Friday, 9 March 2018

From SidneyR: Le marquis de Lunéville, Lorrainer Horse, 1688 (125 points)

After missing a submission last week, I'm hopefully a little more on track with this squadron of Horse from the Duchy of Lorraine.  

The Dukes of Lorraine had a complicated and difficult relationship with the Kings of France in the 17th Century, culminating in the French invasion of the Duchy in 1670.  Stripped of his hereditary lands and titles, Charles V of Lorraine (confusingly also sometimes called Charles IV) served with the Imperial armies of the Hapsburgs in the 1680s and 1690s.  One thing which the Dukes of Lorraine were well known for in the mid- and late- 17th Century was the good quality of their cavalry, and the Hapsburgs made good use of that advantage. 

Whereas the Governors of the Spanish Netherlands recruited cavalry on a campaign-by-campaign basis, the Lorrainer Horse was maintained on a more continual basis, mirroring what was becoming the practice in the mid- and late-17th Century French armies.  This allowed for greater cohesion in the field, and made the recruitment by Imperial armies of Lorrainer (and Alsatian and Burgundian horse) a common feature through the 1640s to the 1690s.

You can trace regiments of Lorrainer Horse, serving with Imperial and Spanish forces, through the campaigns in Flanders in the 1640s (at Rocroi and Lens), through the Franco-Dutch Wars to the Nine Years War, making them suitable for my army of the Spanish Netherlands based around my fictional Flemish Free City of Laarden.

I've also reasoned that, whereas Flemish horse may have preferred to use pistol firearms as a primary weapon for more recently raised cavalry, the Lorrainer horse would have been more inclined, with better training, to use cold steel.  In that regard, there's a reasonable chance that makes them closer to French Cheveau-légers than Spanish or Flemish cavalry of the period.

I chose some 25-28mm Dixon Miniatures 'Grand Alliance' figures for the squadron.  I went with the backplate and breastplate versions; one source I looked at suggested that the Imperial horse tended to still use heavier armour than the French horse in the 1670s.  

I added some extra greenstuff frills to the officer and the kettedrummer, such as monogrammed pistol holsters, extra lace ribbons and bows on the horses and additional lace cravats. There are also some greenstuff feathers on the hats of the troopers.  This was really to try and make the regiment a little more 'French', despite their presence in the Imperial and Spanish forces allying with the Flemish forces in the field.

The squadron shown in the photographs is identified in the order of battle I've been using just as "Lunéville".  It's a complete guess, but I'm assuming that it might have been raised near the current town of Lunéville in the commune of Meurthe-et-Moselle in Lorraine, close to the current German border.  

The flag is frankly a bit of a fudge. It's a lovely standard from Flags of War, but I drew a blank in trying to locate standards of the squadron.  However, as the troops would have been in Hapsburg service, I can't see any reason why their standard would not have reflected their new allegiance.

Bases by Warbases and tufts by Mini-natur and WW Scenics.  Points wise: 12 cavalry figures in 25mm for 120 points.

I make this my twelfth submission to this year's Challenge, which is a bit of a milestone for me. I never thought I'd get this far, and certainly would not have done without all the encouragements from other Challengers, Minions, Tamsin and Curt himself. So thanks everyone!  Now, into the final furlong to try and finish everything else off!


From Minion Tamsin:
How wonderful - I get to minion some of Sidney's lovely work. I was a bit disappointed when I hadn't seen any in the draft queue last night, but was pleased to see this post appear there this morning.
These are simply splendid, as always, and an excellent 12th submission. There are a couple of weeks left, so hopefully we'll get to see even more of your gorgeous figures.
The twelve horsemen do give you a base of 120 points and I'm going to add a few more for the flag and greenstuff work.


  1. Yowza those are wonderful Sidney. Love the red coats and the flag looks aces.

  2. More wonderful brushwork Sidney, incredible stuff.

  3. Wonderful cavalry, gorgeous colours, love the red!
    Best Iain

  4. Nailed it again, Sidney, splendid work!

  5. Magnificient work Sidney! The bold red of their uniforms really does stand out and the rich tones you used for their mares works well with it.

    1. Make this brown uniforms with bold red facings 😅

    2. Thanks Nick! The brown was close to the red by the time I'd finished. Experimenting with a deeper brown shade for one of the final units, fingers crossed!

  6. These are superb yet again dear sir!