Showing posts with label Napoleonic King's German Legion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Napoleonic King's German Legion. Show all posts

Thursday, 12 January 2012

King's German Legion, 5th Line Battalion

The 5th was raised in 1805. In 1815 it was brigaded with the 1st and 2nd Light Battalions and the 8th Line Battalion in the KGL 2nd Brigade under the command of Colonel von Ompteda. The brigade was part of Lieutenant-General Charles Alten's 3rd Division. The brigade was positioned to the rear of La Haye Sainte, just to the right of the main Brussells road. At some stage in the afternoon the light company of the 5th was sent to reinforce Baring's garrison at the farmhouse. The battalion was commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Linsingen and comprised 6 companies. KGL line battalions had seen their complement reduced by the removal of troops to stiffen new Hanoverian units. As a result, the number of companies was reduced from 10 companies to 6.

When La Haye Sainte finally fell around 6pm, the battalion was annihilated in a futile attempt to assist the garrison as it ran back toasted the Allied lines. When the garrison had finally be forced to leave the farmhouse, it found itself pursued and generally harassed by French infantry. The Prince of Orange ordered Lieutenant-General Charles Alten to send some infantry to assist them. Alten had two brigades in his 3rd Division, the second of which was the KGL brigade that included La Haye Sainte's 2nd Light Battalion. Alten ordered Colonel von Ompteda to advance. Von Ompteda queried the order on the grounds of having seen cavalry to his front. However, the battalion moved forward and after engaging some French infantry was set upon by cuirassiers and cut to pieces.

These figures are Perry plastics, which require you to do rather more gluing that is required for the French and Prussian sets. But you have plenty of variety and, as is no expected with Perry sets, lots of spare heads. Given that the light company was sent off to La Haye Sainte, I based it on two bases with 2 figures each. The smaller number of figures required for the KGL battalions means that I used up all the flank company arms. The KGL had a couple of uniform differences from British line units. The backpacks were dark blue rather than black. The unit insignia was written in red on the sides of the packs - I gave this a go but it looked messy and to be in scale the writing has to be very small indeed; so I decided not to bother. For the same reason I decided not to add any insignia to the light blue water bottles. (I think you might be able to buy transfers for this sort of thing, which might work.) Otherwise, though, these are painted up as per British infantry.

I have now painted all the 3 currently available sets of Perry plastic Napoleonic infantry. I still like the French figures the most - there is just something very satifying about both the figures themselves and the painting of them. These KGL figures were reasonably quick to paint, although I found the faces tricky to do. As with the Prussian infantry, I find that the hardest part to get right is the trousers; I wonder whether "less is more" when it comes to highlighting mid-grey trousers/breeches.

Obviously I've now found somewhere to take photos. I need to experiment a bit with the light and which part of the garden works best, but taking photos inside isn't an option so it will have to be some part of the garden from now onwards. Anyway, next week I'll have the 3eme Ligne for Waterloo and after that more Carlist War stuff.

20 figures. Painted October/November 2011. Flags by GMB.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

King's German Legion, 2nd Light Battalion

I confess that I painted these ages ago but failed to prepare a post. The 2nd KGL Light Battalion needs little introduction. It was in Colonel Baron Ompteda's 2nd KBL Brigade and formed the core of the La Haye Sainte garrison at Waterloo. The KGL battalions were understrength in the 1815 campaign because experienced troops had been stripped out to join newly raised Hanoverian units. This resulted in KGL battalions having 6 companies rather than 10 - 4 centre companies and the standard 2 flank ones. The line battalions had a couple of uniform distinctions from their regular British counterparts, which I will discuss when I post about the 5th Line Battalion. The 2 light battalions had similar uniforms, but with different headgear and a few other distinctions.

Major Baring's 2nd Light Battalion, 463 officers and men, was stationed in the farmhouse (so about 23 figures at 1:20). It was reinforced by companies from the KGL 1st Light Battalion and 5th Line Battalion and the 2nd Nassau Regiment. The story of the La Haye Sainte defence is too well known to warrant comment here. Suffice to say that the battle was hard fought and the battalion lost half its number. It was after 6pm, when the men had run out of ammunition, that the garrison was forced to abandon its position. Major Baring was one of the last men out of the farmhouse and related how those left behind received short thrift from the French, who were keen to avenge the losses they had suffered trying to invest the position. It was to assist the fleeing garrison that the Prince of Orange and the divisional commander Sir Charles Alten ordered Ompteda to march the 5th and 8th KGL Line Regiments in line towards La Haye Sainte, with disasterous consequences.

These three Perry Miniatures packs give you 18 figures, a few less than the 1:20 requirement. I did think about buying another pack to make up numbers, but decided that it probably would be difficult on the tabletop to squeeze 23 figures into a scale model of La Haye Sainte. Centre companies had muskets whilst the flank companies carried rifles. The Perries give you 1 pack of firing line figures with muskets and 1 pack of skirmishing figures with rifles. The command pack has 2 officers and then buglers and NCOs who all have rifles - you don't, therefore, have any command figures suitable for the centre companies other than the officers. My unit consequently has too many rifle-carrying figures; I should really add another pack of musket-armed infantry but as stated above I think 24 figures would be too many for the scale size of the position (especially once you add the Nassauers and other reinforcements). With that position in mind, I decided to base all the "skirmishing" figures on single bases and the centre company musket-men on standard 2-figure skirmish bases. The uniforms are similar to those of the 95th Rifles, albeit with different headgear. I used the Foundry "French Chasseur a Cheval Green 71" palette for the tunics, with sparing use of the final highlight to ensure the uniform remained quite dark. One uniform distinction I found in Mike Chappell's excellent Osprey MAA books on the KGL is that the musicians had red collars and cuffs. (Incidentally, I also have the very old Otto Von Pivka MAA book on the KGL in a rare hardcover binding, which includes a long passage quoted from Baring's recollections of the La Haye Sainte battle.) These are nice figures, quite fiddly to paint but pretty dynamic and with interesting uniforms. Perry have just released a pack of mounted light infantry officers which includes a KGL figure; I am awaiting receipt of that and will paint the KGL chap as soon as it arrives. I have the light company of the 5th KGL line already finished and I'm tempted to paint up a couple of Nassauers. Then all I will need is a model of La Haye Sainte itself!

I'm sorry for the lack of posts of late, simply a result of too much other stuff to do. My painting time has shrunk and I'm not sure that weekly posts will be possible in the future, but we'll see. I'm trying to complete 8 figures a week but that is going to be a struggle. I'm currently working on the KGL 5th Line Battalion and have some AWI and Carlist War units half-finished. I'll try to expedite the completion of those, following which there are more French Napoleonics and AWI cavalry to do. And what's this I see...plastic Zulus?

18 figures. Painted September-October 2011.