Thursday, 22 November 2012

von Heer's Provosts

I still have a backlog of painted units but I wanted to jump ahead a bit to return to the AWI.  I was very excited when Eureka Miniatures announced their "ragged" Continental cavalry range, which I think was first released at the end of 2010.  The range developed into both ragged and non-ragged figures, but the key feature was the array of different hats that could be placed on to the figures' bare heads.  The only American cavalry available in the Foundry/Perry ranges are the Continental dragoon figures from Foundry (which I used for the 3rd Dragoons and intend to use again for the Philadelphia Light Horse).  Those figures, however, have a crested helmet that is not suitable for various other cavalry units.  Eureka's different hats address this problem.  Armand's Legion was the first unit I painted and I'm rather ashamed that I have waited well over a year to paint up some more (I bought quite a few figures when in Melbourne last March and then picked up more at Salute this year).

These two figures represent von Heer's provosts.  This corps was formed in summer 1775, following a petition to Congress by George Washington for the appointment of a Provost Marshal.  Shortly afterwards, Congress adopted formal Articles of War which set out the rules of behaviour that the new Continental Army was to follow.  Men were recruited to assist the Provost Marshal in the enforcement of these Articles.  It appears that most of the recruits were Pennsylvanian Germans.  A permanent Provost Corps was formed in May 1778, and Bartholomew von Heer, another Pennsylvanian, was appointed to its command.  Von Heer had soldiered in the Prussian, French and Spanish armies and had petitioned Washington for the position.  In addition to enforcing discipline in the army and apprehending drunks and deserters, the Provost Corps acted as escorts and honour guards.  The unit's strength seems to have been between 60 and 80 men.



Sources refer to dark blue coats with yellow facings.  There is some divergence as to hats: crested helmets are mentioned as well as tricornes.  This might perhaps reflect clothing worn at different times depending on the nature of the provosts' duties.  For example, I can imagine that when guarding Washington's headquarters the provosts may have worn smart dragoon helmets.  However, when out on picket duty in the field perhaps a softer hat may have been more practical.  The tricorne is shown in Uniformology's book on American Cavalry and that is the look I have gone for here.  A nice couple of figures to have floating around the rear of an American position.  I am currently basing a unit of South Carolina militia cavalry that really show the variety afforded by these excellent Eureka figures.

2 figures.  Painted October 2012. 

PS I want to post eveything I've painted this year by the end of December.  That's about a dozen more units, so I'm hoping to make 2-3 posts a week for the rest of the year.    

15 comments:

AJ (Allan) Wright said...

Love the dappled coloring on the brown pony.

Fire at Will said...

Excellent, just the thing for a vignette, arresting a deserter or a drunk.

maciek said...

Nice to see AWI figures again.
BTW. Those horses are stunning.

Rodger said...

Fantastic Giles. Beautiful figures and wonderful painting.

Ubique Matt said...

Beautiful looking horses and interesting history. Good to know that more posts are due soon.

Regards,
Matt

Bob C. said...

Thank you Giles once again for the motivation!!

Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

Your the standard for AWI Giles! Lovely!

Christopher

Michael Awdry said...

Superb work Sir.

Thomas said...

Interesting option to use the cocked hat for the provost corps, I would have opted for a dragoon helmet. I am planning to use the Eureka figures and the cocked hats to represent Nelson's Virginia State Dragoons. Never been keen on the Uniformology book but maybe it might be worth it for an alternative point of view? Great paint job as ever.

Thomas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Silver Whistle said...

I purchased some foot figures from Eureka at Warfare last week and they are so expensive at £2 each. I don't know how much they are selling mounted figures for, but the way you have painted these up Giles, will make them worth every penny, Superb.
Pat.

legatus hedlius said...

Lovely but strange the Perries have not covered American cavalry properly. Probably too busy sculpting esoteric wagons - the prerogative of genius.

We really must meet up for lunch before Christmas - I'll contact you when I'm back from Dubai

legatus hedlius said...

Lovely but strange the Perries have not covered American cavalry properly. Probably too busy sculpting esoteric wagons - the prerogative of genius.

We really must meet up for lunch before Christmas - I'll contact you when I'm back from Dubai

Giles said...

It's a date, LH! Let's not time it to coincide with my office party this year....it took me several days to recover....

Thanks for all your kind comments.

Dalauppror said...

Stunning paint job !!!