Friday, 2 April 2010

Marechal De Saxe

The world is full of secrets and it should be no surprise if Tradition of London have theirs. If you go to their website, all the wargame figure ranges seem to be visible in a block on the main page: so you click on "30 mm Tradition" or "30mm Suren" and off you go.

And you might just miss the link Tradition Scandinavia which leads to 30mm Willie Series which would be a shame because, unless you follow them, you will never happen upon such wonders as The High Command T.S. Willie Box D F1.  These boxed sets are Suren figures that have been cleaned up: they retain all their original beauty but have had the wrinkles that come with age removed. With Private Schulz currently awaiting his great encounter with destiny (in the form of silicone rubber mould making) I have need of another project. And this will fill the gap nicely.

Marechal De Saxe: Suren Figure on Stadden Horse

The box does not come with horses supplied: a great convenience for me as it allows me to order the Stadden horses which I prefer. The first figure I chose to work on is the one that I take to be Marechal De Saxe. Any general lively enough to die from a 'surfeit des femmes' following an 'interview with a troop of eight actresses' deserves a figure to commemorate him.

Saxe at Fontenoy - Or Not

I found the choice of uniform for de Saxe problematic. Pictures of him at Fontenoy show him mounted on a white or a brown horse and he is dressed in a dark blue or a red uniform. According to Wikipedia he was carried round the battle in a wicker chair (he probably needed a rest) so the artists are clearly not fussy about accuracy. I chose to use the red uniform simply because it differs from the Prussian blue of the "other lot".
The only physical changes I made to the figure were to cut the rear of the saddle cloth off and replace it with milliput that I could fit more exactly to the horse's back, and to replace the cast reins with wire.  There's a small blemish on the horse's mane that I didn't notice until I could see the photographs I took of the figure: it's only with the magnification these images give that such problems are noticeable by me, alas.


abdul666 said...

A great rendition of an outstanding man!
I guess you know of Steve's Strackenz project?


Andy Mitchell said...

I had missed that: thanks for the link, it leads to an interesting site.

Stokes Schwartz said...

He's a very handsome addition to your collection. I find the red coat particularly pleasing to the eye.

Best Regards,


Der Alte Fritz said...

de Saxe suffered from dropsy and he was ill on the day of the battle of Fontenoy, hence his use of a wicker 2-wheel sedan chair to carry him around the field. I'm guessing that the red coat would probably have been a uniform of one of the Maison du Roi cavalry regiments,

abdul666 said...

A short but dense thread about Maurice de Saxe on an Australian forum.

Red was indeed the 'second' royal color.

John Clements said...

Hi Andy.

Lovely figure - I have it myself and mine's on Old School Wargames under 'John's Armies' together with the rest of the set. Yes, they are a great improvement on the older figures but the flow of releases seems to have dried up and David Wilson (the designer) is now producing the Jacdaw range sold in the UK by Old Glory which I can highly recommend if you like this style of figure.

As to the blue/red for Saxe, the majority of French paintings show the King in red in one of the Maison du Roi uniforms and Saxe in blue (and in the painting you show it is the King on the right and de Saxe on the left). However, it's fair to say that many of them (including your illustration)are later in date and show Saxe as wearing the marshall's uniform which had not been introduced by 1745, so who's to say?

Sorry to rabbit on at such length but Fontenoy has always been my favourite battle.

Andy Mitchell said...

Rather sad to think I'd been using a picture of the wrong bloke as a basis! But it shows just how useful being able to communicate via these blogs is.