Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Recently Painted No 28 Compagnies Franches de la Marine

Another newly painted unit for my French & Indian project, these figures are from the new 15mm  Blue Moon range and in my opinion they're some of the best out there. I only found one problem with the pack and that's that the three officers have a coat on, while all the rank and file are in their waistcoats, it would have been nice to have a few officers dressed in waistcoats too, but never mind I'm sure I'll cope!!

As their title suggests, the colonial regulars consisted of a number of independent companies with a variable establishment. By 1757, a company was ordered to consist of one captain, one lieutenant, two ensigns, three sergeants, four corporals, two cadets, two drummers, and fifty-four soldiers. In fact, the companies were chronically under strength, and Governor Vaudreuil's complaint in 1757 that the colonials were 250 men short was all too typical.
Some of the companies were formed into a battalion in 1757 for service with Montcalm's regular army battalions. Twenty-four companies of colonial regulars were stationed at Louisbourg during the 1750s, although Louisbourg was not even considered part of New France, but a separate colony of "Isle Royale" with its own establishment.
The assignments of colonial regulars varied greatly. Some were posted to garrison the major fortified cities of Quebec and Montreal, while others were subdivided into garrisons for the small fortified outposts guarding the frontiers and supply routes. Small detachments were sent to protect the advance trading posts, which supplied the profitable fur trade of New France.
Officers from the Compagnies Franches de la Marine were selected to organize and command war-parties of Canadian militia and their unpredictable Indian allies, for swift raids across the New England borders. These war-parties usually included at least one company of colonial regulars to provide a dependable disciplined nucleus for the improvised units.They became experienced bush fighters and a match for the Indians in their own hit-and-run style of fighting. Their skill in moving and fighting over the rugged Canadian terrain was far superior to that of the regular army units.
The colonial regulars formed the backbone of the French push down the Ohio valley, which began in 1752 to limit the westward expansion ofthe New England colonies. In July 1755, the operation culminated in the defeat of Major-General Edward Braddock's column of British regulars at The Battle of Monongahela by a mixed force of colonial regulars, militiamen, and Indians.
From February to April 1756, about 60 men from the Compagnies franches de la Marine took part to the expedition against Fort Bull which captured and destroyed the fort. From May to August, a few companies took part to the operations on Lake Ontario where the French captured and destroyed Fort Oswego. Several companies were also left at Carillon to defend the place until late October.

From January to March 1757, 300 men from the Compagnies Franches de la Marine took part to a raid on Fort William Henry, destroying the fleet of small vessels destined to the invasion of Canada. In July and August, a converged battalion of Compagnies Franches de la Marine accompanied Montcalm's force in his expedition against Fort William Henry which was captured and destroyed.
On March 13 1758, Indian scouts located a party of Rogers' Rangers near Fort Carillon. A small detachment of the unit was among the party sent against them. They skirmished with them in what later became know as Th Battle of Snow Shoes. In mid June, some 600 Troupes de la Marinewere ordered to move to Carillon. These troops were kept in reserve at Carillon with the 3rd battalion of Berry Infanterie. By mid July, additional companies had reached Carillon and Montcalm formed 2 battalions (Valterie and Lacorne) of 1,000 men each from the Troupes de la Marine. These units which also included some Canadians were placed under the command of M. de Rigaud. Valterie’s battalion encamped near the Fall while Lacorne's battalion was posted at the head of Lake Saint-Sacrement (actual Lake George) with orders to reconnoitre this lake. On July 8, several companies took part in the victorious battle of Carillon. Additional companies arrived during the battle and immediately joined the fight. At the beginning of September, Lacorne's battalion retired to the Fall leaving only 200 men to guard the outlet of Lake Saint-Sacrement. Between November 1 and 5, the entire French army quitted Carillon to move to its winter quarters, leaving detachments from various battalions to guard the fort.


  1. I've never done anything in 15mm so I'm impressed! Really interesting history read, thanks.

  2. Nice figs, nice set up and a history lesson...all that´s missing is the beer :-D
    Nice seeing someone else basing all his minis on round bases. Do you use movement trays?
    I have a very cunning plan for to stop me having to rebase all mine for wargaming :-D

  3. Bloody hell...it posted without me getting, "sevice unavailable" !!!

  4. I love the round bases, they're from Peter Pig and are metal. I will be using movements trays, that will have magnetic sheets stuck on to them. Just for two reason, 1. So if the player doesn't want to keep moving loads of individualy figures, he can use a base 2. To help me keep them safe during storage!!

  5. Beautiful minis, and smart thinking on the basing.

    I lived for a (very brief) while in Cumberland Maryland, and though the Fort is now gone there are still placards commemorating the start of Braddock's fatal march toward Fort Duquesne. There are still some relatively untouched, densely forested areas out there where it's quite easy to feel like you've traveled back to that era.

  6. Very nice figs Ray! I really like how you've finished their bases, they really match your terrain pieces

  7. All that blue on them! They are totally gonna stand out like a sore thumb in that forest...

  8. This is a very fascinating era for both warfare in general and the beginnings of American military heritage. Like I told you before, my mother is Mohawk from the North country area of New York. I have been to the museum that now stands where Fort Oswego once was. But the way you describe the engagements was a lot easier to understand and more enjoyable to read!

    It's great that you add your passion for history into this craft of yours. It's one of the reasons I love coming to this blog!

  9. Great looking little Frenchies there! Well done.

    If I had found the Blue Moon range, before the Galloping Major's range, I'm sure I'd be painting 15mm's as well. You should be able to get a right proper FIW engagement in 15mm. Could do things like Battle of Snow Shoes in 1:1 with TFL Sharp's Practice.

    Rusti (from syw6mm)

  10. The whole French population in Canada was 80,000 back then, after the British forced the whole population of Acadia to take ships to Louisiana where the Acadians became the Cajuns.

    The Cajuns are being flooded right now by the Mississippi River again.

    In the English colonies there were 2 1/2 million colonists, so the odds were against the French.

    These guys were colonists signed up for regular service, to supplement the few regiments they could ship over from France, to try to give them a quality edge over the part-time militia
    the English had.

  11. Nice work Ray.

    Good to see some photos of the the Blue Moon painted. Most of my F&IW stuff is by Essex, but I've been tempted to pick up some of the Blue Moon Range myself.


  12. I'm really enjoying your FIW project - something new and today something blue!

  13. Great painting and really nice photo's. It's always good to see some nice wargaming eye candy on a blog!

  14. I have to agree with BigLee. Great painting and photo's.

  15. Used to have these in 28mm, nice work Ray.

  16. Great figs and paint jobs and nice terrain too

  17. the coolest thing is, i have one of those rifles

  18. those are great! keep up the good work!

  19. I do so hate to leave home without a waistcoat.

  20. Very nice. I love the historical elements of your posts, and very nice paint jobs and pics, also.

  21. Nice painting Ray !! Another good work !!