Saturday, January 11, 2020

1672: Les messieurs de la France

It's been a long time since I started the 1672 project, with a very different end in view. So, I look with some satisfaction on the fact that I've been able to get a lot done in the last two months. I've gone from a box full of neglected unpainted lead and a few partially-painted minis to several units ready to game—in fact, for The Pikeman's Lament I have more than enough French painted to make a 24-point company, with more in the works.

The first unit I completed was 12 pikemen that I started sometime in 2012. After nearly 8 years languishing in obscurity, they're suddenly the stand of pikes for Le Régiment Picardie.

The only uniform information I have specifically for 1672 is from the Osprey book on the army of Louis XIV, which says that the men of Picardie wore gray uniforms with gray cuffs. The green-brown trousers, red hose, and red aiguillettes are just my own fancy.

As I was completing the pikes, I started two 6-figure units of grenadiers, one for Picardie and one for the next French regiment, Normandie, who are also in gray/gray, but I've given them differently colored trousers, hose, and lace. I've only completed the grenadiers for Picardie at this point, but the Normandie grenadiers are close behind. I'll field them as some variation of Forlorn Hope in The Pikeman's Lament.

Along with the pikes and grenadiers, I started three units of Swiss in French service. So far, I've just completed one unit of 12 musketeers. The pikemen, with their heavy armor, and the other musketeers are coming.

With the pikemen of Picardie being done, I dipped into the pile of raw lead and pulled out 24 musketeers—or rather 20 musketeers plus two sergeants and two drummers. Except for the Swiss, who are all musketeers, my shot units will all have some "command" element of a sergeant/officer and drummer.

Another unit I started back in antiquity were some dragoons. In my own rules Pike & Periwig, dragoons were 8-figure units with both dismounted and mounted versions, plus a stand of horses and a horse-holder for when they were dismounted. The Pikeman's Lament doesn't differentiate between mounted and dismounted versions of dragoons; they're a shooty unit that moves fast and can skirmish/evade. I opted to incorporate dismounted, mounted, and riderless horses into my dragoon units. I only have the one unit done, but I'll have three or four by the time I'm finished.

For a bit more firepower (hitting on 4+ at 18"), I have some regimental guns. One is a nice design produced by Old Glory, the other is a galloper produced by Northstar. Not pictured is the one field gun I've completed. In The Pikeman's Lament, these are bruisers (hitting on 3+ and 48"), but entirely immobile except to use a move action to pivot.

Finally, I have one officer painted. The figure is actually l'homme lui-même, Louis XIV from the now-discontinued Phoenix Miniatures range, which produced the first 1672 Spanish troops for Northstar (which I also have several of—stay tuned).

It's a nice collections so far, but there's much to do before the game I'm running at our annual convention Enfilade! in May.

Under the brush at the present time are the Normandie grenadiers and the Swiss mentioned above and a 6-figure unit of cavalry for the French. I've got two musketeer units and a pike unit under way for the English (painting Dumbarton's regiment in green facings, although there was also a regiment with these colors in the Anglo-Scots brigade serving under the Dutch) plus a regimental gun for the English. There are also some units I started a long time ago for Austrians. I'm waiting until I receive my Helion book on the Imperial army before I get back to those. It's been 8 years since I last touched them; they'll keep.


  1. "Chapeau bas Monsieur, quel magnifique travail!!"...Gorgeous, worth a new sub!

  2. These look splendid and lovingly filmed in great terrain. You have produced an excellent force. It will be good to see them in battle...

  3. They all look fantastic David. Keep up the great work!

  4. They look absolutely superb!

  5. Those are some splendid looking toys David.

    All the best. Aly

  6. Great looking figures, David. I have to say the guy in the green coat reminds me of Roger Daltry! :)