Tarleton...

The date that this post is destined to hit the internet, I’ll be lounging on Lanzarote. Enjoying a well-deserved (in my humble opinion) holiday. But as obligations go, a post had to be delivered to Jasper (aka The Boss) by the 28th of October. So, what has been my progress the last couple of weeks?

Well, I left you in my last blog with the young and dashing Banastre Tarleton, whose name alone is somehow inspirational, as it reminds us of times gone by when noble lineage (or ast least ‘a proper family’) almost guaranteed a stunning career in the crown’s forces. Elevated on horseback, the young noble had a clear view of the battlefield, directing his minions to do his bidding with mathematical precision and seeking out glory with dashing cavalry charges and general derring-do. A time where the Enlightenment gently was permeated by Romanticism. All this can be viewed in the fantastic painting by Sir Joshua Reynolds. It’s all there. The strange pose that promises action, the determined gaze into the distant future. The moment you see him, you know that this young man is a leader of men, who has been in the thick of it. Surrounded by the banners of the vanquished and one leg on a captured cannon, he will not be distracted from his higher purpose. Even if the horses behind him are terrified and need to be controlled. Not by Tarleton, mind you. He has minions to do that for him.

Tarletonhas had some bad publicity over the years, being called ‘Bloody Ban’, ‘Bloody Tarleton’ and even being named ‘Badass of the week’ on the 4th of July(!) 2015. He also gave his name to a phenomenon called “Tarleton’s Quarter”, which actually meant no quarter at all. Off course, these epitaphs have been written authors on the American side of the pond.  As always, history has more sides to it and after his career in the colonies, Banastre was elected as a member of Parliament, opposed the abolition of slavery, and eventually died in 1833 at the age of 78.

So. How to depict this young and dashing individual on the tabletop? I ordered the British Legion and Lee’s Legion packs from Perry Miniatures and there’s a promising model for Banastre in those packs. But that would leave my cavalry without its commander and a stand of three down to two miniatures. That doesn’t work well with my autistic side either. Ah, aesthetics!

I would like to make the model a little bit more special. I’m tinkering with the idea of taking a plastic light dragoon (also Perry) and use a sharp knife in order to get the uniform right. As there are 14 models in a box, I could use two of them to make one Tarleton and some other trooper as a command stand. Anyone out there with any experience on that? I’ve been surfing the internet for some suitable model but so far nothing has caught my eye. Any suggestions are welcome [did you look at Fife and Drum minis? Ed.]

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