Monday, November 17, 2008

28th Regiment of Foot

Today's entry tells another little story. If you dare, you may skip the following passage and go straight to the pics. :-(

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.

Figures by Perry Miniatures, flags by GMB Design, (badly converted French) tassels by Front Rank.

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.


Steve-the-Wargamer said...

Magnificent start - truly lovely.. keep it up!!

Andrew said...

Very nicely done! I have painted AWI models, but only in 1/32 scale. The English uniforms looks sharp, but I'm most interested in the great variety found in the American colonial uniforms.

I think my dad took me to every major battlefield from Virginia up to NY! I think I would be more interested in the AWI, but the American school system (and my dad) put so much emphasis on it. It ruined the subject for me! It's like when the radio over-plays a good song!

Secundus said...

I think you have done a great job on these guys, I have just ordered a box of the Victrix new plastic red coats. It looks straight forward but getting the colour of the coats to look right is hard work I bet. Well I think you've nailed it anyway...nice job. I see that Foundry have just released a whole new range of Napoleonic paints to answer the constant questions by wargamers asking for colour advice. They are quite prizey but may be worth a look.

Sire Godefroy said...

Thanks to everyone for the compliments! :)

Andrew, you could happily switch from AWI to FIW and back - maybe the way to go with all those lovely Perry models. Don't know what's up in larger scales.

Secundus, in fact, I used the new British Redcoat-set for these Brits. Gives a nice bright and strong red. However, I added a darker base colour (any reddish brown or even dark pink will do) to make the crinkles stand out. If you're after strong highlights, an orange colour is recommended.
I'm very happy with Foundry's colour system, even at the recent prizes, and using it almost exclusively.


Giles said...

For some reason I've only just noticed these...absolutely top class; perfection, even! I think these marching Brits have some of the best faces Alan Perry has ever made, and you've certainly caught all their expressiveness. Lovely stuff.


Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

Very nice looking troops.I hope to seem them in person some day!


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