Something painted at last!
At last I have managed to paint some miniatures for the AWI project that will run in august of this year. The first and second battalion, 71st Regiment of Foot, also known as Fraser’s Highlanders, are nearing the stage of completion. As mentioned before, one batallion of this Highland regiment fought at the Battle of Camden wearing trousers, so the men in my second battalion are wearing these (all figures Perry). The first battalion however, I chose to be kilted. What’s a highland regiment if it’s not kilted on the tabletop? And since the kilted boys are always something of an elite, I chose the grenadiers and light infantry company as the rank and file bases. This will also allow me to field the units together as a single large unit should they become involved in some other tabletop conflict using another ruleset. They are now only waiting for the colours to arrive from Flags of War and some anti-shine matt varnish by Army Painter. I usually use the dip by the same company though I do not actually dip. Instead, I paint the varnish on the miniatures avoiding excess varnish in the recesses of the models as much as possible. I now used the same company’s dropper bottle with an ink that promises the same but gives a more matt effect. I’m curious to know how this will work out, once finished.
In any case, a question occurred to me during the painting of these kilts. I believe that we have been bombarded by 19th and 20th century artists depicting heroic Scottish charges by kilt-clad men, but did the Scottish regiments really fight in their tartans and sporrans? Personally, I think the kilt is not a very practical piece of garment as the lower part of your body is exposed to all kinds of discomfort during a campaign. I can imagine the kilt being worn on parade grounds, but I doubt it would be very effective on the battlefield in the eastern parts of North-America. I haven’t done any research yet and maybe there’s a world out there on the subject. It’s just a thought on a Sunday morning. Perhaps some Scots can give an insight here?
With these two battalions done, I turned my attention to the artillery. Again, this is a Perry sculpt and painted as per their website. So, all that remains to paint are Banastre Tarletons’ British Legion and the man himself. I purchased the two blisters containing the British legion in the Great Perry Multibuy last October and I also included two blisters of Lee’s Legion to make this cavalry regiment a large one containing 12 figures. When unpacking I decided that the coats of the miniatures representing Lee’s Legion are too long. They will be painted later as part of the rebellious force that dared to challenge British supremacy in the colonies. That decision left a gap in the British Legion but that gap was filled by Fife and Drum miniatures. They make a set of seven British Legion cavalry figures plus a Banastre Tarleton personality figure. How fitting for my dashing cavalry hero to have his own figure sculpted! So he was ordered and sent to the holiday residence of Jasper as he happened to be in the neighbourhood. Is it luck, karma, divine inspiration or just careful and timed planning? Jasper was kind enough to weigh his already heavy suitcase a little bit extra and contrabanded the miniatures to the continent. As a tribute to the Dutch-American trade during the Revolution, none of it was made public, everything denied. And as nothing is in writing, all can be denied. The English are infuriated with the Dutch for not paying their taxes and helping the wargame-trade in the colonies. They are now threatening to leave the Union, the European one that is, but that is probably a coincidence. As a gesture to the English, I am building an English force here.
Practically all of the participants in this venture went to Crisis as the division of the spoils from the Perry Multibuy was orchestrated there. I was no exception and I stumbled upon some extra miniatures for the American War of Independence, as easily happens. A Perry 6-pounder with rangers manning it, and an extra box of plastic British infantry was purchased off a nice French bloke at the Bring and Sell department. Commanders and militia were lifted out of the Wargames Foundry racks and Dave Thomas supplied Indians and minutemen. So I now have much more than I need for the game in August. I’ve come to realise that I have more than enough already for both sides of the conflict. A British force supplied by, oh irony, British, French and American suppliers and it is all transported by the Dutch. Nothing much changes…