Tuesday 31 July 2007

American artillery (2)

This is the Perry Miniatures pack of American gun crew in shirtsleeves. The set comes with a howitzer (I have remarked in an earlier post that I have yet to come across an AWI scenario which features an American howitzer; I now have two of them). I thought about painting the crew in the regulation issue white shirts, breeches and waistcoats, but having started out that way it all just seemed too....white. So I followed Dave Woodward's example on the Perry website and put the crew in buff breeches and waistcoats. There is authority for this in that (according to Mollo) Captain Lamb's artillery company, which was raised in New York in 1775, was clothed in a blue and buff uniform. That said, I imagine many gunners wore buff small clothes in any event, even with the "regulation" uniform. If you did paint these figures all in white, there's not really any reason why they shouldn't pass for a scruffier British crew.

On the painting front, July started well but I slowed down as work got the better of me. The tally for the month is: AWI - 30 figures and 5 pieces of artillery equipment; ECW - 6 figures (I have finally started on Newcastle's Whitecoats); Sudan - 16 tribesmen. That's 54 foot figures, which isn't bad I suppose, although Beja tribesmen don't really count. I will post pics of the ECW and Sudan figures when the units are completely finished, which probably won't be until the end of the month. The AWI target for August will be to finish the 10th Virginia, the 20th Foot, two Hessian guns and crews and possibly Glover's Marbleheaders, although August will be a busy month socially. All I have left to photo from July's efforts are two Hessian jaeger amusettes.
Painted July 2007.

Monday 30 July 2007

Queen's Rangers (2)

Perry Miniatures released a pack of artillery for the Queen's Rangers. These figures are a delightful bonus and totally unexpected; I can't imagine anyone else releasing such things. This set comprises a 3-pounder gun and an "amusette". These pieces are referred to in the journal of Major John Simcoe, the Queen's Rangers' commanding officer. They seems to have been issued at some time after 1778. The amusette, essentially a larger calibre musket, was apparently devised by the Marechal de Saxe. A later model's bullets weighed half a pound to a pound and could carry to a distance of 2,000 paces. I have not been able to find any further information about when the 3-pounder and the amusette were used in action, but I imagine Simcoe's journal has some details. As yet, no AWI scenerio I have seen requires either of these pieces. I imagine the amusette is more geared towards skirmish actions.

These Perry figures include a Royal Artillery sergeant, which is a nice touch and I have based him seperately so I can use him with other crews. I have assumed that the rangers used a British gun and so painted it in the usual blue-grey. The amusette mantlet was painted with Games Worshop "Scorched Brown" highlighted with the first two colours from Foundry's "Spearshaft" palette. The two mantlets in front of the 3-pounder were painted with the same base of "Scorched Brown" but then highlighted with all 3 colours from Foundry's "Drab" palette. I wanted these to have a more weathered look, and thanks are due to Levied Troop of the Wargames Directory for suggesting this method of depicting "silvered" wood; I think it works quite well. In both cases the "Scorched Brown" was given a dark brown ink wash to bring out the wood grain.

Painted July 2007.

Sunday 29 July 2007

21st Foot "Royal North British Fuziliers"

The 21st Foot was originally raised in Scotland in 1678 and was named the Scots Fuziliers in 1695. It was then renamed the Royal North British Fuziliers, a name it retained when it was numbered as the 21st Foot in 1751 . It's other "fuzilier" counterparts were the 7th Foot (Royal Fuziliers) and 23rd Foot (Royal Welsh Fuziliers). The regiment was on duty in Ireland in 1776 when it was transferred to Canada. The following year it joined Burgoyne's ill-fated campaign down the Hudson Valley. The grenadier and light companies were detached to form part of the Advance Guard under General Frazer and saw heavy action. The battalion companies fought at Freeman's Farm on 19 September, before surrendering with the rest of Burgoyne's force in October.

These Perry figures are in the modified campaign dress that Burgoyne ordered all regiments to adopt. Essentially, the modifications consisted of shortening the coat and cropping the tricorne into something that resembled the headgear of the light infantry companies. According to the excellent article on Saratoga by Brendan Morrissey that is on the Perry Miniatures website, the 21st sported a white horsehair crest on their hats; it seems pretty likey that the fur bearskin caps usually worn by fusilier regiments would have been put into storage. Some of these Perry figures also wear Indian leggings. It seems highly unlikely that the regiments took their flags with them, but it would be a great shame not to include them in these units. This is a smallish regiment; 12 figures is the strength given in the "British Grenadier" scenario of Freeman's Farm, which is included in the rules. Given that Freeman's Farm involved an American assault on a British position, I chose firing line poses. The British held the field at Freeman's Farm, but suffered heavy losses.
12 figures. Painted July 2007. Flags by GMB.

Tuesday 24 July 2007

Knyphausen's division at Brandywine

With the 4th Foot completed I now have all the units that fought in Lieutenant General Knyphausen's division at Brandywine, on 11 September 1777. So, in order to inject some proper wargaming into this blog, I thought I would put up some pictures of the whole division and review its constituent parts. This order of battle has a figure ratio of 1:20 scale and is derived from the "British Grenadier" scenario published in Caliver's scenario book, and which also appeared a couple of years ago in "Wargames Illustrated". Brandywine was the largest battle of the AWI. The battle fell into two parts: Knyphausen's divertionary action on the left of the American line and Howe's flanking attack on the right. The latter attack caught Washington unawares and he had to divert troops from his left to reinforce the units fighting Howe. The combinder British attacks led to a collapse of the American position, although the British, as always, failed to deliver a decisive, knock-out blow to the Continental Army. They had come pretty close though. Gaming the whole of Brandywine is a substantial undertaking, both in terms of time and figures required. The two sectors will still individually require more troops than most other scenarios (at 1:20).

The picture above shows the full division. On the left if Major General Grant's brigade; in the centre is Brigadier Cleaveland's artillery battery, behind which is Major General Leslie's brigade of highlanders; on the right is Major General John Vaughan's brigade; to the front of Cleaveland is the advance guard under Wemyss (with dragoons on the left of the shot). Numbers below refer to the number of figures in the unit.

Advance Guard
- 16th Light Dragoons: 6
- Fergusson's Rifles: 6
- Queen's Rangers: 20

Grant's Brigade
- 5th Foot: 16
- 10th Foot: 16
- 27th Foot: 16
- 40th Foot: 16

Cleaveland's Artillery
- howitzers: 2
- 12 pounders: 3

Leslie's Brigade
- 42nd Foot: 24
- 1st Battalion, 71st Foot: 18
- 2nd Battalion, 71st Foot: 18
- 6-pounders: 2

Vaughan's Brigade
- 4th Foot: 18
- 23rd Foot: 18
- 38th Foot: 16
- 49th Foot: 16

There is an optional brigade of Hessians (four regiments), which I have not included above because I haven't painted half of them yet. At the London re-fight of the whole of Brandywine in November 2005, I commanded Grant's brigade and spent most of the game pussy-footing about on the British side of the river. Unless you use Cleaveland's artillery to blast your way across the river, it is very hard to force a successful crossing without taking very heavy casualties. This probably explains why on the day Knyphausen spent most of his time cannonading the American position and only attacked once Howe and Cornwallis were engaged on the American right. The Americans generally did very well at this refight. In the opening moves, Wemyss' advance guard was routed off the table due to a very aggressive attack by the American brigade that began the game on the British side of the river (which itself ceased to exist as a result). On the other side of the field, Cornwallis' attack was not as successful as hoped and became rather bogged down, despite a good performance from the combined grenadier battalions.

Apologies for the lack of posts recently. Something went wrong with Blogger and I couldn't upload photographs until this morning. The weekend should hopefully see photos taken of some American generals, Queen's Rangers artillery, the 21st Foot and some more Perry American artillery. On the painting desk are Hessian jaeger "amusettes", a powder wagon and the 10th Virginia. There are no new AWI releases from Perry Miniatures this month, which is a bit of a relief as I can press on with more Saratoga stuff. But now that the artillery is finished (presumably), one can't help but wonder what will be released next....

Monday 16 July 2007

British ammunition cart

This little gem was released by Perry Miniatures a couple of months ago. As with the limbers, it's a fun add-on to have floating around at the rear of one's army. The ammunition cart itself is not attached to the horse so I can deploy it on its own. I painted the woodwork in the same blue-grey colours as my British artillery. I have no authority for that, other than a picture in one of the Napoleonic Ospreys of a such a cart in the same colour as the guns. I don't know if this is valid for the AWI.

Work slowed me down considerably last week, but soon I should have the 21st Foot and Queen's Rangers artillery ready for photographing. I am currently working on a new American unit I have provisionally designated the 10th Virginia (Eureka's ragged Continental figures in grey coats with yellow facings) as well as more Perry artillery packs (Americans and Hessians). I took some shots of a couple of Old Glory Americans generals that I sneaked into the painting schedule at the end of June, but they didn't turn out well so I need to take some more. I also have some photos of Knyphausen's division at Brandywine, which I took on my new TSS terrain; I just need to work out how to turn these into a meaningful post. As always at this time of the month, I am eagerly awaiting the next issue of "Wargames Illustrated" to see what, if anything, the Perries are releasing for the AWI range next month (not much I suspect, as trailers indicate a blitz on the 40mm Napoleonic range). In fact, much as I love the mag generally, the Perries' ad is always the highlight!

Painted June 2007. Tree-trunk from Redoubt Miniatures. Fortifications in the background from Grand Manner.

Monday 9 July 2007

British dragrope men

These Perry figures are "hired help" for moving artillery pieces. Two companies from the 33rd Foot were assigned as dragrope men Burgoyne's Saratoga force (a total of 155 men) whilst Howe's army in the northern theatre used men from a loyalist regiment. I decided to paint these all as the 33rd, even though I will be using them all over the place; I'm sure no one will object and of course for Saratoga games they will be perfect. The figures wear fatigue caps, the front of which is in the facing colour of red. I have no idea whether these caps would have had the number of the regiment written on the front, but I decided to use a little artistic licence.

These figures are wonderful sculpts and a joy to paint. I wanted them to look as if they were completely fed up with their work, and I am quite pleased with how the faces turned out. The group on the left are supposed to look as if they have just been asked to move another gun, while the group on the right have clearly decided they've had enough. Again, it is packs of figures like this one that make the Perry Miniatures AWI range so outstanding and why the Perry twins both deserve knighthoods for services to wargaming.

6 figures. Painted June 2007.

Sunday 8 July 2007

British 3-pounder limbers

These are two limbers for 3-pounders guns. The first is from the Perry range and the second is from Foundry. This latter limber is part of a pack called "grasshoper gun and crew" which includes a small gun and 3 Royal Artillery crew. The Perry pack includes a 3-pounder which can't really be used in games, as it is covered in a tarpaulin cover. Apparently this was a means to tieing up within the gun several extra rounds of ammunition. Still, this set will look good in the background of a game. Further reflection and research shows that I have fixed the limber arms at too high a level on these horses; I will have to lower them in due course.

It is particuarly interesting to see that one of the two artillerymen in this set comes with a choice of separately sculpted and cast headgear - a northern theatre "cap hat" and a southern theatre "slouch hat". Suggestions have been made before that making different types of hat available separately is an obvious way to proceed with an AWI range (Hessian musketeers, grenadiers and fusiliers, for example, have the same basic uniform but with different headgear). I had understood that a practical problem with this approach concerned additional shrinkage of the mould when hats were sculpted separately - they simply would not fit on the heads of the figures. This release and others like suggest that Perry Miniatures may have solved this diffculty, which raises mouth-watering prospects for more American troops (such as light infantry, for example).

Being called into work all weekend means that I haven't painted anything since Thursday. But happily my first Saratoga regiment, the 21st Foot, is already finished and has entered the varnishing and basing process (along with another dozen Mahdist tribesmen) and I have started on a new Continental regiment.

Painted June 2007. The gabioned position in the background is a resin cast from Grand Manner.

Wednesday 4 July 2007

British artillery (3)

These are the Perry packs of Royal Artillery in "southern" campaign dress. They are essentially in the same uniform as the "northern" theatre figures but with a slouch hat instead of a cap hat. Given that British infantry in the north often wore slouch hats, I imagine it's perfectly ok to mix and match one's Royal Artillery crews to add even more variety. Looking at the "British Grenadier" scenarios, you only need a couple of crews for most southern battles (largely with 3-pounders - Guilford Courthouse requires 2). I only have one British 3-pounder so far, so need another one; I'll probably buy it with a crew in "Saratoga" uniform. So these two crews should suffice for the south.

The guns here are painted with my standard, and rather idiosyncratic, blue-grey colours (GW "Shadow Grey" highlighted with "Hideous Blue" and then "Space Wolves Grey"). The woodwork should probably be a bit more grey and a bit less blue, but I like it! In the background is the new Perry ammunition cart, sitting patiently whilst I finish its base.

8 figures and two guns. Painted June 2007.

Tuesday 3 July 2007

Stockbridge Indians

The Stockbridge tribe were Mahicans (or Mohicans), who lived in the lands south of Lake Champlain in the Hudson Valley. Conflict with the Iroquois Mohawks forced the Mahicans to move east to Connecticut and Massachusetts. This brought them into much closer contact with white settlers and European ways of life. Missionaries began to visit their villages and in 1734 a preacher called John Sergeant came to live with them. Four years later, Sergeant was given permission by the Mahican elders to start a mission village in Massachusetts. The village was named Stockbridge, and the natives who lived their came to be known as the Stockbridge Indians. The Stockbridges fought for the British in the French & Indian War, but for the Americans in the AWI (and then again in the War of 1812). In the mid-1780s the tribe moved to New Stockbridge near Oneida Lake and then again to Wisconsin in 1822. Today, the Stockbridge-Munsee tribe continue to live in east central Wisonsin.

This pack is one of the reasons why I like the Perry Miniatures AWI line - there was hardly any need for these figures to be made, but clearly the Perries thought "why not?" It's packs like this that make the Perry AWI range one of the finest miniatures ranges available, in any scale or period. As with my other indians, I have based these singly on 25mm x 25mm bases.

6 figures. Painted June 2007. The resin fence in the background is by Snapdragon Studios.

Sunday 1 July 2007

4th Foot "The King's Own Royal Regiment"

The 4th Foot doesn't appear that often in the scenarios for "British Grenadier". In fact, to date it appears only once, in Knyphausen's division at Brandywine in September 1777 (18 figures). Originally raised in 1680, the regiment began life as "the Duchess of York and Albany's Regiment of Foot". Luckily, that mouthful was then changed to the far more elegant "His Majesty's Own Regiment of Foot" in 1715 after the accession of George I. The regiment was engaged at Culloden before finding itself at Lexington in 1775, where its light company incurred the first British casualties of the war. The regiment was then engaged at Bunker Hill but did not stay long - in 1778, after action at New York and Brandywine, it departed for the West Indies. Apparently, the last man who enlisted during the AWI did not leave the regiment until 1810, narrowly missing the regiment's capture of the White House in 1814. As an Englishman, I'm perhaps allowed a wry smile at the fact that these boys and their successors set fire to the White House......

I needed this regiment to finish off Vaughan's brigade of 1777 (in which it was joined by the 23rd, 38th and 49th Foot Regts.). I used Foundry full dress figures which were sitting around in my "in tray". I wanted a unit which looked like it was in the process of firing a full volley. The first rank are in the "cock your firelock" poise from the 1764 Manual Exercise - just prior to aiming and then firing. These Foundry sculpts are tricky figures to paint as the faces are largely obscured by the muskets; the second rank are much easier. That notwithstanding, it is quite a neat pose. I also think that this "full dress" look is ok for a unit that had left America by 1778. Only one figure in the regiment has a backpack, namely the corporal. No one knows for certain what motifs (if any) appeared on the flaps of any British backpack, so I used a bit of artist's licence to impose a lion, taken from the corner motifs on the regimental colour. As a royal regiment, the musicians' lace is yellow and blue over a red faced blue coat. Also, this being the most senior regiment of line troops in my collection, I gave all the officers powdered hair and gloves and generally tried to smarten up the battalion's appearance.

18 figures. Painted May/June 2007. Flags by GMB.

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