24 January 2013

Time for a Commercial Break. . .

 French ladies of the 18th century.

Scouting around the web recently for various 25-30mm civilian and non-combatant figures that I hope to use in several planned vignettes has turned up a treasure trove of suitable miniatures.  There are, in addition, one or two highly interesting blogs that have nothing whatsoever to do with model soldiers or wargaming, which I'll mention and include links to,  at the end of this post.

Now, I had a vague idea already that firms like Foundry, Old Glory, Perry, Minden, and Jackdaw make some very nice 18th century individuals and sets of figures.  I was also aware that Willie/Tradition produce a few.  However, I was not prepared for the huge number of specifically 18th century figures, plus numerous others designated as 17th century and/or French Revolutionary era, that are available and might easily be pressed into service by those of us looking to add visual interest to our tabletops, circa 1760

Time now for some gentlemen and a few more ladies.  Notice all of the colors, a far cry from what we think of as suitable dress-up colors at least as far as men and modern suits or formal wear are concerned.

Besides the brands mentioned above, there are suitable figures and sets by Eureka, Blue Moon, Tradition of Scandinavia, and a French company called Fenyll.  Several other companies, which pitch their products more to role-playing and/or pulp gamers also offer things like brigands, pirates, island governors, and rural peasantry as part of their ranges, much of which is suitable for co-opting into your 18th century collections, either real, or imaginary.  I am particularly fond of the plethora of Willie and Tradition of Scandinavia figures as well as the various sets offered by Eureka USA.  In fact, besides ordering some Mindens, I'm going to order some of the Eureka sets too before too many more days elapse.  Who can resist Frederick the Great conversing with Voltaire in 30mm, a string quartet, and J.S. Bach at his clavichord?  Certainly not I!

Time for some examples of German apparel in the 1700s now.

One thing to keep in mind about the Willie figures.  Spend some time scrutinizing the various 30mm ranges on the Tradition website and look at other historic eras besides the 18th century and civilian ranges because their are scads of other figures that might have some application within your own figure collections.  One I like especially is the M24 Bishop (part of the Spanish Conquest of the Americas range) with full robes, mitre cap, and curved staff.  As far as the North Germanic Grand Duchy of Stollen is concerned, this particular miniature could serve equally well as a Lutheran bishop, for instance the noted card shark Bishop Sievert Tiburtius, who frequently joins Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II at the card table for a game of Snap.  It's a funny thing, but the Grand Duke loses virtually every game they play.

Returning to the point at hand, you might be wondering, "Well, Stokes, that's great.  Yes, yes.  Very interesting.  Riveting and all that, old boy.  But what about all of those as yet unpainted Minden Austrian and Prussian staff vignettes you purchased and blathered on about back in November of 2012?"  A fair question, and those will be finished in due course since I feel the itch to resume painting and the artistic flame of inspiration beginning to grow again.  However, I have been asked recently to cobble together some other vignettes that do not involve generals, ADC's, or front line troops.  And who am I to shy away from an interesting challenge and request that offers so many modelling and scenario possibilities when you think about it?

Of course, even les Madames et les Monsieurs got out into nature once in a while back in the mid-1700s for al fresco meals and other pastimes, leaving their behind indoor 'liaisons dangereuses' if only for a little while.

On a related note, there are a couple of fascinating blogs out there for those of you whose interest in the 18th century goes beyond the historic battles, campaigns, and toy soldiers.  Check out, first of all, Marie Antoinette's Gossip Guide to the 18th Century, which exhibits all kinds of interesting period specific plates of clothing and attire among other things.  

Next is a similar blog that I've mentioned here before by a Swedish gal, 'Johanna,' who appears to be a clothing historian and enthusiast.  For a while I know she worked in the summers at Skansen, the large Swedish national folk museum just outside Stockholm, appearing in various 18th century ladies' costumes, many of which she produced herself.  Her blog is called the 18th Century Blog: Fashion and Culture from the 1700s.  Again, it's well worth a look even though the content has nothing to do with Frederick the Great and the Battle of Leuthen for example.


johnpreece said...

Now you are mining the Gold, keep digging away. Something new there for me and I guess for most others too.

And if I may introduce a personal obsession?

When you paint your string quartet,
unless it is a group of Gentlemen playing for their own pleasure, then they should wear the same livery as the other servants in your court. Even Mozart and Haydyn would be expected to wear exactly the same livery as any other employee.

warpaintjj said...

Here, here!
Great request.

Fitz-Badger said...

Interesting stuff. I hadn't realized civilians and other non-military types were so widely produced.
Always good to see more of the world outside the martial side, wherever our gaming takes us, eh?
Looking forward to seeing some of your vignettes when you get around to them.

tidders said...


can't wait to see you civilian vignettes - will you perhaps be making some palace interiors as well :)

the problems I have are finding sitting figures and suitable furniture - I may have to do some special's

-- Allan


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