Wednesday 17 December 2014

10th Massachusetts

The 10th Massachusetts was raised in 1776 at Boston and assigned the following year to the Northern Department.  In October 1777 it was assigned to the main Continental Army.  It appears that a Colonel Thomas Marshall was commanding officer from 6 November 1776 until 1 January 1781. Colonel Benjamin Tupper was commanding officer from 1 January 1781 until 1 January 1783.  I haven't managed to find out anything else about this regiment.  Wikipedia states that it was present at Saratoga and Monmouth, which seems plausible enough.

I was inspired by the Don Troiani painting of this regiment, which showed the brown coats with sea-green facings.  I knew nothing of the regiment but was drawn to the brown faced blue-green facings.  The round hats suggested that this would be a good unit with which to start on my Perry plastic Continental Infantry sets.  The facings were painted with Foundry's "Teal Blue 24" palette and the coats with "Bay Brown 42".  I wanted to have some variation in the colour of the breeches and stockings.  The flag design is taken from an image I found on the internet, attributed to the regiment.  I have never seen a flag with this design, but it's different and somehow the pink/peach colour of the flag goes quite well with the green/brown look of the regimental coats.  Another point to note is that this is the first unit I've painted and then not varnished.  This is largely an experiment - I had noticed that the varnishes I was using dulled the colours and in particular took the edge off the faces.  No doubt some readers will think the latter is a good thing, as the unvarnished faces here do look a little shiny, as a result of the brown ink washes I use.  I'm not sure I'd leave metals unvarnished, but I think these plastic figures may have benefitted from it. 

As noted above, I don't have much information on this regiment's battle history and it doesn't appear in any of the published "British Grenadier!"/Caliver scenario books.  Plenty of Massachusetts regiments do, however, and so I would ensivage uses these figures when something more specific is lacking - for example, the Princeton scenario has two 12-figure units of "combined Massachusetts regiments".  I'm surprised to see that it has been 4 years since my last unit of regular American infantry.  But these figures were fun to paint and in uniform colour and pose are quite different to anything else I have in my collection.  I finished painting the figures in August but then got stuck on the flag for a while until I found the online example.

24 figures. Painted July/August 2014.



Monday 8 December 2014

American Militia (9)

It's a sign of how far I've fallen behind with things that this unit was painted at the beginning of the year.  It remained unfinished because I couldn't find a flag that fitted the standard bearer.  The pole is cast on and too small for GMB or inded any other commercial flags that I had.  So I needed to paint one up myself and I just never got around to doing so...until last week.  So this unit of American militia stood on my bookcase unfinished for almost a year.  It uses a mix of Foundry and Perry figures, together with one figure from one Conquest Miniatures' "settlers" packs (back row, second from left).  I painted most of the figures years ago (see here) but saved two back as I thought they would fit into larger militia units rather than act as skirmishers.  The smaller size of the Conquest figures makes them a good fit for teenagers - I thought of that scene in "The Patriot" where Heath Ledger interrupts a church service to call out the militia and a couple of boys stand up with their fathers.  There's also a marching figure that is in another unit I'm just finishing off now.

The Perry figures are a mix of "northern" and "southern" packs.  I just wanted to use up all my remaining firing militia figures.  The officer is, I'm pretty sure, modelled on Colonel William Prescott, one of the patriot commanders at Bunker Hill.  He is usually depicted in a long overcoat and a floppy hat, brandishing a sword.  There's a terrific statue of him at the site of the battle (see here for my reminiscences on visiting Boston).  Prescott was 49 at the time of the battle, so may well have been rather thin on top.  He is credited with giving the order "don't shoot until you see the white of their eyes".  He survived the battle and appears to have then commanded a regiment of the Continental line.  The flag is a very simple hand-painted affair - "LIBERTY!" on a white background.

I'm determined to get up to date on this blog by the end of the year.  So, and I appreciate I keep saying this, there will be more regular blogs posts  over the next few weeks.  I certainly have enough material now. 

18 figures. Painted January/February 2014.