|Gentlemen, we never fire first; fire yourselves!|
I am sure many of you share my impression of mid-18th Century European battles playing out as initially very structured, ceremonial, parade-like ceremonies that rapidly devolved into bloody mayhem and chaos. The archetypal example of this is the exchange at Fontenoy between an officer of the Gardes Françaises , and Lord Charles Hai, a captain in the English Guards who cried, "Gentlemen of the French Guards, fire!" - with the Comte d'Auteroche, then lieutenant of Grenadiers, replying, "Gentlemen, we never fire first; fire yourselves." Bloody mayhem ensued.
As I build an army of 40mm Prince August French – primarily from the timeless sculpts of the great Holger Eriksson – I was missing “that” figure. The figure of the French officer doffing his tricorne to the enemy, while issueing some ridiculously pompous, vain, honorable or valiant statement prior to receiving a ball to the head. I determined to do the unthinkable – modify one of Mr. Eriksson’s elegant semi-rounds to achieve the effect. A figure form the PA artillery crew set became the object of my simple modifications.
Pictured is the result. I have home-cast eight of these figures, of which I will have 3-4 in my army and distribute the rest to friends with an interest. As I have yet to paint a Gardes Françaises battalion, I painted the first new casting as a more generic French company grade officer. Hope you like him.
|L to Right - new casting, modified artillerist, original Eriksson artillerists|
|The great sculptor and figure maker - Holger Eriksson|