Tuesday 9 June 2020

The Three Musketeers - Captain de Tréville

Monsieur de Tréville, real name Jean-Armand du Peyrer, Comte de Troisville, was the respected captain of the musketeers guarding Louis XIII. A close adviser to the King, he is a man of great honour and integrity. He inspires loyalty in his men and gives it back without reserve. Possibly the embodiment of the musketeers' motto "One for all and all for one!".

Captain de Tréville flanked by the musketeers Aramis, Porthos and Athos

The Captain is a minor modification of the King and Country Gustavus Adolphus mini. It was chosen due to the colours of the model being a close match for the Musketeer uniform. It only needed a change of hair and the addition of the musketeer cross on the back of the cape. While I'm fine converting the cheaper Lemax figures myself, I wanted this model to be perfect, so I enlisted professional sculptor Ian Mountain, whom I had worked with before, to make the conversion. I then proceeded to paint it to match the rest of the figure. I wanted to give the impression of greying hair to his flowing locks to indicate his seniority. With the changes, he no longer looks obviously like Gustavus, at least to my eye.

"Sire, I have this urgent missive for you." - "What is it? Is Spain on the move again?"
 Frequent duels between musketeers and red guards were a regular point of contention between the Cardinal and the Captain.
"Your musketeers were caught duelling again!You must punish them!" - "I will look into it and give them their just deserts.
"I heard you disobeyed the prohibition of duelling again and fought the Cardinal's guards?" - "Yes, my captain, but..." - "Silence! I only want to hear one thing out of  you... Did you win?" - "We did, sir!" - "Good."

"This is d'Artagnan, captain. He's the one who bested and injured Monsieur de Jussac in single combat." - "No small feat. I hear you want to become a musketeer, boy?" - "More than anything, captain!" - "Well, at least you're a Gascon."

Monday 8 June 2020

The Three Musketeers - The Royal Carriage

A King always travels in style and none has more style in abundance than King Louis of France. Covered in the royal fleur de lys heraldry, the King's presence is clearly announced and all who witness this carriage's passing will know it holds an important member of the Royal household, most likely the King himself. Not so good for visits to one of the King's mistresses, but no doubt he has more discrete carriages at his disposal should such a need arise.

The King descends from his carriage and is greeted by the Cardinal under the watchful eyes of his faithful musketeers.
The model is based on a Lemax victorian carriage with a heavily modified rider. The casting and painting on the original model was very bad and I did my best to improve it, but some casting flaws were beyond repair. The ugly thread reins were replaced with florist wire. The driver was completely resculpted to wear the King's livery. His hat was donated by a 54mm figure, with some added sculpting to enlarge it.


The King and Queen returning from a short ride in the King's carriage. 
The downside of announcing the identity of the passengers is having to deal with the occasional assassination attempt.
 For completeness' sake, this is the Lemax model it was based on, though in reality they don't look quite as nice and clean as in the promotional pictures:

Monday 31 December 2018

The Three Musketeers - Buckingham's Mounted Bodyguard

The Duke of Buckingham's guards don't have it easy. His escapades onto French territory frequently put him in harm's way (the things we do for love) and these seasoned veterans are sworn to protect him with their lives. This mounted guard is one of the best shots with a musket to be found in England and as such has the privilege to accompany his Duke on those voyages.

The model is a touched up King and Country ECW figure. I painted the buff coat green, so that he'd be a better fit to the colourful Duke's guards and to avoid confusion with the Witchfinder faction. He has one eye closed, which I also touched up as the original paintjob had his eyelashes at the same height as the open eye, where it should be lower for a closed eye. For some reason, the highlights on the green look a bit stark on the back, they are fine in real life.

The Duke and his bodyguards, so far:

The Duke and his guards get into a confrontation with the Witchfinder General and his thugs, who've been overstepping their boundaries lately...

Sunday 30 December 2018

The Three Musketeers - Witchfinder Henchmen

I wasn't entirely happy with the way the models I picked for the Wichfinder faction looked together. The use of buff coats to tie them together seemed insufficient and the colourful sleeves didn't do much to convey the grim nature of their occupation, so I decided to give them matching sleeves and trousers. I settled on black sleeves for all of them (which also matched the Witchfinder General's cape) and a light blue grey for the trousers as a couple already had that colour and it worked well with the overall look. Where required, the sashes were touched up to be red, hence matching the red touches on the Witchfinder General model. I think the end result is rather pleasing and they do look like a coherent force now.

The complete group so far...

The captain and a witchfinder thug
The pointing chap was originally a parliamentary gun commander and had the most work done to him. His sleeves were painted black from a striped red and blue affair, his orange sash was darkened to be red and his dark blue trousers were repainted to match the light grey-blue of the other models. All in all, a successful operation. Shown with the original colouring below:

This one had his sleeves and neckerchief painted in black. I'm still debating whether I need to add a white collar to match the others as well.

The final one had his sleeves repainted from red and yellow stripes to black and a small additional highlights to his pants which were already in the right colour. The model was part of an ECW dueling set ans is shown with original colouring below:

The Three Musketeers - The Preacher

Most of the Witchfinder General's henchmen are merely hired thugs, men of little moral integrity with a penchant for cruelty, but some, like the Preacher, are true zealots. A bonafide man of the fate, the General's right hand man truly believes in the holy mission. An otherwise kind and intelligent man, he will not hesitate to unleash his righteous fury on those he is led to believe are the spawn of Satan. A complex individual and a great swordsman to boot.

This characterful model is another King and Country ECW figure. As with the others in this faction, I took the liberty to make a few changes to better reflect the grim nature of his occupation. The colourful red and yellow striped sleeves were replaced with a more sobre black.

Source: King and Country - PnM054 - The preacher
The preacher model has one of the best faces in the range (shown here with original sleeves).

Thursday 13 December 2018

The Three Musketeers - King Louis off to War

It's the Musketeer's job to keep the King out of harm's way, but it's not the King's job to make that an easy task. When war is being waged, all kings will eventually have to make a show of being a warrior in the thick of the action, albeit from a safe distance, and so we have King Louis here decked out in his finest battlefield threads.

"It is your duty to protect France. And therefore... me."

The figure is actually King & Country's retired model of the British King Charles, but as he strikes a passing resemblance to the King Louis model, he will work perfectly well in that role.

No begging from the women can sway this brave warrior from his plan to put his guards into grave danger.

Wednesday 12 December 2018

The Three Musketeers - Milady de Winter

Milady de Winter is Cardinal Richelieu's confidante, spy and occasional assassin. A woman of remarkable beauty, intellect and resourcefulness, but also cold blooded and ruthless when needed. It's hard to imagine that in a former life she was the countess de la Fère, in other words, the wife of the musketeer Athos...

Pictured here in a comfortable outfit destined for travelling and clandestine operations, about to torture an apple to reveal all it's secrets.

And a close-up for no good reason:

Having a casual conversation with a young musketeer-wannabe.

"You're not dangerous, you're beautiful" - "Not the sharpest sword in the armoury, are you?"
Getting orders from the Cardinal:
"It's on my order and for the good of the State..."
She's not Rochefort's biggest fan though.
"Why don't we go somewhere more private?" - "Why don't we pretend that this apple is your... other sword?"