Monday, March 23, 2009

The Guards

I am getting the itch to start painting fellows in tricorn hats again and now that I have actually fielded my first SYW British brigade, I'm thinking that I will want to paint some more red coats. I am actually designing my British army around the earlier period of the War of the Austrian Succession, rather than the SYW. One reason for this is the fact that the three regiments of Foot Guards took to the field and fought at Dettingen in 1743 and Fontenoy in 1745.

Sunday afternoon, the day after the SYWA convention, I was cleaning and priming some Front Rank Jacobites for our Forty Five Campaign, when I happened across a box of partially painted Suren British figures. They were in fairly bad condition, so I picked up one figure (big mistake there) and applied a lighter coat of red over the dark red undercoat that was already on the figure. I might as well touch up the blue trousers and turnbacks. And while I'm at it, the equipment could use a little bit of freshening up. Before I knew what had happened, I had nearly finished painting one of the figures. I found that I had the urge to paint some more.

So I have 17 Suren figures that I plan to paint as the 1st Guards Regiment. Why? Because I happen to have the GMB Designs flag for the 1st Guards. My plan is to work on a few of the Surens while I am painting my Jacobites. A few here and there and suddenly I will have a half battalion of 30 figures. From there it is not that much more work to get to 60 figures.

There are several problems with the Suren figures. First and foremost, they require a lot of preparation work. You have to clean out blobs of lead between the legs and under the arms because some of the molds are so bad. Then you have to glue on the weapons and hanger swords, which can be a pain in the neck to do. However, once you have reached this stage, then you get to experience the fun of painting these nicely animated and proportioned figures. I will post some pictures later in the week after I have made some progress.


  1. Ah, you're back in the proper frame of mind again . . . painting 18th century figures (and not those blasted Nappies). Good!

    I look forward to the photos.

    -- Jeff

  2. I am looking forward to seeing the Guards in all their splendour. I have often regretted my preference for the SYW - the WAS offers, I think, a better balance of melee, musketry and artillery fire. The latter two are much diminished in effect (at least for all but Prussian musketry). Artillery was largely before it was reformed, and the wooden ramrod was still in use.

  3. I'm another who has switched allegiance to the WAS, mainly because my beloved French actually won some battles and who can gainsay de Saxe's right to be considered one of the Great Captains, and all that's led to my own conversion to Suren figures.

    I recently bought some of the new Willie British figures (not seemingly advertised on the Tradition site) and they are very good; probably not very different from the old ones you describe. I too thought of using them for the Guards and filling up the army with cheaper figures so I'll very much look forward to seeing your painted figures.

  4. One of the reasons I like the WAS is that you get to use guard troops in the British and French armies. In the SYW, at least, the French Gardes played only a minor role towards the end of the war.

    I also like Maurice de Saxe, one of the best generals of the 18th Century.