It started - like many projects on Lead Mountain - with a movie. Back in the 80s I watched a German TV-production which told the story of Hessian soldiers being sold to Britain and shipped to America to fight the rebellious colonies. It was the first time I heard of the American War of Independence, and being a Hessian by birth this particular story had an impact on me. Years later I saw Mel Gibson's "The Patriot" - despite being an infamous movie it contributed to my sympathies for the 'villainous' Brits and to my general interest in the (real) history of this war. Therefore, by the time a friend of mine came up with his collection of AWI-figs I'd almost dived into the period myself. In fact, I had desired the ever-growing range of 28mm miniatures by Alan Perry long before and had already pressed some Hessian officers into service of my Seven Years' War French.
Now, here's my first serious attempt on painting miniatures for the AWI only: the 28th Regiment of Foot.
Admittedly, those Perry miniatures are quite a challenge - I've never seen so many details on a model of this scale! That's also why I started with a humble 12 figure-regiment. Hopefully I haven't made too many mistakes. However, a big thank-you goes to Giles Allison whose inspirational AWI blog (see list) made life, or at least my research on uniforms and equipment much easier. I've learned a lot over there, regarding history/uniformology as well as painting techniques.
Note: The leading officer is clearly meant to be a sergeant, but with his regiment heavily understrength there's need for any additional shot.
In my interpretation of the 28th the soldiers are all clad in informal field dress, i.e. cut-down coats and uncocked slouch-hats. I love this somewhat dandyfied appearance, also caused by my special interest in the campaign of 1777 when these uniforms made their first official appearance. My first Osprey book on the AWI subject was Campaign 176: Philadelphia 1777. Taking the Capital, and it's still one of my favorites.
Its cover art depicts British Light Infantry firing from a defensive crouch while some officers are holding council of war behind their lines. A very dramatic scene, and one that got me hooked. I'll try to stick with the 1777/78 campaigns as for me they represent the turn of the tide. As said: I'll try - I surely cannot resist some units that weren't yet in service back then. (British Legion, anyone?)
As a guideline I'm using the battle order of Knyphausen's divison at Brandywine. The 28th was in the 1st Brigade and saw action at the very beginning of this particular battle. Next will be a unit from the 2nd Brigade, and so on. I'm not planning to do all the units, especially as I'm also required to paint the Patriots as well. In first place, I will be using my collection for What-If scenarios.
First AWI miniature ever leftmost; his skin tone is softened which gives a more realistic result, but I went for some strong lines that, in my opinon, work better at a distance.
Still, I haven't decided for a rule set, maybe I will be using some homebrewn rules from a local wargaming group for the Napoleonic era. But with 40x40mm bases for infantry it shouldn't be a great issue to play British Grenadier or the like.