Friday, August 27, 2010

Infanterieregiment von Mirbach

Two AWI postings in a row might bore some readers, though it's my main interest these days, and I'm on a roll obviously. So, without further ado, here come the Hessian line infantry, the Mirbach musketeers!

The Mirbach regiment arrived as early as 1776 in America as part of the Hessen-Kassel subsidiary corps. Although taking part in many major engagements, the unit didn't play an active role in most of them. The attack on Fort Mercer (October 22, 1777) was to become their ordeal - since the assault, conducted exclusively by Hessian contingents under the inspired, but somewhat unfortunate command of Col. Carl von Donop, was ignominiously repelled. After this incident the Mirbach regiment was assigned garrison duty in Philadelphia and New York afterwards - a fate shared with many other Hessian regiments.

In 1780 the regiment changed its name to (Jung) von Lossberg. That's also why it is easily and quite often confused with another Hessian regiment called (Alt) von Lossberg. The latter was composed of fusiliers, and therefore the Mirbach troopers in Stephen Walsh's illustration for the Osprey volume on the Philadelphia campaign are erroneously depicted wearing small mitre caps. Furthermore, GMB sold the Mirbach flag sheet as "(Alt-)Lossburg" (maybe they've changed it meanwhile). Thus only thanks to Giles Allison's great help and advice an epic fail has been avoided here.

For a change this time I've arranged the figures differently. You will notice the two drummers on the unit's flanks - that's to resemble the "Rangierung" (order) adopted by Prussian battalions right before the actual fighting commenced. Drummers formed their own bodies to either side of the line, while the standards and the commanding officers went to the centre. As the Prussian regulations were introduced to Hessen-Kassel military in 1767, I thought that fit to further distinguish British troops from their auxiliaries. In addition, I've finally found a use for those drummer figures which become often supernumeraries given my style of basing.

Paintingwise I tried to limit the 'rugged' campaign look a bit. Once again my main reference for the uniform was the Von Donop website; there the Mirbach officer is seemingly sporting red pompons, whereas the private has blue ones. Maybe simply the artist erred here, but I've painted the soldiers' headware accordingly. For the flags, poles and tassels I chose this very helpful PDF as a guide. Finally, two caveats regarding the ensign models for those wondering: One of them is (by mistake?) equipped with an ammunition box, don't be confused! Moreover, both ensigns wear small (officers'?) sticks, stuck under their armpit - it took me a while to figure that out...
I also refused to varnish the figures, until I'll find something that's easy enough to handle for me, so not to spoil my paint job. Hints are welcome!

With Mirbach painted I've solved another task from my New Year's Resolution. Towards the end of 2010 I'll probably do the odd supplementary base for my existing resp. new regiments. Also, the rebels need a bit of care now. Maybe I will let you decide by opening a poll. Until then...

Painted July/August 2010. Models by Perry Miniatures, flags by GMB, tassels by Front Rank.


jmezz382 said...

Beautiful work ! Awesome painting description to go along with the history.

Ubique said...

Great work and very interesting, especially the info about the drummers.
Concerning the varnish, I had very bad experience with spray varnish so I now use Galeria Acrylic Matt Varnish, applied by hand with a flat brush (Tamiya No. 3 brush). It may take a little longer but its worth it.


Muskie said...

So when are you painting a horseman who looks like Christopher Walken?

AD said...

Great job, especially on all the lace.

Giles said...

As always, Sir G, great painting a dn lovely photos. Interesting point on the ensign's sticks - I'd never noticed and looking now at my own von donop, which uses these figures, I can't decide whether they are sticks or folds in the coat - I like the sticks idea though; any idea on what they are for/symbolise?

Best wishes


Sire Godefroy said...

Many thanks for your comments, guys!

@Ubique: I used Vallejo's matt varnish until they unfortunately changed their recipe. Couldn't find an equal substitute, though I would really prefer brushing the varnish onto the miniatures. So thanks for your input, if possible, I'll give it a try.

@Giles: First I thought it to be a button, but that would have been completely out of place. However, the detail seems to be a bit 'warped', so it may be a simple remainder of former sculpting. Anyway, the stick seems to be a common feature for Prussian ensigns (or Freikorporale); I think it was a sign of their penal power as comissioned officers.


Giles said...

I'm sure you're right. I'll have to make a mental note to ask Alan Perry next time I bump into him. I'm also half-remembering a plate in the Mollo/McGregor book that features a Hessian with a stick in his belt, but I can't find my copy at the moment!

Anyway, what are you working on now/next?


Sire Godefroy said...

Giles, I'm very interested in Alan's answer. Wished I could ask him myself - what an honour to have them both 'at hand'.

Regarding my painting schedule: I try to keep you all informed by the Twitter feature (in the right column) about what is currently on my desk. On the long run, my interest in the AWI hasn't dried out yet and some British units are still to be done (think of grenadiers and highlanders and, of course, some more line infantry...). On the other hand I really need an opponent, thus some rebels would be a good choice. Haven't decided yet, and suggestions are welcome.
Other than that, it's maybe time for another Impetus base.

Oh, good grief!



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