Friday, November 15, 2013

A Little Bit of Everything

Hello everyone!

 Okay, so there's going to be a lot of broken promises in this blog post. Remember when I said that I would be painting more French? Nope. And that my days of buying more 1/72 plastic miniatures were over? Nope. So now it's time to air my gaming deceit and lies! :)


The Not-French figures that I have painted for your viewing pleasure are those in the command stand for the 1st Battalion of the 74th (Highland) Regiment of Foot, also known as Campbell's Highlanders. In my defense, at least they're not English...

(Remember to click on the pictures for bigger versions!)


This Scottish unit probably fought under the command of Wellington more than any other unit in the British Army. The 74th had fought in India under Wellington at the battles of Seringapatam and Assaye, the battle that Wellington is said to have considered his finest victory. In fact, both their King's and Regimental Colours have little elephants on them with the battle honor "Assaye," which I attempted to paint on these small flags (you can kind of see them in the third picture).
There are a lot of firsts in this group. These were the first figures that I ever primed using brush on primer (it's starting to get cold here in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and spray primer is picky about temperature), and as a result my wintertime productivity should increase. This is the first time that I have ever included a mounted commander in an infantry battalion. This stand is also the first time I have ever attempted to paint tartan in 15mm; while it is difficult in 28mm, its a Pain in the A$$ in 15mm; the bagpiper almost drove me crazy and crosseyed at the same time.
The 74th had been de-kilted at the start of the Peninsular War, and I've reflected that here. The only kilted figure is the piper, because even though the rest of the battalion is kiltless I find it hard to believe that any self-respecting piper would go without his kilt, and what true Highland battalion would go without a Piper? The officers all have their grey overalls on, but the Sergeant in the second rank is wearing trews, or tartan trousers.
When I first started gathering figures for this regiment over a year ago (my, how time flies), I was troubled by how to represent a de-kilted Highland regiment. Trews are easy enough to paint, but what headgear would be good? Shakos would be out, because I wanted the 74th to instantly stand out as a Highland unit, and I lacked the ability or desire to cut feathered bonnet heads off of Highland figures and graft them on to other minatures as that would be a waste. I settled on cutting the shakos off of regular line figures and sculpting on tiny Balmoral bonnets (complete with tiny toories, or pom-poms).
The Sergeant and two ensigns are Old Glory figures that orignally came with Belgic shakos, which I trimmed down and added green stuff Balmorals to. The mounted colonel and piper are both fantastic AB figures.
1/72 Plastics Experiment
Ok, so I said that I probably wasn't going to buy any more of the 1/72 plastic miniatures because I found most of them to be grossly oversize compared to my 15mm figures. Well, I lied about that too. While they are larger, times have changed: I can no longer afford to have entire battalions made up of AB figures like I could when I had an expendable income working for the government.
Plus, the 1/72 plastics I just ordered are pretty awesome.

So here they are, two sets of 1/72 plastics that will form an infantry battalion of the Vistula Legion. The Vistula Legion was a battalion of Polish men that served under the French from the 1790s up to Napoleon's first abdication in 1814, with much of the years between 1808 and 1812 fighting in Spain.
The first set pictured above is Waterloo 1815's Polish Infantry (1812/14), set No. 008. The one below it is Strelets-R's Napoleonic Polish Infantry and French Engineers set No. 003, which includes not only Poles but also multiple poses of French Siege Engineers. All of the Poles are wearing the distinctive Polish czapka hats and uniforms, while the Engineers are wearing their armored cuirasses and helmets. I decided that I wanted a bit of color and foreign flavor for my French forces (as historically there were more foreigners fighting in Napoleon's armies than there were actual Frenchmen), and I'm looking forward to painting up both the Poles and the Engineers.
The single most popular post on my blog so far has been the review that I did last summer over the various 1/72 sets that I ordered off eBay. When these new 1/72 plastics arrive, I will review them as well.
Coming up: Frenchmen, I promise this time (for real)! They're right here on my desk, just waiting to be worked on... Also, depending on when those 1/72 Poles arrive, there will be reviews on these figures.
Questions, comments and criticisms are always welcome and appreciated! Thanks for looking!

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