Slightly overdue, but I think I got away with it as the editor in chief has been to the colonies quite a lot lately. He must have forgotten that I’m chronically late with this blog. Be that as it may, I managed to finish my contribution to the project! Way ahead of schedule, I might add. But then again, Jasper sent a message from those same colonies that he acquired a Land of the Free scenario for the battle of Camden, which we are going to play in august. So far we have been working with an adaptation of the Black Powder scenario as published the Rebellion book published by Warlord Games. Some changes are likely in order…
The first messages spoke of several ‘large’ units, and that could mean that additional miniatures will have to be painted. This might be an extra challenge for the coming months. So, I am happy to say that I have done more than my share of the British forces already. Some of the forces now painted might be used in the game if others fail to produce their quotas. Last year I had my miniatures fight on practically every table in the room, which I think is a nice idea. Some people are reluctant to let other people play with their miniatures, but I am of a different opinion: I have spent many hours painting the buggers, so they might as well see some action! Even if that means they’re not under my direct command.
As the British contingent is now finished, I have started on the American side of the conflict, or rather, the militia side. As militia were prominent on both sides of the conflict, I intended to create a group of generic American militia which would be able to swap sides in the blink of an eye with a simple, yet effective command stand swap. All I had to do was save some British commands, or at least flags, in order to create these command stands. I had it all carefully planned at the time, but found myself deviating from my initial plans without any thought (Happens to me too, ed.). Now that I have started with the militia, I am out of Loyalist flags as well as the miniatures to carry the banners. So, here we encounter that shifting scale that builds up our lead piles. Initial plans are not stuck to, extra miniatures are bought without adhering to previous established consensus on army size and unit choices. And then of course, there is the fact that I bought too many American flags.
So, create American militia I hear you say. Would that it were that simple. These additional flags require the miniatures to hold them and as I purchase these, I will eventually conclude that I have too many command stands, which will lead me to the miniature manufacturers for an extra shot of lead. Does sound like an addiction this way, doesn’t it? In order to prevent all my money flowing to the British Isles, I intend to first paint all the miniatures I have left, then check how many flags still remain in my collection and then decide on what to do. All options above are still open of course and I fear this is nothing more than any random New Year’s resolution; well intended, but ultimately useless. But who cares? I will have large armies painted and I can game whatever battle I fancy.
For now, I am painting a large contingent of Perry and Foundry miniatures. These will be militia, combined with the brave continental army. I have chosen to paint the uniforms flat earth with blue breeches and waistcoats. I do not know if at any time any American regiment has had that attire (yes, there were several units with that uniform, at least in theory, ed.), but I got the idea from the leaflet that Perry Miniatures include in their plastic continental box. As I find that uniform description is vague at least for the American side of the conflict, I felt that I could create my own look and feel for them. “Historical blasphemy!”, I hear you holler. Not exactly. Since we do not know exactly what these men wore, we can experience some freedom of interpretation, and that is what history is. An interpretation agreed upon (I’m not sure I agree with that latter statement, ed.).
The leaflet gives the overview of what was being shipped out of Philadelphia to Newburgh, New York, at the time of the General Order of 1779. The numbers show that the brown coat was dominant (1,743 with red facings and 526 with buff facings). The same goes for the blue waistcoats (1,650 pieces while the others do not reach above 450). As for the breeches, the leather ones were the most prominent, followed by white, the blue breeches are third in line with 235 pieces). I assume that upon arrival the garments were handed out, and with such a mix in a shipment, the men would inevitably be dressed in a mixed style. Although I have read somewhere that they tried to uniform the men by company. Well, they are my miniatures, so I get to make the final call!
So much for now. Back to the painting table as these miniatures will not paint themselves.