charming, graceful, talented.  And now, as my servants in the Royal camp had informed me, he was in Flanders, accompanied by one of his newly raised regiments from southern France.  They had marched through the winter, the journey through Besançon, Reims and Cambrai being well provisioned by the Comte's merchants.  Russet-brown coated soldiers, and gaudy scarlet-uniformed officers loudly swaggered through their winter quarters after arrival in French Flanders.  Brassy trumpets and newly skinned drums proclaimed their arrival in any winter review in which they were present.



Le Regiment de Provence.  I smiled, of course.  I clapped appreciatively.

But Flemish winter warfare will, doubtless, be very different to campaigning in the lavender hills of Provence.  Here, in Flanders, marching to the drum under weak sunlight and over the clay-soil's cold caress, many finer regiments than the Comte de Grignan's have floundered against the Flemish and Germans.  

What a shame for the Comte that the sun rarely breaks through the leaden skies over Laarden.



*******  

So, accompanied by an uncharitable, and  no doubt deeply jealous, entry from the Marquis de Montchevreuil's war-diary, I've posted some photos of the newly finished 28mm figures for the Regiment de Provence.  Formed in 1683, by the (historical) Comte de Grignan, the regiment was a feature of the historical campaigns of Louis XIV in the Nine Years War in Flanders and Germany.

The figures are a mixture of Dixon Miniatures and Wargames Foundry, all in 28mm.  The finials on the regimental standard are from Bicorne, with bases from Warbases and tufts from WWS Scenics.  I did a few small conversions to some of the figures, adding some shoulder-lace on the grenadier figure and a hat feather or two.  Other than that, the figures are pretty much as you can purchase them from the manufacturers.




I painted the standards myself, on account of them being pretty straightforward.


One of the themes I've been thinking about lately has been relationships between the various French commanders in the army of Louis XIV.  I very much doubt that the camp was as fractured, poisonous and waspish as I'd like to imagine - but the tensions were definitely there.  It's a theme which might play quite well in a multi-player wargame.  Something to return to in a future post, perhaps.


Hope you can join me next time, when we'll be back on the Flemish downland with a charlatan and an unusual horseman.

38 comments:

  1. Outstanding Sir, those figures Mark Copplestone did for Dixon have certainly stood the test of time.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Phil - thank you! And yes, they have.

      For anyone who might not have tried the Dixon "Grand Alliance" range, it's well worth a look. It fits very well with Perry ECW; 1st Corps ECW and TYW; Foundry ECW, TYW and Marlburians; Midlam Miniatures; Old Glory ECW.

      The Dixons range also fits pretty well with The Assault Group (TAG) Renaissance figures. I would say that the Dixon figures are 25mm-26mm, and the TAG figures are more 26mm-27mm, but the differences are pretty much invisible on the tabletop (and even on the same figure bases).

      I should really do a figure comparison post at some point!

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  2. Beautiful uniforms, paint job, bases...and flags!

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  3. These are wonderful. Color selection is excellent, and the brushwork very crisp as always. Well done.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, AJ - very pleased you like them.

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  4. Beautiful work as always. I can't wait to see some game reports with these.

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  5. Beautiful work there Sidney!

    Christopher

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  6. Superb brushwork on this fine regiment, Sidney!

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  7. Wonderful looking regiment sir! And great to have you back and firing on all cylinders.

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    Replies
    1. Hey Peter - it's very good to be back. Life is still distracting in all kinds of ways (kids, work, house & garden), but it is good having some time to paint.

      Delete
  8. Absolutely marvelous Sir! You really should bring this project of yours to Crisis *hint*

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    Replies
    1. I would love to do that, I really would. Maybe that's something I can build up to in the next couple of years.

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  9. Lovely toys Sidney...
    All the best. Aly.

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  10. I really like the colours you’ve done these chaps in. The brown and red work really nicely. The officer in the front rank of the pike has a suitably aloof look of a French aristo. Fits the theme very nicely.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! We are all about aloof Versailles aristocrats here at Roundwood's World!

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  11. A wonderful looking unit Sir.

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  12. Beautiful work as usual Sid. Love the bespoke lace and banner.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Curt. I am so very sorry that these never made it into the Challenge.

      Delete
  13. Another fantastic looking regiment of foot with a delightful backstory!
    Best Iain

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