Here we have a completed unit of French Gendarmes, based and ready for action.
The flags are hand drawn and painted, I have gone for France Royal and a cross of St.Denis with the livery colours of Louis XII. This design is replicated in a number of commercially available flags and a couple of old wargames articles as a flag of 'Louis XII Gendarmes' though I must admit I have not seen the design in a contemporary image but it certainly seems probable and I liked the design so I chose it.
You can enjoy a closer figure by figure review in an earlier WIP post here.
In addition to the figures covered in that post I also worked on a final figure to bring the complement to 6 figures. I opted for a full caparison and skirted coat of blue/grey with inlaid dark blue damask and thread of gold trim.
This may look daunting to do but as with some of the designs discussed in the earlier post I find it's just a matter of putting the process into stages and dealing with each in turn.
Using the horse as an example I painted the armour and areas of exposed flesh first in the normal manner. I then painted the caparison in the blue grey shade colour which was washed with a 1:1:1:1 mix of the shade colour, deep blue, black and water. Once dry I repainted the base colour leaving folds and creases in the dark wash colour which then gives an initial highlight.
I then mixed the wash colour without water and painted the damask design. I have found in comparison to geometric designs with clear lines that free flowing designs such as this can be a bit more forgiving with mistakes easier to correct. If you need to correct something just paint over with the shade base coat.
Then it's a case of building up the highlight colours on the inlaid areas with a final highlight around the design.
Hope that makes sense, you can get a better impression of this process in the close up above.
In addition to painting these figures I have been keen for quite a while, since December 2014 in fact (I'm a slow worker) to try and represent what a French Ordonnance lance would have looked like in the early renaissance period.
I began by compiling something of an essay post of historic sources, current opinion and the thoughts of fellow gamers, you can view it here. The conclusion being 1 gendarme/man at arms to 2 archers with some speculation about exactly what the archers were. I settled for a mid ground of 1 as a lightly armed mounted archer with bow (an early dragoon) and 1 as a lance armed medium cavalryman or what the English would refer to as a demi-lancer.
I also threw in a coustillier (chap in blue with the mounted archers) to complete the look.
I based the gendarmes 3 figures to a base to represent jostling for position in the en haye line of battle, these then followed by the archer cavalry on 2 figures to a base, here's the result.
For comparison, here's the image that sparked my imagination to do this mini project.
This is now my blueprint for future units of French cavalry, whether it's right I don't suppose we'll really know but It certainly feels and looks about right. In creating this unit I have thoroughly tested my painting and sculpting abilities but hopefully it was worth it - I'm sure they'll be disastrously wiped out in their first venture on the table.
All the best