Reinforcements for King Louis (Part 7: More French Infantry)

My apologies for the slow pace of articles thus far in 2024, despite my stated best intentions!  Unfortunately, various illnesses in my immediate family, a drastic change in my work shift-pattern since the New Year and a general Winter Malaise have taken their toll on my time.  I also haven’t managed to do any wargaming or painting yet this year!  Bah!

I do have a few half-written game-reports and scenarios lined up, but I needed to get something finished before the end of the month…  As mentioned in my review of 2023, there are a load of units that I painted for last year’s Clostercamp and Warburg games that I haven’t yet profiled, so here’s the first batch; three French infantry regiments for the Seven Years War.

These are all 18mm figures by Eureka Miniatures, with flags by Maverick Models.  I should also add that when I painted these late last Summer, I was really suffering with my eyes so I picked some of the simplest uniforms from the Minden orbat, yet the painting is still pretty poor compared to my usual standard.

Above:  First up is the Aquitaine Regiment.  In previous articles about my French army I said that I was using the Rossbach order of battle as my ‘To Do’ list.  However, that’s largely gone by the wayside and I’m now mostly painting regiments from the Minden order of battle, with various units of light troops sprinkled in as and when I need them for specific games.

Above:  The Aquitaine Regiment was raised in 1604 and as such was ranked 19th in order of seniority by the time of the Seven Years War.  The regiment raised two battalions during the Seven Years War and both battalions spent the entire war fighting in Germany, where the regiment was most notably engaged at Minden, Vellinghausen and Wilhemsthal.

Above:  The Aquitaine Regiment wore the usual unbleached off-white coat and breeches, with blue cuffs, collar and waistcoat and yellow ‘metal’.  Belts and pouches were natural leather and gaiters were white.

As the Aquitaine Regiment was a Provincial Regiment, the regiment’s drummers wore the Royal Livery of blue coats with red facings, decorated with crimson & white lace, with red small-clothes and drums being painted light blue.

The Colonel’s Colour was the usual plain white cross on white field, but the Ordonnance Colours were of a unique pattern, featuring radiating rays of blue, red and aurore, superimposed with the usual white cross.  Unlike Swiss flags, the radiating rays were straight instead of wavy and they had a border of blue, red and aurore rectangles.

Above:  The Vastan Regiment was raised in 1674 as a ‘Gentleman’s Regiment’.  During the Seven Years War the regiment was numbered 58th in order of seniority and fielded two battalions.  In 1762 the regimental title changed briefly to Bouillé de Chariol (some say 1761, but the Marquis de Vastan wasn’t killed until 1762), though with the general reorganisation of the army, the regiment became a Provincial Regiment and the title changed again to Vexin.

The regiment served initially in Germany, though was almost destroyed at Minden and was then rebuilt in France.  The regiment returned to Germany in 1760 and at Warburg managed to avoid the disaster due to its position in reserve, some four miles to the south.  The regiment fought at Vellinghausen, though in October 1762, the regiment’s 1st Battalion, along with the Marquis de Vastan himself, was attacked in its camp and was captured after losing around half its strength killed, including the Marquis.  What was left of the regiment then passed to the Marquis de Bouillé and it spent the rest of the war on coastal defence duties in western France.

Above:  The uniform of the Vastan Regiment was very plain, with coat, cuffs and small-clothes in the usual off-white colour, with black collar and yellow ‘metal’.  Some sources (such as the painting above) show a red waistcoat.  Equipment was natural leather and gaiters were white.

Drummers’ livery is unknown, though the dominant heraldic colour for the Marquis de Vastan was yellow.  I’ve therefore gone for yellow coats with black facings.  The dominant heraldic colour for the Marquis de Bouillé was red, though when the regiment became a Provincial Regiment in 1762, the drummers would then have worn Royal Livery.

The Colonel’s Colour was the usual plain white cross on a white field.  The Ordonnance Colour was quartered yellow and black, superimposed with the usual white cross.

Above:  The Mailly Regiment was first raised in 1589 as a Gentleman’s Regiment and by the time of the Seven Years War was numbered 11th in order of seniority.  At the start of the war, the regiment seems to have had only two battalions, but this had increased to four battalions by the time it was sent to Germany in 1757.  The regiment suffered catastrophic losses at Rossbach and in 1758 was withdrawn to France and re-titled as the Talaru Regiment.  The regiment remained on coastal defence duties (with a detachment serving as marines) until 1761, when the regiment was re-titled as the Chatellux Regiment and all four battalions returned to Germany, fighting at Vellinghausen and remaining in Germany until the end of the war.  In 1762 the regiment officially became the Provincial Guyenne Regiment, though curiously kept the title Chatellux (for the Chavlier de Chatellux) until 1771.

Above:  The uniform of the Mailly Regiment was very plain, consisting of a plain off-white coat, lacking any contrasting facing colour.  Breeches were also off-white, though a small splash of colour was added through the regiment’s red waistcoats.  ‘Metal’ was yellow.  Equipment was natural leather and gaiters were white.

The drummers would have been dressed in the livery of the regimental Colonel, which ‘probably’ followed his main heraldic colours.  In the case of the Marquis de Mailly, the heraldry was predominantly yellow and red, so I’ve gone with yellow coats and red lace.  In 1762 the regiment’s drummers should have adopted Royal Livery, though they apparently wore the (unknown) livery of the Chevalier de Chatellux until 1771.

Above:  The Colonel’s Colour of the Mailly Regiment was the usual plain white cross on a white field.  The Ordonnance Colours were quartered violet and red, superimposed with the usual white cross.  However, sources disagree as to which way round the violet and red quarters were.  In this instance, Maverick Models followed the old Kronoskaf depiction, showing the violet quarter uppermost at the hoist and the colour as dark blue.  I therefore repainted the blue corners in Vallejo violet acrylic, though they still look quite blue.  The new Kronoskaf depiction shows the red quarter uppermost at the hoist, as does David Morfitt’s version.  I may therefore, decide to replace these flags (if I can be arsed).

Anyway, that’s it for now; more soon!  In the meantime, my play-by-email Franco-Prussian War campaign is just getting interesting.  For reasons of operational security, I can’t give too many details (French eyes may be reading…), but at the end of the campaign’s first turn, my Prussian 2nd Army has successfully breached the French line on the River Saar at Saarbrücken and has pushed the French II & III Corps back to the town of St Avoid where they seem to be making another stand.  The French I Corps meanwhile, managed to avoid the two Bavarian Corps at Wörth and is falling back toward Strassbourg, while the French V Corps has abandoned Bitsch.  The Prussian 3rd Army meanwhile, has won a resounding victory against the French VII Corps on the east bank of the Rhine, following a rather daring French invasion of Germany.  This is shaping up to be a very interesting campaign…  On to Paris!


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

10 Responses to Reinforcements for King Louis (Part 7: More French Infantry)

  1. Donnie McGibbon says:

    Very nice work on those Frenchies, they look great. I like the simplicity of the French uniform, not the most exotic but mix a few foreign regiments and it is a colourful one!

    • jemima_fawr says:

      Thanks Donnie! Yes, I agree. The French army has got to be one of the simplest and easiest to paint, yet as you say, it includes enough spectacular units (and flags) to make it look amazing. Sometimes those bold colours of coat and facings can be lost in the ‘noise’ of belts and buttonhole lace, but not in the French army! 🙂

  2. They look splendid! Sorry to hear about all the problems, though. Life can be a real pain at times…

    (I think my flags look better – but I would say that, wouldn’t I? ;-))

    • jemima_fawr says:

      Thanks David!

      Yes, yours are definitely better, though I’d already bought those flags some years ago. However, when I realised that the colourings were wrong, I tried printing them off, but my laser-printer point-blank refuses to print purple (it comes out as dark blue)! 🙁

      I’ll try it again once it’s had a complete change of cartridges.


      • I’m glad you agree! 😉 Good luck with getting your printer to print purple. Laser printers are great machines to have, with overall fairly low running costs, as you will no doubt know – but a bit of a shock to the wallet when you need to change the cartridges, though!

        • jemima_fawr says:

          Oh indeed, but it’s flippin’ invaluable and the savings in flags alone make it worthwhile! 🙂

          • Good to hear! I always recommend laser printing for the flags wherever possible; the quality is so much better than inkjet. 🙂

          • jemima_fawr says:

            Yes indeed. That said, a lot of people’s inkjet flags would look FAR better if they just gave them a coat of varnish to make the colours and contrast pop. Otherwise they look very pale and washed-out.

  3. Paul Smith says:

    Hi Mark

    Another fine blog post. You have to like the French, I have two, 15mm (in the loft somewhere) and 10mm, need to get them out again and give them an airing. Good luck with all the issues (particularly the health ones) and hope things get better soon. Thanks again.

    Cheers Paul

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