Monday, 28 September 2009
The 63rd arrived in America from Ireland and saw action almost immediately at the bloodbath of Bunker Hill. It remained with Howe's Boston command and saw further action at Long Island and at Monmouth in 1778. It moved to the Carolinas in 1780 and was engaged in the capture of Charleston, where it was then garrisoned. Apparently an element of the 63rd became mounted dragoons under Tarleton, which would be fun troops to model, and the regiment participated in Camden.
The published "British Grenadier!" scenarios feature four appearances of the 63rd: Bunker Hill (20 figures); Long Island (16); "early" Monmouth (16) and Hobkirk's Hill (16). This mix of battles means that the wargamer is presented with a choice of putting the regiment into Royal Warrant kit for Bunker Hill and Long Island, the mid-war cut-down coats/slouch hat look for Monmouth or some other form of campaign dress for the Southern campaigns. I decided to leave out the middle option and paint figures in full dress specifically for 1775. It also occured to me that I could use the figures in slouch hats and roundabouts that I painted for the 40th Foot some time ago for Hobkirk's Hill. These figures do not have facings and I forgot to paint the cross-belts buff , so they can pass for any regiment in this sort of campaign dress - all I needed was an extra command stand with the 63rd's colours. I painted that command stand a couple of years ago and below are a couple of pics of the 63rd Foot Bis. Now I know that there is debate about whether line regiments adapted their uniforms to make roundabouts, and the red plumes are also only suitable for the 40th (for a discussion on plume colours see here), so these figures are not 100% accurate by any means. But one tip for dealing with regiments that might only make a couple of appearances in the later war period is to paint up a load of rank-and-file in roundabouts and then add command bases for specific regiments.
I've had these figures in the leadpile for a while and they were always near the top of the list of AWI units I wanted to polish off. I know have all the regiments for Bunker Hill in proper Royal Warrant dress. I painted a crown on the backpack flaps to make them a bit more interesting. As these figures are intended primarily for Bunker Hill I wanted to try to make the men look as miserable as possible. The 63rd was part of the third wave and knew what was in store for them. Marching up to the redoubt in the face of the Americans' fire, seeing many from the first two attacks lying on the field, must have taken guts.
20 figures. Painted September 2009. Flags by GMB.