Friday, 4 May 2007

The Duellists




This is the duellists pack from Foundry's civilian range. The civilian packs seem to be part of a proper range, as this pack was labelled "CIV 4" as opposed to a random add-on to the SYW range. This pack and others in the range have not been officially released yet, although you may be able to buy it by phoning Foundry and asking (but watch out for the £7 postage if you don't spend another £50!). I bought this pack at Salute and I think it is rather fun.

The sculpts are by Rob Baker and are quite different to the Perry figures I am used to painting. The proportions are, to be polite, a bit odd. The hands are huge in comparision to the rest of the bodies, as are the leg calves and backsides. The square-jawed faces required a rather different painting technique. All that said, I found these figures enjoyable to paint and I think they've turned out ok. I originally intended to base all the figures on one stand, but I couldn't find one big enough to provide a decent space between the two duellists. Basing them singly provides more flexibility of use in any event.

Inspiration for 18th century fashions was provided by an exhibition catalogue of paintings by George Romney (1734-1802), lesser-known contemporary of Gainsborough and Reynolds. Flicking through this book it became clear that fashionable young men in the 1760s and 1770s often wore brightly coloured 3-piece suits, and all the figures here save for the duellists themselves are taken from Romney's portraits. So, for example, the bright green suit of one of the seconds is taken from a portrait of a chap called James Hazard. Not much is known about him other than that he died in Brussels on 3 August 1787 "in the service of his country", as Colonel-General of the Patriotic Cavalry. Apparently Brussels was in a state of armed unrest during thew period from 1787 to 1792, due to a revolt against reforms proposed by the Austrian Emperor Joseph II that the insurgents claimed violated medieval charters and local privilges and liberties. I had not heard of the "Brabant Revolt" before; an interesting piece of 18th century trivia. The other second is modelled on a portrait of Richard Cumberland, a playwright and part-time diplomat; I painted his fur-trimmed coat and breeches with the Foundry "terracotta" palette. 6 figures. Painted April 2007.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wonderful painting as usual Giles.Thanks for keeping us drooling.

Paul Hollands

Allan (AJ) Wright said...

These look like fun figures. I could even see one or two used as officers in American Militia units.

Paint jobs on these are stunning as always.

The proportions seem to remind me of Dixon figures. These types of figures tend to fit some painting styles better than others. They take an ink wash wonderfully.

Anonymous said...

Giles,

I have to say your painting is about the only thing worth looking at there. Don't like those figures at all - and definitely not at those prices.

Anonymous said...

Rob Baker should appear before the beak for crimes against anatomy. Nice painting though...