Sunday, May 24, 2015

Ltc. Gabriel Slaughter, Slaughter's Kentucky Militia

Hello everyone!

I finished up another command stand today, this time for Slaughter's Kentucky Militia, which fought at the Battle of New Orleans. As such, the command stand features Lieutenant Colonel Gabriel Slaughter himself, who would go on to become the 7th Governor of Kentucky. (Remember to click on the pictures for bigger versions.)

The figures are 1/72 plastic and are mainly from the IMEX Lewis and Clark set, with the exception of the pointing guy with the fixed bayonet, who is a conversion from a figure from Italeri #6060. Uniforms are a mix and match of different homespun hunting shirts and leggings, with big floppy hats predominating, though LTC Slaughter himself is sporting a rather fetching coonskin cap.

I am originally from the great Commonwealth of Kentucky, and it's been nice to paint up a few of my fellows for the table. Kentucky contributed quite a few troops to the War of 1812; in fact, Kentucky as a state had more battle casualties during the war than all of the other states combined.

Slaughter's unit served well at New Orleans, and it was a member of his unit which was vividly remembered by an anonymous British officer when he wrote:


"We marched in solid column in a direct line, upon the American defenses. ...[W]hat attracted our attention most was the figure of a tall man standing on the breastworks dressed in linsey-woolsey, with buckskin leggins and a broad-brimmed hat that fell around his face almost concealing his features. He was standing in one of those picturesque graceful attitudes peculiar to those natural men dwelling in forests. The body rested on the left leg and swayed with a curved line upward. The right arm was extended, the hand grasping the rifle near the muzzle, the butt of which rested near the toe of his right foot. With his left hand he raised the rim of his hat from his eyes and seemed gazing intently on our advancing column. The cannon of the enemy had opened up on us and tore through our ranks with dreadful slaughter; but we continued to advance unwavering and cool, as if nothing threatened our program.
The roar of the cannon had no effect upon the figure before us; he seemed fixed and motionless as a statue. At last he moved, threw back his hat rim over the crown with his left hand, raised his rifle and took aim at our group. At whom had he leveled his piece? But the distance was so great that we looked at each other and smiled. We saw the rifle flash and very rightly conjectured that his aim was in the direction of our party. My right hand companion, as noble a fellow as ever rode at the head of a regiment, fell from his saddle. The hunter paused a few moments without moving the gun from his shoulder. Then he reloaded and resumed his former attitude. Throwing the hat rim over his eyes and again holding it up with the left hand, he fixed his piercing gaze upon us, as if hunting out another victim. Once more, the hat rim was thrown back, and the gun raised to his shoulder. This time we did not smile, but cast our glances at each other, to see which of us must die. When again the rifle flashed another of our party dropped to the earth. There was something most awful in this marching to certain death. The cannon and thousands of musket balls played upon our ranks, we cared not for; for there was a chance of escaping them. Most of us had walked as coolly upon batteries more destructive, without quailing, but to know that every time that rifle was leveled toward us, and its bullet sprang from the barrel, one of us must surely fall; to see it rest, motionless as if poised on a rack, and know, when the hammer came down, that the messenger of death drove unerringly to its goal, to know this, and still march on, was awful.
I could see nothing but the tall figure standing on the breastworks; he seemed to grow, phantom-like, higher and higher, assuming through the smoke the supernatural appearance of some great spirit of death. Again did he reload and discharge and reload and discharge his rifle with the same unfailing aim, and the same unfailing result; and it was with indescribable pleasure that I beheld, as we marched [towards] the American lines, the sulphorous clouds gathering around us, and shutting that spectral hunter from our gaze.
We lost the battle, and to my mind, that Kentucky Rifleman contributed more to our defeat than anything else; for which he remained to our sight, our attention was drawn from our duties. And when at last, we became enshrouded in the smoke, the work was completed, we were in utter confusion and unable, in the extremity, to restore order sufficient to make any successful attack. The battle was lost."


Makes me kind of proud to be a Kentuckian.

I've only put five figures on this base to represent them as a militia unit and not a regular unit. As with the command stand for the 3/54eme, these guys have a painted but unflocked base. I will flock them as soon as I can get some Elmer's glue, more than likely after move later next week. The stand also features a conversion in order to utilize one of the armless AWI figures that I mentioned a couple of posts back: just a simple arm swap.

The two figures I used; I sliced the musket away from the kneeling Frenchman and glued it to the AWI militiaman without a right hand.

Here is the result. I know that very, very few of the American militia units had muskets with bayonets, but I let this one slide because he was going to be on the command stand; the commander gets the better-armed dudes to watch his back.

Coming soon: Some of the 1812 French I have are already on their bottle tops, ready to be undercoated with primer. I have decided that I am going to paint them up as a Legere battalion.
Questions, comments and suggestions are always welcomed and appreciated. Thanks for looking!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

French Command Stand (in Bicornes!)

Hello everyone!

I've managed to finish up six figures this weekend, the command stand -or what will become the 3rd battalion of the 54th French Line Infantry Regiment, wearing the earlier 1804-1807ish uniforms with bicornes. (Remember to click on the pictures for bigger versions.)

All of the figures are unaltered AWI figures from Italeri set 6060, except for the chef de bataillon, who is a conversion:

The two figures used for the conversion: the body from the officer figure from Italeri #6066 and the head of one of the AWI figures that was missing his arms.

The resulting figure. I even managed to retain the AWI figure's queue.
I've painted the ensign as carrying an 1804 pattern flag. This pattern was issued to all battalions of an infantry regiment; I'm pretty sure all battalions were issued eagles in 1804, but I didn't want this battalion (being a 3rd battalion) to have an Eagle, so I left the spear point finial as it came on the figure. I know this was the case during the 1812 reissue of eagles and standards.

Uniforms are pretty standard, based on plates of the pre-Bardin uniforms as well as uniforms from the Revolutionary Wars, save for some variations in their trousers. Some have been painted with striped trousers (such as the colonel; I saw this fetching pattern online and had to include it), white summer gaiters and black winter gaiters. I've painted the older AWI era coats to look like the pre-Bardin reforms French long-tailed uniform coat; I think I was successful.

Though I was able to get the base painted up, I have yet to flock it; apparently the base exchange doesn't carry Elmer's glue?!?! That's just stupid. I'll have to pick some up sometime when I'm off base.

Coming soon: I might continue with the 3/54th, or I might start on some other figures. We'll see what strikes my fancy.

Questions, comments and suggestions are always welcomed and appreciated. Thanks for looking!


Monday, May 11, 2015

Back in the Saddle Again

Hello everyone!

This past weekend my parents came up to visit me, and with them came an abridged version of my painting setup and a few of my 1/72 plastic figures to paint. I will have to fit it all in around my school and work schedule, but I'm excited to get back into painting a little bit once again!

I also have the opportunity now to review the big 1/72 lot that I purchased right before I left for boot camp, since those are the majority of the figures that I had my parents bring down. (Remember to click on the pictures for bigger versions.)

Here's my basic painting setup. A small selection of basic paint colors, some green stuff, super glue, hobby knife, brushes, base flocking materials and bottle tops to hold onto the figures whilst painting. Not pictured is my old Army t-shirt that I use as my brush-cleaning rag.

1/72 Review: Random eBay Lot

12 Strelets Russian mounted jagers. While not enough for a full unit of 18, they will get me well on my way to fielding a full Russian cavalry regiment.

Initial Impressions

The lot I found was unmarked as to what was in it (the descriptions only saying "American Revolution/Napoleonic?"), but thanks to Plastic Soldier Review I was able to determine that the lot consisted basically of the contents of Italeri #6066 French Infantry, Strelets #018 Russian Mounted Jagers, and Italeri #6060 American Infantry (from the American War of Independence), plus a mystery plastic mounted figure. The mystery figure turned out to be a mounted plastic medieval knight or similar and looked to be a board game piece of some kind, so pretty much useless to my needs. Also, the number of figures in the lot didn't match up to the number of figures listed on the boxes, meaning at some point there was some miniature attrition. I was also disappointed to see that some of the figs were incomplete, but more on that in a minute. Overall I was pleased that I got a good deal, and I can use the figures for a variety of projects: The French infantry will be French infantry, the AWI figures will mainly be painted as French in bicornes (not Portuguese as I originally speculated) with some of the figures augmenting my American militia and Native American forces for New Orleans 1812, and finally the Russian mounted jagers for my Russian forces.

29 Italeri American War of Independence figures. These are the only ones from the group that are ready to be painted as is.


All of these figures are the average size 1/72 figures; not the towering behemoths of some Italeri figures, and not the dwarfs of some other manufacturers. Since they will be placed in their own units there won't be any kind of disparity in height amongst the figures.

Here are 11 more Continentals, but all of these guys are missing arms, hands, drums etc. These would have normally been on the sprue, but unfortunately they didn't arrive with the figures in the big bag they came in. I will have to fix these with green stuff.


For the most part, other than the qualms that the folks over at Plastic Soldier Review have regarding the accuracy of the sculpts and whatnot, I like these figures. The sculpting on all of them (including the Strelets figs) is really good, save for the occasional miss-cast saber. I am rather disappointed that the eBayer I bought these from neglected to send all of the separate arms and drums that go with the AWI figures, which leaves almost a quarter of the entire group useless without some green stuff sculpting on my end. This is a pain.

46 Italeri French infantry in shako. All these chaps need are some cleaning up and then some paint to be table-ready.


As I mentioned in an earlier post, the whole reason why I bought these figures was because of their price: 104 figures (not including the weird green knight game piece) for $5.50 shipped! That's $0.05 per figure, including twelve mounted figs. That's ridiculously cheap compared to what I've paid for 1/72 minis before. The deal was too good to pass up in that regard.

American militia. The three cream-colored figures at the lower right are from the AWI set; all are missing their right hands and muskets.

Native Americans. The figures holding their rifles at their hips are from the American War of Independence set.
The above two groups include the Native American and American militia figures that I salvaged from the Lewis and Clark set I bought at Hobby Lobby a good while back. There were three Native American figures that were included with the Revolutionary War figures, and they will fit in quite nicely with the others as is. There were also three ragged-looking figures in the same set, but unfortunately none of the hands with weapons were included with the figures, which is a shame. At the same time, though, since I will be making new hands and muskets out of green stuff, I will get a bit more variety out of the three poses than if they were all the same. Perhaps it's not much of a silver lining, but I have to work with what I have.

All in all the entire purchase was well worth the minimal price, and I should have plenty to keep me busy during my off times.

Coming soon: Well, I don't have many options. It could be French (either in shako or in bicorne), Russian mounted jagers, American militia for New Orleans, or American-allied Choctaws for New Orleans. Either something painted or some conversions made on those armless figures to get them paint-ready. Either way, I'm quite excited to get back in the hobby!

Questions, comments and suggestions are always welcomed and appreciated. Thanks for looking!


Friday, May 1, 2015

Welcome Aboard!

Hello everyone!

Just a quick post today welcoming Ray to the blog. Most of us who follow wargaming blogs have perused Ray's "Don't Throw a 1" blog at least once, so it's a great honor to welcome him here on my humble blog. I hope you enjoy my humble efforts!

In other news, I miss the hobby desperately! I wish that I had some of my figures with me to paint on the weekends. Maybe I can find a local games store nearby...

Anyways, welcome aboard, Ray!

Thanks for looking,