Thursday, 8 July 2010


to you all for your interest in this project over the years. Your help and support kept it going. I will leave the previous posts here in case they are of interest to anyone.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

de Saxe in English

With many thanks to 'Drusus G. Rat Esq.' from Gentleman's Wargame Parlour, we now have a link to a copy of the original English translation of the Reveries.
Anyone who wants to have a look just go HERE for the download options.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Size Matters

As always in these things it is a matter of opinion but I really do believe that size matters when it comes to miniatures. And to prove it here is the first pictures of the de Saxe musketeer in metal, with a ruler to let you all see the size.

Please note that although the ruler is on the groung rather than at foot level it still gives a good idea of the size of the figure. This is because the figure is leaning forward as he advances. When i've measured it along the correct axis the height comes out the same, it was just far easier to photograph this way! Photos of all of the figures will be put onto the Little Soldier blog during the course of the day. Each figure has been photographed front and back in both naked and inked metal finishes. They just need resizing befor posting. It may take a while as i'm being taken out for a Father's Day trip to the seaside.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Latest News

I arrived home yesterday evening to a small package from Griffin - with the test figures from the master mould. At last I hear you all say but, believe me, the wait has been worth it. I will get some photos done and posted at the earliest opportunity, probably by the weekend (during it at the latest).
As many of you know I am making these figures available to others who may want a few and had set up a website to sell them through. This site has suffered due to the hosting company messing about with it's servers on an almost daily dasis. To get around this, and to free this blog to show the forces of the Duchy of Strackenz, I have started a new blog - . If you are a follower of this blog and want to have updates of the figures as they are sculpted and produced could you please follow the new blog as well.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Quick Update

Sorry for the lack of updates over the last few days, unfortunately my Gran suffered a serious fall so I have travelled up to be with her and the rest of the family.
The greens are with Stewart at Griffin and as soon as I have some of the master castings I will let you know.

Friday, 7 May 2010

A Day Trip is Planned

Not the usual title for a post, but an important one. At 10am on Monday I will be at the casters, along with six little men. The five greens and my youngest son!
Hopefully we can work out the best options for the composition of figures in the moulds. Never having done this before I am, very much, in the hands of the caster. I have no doubt though that it will all work out well.
The net post will be on Monday when I will have a better idea of when there will be some little metal men available to show off.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

They're Here!

And without further ado let me say that they are wonderful. My unreserved compliments go to Richard for capturing exactly what I wanted, regardles of my rambling requests.
As I have jjust told him, having only seen pictures of the figures I was shocked at how small they were. Not that they are small, it's just that the pictures showed on my screen as about 6 inches high.
For those of you who are interested, here are the photos (I have resized them to 640x480 so they are not too large). Remember, if you want to see a larger version then click on the picture.





Now it's off to the casters for them, after I've had another look!

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Nearly There

Late last night I saw the pictures of the, almost, completed greens! To be fair, Richard sent them late afternoon but yesterday was the one day I didn't check my mail until late, typical.
I won't post any pictures yet. Firstly they were to allow me to check the finish and details etc to see if everything was ok or if ammendments were needed. I've just sent my reply to Richard and I would rather show the figures in the 'ready to mould' stage. Secondly the pictures are huge. Putting them at 100% size on the screen makes the figures head and feet disappear off the screen. I will play with my photo resizing software later to make them a little more Internet friendly.
Needless to say, I am over the moon with what I've seen and can't wait to share them with you all.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

WIPs WIPs Everywhere.

I thought I'd take the time to show you the WIPs of all 5 figures which will go together to make the 'Century'. All are at the basic posed stage and are awaiting detailing.

First we have the Musketeer, as previewed last week;

Next we have the Pikeman, we've opted to have a wire pike rather than a cast one. The one here is just shown to give an idea;

Third figure is the NCO, who will be armed with a halberd. Again this will be of wire, but there will be a cast head to go on to it;

Fourth one up is the Musician, seen here with his rather splendid drum;

Lastly we have the Officer, bravely urging his troops onwards;

The sharp eyed amongst you will have noticed the slight difference in the uniform between the first 3 figures and the last 2. Neither the Officer or the Musician are wearing the sleevless leather waistcoat. Although not mentioned in the Reveries, I decided to go with this idea as it sets them apart a little and allows more space on the coat for extra detailing, lace etc..
For casting, the idea is to have a production mold with 1 Officer, 1 Musician, 1 NCO, 7 Musketeers and 7 Pikemen. This will allow me to do a Century of 170 men at 1:10 scale with one spin! Should people prefer using 1:20 scale then each spin of the mold will produce 2 Centuries. This, I hope, makes it reasonably versatile and maximises the number of useful figures from each spin. Should there be space for an extra figure or two then I will put in more musketeers and pikemen.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

First View

Richard has been hard at work, turning my rabid mumblings into purest putty! I wanted the unit in a more dynamic and aggressive pose than that normally seen for the period. As de Saxe writes that this is the proper way to fight, so that is how we had to show them.
Using the pose shown below as a base seemed to give the right amount of 'aggression' for the period!

Richard has tweaked it slightly so that the figure is advancing, rather than stepping over a fallen comrade. Below is the first picture which gives the pose and basic bulking of the figure. Now the hard work of detailing begins, when he transforms into a soldier fit to grace any army.
On the model you can see the two jackets, the top of the stocking and the cuffs. To me the lines of the model work well in showing the basic uniform as shown in Reveries;

 (Please remember that the picture above shows the clog that was not worn on active duty.)

So, the important question, what do you think?

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Orders From the Duchess

Having heard of the impending arrival of the new troops the Duchess has decreed that there must be a clearout of existing forces. As I dare not disobey a direct order, a clearout is exactly what will happen.

I have about 12 crates worth of figures which I have been told to sell! I will be listing them on my site, everything will be nice and cheap. The first dozen or so bits are up now and the rest will be going on as soon as I can sort, photograph and weigh them. Please treat yourselves and ensure that the Duchess gets her new troops at the earliest opportunity...........

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Is It April Yet?

Not that I'm waiting for anything, honest!

Well two things really. First up is Richard starting work on the figures. Secondly is the Hosting company completing its' move to the new servers.

Patience is, they say, a virtue.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Counting Down the Days

Well there is not long to go until Richard starts the sculpts, can you guess that I am a little excited? However, there is very little I can add at the moment. So I've been using the time to go over a few things and finish off bits and pieces in the painting pile.
I had also hoped to do a littlemore work on the website. Obviously when I have the time to do it, the hosting company decides to switch their entire outfit onto new servers, so access will be very patchy at best for the next week. On the plus side it means that I have no reason not to paint. Actually I do, it's the Mythic Game Master Emulator. Great fun, I roll the dice, jot down the results then work out the storylinw as I paint. As you can tell I have no great love of the figures I am painting at the moment!
As I'm talking about painting, my other site:
has a few bits and pieces on that I have done. It amazes me how much difference there is in my painting when I am doing figures that I enjoy compared to the ones that I just need to get finished.

Friday, 19 March 2010


It is now up and running with a little content on it. Please have a quick look around and give me some feedback on it. I'm interested not only in what you think of the basic design and set up but also in how it displays in various browsers. So if you could drop me a quick email with your thoughts, observations and browser details I would be most grateful.
A link to the site is on the side bar to the left.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Twiddling My Thumbs

Well after the excitement of recent weeks everything has quietened down here. I spoke to Richard today and had a good chat about all sorts of hobby related stuff. Long story short, he will be starting work on the sculpts at the start of April. Well early April, depends on exactly when he finishes the sculpts he is currently working on.
So for this part of the project all I can now do is's a pity I'm not very good at that!
To keep me busy and out of mischief I've started work on a website to show off the figures to their best. So far all that I've done is get a basic template done. There are a few pages set up, but there is no content on any of them yet. Frustratingly the site has been offline all day as the mySQL server has gone down, so I havn't been able to add any content tonight. Instead you all get to read this. Should you wish to bookmark it for future use the site name is: if you add steve@ to the begining then you have an email address to contact me on about this crazy adventure.

Friday, 12 March 2010

The Dress Code for the Men of the Legion

Gentlemen, please examine the Codes presented here, they are to be used for the dressing of you regiments. Please comment upon what is written, as once the details are with the tailors it will not be possible to change the look of the troops. For images of the proposed uniforms please refer to earlier communications.

Shoes: A leather, low fronted Court shoe with a low heel (Buckle or similar?).

Leg Wear: Leather Breeches that reach to just below the middle of the thigh. They are buttoned on the lower 3 inches on the outside of the leg. The buttons being on a short cord to enable them to also fasten on to the gaiters. The gaiters are of a soft leather , rising well above the middle of the thigh. They have a seam running down the rear of the leg. The gaiter ends inside the shoe, in a similar fashion to the stockings worn earlier in the century.

Shirt: A loose fitting shirt is worn, this is visible at the wrists where it is gathered in and also at the neck where it is worn closed.

Waistcoat A full length, sleeved waistcoat is worn. It reaches is level with the bottom of the breeches. There are no turn-backs, but there are cuffs and a collar. The cuffs are folded back about 5 inches and are split on the outside edge. The collar is loose from the neck, exposing the shirt worn underneath and is folded down. Attached to the sleeves of the waistcoat are brass shields on which the Legion and Regiment numbers are displayed.

Jerkin: A (Buff?) leather, sleeveless jerkin is worn above the waistcoat. It reaches mid way between the waist and the bottom of the waistcoat. It is buttoned (or hooked or laced) at the front. At the neck, the jerkin fits under the down turned collar of the waistcoat.

Head-wear: Hair is kept short and is to be covered by a small lambskin (fleece) wig. A metal helmet of the 'Roman' model is worn. The front of the helmet is decorated with two metal fans reminiscent of bird wings, which curve back as they rise. Between the wings is a single piece representing the birds neck. Around the the base of the helmet there is a stuffed band of woven or twisted cloth which shows the colours of the Legion and Regiment.

Belts in the order they are put on: Around the waist, over the jerkin there is a belt which fastens to the front. It supports a pouch immediately to the rear of the scabbard. Then there is a thin belt worn on the right shoulder. This has a buckle at breast height. From this belt a scabbard for the bayonet is worn. The scabbard hangs slightly to the front of the left thigh. Over the left shoulder there is a wider belt which supports the cartridge pouch on the right hip. This belt is fastened by using a covered hook at the front.

Cloak: A light, hooded cloak is worn in bad weather. It is loose fitting and has a hood which covers the head completely. It hangs to just below the knee. When not in use it is rolled and carried over the left shoulder, being knotted at the left hip, just above the cartridge box.

Musket: The musket is 60 inches long. It is breech loading, the mechanism for which is alongside the trigger.. There is a thin sling attached, used to carry it over the right shoulder, angled to the left hip.

Bayonet: The bayonet is 24 inches long and inserts into the barrel of the musket (a plug bayonet). It has a guard on it so that it may also be used as a sword if needed. The guard is a simple crosspiece.

Half Pike: Overall it is 12 feet long, including the metal head of 18 inches. The shaft is hollow and is wrapped in varnished parchment. (visible as spirals on the plates).

Variations: The front two ranks carry only the musket. This should have the bayonet fixed. The rear two ranks carry the half pike in addition to the musket. They should carry the musket slung and the bayonet in it's scabbard.
Officers: Dress is varied as follows. Breeches are of cloth and come below the knee. Gaiters are replaced with stockings which reach to the lower thigh and are supported by garters. They do not wear the jerkin. The waistcoat is worn longer, coming to cover the tops of the stockings, and is buttoned to the front. The neck line is higher, coming up to near the neck at the front. It is embellished with lace to the edging (front, skirt, cuffs, collar and pockets). The shirt has laced edges on the collar and cuffs The helmet is similar to that worn by the troops, but the decoration is more elaborate (taller and more detailed). Over the right shoulder is worn a belt to support a sword scabbard on the left hip. A sash is worn over the left shoulder, being knotted at the right hip. Equipment is a foil (or does it need to be bigger?) worn in the scabbard and a pike carried on the right.

NCO: Dressed as a pikeman. The musket, bayonet, scabbard, cartridge pouch and associated belts are not carried. The waistband and pouch on the left hip is still worn. The pike is replaced by a halberd with central spike and two opposing blades in a shape similar to a fleur de lye.

Musicians: Dressed as the NCO, but with no jerkin and without the Halberd. The waistcoat has lace added in a similar manner as the officers and the sleeves are heavily laced. The waistband, pouch and scabbard belt with scabbard are worn. The cartridge pouch and its belt are not worn. In their place a wider belt is worn to support a drum held at the right hip. On the belt are holders for the drumsticks. Along with the drum a fife is carried, it's case being attached to the waistband alongside the pouch. The scabbard holds the standard bayonet.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

A Summary and Some Questions

I'm going to give a summary of the information I have, along with several uniform plates as a visual aid. At the end are a couple of Plates showing poses that I quite like. Any thoughts on any of this would be very appreciated.

First we have two Plates showing a Legionary. He is of the rear ranks as he carries the 1/2 pike, but otherwise is standard in dress. In both Plates the footwear is of clogs, which were not used in the field.
The Plate below shows the Legionary wearing the cape which de Saxe speaks so highly of. In the Plate above is the cape worn slung over the left shoulder? It sort of looks like it is shown over the crossbelt.

The helmet decoration, I've chosen to use the two Plates above to illustrate it, appears to rise from the front of the helmet and then sweep back along the sides. The way the cape covers the helmet but leaves the decoration clear suggests this set up. Or are there any other options that I have missed?

The Plate above shows a cavalry man without his armour. Although the cavalry will be getting produced later, I have shown this Plate as it illustrates the shoes as worn by the infantry.

The Plate shown above is of one file of the Leigon's foot, it shows the four ranks. The rear two with 1/2 pike and the front two without. Other than in standing poses, this is the only pose shown. For posing the foot it is either going to be using a fairly standard marching with musket over the shoulder (similar to Minden or RSM miniatures) or based on the above plate but with a little more movement in the sculpts (similar to the Plate below).

I quite like the pose of the figure in the foreground, it has a nice sense of movement without being too energetic, which just would not be correct for the period! Do you have any preference?

The last Plate shows an officer type in what I think is another very fitting pose. What other poses would work well for officers and NCOs?

Well that concludes this part of the Q+A session, all replies will be very appreciated.

Below is a cut and paste of all the bits of information scattered through this blog. It is not in any particular order. Comparing these notes with the Plates above, is there anything that does not match or needs changing, looking at etc.?

The shoes and leggins are as I described in a previous post, i.e. that is done the wrong way round with the gaiter going over the top of the shoe. This will be changed on the next batch. The jackets are; a long under waistcoat with sleeves made of fabric; a short over waistcoat without sleeves made of leather.
It is quite hard to see some of the differences due to the poor lighting.
Other details added since the figure was last shown - the arms, musket, belts, cartridge box, sack, shoulder tabs for unit identification

Yet de Saxe insisted on the absence of garters ("that cause martyrdom")

On colored plates XIV and XVII gaiters and shoes are of the same grey, appear almost as continuous -while the text makes clear they are different items.
To further complicate things, some illustrations (with the cloak on, e.g.) may well depict the legionary with the 'winter socks' - worn above both shoes and gaiters.

Yet... on plate I 'Habillement du soldat', clearly no low boots are depicted above the gaiters, and on the *left* heel there is *perhaps* a suggestion of a gaiter worn above the shoe?

So we have a very high gaiter, long waistcoat under a shorter,sleeveless waistcoat

The picture above shows the clogs recommended for when in camp. I cannot really make out the leg wear, it is either a very high gaiter (there is a change in the shading under the jacket on the right leg) or a tight fitting full length trouser, similar to that worn by grenzers.

This photo shows the alternative footwear of low shoes, as recommended for duty in the field. Again the leg wear could be either of the options given above. From behind the overall look is very much that of a Grenz from slightly later in the century (I have a drawing of one circa 1790 that this combination of shoe and trouser is shown).

The very peculiar shoes are another exemple of Maurice (a good penpal of the Monte-Cristan ruler, hence the familiarity)'s original, unconventional, yet (seemingly) very sound and founded ideas. They were to be low-fronted-shoes / court shoes / almost ballet shoes with flat heels, of soft leather. To be worn 'naked feet', without socks (they cause blisters), the feet greased with tallow both to protect them from moisture and to 'nourish' the leather and keep it supple (hard leather cruelly wounds the feet of infantrymen).

he text mentions breeches of skin (deer skin? goat skin? some rather supple material, certainly)that don't go down far below the middle of the thigh, with "tirans" (tongues with buttonholes? Or more probably buttons on a short string, like the closing of duffle-coat / Hungarian dolmans, with buttonholes in the breeches themselves) along the 3 lower inches [not very dissimilar to Tyrolian 'thigh slapping' dancers, then? Seeminly more close-fitting).
The gaiters of soft leather and to raise well above the middle of the thigh (significantly higher than the British ones, then). Under the middle-leg they would to be whole, without opening on the side, like boots {according to the illustration, btw, they were sewn / stitched on the rear}. They were to have buttonholes to receive the tirans of the breeches, as to avoid garters 'which cause true martyrdom'.

Thus, in addition to the shoulder belts and cartridge pouch, and shoes, we have to pieces of clothing, garnments, made of skin / leather: the soubreveste (sleeveless vest) worn above the [full, large] (waist)coat - well depicted in the plates, the buttoning may be inspirational?;
the breeches;
the gaiters.
The three probably made from different qualities / types of skin / leather. Given the suppleness (?) / flexibility / softness required, the gaiters are probably of the thinner type, while the breeches may be more like 'leder hosen'? Thus we would have 3 different colors, two light 'buffs' for the gaiters and the vest, one darker for the breeches?

The gaiters seem to be of thin leather -you don't need the same thickness as with fabric to have a perfectly waterproof item -de Saxe was very sensitive to all possible causes of illness. Thus very tight: this contributes to the "'Grenzer's thigh trousers" look, together with the lack of garter, of large buttons (same very small ones as on the 'soubreveste'?), of any buttonning from the calf down.

The musket is based on one desribed in Reveries and being about 60 inches long.

The decoration of the helmet is specially intringuing, seemingly as 'mysterious' as Mickey Mouse's ears (from whatever angle you look at them, they appear as disks - yet they are NOT spherical...): seen from the side it seem to go rather backwards, yet it is not covered by the hood of the 'Turkish coat'...

The only mention I found on gaiters was that they should not be white.
Half-Pikes: Yes
Shield: Yes
Plug Bayonet: Yes (it is in Reveries)
Breech Loading Muskets: Yes
Turkish Coat with Hood: Yes
Sheepskin Wig: Yes? Although my copy of Reveries does not mention it, but I did read it in one of your quotes.

helmets were worn perfectly horizontal.

"I would have a soldier wear his hair short, and be furnished with a small wig either grey or black and made of Spanish lambskin, which he should put on in bad weather. This wig will resemble the natural head of hair so well, as to render it almost impossible to distinguish the difference, will fit extremely well, when properly made, cost but about twenty pence, and last during his whole life. It will be also very warm, prevent colds and fluxes, and give quite a good air. Instead of the hat, I would recommend a helmet made after the Roman model, which will be no heavier, be far from inconvenient, protect the head against the stroke of a saber, and appear extremely ornamental. In regard to his clothing, he should have a waistcoat somewhat larger than common with a small one under it in the nature of a short doublet and a Turkish cloak with a hood to it. These cloaks cover a man completely and don't contain above two ells and a half of cloth; consequently, are both light and cheap. The head and neck will be effectually secured from the weather, and the body, when laid down, kept dry, because they are not made to fit tight and, when wet, are dried again the first moment of fair weather."

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

After the Hiatus

Although this, as well as all my other, project has been very quiet it has not been forgotten. The thought of producing the de Saxe Legions has survived and is now moving on apace!
Poor Herr Gruns has finally admitted his inability to produce the uniforms for the Duchies army. Following discussions with many tailors of the highest quality, Herr Gruns is delighted to be able to inform Duchess Irma that the world famous and deeply respected tailor M. R. d'Ansell. M. d'Ansell is most well known here for the sterling work he has done with the Minden Clothing Consortium, but is also well known for many other projects.
Initially the uniform for the Legionary foot will be provided, with variations to cover Musketeers, Pikemen, N.C.O's, Officers and Musicians. Due to the heavy workload in his workshop, M d'Ansell envisages the work starting during the month of April. This does also allow us to finalise the appearance of the uniform as given by M. de Saxe.
With this in mind, Herr Gruns respectfully requests that any gentleman who has ideas on the uniform, or of the posing of the manikins used to display it, would post it here at their earliest opportunity.