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  • Writer's pictureFantastic Legions

Breton Gendarmes and Bertrand de Dinan

It's been awhile since the last update on account of long delays in renovations to the hobby room. More on that later, but for now I wanted to show off the first batch of models painted since having my hobby room back.

Up for consideration is a unit of gendarmes in the service of the Duke of Brittany circa the mid-15th century. This particular unit is led by Bertrand de Dinan, the seigneur de Châteaubriant de Beaumanoir, who was a marshal of Brittany and is known to have fought at the Battle of Patay (1429) and Siege of Pouancé (1432) . The figures are Perry Miniatures from their late medieval European Armies / Wars of the Roses range. I'm very pleased with how these turned out, especially the scabbard on the seigneur de Châteaubriant.

These could be used for the tail end of the Hundred Years War (1440-1453) through to the Mad War (1485-1488). This period saw the development of the compagnies d'ordonnance in France, which were adopted in Brittany as early as 1420 (but mostly in the 1450s). These companies went a long way toward professionalizing the French military forces, booting the English out of almost all of their continental possession and creating the first modern standing army.

To indicate these gendarmes' professional status, none of them bear any personal heraldry except for their captain, Bertrand de Dinan, whose banner is in the middle stand. The other flags are pennons with the the ermine field of the Duke of Brittany's arms, and the Cross of Brittany (the Kroaz Du). All of the lances are painted white and the flagpoles are the same burnt red. Most of the horse furniture is red, but this is not uniform.

My ultimate goal is to build up sizable French forces for the period. I decided to start with the Bretons because they played significant roles in the French victories at Formigny (1450) and Castillon (1453) that ended the Hundred Years War. They will ultimately be a stand-alone force that can be allied with or against the French for what-if scenarios. For instance, we know that Bertrand de Dinan fought against the English with Joan of Arc at the Battle of Patay in 1429, but in 1432 he fought with Jean V, Duke of Brittany, and other Breton nobles with the English against Jean II, Duke of Alençon, at the Siege of Pouancé. Interestingly, this was a fight over an unpaid dowry owed by the deceased Jean IV, Duke of Brittany, to Jean I, Duke of Alençon, who was also deceased. Incredible.

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Danny Boyo
Danny Boyo
Dec 28, 2023

Can I ask where you obtained the Breton flags from?


Sean Squires
Sean Squires
Sep 22, 2021

Great looking figures and lovely studio shots. I need to get my act together and paint up Lord Talbot et al. See if I can avoid death charging into gun emplacements at Castillon.😉

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