Reinforcements For King Louis! (Seven Years War French Army)

As mentioned last time, I’ve been setting myself painting challenges to keep the painting-mojo going during the continued lockdown and lately these have been tied to my renewed interest in the Seven Years War, which has lain dormant since the 1990s.  I started last November with the ‘Württember’ Challenge, which was followed in December by a Carmarthen Old Guard painting challenge which I used to catch up with my Napoleonic Russians.  Then came ‘Bavarianuary’, followed closely by ‘Frogruary’ and now we’re into the month of ‘Marsch!

The ‘Marsch!‘ challenge is to paint anything Germanic during the month of March, so I’ve been painting some more Seven Years War Prussians, as well as some German and Swiss regiments for my new French army for the Seven Years War.  OK, sneaking in the Swiss is a bit of a cheat, but I needed them to finish off the First Infantry Line of the Battle of Rossbach orbat… Some of them were German… probably… or spoke German… or could perhaps order a beer in German…

Above:  The Swiss ‘Planta’ Brigade for the Battle of Rossbach orbat, consisting of the ‘Planta‘ and ‘Reding’ Regiments.  All Swiss regiments in French service had the same basic uniform of red coat, royal blue facings and white ‘metal’ (i.e. buttons and lace).  The uniform differences were very minor and took the form of button-placement on the breast and pockets, the presence or otherwise of a collar, red smallclothes (i.e. breeches and waistcoat) instead of blue and lace on the waistcoat; much of which is almost impossible to spot in 15mm.  However, their traditional Swiss style of flag, with radiating ‘flames’ in psychedelic colours, does make the regiments reasonably easy to tell apart on the wargames table.

Above:  The ‘Planta’ Regiment.  Swiss regiments were known by the shortened form of the name of their Colonel, which in this instance was Louis-Auguste Baron de Planta de Wildemberg.  As mentioned above, there wasn’t much in the way of uniform details to tell one Swiss regiment from another, but this regiment’s uniform lacked a collar and had blue piping on the breast-buttonholes.  There were three buttons on each cuff and three arranged horizontally on each pocket.  There was also white piping on the seams of the blue waistcoat.

These are French infantry figures by Eureka Minitures, with flags by Maverick Models.

Above:  The ‘Planta’ Regiment.  Some Swiss regiments had very ornate flag-designs, but this one was relatively simple, with four ‘flames’ in each canton, coloured black, yellow, blue and red. 

I’ve not been able to identify the drummers’ livery for any specific Swiss regiments and they weren’t authorised to wear the King’s Livery, but one picture of a drummer belonging to an unidentified regiment shows simply the regimental coat in red with blue facings, decorated with strips of silver or white lace.  The drummers of the Swiss Guards also followed this colour scheme, though were very heavily laced with silver.  I’ve therefore gone with this scheme, though might simply make up some livery for a future regiment (I have another four Swiss regiments to paint).

Above:  The ‘Reding’ Regiment.  The regiment’s Colonel throughout the Seven Years War as Antoine Baron de Reding de Frawenfeld.  

Note that as with the French infantry I painted earlier, I’ve used French infantry figures without turnbacks, as this was their style of dress at the start of the Seven Years War, being barely unchanged since Marlborough’s day.  However, the uniform steadily changed as the Seven Years War went on, with the skirts of the coat being turned back, bearskins being adopted by grenadier companies and some regiments adding lapels to the coat.  These changes were fairly haphazard, so it would probably not be unusual to see a regiment at the end of the war still dressed in this manner.

Above: The ‘Reding’ Regiment.  Like the ‘Planta’ Regiment above, the ‘Reding’ Regiment had fine blue piping on the breast-buttonholes and three buttons on each cuff.  However, it differed in having a plain waistcoat without piping or lace, a blue collar, a blue shoulder-strap on the left shoulder and five buttons on each pocket.

Above:  The ‘Reding’ Regiment had relatively simple flags, with four ‘flames’ per canton, coloured red, white, green and yellow.  The white Colonel’s colour also had ‘flames’, but all in white.

That’s the First Line now completed for the Battle of Rossbach! 🙂 On to the Second Line…

Above:  As if the Swiss weren’t colourful enough, here’s the German ‘La Marck’ Brigade, consisting of the ‘La Marck’, ‘Royal Pologne’ and ‘St Germain’ Regiments.  This brigade was one of four in the Second Line at Rossbach.  In addition to the Germans, one brigade was French, consisting of all four battalions of the ‘Mailly’ Regiment and the remaining two brigades were Swiss; the ‘Wittmer’ Brigade (‘Wittmer’ and ‘Diesbach’ Regiments) and the ‘Castellas Brigade (‘Castellas’ and ‘Salis de Mayenfeld’ Regiments).  So that’s twelve more battalions to paint to complete the Second Line… 🙁  In fact there was a Third Line with another eight French battalions and Touraine’s detached corps, with yet another eight battalions, but two lines will do for now!

Above:  The ‘La Marck’ Regiment.  The regiment initially had two battalions as shown here, but increased to three battalions in 1760.  Most German (and all Scottish) regiments in the French Army were clothed in Turquin blue uniforms.  The exact shade is a little hard to pin down, being depicted in art as everything from dark blue to bright sky-blue, but it was apparently the middle-blue colour used to clothe the entire French Army in the latter half of the 19th Century, so that makes the shade somewhat easier to pin down.

Above:  The distinguishing features of the ‘La Marck’ Regiment were pale yellow lapels, cuffs and collar.  The lapels, cuffs and pockets had white lace buttonholes.  The turnbacks were also initially yellow, but changed to blue in 1757 and white in 1760.  The waistcoat and breeches were blue until 1758 when they changed to white and then back to blue in 1760.  The ‘metal’ colour was white.

Above:  The ‘La Marck’ Regiment unusually had whitened leather belts, when almost all other regiments in the French Army had natural buff leather.  The cartridge-pouch remained natural leather, while the sword and bayonet scabbards were blackened leather instead of the usual dark brown.

Above:  A rear view of the ‘La Marck’ Regiment.  I couldn’t find any information on the colonel’s livery worn by the regiment’s drummers.  However, Jase Evans dug out the livery for the ‘La Marck’ Cavalry Regiment of the War of Spanish Succession, which was grey-white, with black cuffs (with white buttonhole lace) and black ‘Brandenbourg’ lace decorating the other buttonholes.  Lacking any other information, this livery seemed like a good bet.

The figures are again by Eureka Miniatures, while the spectacular flags are by Maverick Models.

Above:  The ‘Royal Pologne’ Regiment.  This regiment consisted of only one battalion and was commanded and partly-officered by exiled Polish supporters of Louis XV’s father-in-law, the on-off-on-off former King of Poland, Stanislaw Leszczynski, who now resided in French territory as Duke of Lorraine.  The bulk of the regiment was made up of German-speaking troops from Alsace-Lorraine and other German territories.

Above:  The ‘Royal Pologne’ Regiment again had uniforms of turquin blue, this time with ‘red’ cuffs, turnbacks and collar.  The red is usually depicted as an appropriately Polish shade of crimson, so I’ve gone with that colour.  The collar had white lace edging and the buttonholes on the breast and pockets were also decorated with lace, as were the buttonholes on the blue waistcoat.  Breeches were white and the ‘metal’ colour was also white.

Above:  A rear view of the ‘Royal Pologne’ Regiment.  Note that the belts and equipment were natural buff leather, with scabbards of dark brown leather, in the style typical of French infantry of the period.  As a ‘Royal’ regiment, the regiment’s drummers wore the King’s Livery.

The figures are again Eureka Miniatures.  I stuck the flags together from images taken from the relevant page on Kronoskaf and printed on my own laser-printer.

Above:  The ‘St Germain’ Regiment.  This regiment had only a single battalion before being disbanded in 1760.

Above:  The ‘St Germain’ Regiment was dressed in turquin blue coats like the rest of the brigade, with blue waistcoat and breeches to match.  The regiment’s distinguishing colour was pale yellow, which was displayed on the collar, cuffs and turnbacks.  The coat and waistcoat were also decorated with white lace buttonholes on breast and pockets.  The ‘metal’ colour was yellow.

Above:  A rear view of the ‘St Germain’ Regiment.  Note the four lace buttonholes on the pockets and the small red (heart-shaped) decorations where the turnbacks are buttoned together.  Again, I couldn’t find any information on the colonel’s livery for this regiment, but Jase Evans came up with the livery of the St Germain-Beaupré Cavalry Regiment of the War of Spanish Succession, which consisted of a yellow coat with blue cuffs, smallclothes and lace.  It’s as good a guess as any, so I’ve gone with that scheme for the drummer.

The figures are again by Eureka Miniatures, with the flags this time by Fighting 15s

Anyway, that’s if for now.  If you’re wondering what happened to our resident troll, he still occasionally rants away in the Spam Folder where only I can point and laugh at the sad little onanist.  I suppose it’s safer for him to be sitting in his mum’s basement, sending anonymous abuse to a blog about toy-soldiers than being out in public, shouting at pigeons, stampeding horses and scaring children.  He was amusing for a day, which I suppose is all that a pathetic waste of human life such as ‘Martin’ can ever hope to be.

This entry was posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Painted Units, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Seven Years War French Army, Shako Rules, Tricorn (18th Century Shako Rules). Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Reinforcements For King Louis! (Seven Years War French Army)

  1. Steve J says:

    Those are wonderful and the flags really make the units stand out on the table. Keep up the good work!

  2. Dinos Antoniadis says:

    They look splendid! And superb flags! These Swiss and German regiments are giving color to the French army of the period and were the reason of building a French army!

  3. James Fisher says:

    My, what lovely units these are!
    Regards, James

  4. Paul Smith says:

    Hi Mark

    Excellent! You have got to like the French, eh, well Germans….. and Swiss of course. Any likely hood of seeing them in action?

    Cheers Paul

    • jemima_fawr says:

      Cheers Paul! Yes, as soon as I paint the cavalry, which will take me the best part of April, so they’ll be in action in May. I’ll then start painting a British/Hanoverian/Hessian/Brunswick/Buckeburg Allied army.

  5. Pingback: Reinforcements For King Louis! (Part 3: The ‘Royal-Nassau’ Hussars) | Jemima Fawr's Miniature Wargames Blog

  6. Ibrahim says:

    Most splendid! and a fine attention to detail!

    Admittedly, this is a bit late, but I got something regarding Turquin blue:

    It turns out there are original swatches from the mid-18th century–so exactly within this period–made by master dyers working privately and also for the French State. The great thing is that these swatches are pretty consistent. In this case, the hex color from one swatch was roughly: #26364C

    It’s a pretty deep blue color, but not true “dark blue”; in this, you aren’t too far off conceptually, in that late 19th century French coats were a similar shade. The thing to keep in mind is that a lot of these shades of blue always come out darker than expected: sky blue is a pretty funny example. An example of a Prussian officer’s dragoon coat was shown to me, and the guy who snapped the picture pointed out that it was in this medium blue color (which to modern eyes, it technically was). It turned out that the color of the coat fell firmly in the range known from 18th-century swatches of sky blue.

    • jemima_fawr says:

      Thanks Ibrahim! It’s a similar story with French ‘sky’ (‘ciel’) blue, as worn by a few hussar regiments. It was a surprisingly dark shade!

      Thanks for the info! 🙂



  7. Pingback: Reinforcements for King Louis (Part 8: More Swiss, Artillery, etc.) | Jemima Fawr's Miniature Wargames Blog

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