Next month I will be staging a re-fight of the Battle of Ramilles -- perhaps Marlborough's greatest victory. We will be using a 20 x 6 foot table with every battalion and squadron represented in 15 mil.
Having just gone through the orders of battle and matching them up with the available figures I can draft in from 5 players, I realised that we had a rather gapping hole.
None of us had any Gardes Suisse and there were three battalions of them on the French side. While a few substitutions will be unavoidable I could not imagine having no Swiss guards at all so I hurriedly sent off an order to Caliver Books for some 15mm Minifigs.
Yes Minifigs. I have some Dixon and Blue Moon units but I still think Minifigs look the best when painted up and deployed on the table. Furthermore they have a huge range of figures including a Gardes Française model with lace on his coat and ribbons on his shoulders. This was just what I needed for a suitably impressive looking Garde Suisse.
After years of painting only 28 mil the miniatures looked incredibly small and I wondered if my ageing eyes would be up to painting them.
In order to pick out the detail to aid painting I first gave them a very thin wash of raw umber over the white undercoat. This was a trick I learned when painting 6mil figures and I find it also helps greatly with all smaller scales. I usually don’t bother to do this with 28 mil figure
After my first sitting I now have the base coats and buff belts done.
I have also painted the white lace on their coats which was made much easier by the fact that the models have the lace marked out on the coat.
Next step will be to do the blue linings, breeches, waistcoat and shoulder ribbons. But that can wait for another day.