Thursday, 20 October 2016

Butler's Rangers

John Butler (1728–1796) lived in the Mohawk Valley from his early teens and became highly proficient in the local Indian languages.  This led to his employment as an officer in the Indian Department during the French & Indian War.  After the war he became a substantial landowner and retained close links to the Indian Department.  He also became a lieutenant-colonel in the Tryon County Militia (of which Nicholas Herkimer was Brigadier-General) but when the AWI broke out he remained loyal to Britain and moved to Canada.  He helped mobilise up-state New York's Indians to support the Saratoga campaign and Butler participated in the battle of Oriskany.  He was then promoted  lieutenant-colonel for a second time and given authority to raise his own regiment.  This unit became known as Butler's Rangers and ultimately comprised ten companies of around 60 men each. 

Butler's Rangers earned notoriety for their participation, along with their Indian allies, in the "Wyoming Valley Massacre" of July 1778, so named because of the alleged killing and torturing of Patriot prisoners and the subsequent destruction of much property, and then the "Cherry Valley Massacre" of December 1778 which saw the killing of civilians as well as militia.  The violent actions in the Mohawk Valley of loyalist units like Butler's Rangers and the Iroquois who had sided with the Crown prompted the Sullivan Expedition of 1779.  George Washington's orders to General John Sullivan demonstrate the ferocity of the fighting in the region:

"The Expedition you are appointed to command is to be directed against the hostile tribes of the Six Nations of Indians, with their associates and adherents. The immediate objects are the total destruction and devastation of their settlements, and the capture of as many prisoners of every age and sex as possible. It will be essential to ruin their crops now in the ground and prevent their planting more.
I would recommend, that some post in the center of the Indian Country, should be occupied with all expedition, with a sufficient quantity of provisions whence parties should be detached to lay waste all the settlements around, with instructions to do it in the most effectual manner, that the country may not be merely overrun, but destroyed.
But you will not by any means listen to any overture of peace before the total ruinment of their settlements is effected. Our future security will be in their inability to injure us and in the terror with which the severity of the chastisement they receive will inspire them."
The Sullivan Expedition made good progress in the achievement of those objectives, but failed to land a "killer blow".  As a consequence, Iroquois raids continued, but the Indians were a much depleted, and dispersed, force.  The largest battle of the Expedition was at Newtown on 29 August 1779.  The Indians and Loyalists, a force which included Butler's Rangers, positioned themselves in earthworks, but Sullivan's clever flanking attacks, vigorous fighting by the 2nd and 3rd New Hampshire Regiments and the Americans' artillery won the day.  The regiment disbanded in June 1784 and its soldiers appear to have settled in Ontario.  A few years later Butler formed his veterans into a local militia which, under the name of the Lincoln Militia, fought in the War of 1812.  John Butler did not live to see that further conflict between the US and Great Britain.  He died in 1796, a prominent political leader of Upper Canada.  There's a much more detailed history of the regiment by Calvin Arnt here.

I've designated these figures as "Butler's Rangers", but to be honest it's designed for use as generic Loyalist rangers in scenarios which call for such, like Oriskany, the Saratoga battles and Savannah, to give just 3 examples.  The figures are King's Mountain Miniatures' Continentals with a variety of heads.  I wanted the unit to have a high degree of uniformity but still have the look of some modifications for the field.  Both the McGregor/Mollo and Smith/Kiley uniform books show Butler's Rangers in dark green hunting shirts, so I made up a couple of figures in that dress.  Otherwise, I've modelled these figures according to this online article by Calvin Arnt.  Most portrayals show the Rangers in dark green coats with red facings, and leather caps with a brass front.  Arnt argues that the facings were most likely to have been white, not red.  I'll not explain his reasoning here - the article in the link does so at length.  As for headgear, Arnt doesn't like "jockey caps" and argues that the Rangers probably wore slouch/round hats and perhaps tricornes for the NCOs and officers.  I decided, however, that I wanted to have a couple of figures in caps and so I used a variety of KMM heads.  The caps here are KMM 10 but with the peak cut/shaved off.  I didn't use brass-fronted caps because I've always been a bit suspicious of whether people who spent a lot of time sneaking around would wear something that would catch the sunlight.  No doubt others object to Arnt's conclusions by I would emphasise that these are intended more for use as generic Loyalists (the "British Grenadier!" scenario for Oriskany, for example, requires 6 "rangers" in Butler's brigade - that unit can't be "Butler's Rangers" as the regiment didn't exist until later; but I'll use these figures).  The two figures in hunting shirts could also be used as Patriots.  

9 figures.  Painted September 2016.


Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Brigadier-General Nicholas Herkimer

Nicholas Herkimer was born in 1728 (or thereabouts), the son of German immigrants.  His family lived in the German Flatts area of upstate New York, in the Mohawk Valley.  Herkimer saw action in the French attack on German Flatts in November 1757.  The following year he was promoted to captain in the local militia.  By the time war broke out in 1775, Herkimer was a militia colonel.  In June 1776 he led a small forced to see the Mohawk leader Joseph Brandt, in an attempt to persuade Brandt to remain neutral in the war with Britain.  Brandt refused, and remained loyal to the Crown for the duration of the war.  By September 1776 Herkimer had been made a brigadier general in the Tryon County militia.  In August 1777 British troops laid siege to Fort Stanwix (on the site of modern Rome, New York) and Herkimer ordered the local militia to form a relief column.  There is some suggestion that Herkimer wanted to wait  but was stung into action by his junior officers, who had used the fact that Herkimer's brother was a Loyalist officer to question Herkimer's motives.  The militia set off and on 6 August Herkimer's column was ambushed in a ravine by a mixed force of Loyalists, jaeger from Hanau and Mohawks under Brandt's command.

Shortly after the ambush began Herkimer's horse was shot and he himself was badly wounded in the leg.  He propped himself up against a tree and continued to direct the battle as best as he could.  The Indians had sprung the trap too early and the rear elements of Herkimer's column fled.   Those who remained faced what must have been a horrific hand-to-hand battle.  A common tactic of the Indians was to wait for the flash of a musket before rushing to attack with hand-held weapons before the firer had time to re-load.  However, the Americans were able to rally and fight their way back down the ravine to higher ground.  Herkimer was able to organise a more effective and co-ordinated withdrawal and the remains of his force were able to disengage and retreat back to Fort Dayton.  The battle was very cost for the American side, which lost approximately 450 casualties against 150 dead and wounded Loyalists and Indians.  Herkimer's wound was attended to, but his leg because infected and the decision to amputate was taken too late.  The operation took place 10 days after the battle and was not successful.  Herkimer died on 16 August, aged 49.

This figure continues the Mohawk frontier theme of last post's Magua.  I put this figure together from King's Mountain Miniatures' "officer firing pistol" (code OMM-009) with one of the heads from OMM-07.  I had intended this figure to be the officer for a unit of loyalist rangers I was painting for the Oriskany orbat (see next post), but I decided the uniform coat was too long.  I put the figure to one side, but then realised it would be perfect for an American officer, so why not Herkimer himself.  His leg was shattered early in the fight, but let's not let that get in the way of having a nice figure on the table, and I thought the pose looked suitably desperate.  As with Magua, I used a picture for reference material.  Above is the painting "Herkimer at the Battle of Oriskany" by F C Yohn, from circa 1901.  My sources aren't consistent on what uniform a brigadier-general would have worn this early in the war.  By 1780 the official uniform for this rank in the Continental Army was dark blue faced buff, but I have seen some references to dark blue faced red for early war officers.  And of course Herkimer was militia, not Continental Army.  Yohn may have worked from a dark blue faced red uniform coat that was worn by the commander of Fort Stanwix, Colonel Peter Gansevoort who was promoted Brigadier in the militia later in the war.  So I decided to stick with red facings rather than buff - it just looked more militia-ish. (I've started a new label with this post - "Personalities".  This will capture the "real life" people in my collection, as opposed to generic command figures or fictional characters like Magua and Hawkeye.  There are other personalities in my collection not as yet featured on TQ - the British generals, for example, and Tarleton himself.  Hopefully I'll add those in due course.)  

1 figure.  Painted September 2016.


Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Magua (2)

This is the first Indian/Native American figure that I've painted in 6 years.  I painted a horde of Conquest Miniatures Iroquois back in 2006 (see here) and then more Conquest and Perry figures over the course of 2006/2007.  I finished off the figures in the Perry range in 2009 (see here) and added the Conquest figures of Tecumseh and Tenskwatawa in 2010.   That gave me about 60 foot figures, with 3 mounted and a pack of civilians.  That's more than enough for most AWI needs, other than Oriskany (for which you need a lot of Indians - I'll run through the "British Grenadier!" scenario requirements for Indians when I next paint up a pack of Conquest figures).

I can't recall when or where I picked up this Conquest Miniatures version of Magua, as potrayed by Wes Studi in "Last of the Mohicans", but he'd been on the painting desk half-painted for a while and I finally finished him off when I was painting the loyalist camp I posted about earlier.  Conquest do two Magua figures.  The first is from a pack of "Last of the Mohicans" characters, and shows Magua in the outfit he wore when leading a British column, with Colonel Munro's daughters, into an ambush.  A photo of that figure is below for comparison (and the relevant blog post is here).  The second figure shows Magua celebrating his slaughter of Munro and other British troops after they leave Fort William Henry.  I started painting this figure as a generic Indian before I realised that there was no excuse for not painting Magua as he appears in the film (see above).

For the flesh I used Foundry's "Native American Flesh" 120 palette, which I'd previously tried out on the figures of Tecumseh and his brother.  Before that I had used my standard flesh palette, and this produced figures with rather "white" skin.  The colours of the clothing and equipment are not 100% accurate when compared to the photo of Wes Studi, but I think the overall effect is pretty similar.  I perhaps could have done with a bit more black paint on the right upper arm.  The black zig-zags are on his head, but are difficult to see in the photos, and I tried to add that shaven-headed look with a thin grey wash.  I base chieftains on 2 pence pieces and "rank and file" on square bases, so it's easier to tell who's who in games.  Magua perhaps deserves to be based as a chief, but I have enough of those (and indeed my other Magua is based that way) so he's just another brave.  

1 figure.  Painted September 2016.


Monday, 3 October 2016

Loyalist camp

I regret that posts have been thin on the ground over the past couple of months.  However, that can be remedied as a result of a good session in the garden with my camera yesterday.  Highlanders, loyalist rangers and some personalities are to come, but to start with here's the Perry Miniatures AWI camp set.  The website states that the set can be used for either side.  You have two soldiers in shirtsleeves and waistcoats, and two wearing uniform coats; so the latter figures require a decision on what "side" they are going to be.  To my eyes this set lends itself more to the British side than the Continental, and I decided to paint the uniformed figures as later-war loyalists.  I was thinking in particular of the New York Volunteers that I painted at the end of last year.  That's because the only scenarios I can think of which feature Crown troops fighting inside or near their camp are Stono Ferry, Savannah and Eutaw Springs; and all those feature loyalist units clothed in red faced dark blue coats.  The colour of whatever's in the pot gave me pause - I've assumed that it's some sort of soup using vegetables, potatoes, chicken and stuff, and that the overall colour of the watery result would be a pale brown.

This is a nice little set, one of the small number of packs I bought at Salute this year.  On the workbench at the moment are a large Pennsylvania regiment, the Volunteers of Ireland and some Conquest Miniatures "frontiersmen" which I intend to use for generic Patriot scouts/rangers.  I have a couple of packs of Conquest Indians, which I'll turn to next alongside more loyalist infantry.

6 figures.  Painted September 2016.


Friday, 9 September 2016

British reinforcements (2)

This is my second "reinforcements" post and it gives me an excuse to think about British grenadiers.  I'll start with the basics. These troops served in composite battalions that combined the grenadier companies of the various regiments serving in the Americas.  These combined units did not carry colours and were often much larger than in strength than the parent line battalions (as they contained more companies).  At the beginning of the AWI there were two combined battalions of grenadiers, expanding to four in 1776.  In October 1776 the 4th Grenadiers were disbanded due to high rates of sickness, with the 42nd Foot's grenadier company being transferred to the 3rd Grenadiers.  During the northern theatre battles of 1777-78, the main army had two large battalions and Burgoyne's 1777 Saratoga army had a battalion of just under 600 men.  The grenadiers shrank once major operations in the north ceased and there appears to have been just one battalion in the South.
I suppose there are three issues that might concern an AWI wargamer when considering how to add some grenadier units to his/her collection: size, facing colours and headgear.  The last is probably the easiest issue to address: there is evidence that bearskins were worn in the war's earlier years, and further evidence that they were put into storage in later years, from 1779 or thereabouts, if not earlier (and quite probably during the Saratoga expedition as well).  But realistically, who is going to pass on having these iconic troops in their full finery?  So bearskins all round.

The issue of size, is less binary, although you have two broad choices: medium or xtra-xtra large.  Below is a breakdown of grenadier units as they appear in the published "British Grenadier!" scenario books:

Lexington: 24
Bunker Hill: 16
Dorchester: 16
Long Island: 20, 20, 16, 16 (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grenadiers)
Haarlem Heights: 20, 20, 16, 16 (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grenadiers)
Bound Brook: 20
Pell's Point: 40
Brandywine: 24, 24 (1st and 2nd Grenadiers)
Hubbardton: 32
Freemans' Farm: 24
Bemis Heights: 16
Whitemarsh: 24, 24 (1st and 2nd Grenadiers)
Monmouth: 32, 32 (1st and 2nd Grenadiers)
Briar Creek: 10
Eutaw Springs: 14
La Vigie: 20

So a unit of 24 figures will cover over half the scenarios, and many gamers will be satisfied with that.  It's when you look at the larger battles that numbers get a bit sticky.  There are five scenarios in which the 1st Grenadiers and the 2nd Grenadiers both appear and two of those also feature the 3rd and 4th Grenadiers.  So the most grenadier figures you need at one time, for Long Island or Haarlem Heights, is 72.

I painted the 3rd and 4th Grenadiers for a Long Island game back in 2008 (together with a command stand).  Those 16-figure units, both in charging poses, helpfully combine to form the 2nd Grenadiers for Brandywine, Whitemarsh and Monmouth.  My existing 1st Grenadiers, in marching poses, was 24 figures, so that needed bulking up to 32 anyway.  But I then looked at the other scenarios and thought I might as well just another 8 figures to bring the unit up to 40 so I could use it as both the 1st and 2nd Grenadiers for Long Island and Haarlem Heights.

Having decided on numbers, the last issue is to think about what regiments the unit(s) should include.  The composition of the combined battalions changed over the duration of the war, but the following information seems reliable (and is taken mostly from the research that Brendan Morrissey has made available either in his excellent Osprey books or on TMP and other websites): 

At Bunker Hill in June 1775:
- 4th, 5th, 10th, 18th, 23rd, 38th, 43rd, 47th, 52nd, 59th. 

In 1776:
- 3rd Grenadiers: 15th, 28th, 33rd, 37th, 46th, 54th and 57th;
- 4th Grenadiers: 42nd (one double-size company) and 71st highlanders (three companies).

In 1777/78:
- 1st Grenadiers: 4th, 5th, 10th, 15th, 17th, 22nd, 23rd, 27th, 28th, 33rd, 35th, 38th, 42nd and 55th regiments;
- 2nd Grenadiers: 37th, 40th, 43rd, 44th, 45th, 46th, 49th, 52nd, 57th, 63rd, 64th, 71st, and Marines (the companies from the 71st and Marines were reassigned before the battle of Monmouth in June 1778);
- Burgoyne's Saratoga army: 9th, 20th, 21st, 24th, 29th, 31st, 34th, 47th, 53rd and 62nd.

At Eutaw Springs in September 1781:
- 3rd, 19th, 30th.

Trying to replicate the precise configurations of these combined battalions would therefore require a lot of extra figures to ensure that the correct regiments were represented.  The easiest way is probably to stick to just one pose, whether marching, charging or firing, as that would then allow you to mix and match more extensively.  I'm constrained by having one large unit in charging poses and the other in marching poses.  So combining my 3rd and 4th Grenadiers to form the 2nd Grenadiers at Monmouth, for example, doesn't really work as 42nd's grenadier company was with the 1st Grenadiers and the 71st's had been sent to New York.  The approach I've taken with the larger units to ensure the numbers are correct without worrying too much about the facings.  That said, the most common facing colours were yellow and dark green, so you can't go too wrong with lots of figures in those colours (looking at the 1st Grenadiers in 1777/78, for example, you have four companies with yellow facings, three with dark blue, two each with buff and dark green, one each with orange, white and red; of the seven companies in the 3rd Grenadiers in 1776, five had yellow facings).  The facing colour that is most noticeable is buff, because that means the colours of the smallclothes and cross-belts should be buff too.  I already had a couple of buff-faced figures in my existing 1st Grenadiers, but with an eye on the Eutaw Springs scenario I decided to paint a new base of 6 figures, including a Foundry fifer, to represent the 3rd Foot's grenadier company (and which I could then combine with two 4-figure bases to make the 14-figure unit required for that scenario).

Here are the new figures:

The figures here are mainly from Perry Miniatures, but with some older Foundry ones too.  Fife & Drum also make some nice grenadier figures.  I tidied up the older figures, which had a few daft painting mistakes.  So that's my brigade of British Grenadiers.  If I wanted to go absolutely nuts, I could do some more troops in "Saratoga caps" specifically for the Saratoga battles, but that would be right at the back of the list (I'd use Perry plastic figures, although they don't have flank company shoulder wings; but then did the grenadiers remove those wings before the campaign began....?).   My next batch of "reinforcements" will be British in campaign dress, but those will have to wait until later in the year.

I appreciate that the blog has been quite of late, but I'm now back in business and there is much more AWI to come shortly.

14 figures.  Painted August 2016.  Below are some other photos of the complete "brigade" out in the sun.

The second battalions of the 42nd and 71st have a red stripe in their plaid. 

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

British reinforcements (1)

I mentioned earlier this year that one thing on my AWI radar is to bulk up existing units to ensure they are of sufficient strength to cope with all relevant scenarios.  I keep a detailed spread-sheet of all units that feature in the published "British Grenadier!" scenarios and seeing regiments listed as "done" but with insufficient figures for the latest scenarios irritated my completist's mentality.  I hadn't meant to make a start on this work now, but I found some spare figures and painting them now would further my aim of painting all remaining AWI lead by the end of the year.  Of course it's in the nature of wargaming that finishing this task meant I had to buy a couple more packs of figures at Salute, but since they were largely painted immediately afterwards so the lead-pile hasn't been increased.   I realised that this "bulking up" project naturally falls into 4 stages: (i) units requiring Foundry figures in full/1768 Royal Warrant dress; (ii) units requiring Perry figures in campaign/cut-down coat dress; (iii) Hessians and Brunswickers; and (iv) units for the Guilford Courthouse scenario (this was originally presented in the first edition "British Grenadier" rulebook, but an amended version with different unit strengths appears in the 4th scenario book).  So that's probably the order in which I'll approach this sub-project.  I don't intend to re-do all my earlier blog posts about these units - I'll post pictures of the new figures as I go along and I'll add additional "group" shots to the original posts.

So first of all, here are the figures in 1768 Royal Warrant; this is a post that has been some months in the making!  These figures are the first Foundry British line I've painted for years.  Painting the marching figures took some getting used to, as they have a lot of kit and fiddly straps which one doesn't have on "campaign" dress figures.  That said, the firing line and charging figures were easy in comparison, as they don't have any kit other that the cartridge and bayonet belts.  I did a small amount of remedial work on a few of the original figures, some of which were painted as far back as 2003, when I first started out on my AWI odyssey.

First, I needed an additional 6 figures for the 38th Foot.  This is a useful battalion to have as it appears in the following scenarios: Bunker Hill (18 figures), Long Island (16), Fort Washington (12), Brandywine (16), Springfield (24).  I already had the battalion based in sixes for Bunker Hill so I've added a 4th base of 6 figures to take it up to the 24 figures required for Springfield.  That battle was fought in June 1780, and it's highly unlikely that at this stage the 38th was still in un-modified "full warrant" uniform.  But I don't think it's worth painting a whole new unit in modified campaign dress just for that scenario.

Secondly, the 63rd Foot needed 10 more figures to take it up to 30 for the Hudson Forts scenario.  The 63rd appears in the scenarios as follows: Bunker Hill (20), Long Island (16), Hudson Forts (30), Monmouth (16).   The attack on Forts Clinton and Montgomery took place in October 1777, so the regiment was most likely in cut-down coats by this time, but the rest of the figures are in full dress.  I painted up another base of 4 figures and then put the remaining figures on a base of 6 with an additional officer.  I see I need to paint the outside edges of the bases on the older figures.

Thirdly, the 49th Foot needed another 4 charging figures to bring it up to 20 for Dorchester.  This battalion's scenario appearances are: White Plains (16), Fort Washington (16), Dorchester (20), Brandywine (16) and Germantown (16).  I reckon full dress is ok for the first three of these battles, and again I don't intend to paint the regiment again in campaign dress for the 1777 scenarios.  Out of all these older units, I think this one shows the biggest change in style - the way I painted faces back in 2004 was rather embarrassing - oh, that horrid GW "Flesh Wash"!!

The 57th Foot required a further 6 firing line figures to increase it from 12 to 18.  The battalion appears only twice: Long Island (12) and Hudson Forts (18).   I had this regiment based in fours, so just added a base of 6 figures (including a corporal) to finish it off.

Lastly, the 43rd Foot, which I posted about only recently, needed another 6 marching figures to take it up to 24 figures for the Newport scenario.  The regiment otherwise appears in the Bunker Hill (18) and Long Island (16) scenarios.

I should add that anyone looking for Fort Washington in any of the BG!/Caliver scenario books will be disappointed.  It's on my scenario spread-sheet but the information on unit strengths came from material that AWI guru Brendan Morrissey posted on the General de Brigade website a few years ago.  Looking at that spread-sheet I see that the end is in sight for British line infantry.  Outside of  further "reinforcement" work, I have the following left to do:

- 3rd Foot ("the Buffs"): two wings of 18 and 16 figures for Eutaw Springs (both of which I'll do in full dress, given that the 3rd was only recently "off the boat" at the time);
- 22nd Foot: Long Island (16) and Newport (20);
- 26th Foot: Hudson Forts (24) and Monmouth (16);
- 37th Foot: lots of battles;
- 54th Foot: Long Island (16);
- 64th Foot: lots of battles;
- 80th Foot: Petersburg and Gloucester Point (32).

Add a couple of skirmish units and that's it.  So 32 line battalions done (plus 6 flank battalions) and 7 left to go.  That's not bad. Maybe I should get the boys out for a parade over the summer.....Next on the list will be the 37th and 64th (Perry metals in campaign dress, I think) and the Buffs. 

32 figures.  Painted March to May 2016.  All flags by GMB.  All buildings in the background made to order by Tablescape.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

43rd Foot

The 43rd was originally raised in 1741 as Fowke's Regiment of Foot and received the designation as 43rd Foot in 1751.  The regiment was sent to America in 1757 and fought in the centre of Wolfe's line at Quebec.  After the capture of Montreal, the regiment participated in attacks on Spanish possessions in the Caribbean before returning to England in 1764.  The regiment returned to American in 1774.  It saw action at Concord and Bunker Hill and then Long Island and White Plains in 1776.  From August 1778 to October 1779 the regiment was garrisoned in Rhode Island.  It was part of the army that surrendered at Yorktown.   In 1803, and by then with the country name of Monmouthshire, the regiment became one of the first British units to be trained up as light infantry.  It participated in the Peninsular War but missed Waterloo as in 1814 it returned to America to fight in the War of 1812.  In 1881 the battalion joined with the 52nd Foot to form what became the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry.  That regiment in turn became the Royal Green Jackets and in 2005 was amalgamated with other regiments to form one of the British Army's super-regiments, The Rifles.      

This post is a prelude to a much longer post featuring "reinforcement" figures that I have been painting this year.  I painted the 43rd in 2003 as one of my first British line regiments.  I began my AWI collection with the Bunker Hill orbat, in which this battalion features with a strength of 18 figures.  That's why these are Foundry "full dress" figures.  The 43rd is also in the Long Island scenario (16 figures) and Newport (24).  As I had originally painted the 18 figures required for Bunker Hill, I needed to add a further 6 for the Newport scenario, which was only published a couple of years ago.  So I painted those extra figures and realised I had never posted about this unit at all.  So before I post in depth about the "reinforcement" work I've being doing since March, here is the 43rd Foot.  My style of painting hasn't changed all that much in the intervening 13 years - the main difference is the way in which I do faces, which is now more subtle than it was in 2003-5, when I used a GW flesh wash that is more noticeable than the Winsor & Newton inks I use now.  My scarlet palette is a bit different - the earlier figures have GW "blood angles red" as their final highlight, a paint which doesn't exist anymore.  The flaps on the backpacks have a simple white circle with "43" in black writing.  If I'd started these from scratch, I'd probably have tried something a bit more creative.  Also, the ground work on the earlier figures is less fussy/busy (which you may well think is better).  The ERM bases I use have also changed over the years - they now have a black edge which I paint brown - they didn't use to, so the older figures are easier to spot due to their lighter base edges.

24 figures.  Painted 2003 and March 2016.  Flags by GMB.