I had not intended to paint up units specifically for the Southern theatre until early next year, but have found myself doing so now pretty much by accident. I think Henry Hyde is partly responsible as thanks to him I had a stab at recreating Guilford Courthouse (the photos can be seen in issue 11 of "Battlegames" magazine) and realised the figures I had were not really suitable. That experience, my visit in March to South Carolina and then buying a load of the new Perry Southern militia figures at Salute have now all combined to send me into 1780s overload. After Washington's dragoons and the 84th Foot I have been working away at a series of 4-5 American units that can be used either for militia or Continental service but specifically for the Southern campaigns - all shirt-sleeves and hunting shirts. I find that the most effective way of painted figures in hunting shirts is to paint a batch in the same colour and allocate them between 2 or 3 regiments. That way you preserve the economy of painting several figures in the same uniforms whilst ensuring that each unit has a good spread of different shades of browns and beiges.
This is the first of two regiments I have finished, both of which use largely the same figures (although the second has a couple of surprises). I sat down with the "British Grenadier" scenario books and worked out how many militia and regular units are required for the various Southern battles. So, for example, the hypothetical "Gloucester Point" scenario in Book 2 requires four 20-figure units of Virginia militia, whilst Cowpens needs three 20-figure units, one each from North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. A similar number of figures are required for Eutaw Springs. So I decided to paint these regiments in pairs, with each pair containing one unit that was more clearly "Continental" and one that was more "militia" in bearing and appearance. The general idea is that given what people were likely to have worn in the South these troops could double-up as required. They will also pass muster for "hot weather" engagements in the North, like Monmouth.
This is the more "Continental" of the first pair, and I designated it the 8th Virginia only because I bought the regiment's flag a while ago and have been meaning to use it. The unit is quite similar to my 11th Virginia from a couple of years back (see here), with the latter's riflemen figures being replaced by a pack of Southern militia. The drummer is from the new Southern militia standing command pack and is one of those rare examples of a "Perry nod": the drum-belt can clearly be seen on the front of the figure, but it ends at the neck and has no reverse. I think I exhausted every combination of brown and cream in the Foundry paint system on these figures. I noticed that the "Peat Brown" palette acquires a vaguely purple hue when you add white to the "c" colour - there was a Maryland regiment that according to Mollo sported purple hunting shirts and it occurred to me that these "Peat Brown" colours would be very suitable for that regiment.
20 figures. Painted April/May 2008. Flag by "Flags for the Lads".