Sunday, 29 June 2014

76th Foot (1)

The 76th Foot stems from Lord Harcourt's Regiment which was raised in November 1745 and disbanded the following year.  The regiment was raised again in 1756 as the 61st Foot and renumbered to the 76th in 1758.  After a second disbandment in 1763 the regiment was re-raised in December 1777as the 76th Regiment of Foot (Macdonald's Highlanders) by Colonel John MacDonell of Lochgarry, in the West of Scotland and Western Isles.  The regiment was disbanded in March 1784 but raised yet again in 1787 for service in India.  It's present day successor unit in (what's left of) the British Army is the Yorkshire Regiment. 

The regiment arrived in America in 1779.  The soldiers had initially refused to embark until the arrears of their pay and bounty had been settled.  After several days' protest, Lord Macdonald advanced the monies to the troops himself as an investigation had confirmed that the men's grievances were genuine.  The regiment was quartered in New York before embarking for Virginia in February 1781 to become part of Cornwallis' ill-fated final American command.  The 76th arrived in time to participate in the Battle of Petersburg (or Blandford) on 25 April 1781, in which a force of 2,500 British and Hessian troops under Brigadier General William Phillips bettered a much smaller force of Virginians under von Steuben.  On 6 July the regiment was part of Cornwallis' force that surprised Anthony Wayne at Green Spring.  In October the regiment entered captivity when Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown.  I don't know if this regiment was the last British Army unit to arrive in America for the AWI, but it must have been close.  

In the published "British Grenadier!" scenario books, the 76th appear in two battles: Petersburg (volume 3) and the hypothetical Gloucester Point (volume 2 - a planner but abandoned British break-out attempt from Yorktown).  In the former, the scenario is pitched at a ratio of 1:15 which creates a large unit of 32 figures that is divided into two "wings" of 16 figures each.  In Goucester Point, there is just one unit of 24 figures.  So the way I'm approaching this regiment, using King's Mountain Miniatures figures, is to do one of the Petersburg wings in the marching pose and then a 24-figure unit in the charging pose that will do for the second wing and Gloucester Point.  This is the former.  The second unit will have the colours, as the ensign figures in the KMM range look to me more suited to the charging pose.  The musicians, however, clearly belong in a marching-posed unit and so you see those here.  The officer is actually standing, but I think he looks ok here as well.  The sergeant behind the drummer is perhaps in more of a "firing line" pose, but I thought he might look as if he's shouting at people to keep in line.  I paint all my Southern theatre units in a mixture of overall colours, beiges and browns mostly (and in my AWI collection only the 71st Foot get tartan trews).  The drummer would probably have a black drum-belt, in keeping with the black accoutrements for highlanders generally, but I thought white was more aesthetically pleasing.  The Perries make marching figures in their late war highlander range (which I used for my first two units of the 71st), but these KMM sculpts are worthy of consideration and are pretty similar in size.       

I was suprised to see that this is my first unit of British regulars in 3 years.  I'm currently working on the larger unit of charging figures and a third unit of 71st highlanders for use in the Stono Ferry scenario, which I suspect will be finished first.  Next up, though, will be a unit of loyalist militia using Galloping Major figures.

16 figures. Painted May to June 2014.

Friday, 27 June 2014

American riflemen (3)

Sorry about the further long hiatus on TQ - real life, 2 young children, work, usual reasons etc.  I had a total mojo collapse earlier in the year, but that's resolved now and I'm enjoying painting AWI again.  These figures have been a long time posting, and they are of course "over mountain men" ("OMM") from Bill Nevins' King's Mountain Miniatures ("KMM").  These figures were released towards the end of last year subsequent to KMM's very successful AWI highlander range.  I've been painting lots of the highlanders over the past 12 months, mainly for Bill but latterly also for myself (I found I was getting jealous that I didn't have any of these figures in my own collection!).  You can see some earlier posts on these figures here.  I've recently finished a lot more figures for Bill and a battalion of the 76th Foot for myself and will post on those over the next few days (that's a promise).  However, in the meantime here are my first attempts at the OMM.

I don't know much about these chaps.  I suppose their main claim to AWI fame is the destruction of Major Patrick Ferguson's command at King Mountain on 7 October 1780.  The mountains of which they were "over" were the Appalachians and these men were settlers in the areas to the west of those mountains, in what is now northeastern Tennessee and southwestern Virginia.  These were areas where the Crown had refused to colonise - the Royal Proclamation of 1763 prohibited settlement west of the Appalachians in recognition of the support that the local Indians had given the Crown in the French and Indian War.  That did not deter settlers, who began to crose the Appalachians in the early 1770s and began to create settlements that were essentially illegal.  It seems that in the first instances the settlers purchased lands from the local Indian inhabitants, but then in the way of colonisation those settlements quickly increased in size, to the concern of the locals.  Conflict soon broke out and in 1776 began what is now called the Cherokee-American Wars, a series of struggles that lasted on and off for almost 20 years.  The Cherokee chief at this time was a man called Dragging Canoe, who allied himself with the British during the AWI and appears to have had some role in the capture of Savannah in 1778.

The OMM were natural patriots and throughout the AWI skirmished with British loyalists as well as Cherokee along the Appalachian frontier.  In September 1780 an OMM force of just over 1,000 gathered together in response to a proclamation by Major Ferguson that he would attack their settlements if they did not lay down arms against the Crown. So began a march over the Appalachians that ended with the encirclement and defeat of Ferguson's force of loyalists at the battle of King's Mountain.  Most of Ferguson's force of 1,000 were killed or captured while the OMM suffered only 28 killed and 62 wounded.  The destruction of Ferguson's force led Cornwallis to abandon his advance into North Carolina.

The KMM range has 16 figures in various poses that take separate heads from a vast selection.  I haven't yet counted the number of different heads, but there are about 30 sets of varying headgear.  Those sets include things like jockey caps and dragoon helmets which you wouldn't use for OMM but are instead designed for KMM's forthcoming Continental figures.  So for the OMM you have instead lots of bearded heads with hats, caps, bonnets, bandanas etc which create a very distinct look.  Some heads suit some bodies better than others, so you need to experiment a bit before you find the best fits.  But these are very useful figures than can be adapted for all kinds of things.  I have built a first unit of 12 figures, based in pairs on standard "British Grenadier!" skirmish bases.  As well as using these figures for the OMM themselves, I have in mind a more generic frontier militia unit which I would use for Guilford Courthouse and other southern battles.  I tried to keep the colours fairly muted, although I allowed myself a bit or artistic licence to introduce some colour onto the leggings.        

12 figures.  Painted December 2013 to February 2014.