Friday, 23 March 2012

Converting Britain's Bad Boys

Britain's bad boys - at least one unit of them - were the Independent Companies of Foreigners who conducted themselves poorly on a raid upon Hampton, Virginia during the War of 1812.  They wore the usual Rifle uniform but perhaps with grey trousers.
I have six unused (as of yet) rifle figures but wanted this unit to be larger and so went to the unit of my Glengarry Light infantry made by Old Glory who also wore the rifle dress and had the required musket.
This unit is complete with a backpack but as the ICF was conducting a day raid from a ship, I thought the pack would not be used; so I endeavored to clip off the pack and sculpt back in the belts and straps.

The nine figures I would be converting were already primed black and so all the raw silver scrape marks you see are from knife and file.  I used green stuff to build back up the figure's back and then add the other details.  I certainly admire the crisp detail of the sculptures out there (how the bleep do they do that?!).  However, I really did enjoy the exercise. I hope to get better with practice.

Why we hate the Macro Lens: the following are a couple of shots of examples of the work.  Even working with a magnifying lens through which I thought my detailing OK, the darn efficient macro lens on my camera enhances the detail eight-fold!!  (I must remember my eyes are less powerful than the camera!)

I am hoping a thick re-primer, my usual painting style of very thick application of the paint and viewing them at a more normal two feet, will hide most of the faults :-)

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Battle of Small Big Antler Creek

"I want the hostiles dealt with one way or another!" ordered General Cloth to Lt. Col. Geo. A. Lemon of the 7th Kentucky Mounted Rifles.

The year is 1813 and while much of the American war effort was directed against the British, much was directed against the native population; notably against the Red Stick Creeks of modern-day Alabama and the tribes of the Northwest.  It is here that the battle occurs.

The charismatic and reckless Lemon gathered his command and divided it roughly into thirds with the other two commands under Major Marcus Vegas and Captain Frederick Lenteen.
Gen. Geo. A. Lemon ordering the advance (Old Glory American Command)

With the idea of compelling the "hostiles" to fight to avoid being trapped between two converging columns, Lemon led the attack with the right column.  The left under Vegas was to scout to the left trail and to bring up the wagons.

Vegas entered the small valley and immediately charged the native village but then immediately ordered a halt to dismount once some of the warriors started to fire from the edge of the village.  He did not press his advantage and it was thought that he was drunk.
Major Vegas' command (Old Glory Kentucky Mounted Riflemen) "Vegas" is part of the American High Command pack what could be holding a bottle but is a telescope.  Sometimes OG detail is a bit vague....
Indians poring out of the village with more warriors coming to support
my Native warriors (Old Glory woodland pack of the FWI)

Now warriors pored out of the village to confront him and Vegas ordered a retreat to a nearby woods. He led the 'withdrawl' during which the mounted rifles became hopelessly unhinged by contradictory mount/dismount orders and their commander's breakdown.  However the natives have mostly left him to go after Lemon who was apparently attacking the middle of the village and Vegas, now joined by Lenteen were content to sit on a hill to defend again the few Indians which confronted them.  They did indeed hear the gunfire in the distance but, for many hours, did not make a move to join Lemon. Both did not like Lemon but also could not image Lemon being defeated and felt they could not compromise their position to help. Many a battle was affected by such attitudes.
the rout back into the woods

Shortly after hearing the quieting of the firing to their north that the Natives came in force to 'lay siege' to the remaining 7th Kentucky on their hill.  For two days the Natives sniped at the dismounted riflemen until the Natives departed having known the US regulars would arrive shortly.......

Obviously this was a reenactment of the Battle of the Little Big Horn (I was going to call it "Small Tuba River" but that may have given it away! <g>)
Cloth=Terry, Lemon=Custer, Vegas=Reno, Lenteen=Benteen.  1813=1878.  Other than that pretty well as it went.

The scenario was prompted from the listening to while painting, the excellent book on the topic "The Last Stand" by Nathaniel Philbrick .  Very even but critical account of the actions of all the participants both American and Native; and gives you the reasons for the demise of the native way of life in that very short amount of time.  The scenario is still very plausible is 1813 as it was in 1878.  It was America vs the Indians for two hundred years.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

The Canadian Volunteers, a follow-up

While I have been busy with gaming stuff, work has been foremost on my agenda lately so I have slow to post.

A fellow War of 1812 gamer had asked a uniform question and noted photos of reenactment groups.  I must admit that I tend to ignore the reenactment side of military study as source of reliable information.  Obviously some are much better at accuracy than others.

So you can take whatever you like from the following photo of a group showing what is obviously the "Canadian Volunteers" erst-while traitors, who fought with the American forces.  I have previously described their costume (see: link). The following photo shows the group wearing grey coatees with white pants and the green scarfs around the hat band with white cockades.

 I do not know the details of the photo, but it does suspiciously appear that perhaps some of the boys have removed their shakos, doffed the round hats and moved to the rear of the column, to play the part?

 However the unit, albeit small at ~50 strong, did play its part in the Niagara campaigns and so I might just model it and this way is a good as any.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

SYW Allies army pics

I have laid out some of the units I will be using in my upcoming game for the local gaming convention in metro Vancouver, Canada (link: Convention ).
Hesse-Kessel regiments [note: General inspecting captured French flags. Very presumptuous of me as I don't have any of the French painted yet!]
The rules are home-made concoction which have a basis -sort of- from DBA but to its credit has had some playtesting and have been thought good by the players. They are simple, promote a 'Lace Wars' type of action and so should be good for a convention game.  Fingers crossed.
close up of the Hessians
One might observe that I have placed the entire unit on one stand.  Line infantry bases are 6 inches long with usually 9 figures in the front rank and two figures in the rear; usually officers, drummers but sometimes just more soldiers depending on availability, as I am not picky out such things. The two in the rear fill-out the unit. I find wargame units need that thickness but only two figures provide the visual feel without the bulk and maintain the long linear effect crucial to the Seven Years War look.

Hessian cuirassiers.  and such disciplined horses!    [Front Rank manufacturer]

Monday, 5 March 2012

Adding lead to the pile...

I admit it.  I am that silly moth who is attracted to the flame.  I my case, I cannot resist a wargame sale.  This weekend I did the double dose.  I found myself at Trumpeter's GameNight and yet more of Kelly's apparently endless stash of lead was available at very good prices.  That boy was a hoarder, he was.  One can be proud of him...

So of course I was in among the feeding sharks (actually wargamers are generally quite polite when it comes to these things I find) and bought way too much once again...sigh....
I just can't help myself.....

Of course, I spent that evening into the early hours sorting through the bags of, well I hope I got sort of what I expected...  :-)
Which is immediately useful:
4 more stands of SYW cavalry
5 units of Brunswick Nap (1)
3 units of 12 French Napoleonics in overcoat (2)
1 unit of SYW Fr. Grenadiers
2 units of cav plus needed fillers for 'Flintloque' units (3)
plus a bunch of Brit Nap stuff which I have yet to decide on. All are 28mm.

(1) let's not go into yet another army, eh?!...oops, too late...
(2) for yet another project -see below
(3) only played 2 games in ten years, but oh well...

The second dose of sale madness was at Imperial Hobbies the local hobby store having a 25% sale.  While it is some distance to drive for a visit I really did not need to make, the trip was incorporated into shopping at Ikea and lighting stores for items for the house with the misses.

There I picked up a couple of minor items but the bulk of the drop in money was a box of Perry plastic French Hussars. Why you ask? Well, a gaming buddy in Seattle and I had 'some' beer on the Saturday night at Enfilade convention after a long day of good wargaming and decided that Napoleonics and DBA would work and we would have very large single bases to have a unit of some 24 or even 36 plastics on each! (plastics are very light you know, so weight is not an issue!)  Yes, it would be very impressive looking.  Man, that would look good!!   But we were just sober enough to realize that that would be a *bleep* load of painting.  We were talking Liepzig. Yes, the largest battle of the wars, but it would be scaled down slightly of course....

A Larry Leadhead cartoon done about this 'situation'

However it was decided on Hanau , a battle in which the Austro-Bavarians tried to hold up Napoleon on the retreat from Leipzig to France.  Seth, has lots of Austrians and likes the look of the Bavarians.  And so he has me buying darn plastics and such.  What is 14th project on the go? 

I would like to find the time to get going on this but will need a whole lot more motivation.  While the French army was smallish (for the era) it will entail a lot of painting.  Another sigh...

 Yet, the anniversary is, what, two years away? :-)