Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Camp Frenchmen (2)

I've been working my way through the 3 Eureka Miniatures "Wars of the French Revolution Camp Sets", with a view to using them for both Napoleonic and AWI games.  It takes a bit of chronological fiddling to squeeze these figures within the AWI and the 1815 campaign,because most of the men are wearing hats that are closely identified with the French Revolution, notably the "Phrygian cap" (otherwise known as the "Liberty cap" and the Smurfs' hat).  In ancient times the cap was associated with the inhabitants of Asia Minor ("Phrygia" being part of what is now Asia-side Turkey) but was worn throughout the Greek and Roman empires.  It is thought that the style was adopted by freed slaves, and that is how its association with liberty and freedom began.  This of course reached its zenith wht the French Revolution.  Apparently Napoleon hated the phrygian cap, in which case it is probably unlikely that tradesmen working with the army in 1815 were still wearing them by the time of Waterloo.  Then again, who knows what they types of non-uniformed people wore.  There doesn't appear to be a consensus on how the Phrygian cap came to be adopted by the French revolutionaries.  It became a standard symbol or "revolution", and was worn by patriots in both America and France.  One argument is that the French saw it being used in the Americas prior to the revolution; another that its use began in France and the cap was then exported to America.  So there is some scope to argue that some people in America in 1781 might have worn this hat, perhaps early radicals whose ideas were flamed by the American cause for which they were fighting.  To be honest, though, it looks unlikely that the cap was worn with revolutionary purposes prior to 1790.

There are 3 vignettes in the range so far, with an indication that more will follow.  This first set is a field bakery, with 4 figures, a (resin) stone oven, a piles of logs andsome sacks of flour.  The lady kneading the flour has pins in her feet which go through holes in the flour to attach into the table - this makes positioning everything very easy.  It's clearly a well-thought out set.  I wanted the bakers to look scruffy and covered in flour, so dappled them with a slightly off-white colour.  I took inspiration for this from the excellent painted example on the Atelier Robin site here (I like his idea of another table with lots of loaves on it - might have to do one of those).  The table itseld was painted with my standard dark wood palette - base coat of GW "Scorched Brown" (or whatever it's called now), wash of dark brown ink, then highlights of Foundry "Spearshaft" A and B.  The oven was painted with the Foundry "Stone" palette - using the A base colour and then drybrushing with the B and C colours.  If you were painting this as a proper Revolutionary War set, you'd probably paint the feathers in the woman's hat as a tricolore, but I left them white, as being more of an AWI French colour.  The pokalems I decided to paint as normal - I don't know the extent to which this sort of hat was worn prior to the 1790s. 

So hopefully this is something that could be used in games that feature French encampments, such as Savannah and Yorktown, and so this set receives AWI and Napolenic French labels.  There are two other vignettes which I'll post about soon.  I've been on holiday recently and been subsumed by work; hence the lack of posts the past 2 weeks.  I've enjoyed painting these sets and really hope that Eureka follow them up with more.

4 figures and various other bits.  Painted March 2013.



14 comments:

Dalauppror said...

Very nice camp scene !

Love the man working the dough with his feets, will give good taste to the bread;)

Best regards Michael

Vinnie said...

Fantastic post love the bread maker as well

paulalba said...

What a beautiful wee scene!

Mosstrooper said...

I do hope feet where washed first !!!!

Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

Lovely little vignette Giles! I hope you get a breather from work so you can paint more wonderful figures for us....er you that is!:-)

Christopher

Colin said...

Doh!

Chris Stoesen said...

These are fun. Thanks for posting.

Silver Whistle said...

I love the title of this one Giles.

Always a nice bonus to paint up something that fits into more than one period and these will help to set the scene in both.

The white powder is a nice finishing touch on a wonderful vignette.
Pat.

painterman said...

Very nice vignette Giles - must try some Eurkea figures sometime.

Scott MacPhee said...

Very cool scene!

David said...

Fine work Giles on a super set.

Ubique Matt said...

Wonderful looking model.

Giles said...

Thanks for the comments, chaps. It's a neat set and I hope enough people buy it to encourage Eureka to make some more!

Juan Mancheño said...

The scene is very nice; wonderful painting work!