Inspired by the latest Borgias series,and the Warlord Games Pike and Shotte rules,its time for me to start a new wargames period. The army of Cesare Borgia and hopefully some opponents. All in glorious 28mm.
After I had posted the images of my Steel Fist gendarmes I got thinking about the actual number of gendarmes I actually possess and as a result I decided to put on a gendarme grand review. Normally I wouldn't do this for several reasons. I dont want people to think I'm showing off by being able to field so many 28mm cavalry and more importantly when I put them on the table it makes me realise I really have overdone the gendarme thing.
The French who were famous for their gendarmes only fielded a couple of thousand or so and the Spanish considerably less. Perhaps my mate John is right I do have more than existed. Anyway these are what I have at the current time. I have figures from various manufacturers and I thought it might be of some use to some prospective renaissance wargamer to see comparisons of each make.
These chaps are from Eureka Miniatures of Australia. Beautiful but expensive sculpts. Each figure has separate plumes and weapons. When I was gainfully employed I commissioned Dave Jarvis, painter extraordinaire to paint them up.I use them as Cesare Borgia's bodyguard, hence the specific banners.
Below are three different manufacturers. The first are Hinchliffe gendarmes with Perry plastic heads. Next are some classic Vulcan Miniatures. These came is separate pieces of head, four pieces of bard, horses head, and lance. To younger wargamers they may look a little strange, but I have always loved them. The company was only around for about three years in the early 1980's. The final figures are Eureka Miniatures. They are compatable with Perry, but clearly look small next to my Vulcan figures.
Another Vulcan gendarme. Now how good is the bard given it is early 40 years old. Yipes.
More classic gendarmes. This time from the old Connoisseur range sculpted by the late great Peter Gilder. [see my other blog] They are still available from Bicorne miniatures. Brilliant.
These chaps are from Old Glory. John painted them up for me. To be honest they look better when painted and are good value for money.
Perry plastics compared to Old Glory. They look okay together.
The classic Foundry Gendarmes sculpted by the Perry's in the 1990's. Next to them are some newer Perry miniatures from their plastic range.
Steel fist next to Foundry Miniatures. Pretty and compatible.
All standards are from Pete Smith of Pete's Flags fame. Top quality flags.
Here we have Hinchliffe gendarmes with Perry plastic heads and Pro Gloria metal horses. I managed to buy a few horses from the company before they were bought out by Warlord Miniatures. The horses were for their plastic gendarme range which is yet to be released.
They are very nice sculpts although I understand the actual plastic horses will be slightly bigger.
I never use these chaps. I managed to buy them from Tony Runkee who painted them for the Peter Gilder collection. Classic figures and the pride of my collection.
Peter Gilder was a master of using bits of other figures. This one uses a Vulcan gendarme head and bard, on a Connoisseur horse.
Classic Hinchliffe gendarmes still obtainable from Hinds Miniatures. With a bit of gentle bending they take on interesting poses.Cheap and still excellent to paint and collect
Casting Room gendarmes next to classic Foundry gendarmes. Casting Room split from Foundry and are bigger and exaggerated but to be honest I like them a lot. They are easy to paint.
Classic Foundry Gendarmes.
After I had put all my gendarmes back in their boxes. I realised that I had 'forgotten' my Spanish Gendarmes.These are mainly Perry figures to show that they are lighter armed than their enemies, the French.
I purchased a group of the new Steel Fist Gendarmes last year and have finally got around to painting them up. I dont need anymore really as John helpfully pointed out. He reckoned I had more gendarmes than actually existed. I think he was exaggerating although I must admit I have always been fascinated by them and have a lot.
These are probably the most expensive ones I have ever bought, well apart from a small group I obtained that had belonged to the late gret Peter Gilder.
To be honest putting them together was not a pleasurable experience as they have separate heads, plumes, and lance with hand connected.I also drill them onto their mounts so they are effectively held together with super glue and piano wire. Saying that, the actual models are first rate with well sculpted plumes, helmets and bards. The company sells bard transfers which I will buy, just in case I want to increase the unit to the customary twelve figures.No matter how steady ones hand is I think the transfers look well worth their money. How lucky are wargamers?
Pete of Pete's Flags has recently created another set of wonderful flags for the Italian Wars and I used them. They are of Pete's very high standard again. For the armour I used the Dark Star range of metallic paints. These aren't cheap but are top quality with great coverage.The range includes a renaissance gilding colour and an old gold which after a wash with my trusty Games Workshop Devlan Mud give a lovely effect.So there you have it, another unit of French Gendarmes to bulldozer their way through the Spanish and dastardly Swiss.
Christmas was a busy time for me with my grandchildren descending on us, so wargaming naturally took a back seat. In between all my duties I managed to paint up a couple of figures including these Venetian archers.They had been sat in a box for well over a year and I nearly didnt bother painting them up. But the Perry twins do make some exceedingly good figures, so what the hell.
I think its sometimes forgotten that the renaissance period is not just about pike and arqubusier units and did also include more exotic types such as these. Now if I can just crack off another unit of heavy cavalry before the New Year.