Sunday, 23 May 2010

17th Light Dragoons (1)

The 17th Light Dragoons arrived in America in 1775 and remained until 1783. The death's head badge on the helmet is said to have commemorated the death of James Wolfe at Quebec, although an alternative idea is that the motif is modelled on the Prussian Army's Black Hussars. The regiment saw service throughout the war in the north. In 1779 the regiment was sent to serve with the British Legion in the Carolinas ("stiffen" the Legion is the word used by Stuart Reid in the "King George's Army (3)" Osprey). The troops were engaged in numerous raids and skirmishes. In the published "British Grenadier!" scenarios, the southern 17th appear only once, as a 6 figure unit at Cowpens.

I want to build up my AWI cavalry his year, and I'm going backwards with the 17th - starting with Perry figures for the later, southern theatre and I'll finish with a 12-figure unit in full dress for the early part of the war (via one or two other things). In the south, the 17th wore white linen smocks due to the heat, although I have seen references to these being worn either instead of or over the regulation uniform. I painted the smocks on these figures with Foundry's "Palomino 56" palette as I wanted a creamy rather than white look. The officer's coat shows a bit of artistic licence. I thought it would look a bit odd if the officer wore the same coloured coat as the men - it's clearly a well-tailored coat rather than a smock. I thought I could paint it a slightly different shade of cream (as shown on the Perry Miniatures website), but that seemed a bit too "civilian" and I wanted something that was clearly a uniform. The cut of the coat is not quite right for the 17th's regular uniform, so I decided to paint it in dark green as a nod to Tarleton's Legion. I have read that the 17th were very proud of their uniforms when serving with the Legion, but maybe this officer had agreed with a loyalist friend that he would wear a green coat for the day, or his own uniform was being mended and this is his "No.2 suit". It's not historically accurate, but the green adds some colour to what are otherwise fairly uninteresting uniforms.

Again, work has affected blogging over the past week or so. Coming up are some more 17th Dragoons and, er, 1880s Baluchis....

6 figures. Painted April 2010.


Sire Godefroy said...

Just up my alley since I'm painting dragoons now as well. Great stuff from you, both inspirational and inspired. Simply got to love these little 'nods' like the officer's coat. It makes figures personalities and brings the whole thing to life. So, forget about nitpicking people - you've showed well enough again and again that you are one of the best informed AWI gamers out there.

Okay, enough excitement for now. ;-)


AJ (Allan) Wright said...

The tan smocks are quite smart looking and will stand out nicely on the tabletop. Another excellent unit. I like these figures a lot. I think I'll buy up some to do a unit of these myself.

T.E.Rothwell said...

Excellent!always fantastic figures.
The 17th. Lt.Dragoons detachment at the battle of Cowpens were in fact commanded & led by a British Legion Officer. Totally correct uniform for the officer figure. Thanks Giles for the great site.

Militia Light Dragoon said...


Ubique said...

Those are some of the best painted horses I've seen. The figures aren't bad either!


AD said...

The 17th is a favorite unit; glad to see your well painted version of them.

"The 17th. Lt.Dragoons detachment at the battle of Cowpens were in fact commanded & led by a British Legion Officer."

This is an inaccuracy appearing in some accounts of the battle of Cowpens. The officer in question, one Ogilvie, was once a cornet in the 17th, but was a captain in the British Legion at Cowpens.


Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

Very nice work and the horses are really working.


Docsmith said...

Great figures Giles and the horses in particular are superb. Pity the cavalry were so under-represented in AWI - very few cav-v-cav encounters to recreate.

The 'artistic license' with the officer's jacket entirely justified as there was little control or regulation covering what the officers wore anyway and in such rugged physical conditions on campaign, with wear and tear the uniform would soon reflect what was practical and available.


Stokes Schwartz said...

Hello there Giles,

Very nice brushwork on your 17th Dragoons. Neat helmets, which I've always liked. And isn't it funny how even relatively plain uniforms are attractive in miniature?

Best Regards,


Bluewillow said...

excellent work Giles, love the pinto it adds a real colonial feel to the unit, keep up the great work.


legatus hedlius said...

I love the muted palette on these and, has been said,just splendid horses.

Anonymous said...

Love the horses Giles, many thanks for sharing,