Monday, 16 January 2017

Rhode Island Train of Artillery

In May 1775 the Rhode Island Assembly voted to raise troops to contribute towards what then became the Continental Army (the Rhode Island contingent being called initially the Rhode Island Army of Observation).  Three infantry regiments and a unit of artillery were formed.  I'll write about what became of the infantry regiments shortly (I painted one last year and completely forgot about it, although photos of it appear in the fourth Caliver/"British Grenadier!" scenario book).  In the meantime, here is the artillery train.  The uniform was notable for its brown faced reds coats and the leather caps.  These caps had a front of black leather which was decorated with a gold painted anchor and the words "For Our Country" painted above it.  Some time around December 1775/January 1776 the unit was incorporated into the Continental Artillery Regiment and at some stage thereafter the uniform was changed to the more common artillery uniform of blue coats faced with red.   The unit was stationed at Boston in 1775 and then New York, and companies fought in the Saratoga, Philadelphia and Monmouth campaigns. 

These are most of the figures from Old Glory's pack of Rhode Island artillery.  The pack also contains two figures of an officer waving a sword - I haven't painted those because both swords had broken off.  My artillery pieces have 4 crew members on a 60mm x 70mm base, so I don't need those officers anyway.  I may at some stage try to glue one of the swords back on and paint the figure as John Crane, who commanded one of the unit's companies.  These figures are typical Old Glory sculpts - some are better than others and it's difficult to know precisely what's happening.  It looks as if the crew are preparing to fire, but there's no one with any sort of match and the chap with the handspike looks as if he's trying to move the gun.  Anyway, I'm not all that bothered and I think the crews generally look ok.  Perry Miniatures make a pack of figures in the Rhode Island uniform.  That was released after I'd already acquired the Old Glory figures and it is hard to justify buying another pack.  Anyway, I think I've done the best I can with these figures, and having a couple more 6-pounder models is always useful.  I painted the guns in my "red oxide" colour, which I discussed some years ago in this post.  

As the unit history above indicates, figures in this uniform are really only fit for service in 1775 and early 1776, Long Island being the most likely battle to use them in (even though the uniform may well have changed by then).  The unit fought at Newport in 1778, most probably in the standard blue faced red uniform, but I suppose I can use these figures for two of the eight American guns that are required for that scenario.   I now have seventeen American gun crews, which is far more than one needs for the AWI - the largest numbers are at Brandywine and Monmouth, which require respectively twelve and nine guns on the American side.

8 figures and 2 guns. Painted December 2016.

 
 

11 comments:

Simon Jones said...

Hello Giles,
You have done a great job on these. I have to say I am not a great fan of the Old Glory figures. However I can see they have a place in the grand scheme of wargaming, cost being a big factor. Not sure what the crews are doing either, could they be conversions of other figures in the range? I considered the Perry Rhode Island guns to, but feel I to have enough AWI artillery for my needs. Never say never though!

Again great job
Simon

Michael Awdry said...

Splendid work Giles.

David said...

As you say, Giles, Old Glory figures are a mixed bag and a bit of a challenge to get looking right unless your style is figurative, fitting their loose sculpting style. Still, they are plenty popular with folk. You've made a good job of the figures provided.

AJ (Allan) Wright said...

Great work on these. The hats are very correct for this, which is great. Lovely work on the painting as usual. Love the red gun carriages.

AJ (Allan) Wright said...

I rarely leave lead swords on my figures. I cut them off, drill out the hand and fashion one by flattening a paper clip with a hammer. A bit of filing to make the point and a tang for the sword to fit in the hand and you have a wonderfully durable and more thin sword that will last. It is much easier than it sounds.

Here's a photo of one figure with such a sword: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_9N7LA-10pYg/RjyTlp5BaWI/AAAAAAAAAD0/xiNej11h9P4/s1600/2ndNY_2.jpg

You can also curve the sword if needed by hammering one side more than the other.

Giles said...

Thanks, AJ. That's very helpful - I'll give it a go!

Giles said...

Thanks, Simon. I haven't seen other OG artillery figures recently, but you could be right. These chaps are all standing around and the officer is waving his sword in the air, so I assume a "firing" pose is intended.

Giles said...

Cheers, Michael!

Giles said...

Thanks, David. I know certain ranges endear themselves to some people and irritate others. You and I both love Dixon figures, for example!

Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

Very nicely done Giles! I agree Old Glory are a mixed bag, but their ACW Sash and Sabre is pretty good all around.

Christopher

Steve said...

Nice work Giles. Like you and others I struggle with OG figures!