Thursday, September 17, 2015

More 28mm Sash & Saber ACW Figures Converted to Napoleonic Casualties

Hello everyone!

Another quick post tonight. Based on the success of the last casualty figure I did based on a Sash & Saber ACW figure I had lying around, I took another look at the other minis I had. While I only have a small number of ACW casualty figs (which I will probably never use), most of them have very distinctively late 19th Century uniforms and equipment, that would not be conducive to conversion. I did, however, find two that, with a little carving, sculpting, creative painting, and a fair amount of research for one fellow in particular, would work, and I present them here now. (Remember to click on the pictures for bigger versions.)

The lad in green is meant to depict a dead Russian. The original ACW figure already had a blanket roll, so I decided to use him basically "as-is"--really the only conversion I had to do was some trimming and greenstuffing to turn his anachronistic kepi into a flat forage cap. The forage cap allows this guy to be used with any of my Russian units, to include my Pavlovs. I think it worked out rather well. The original Sash & Saber fig was wearing an open shell jacket, so I painted this as a coatee that had been opened by the victim to get at his wound: a nasty (an fatal) gutshot.

The gentleman in red is another dead Briton, this time in the dark green facings of the 51st (2nd Yorkshire West Riding) Regiment of Foot, a regiment of light infantry, though he will represent any British unit that is in need of casualty markers. Why light infantry? Because of his curious choice of kit, namely his blanket/greatcoat blanket sling. When I first looked at this ACW figure, I wondered if I could use him as a Napoleonic casualty because of the figure's rolled blanket strapped across his back. Now I had never heard of such a practice being used in any of the armies I collect, nor had I read of this used in the Napoleonic Wars at all. So I fired up Google and went to work, and what I found surprised me. I actually found a blog post about a group of AWI reenactors who discussed blanket slings, and in fact had a number of pictures contemporary to the Napoleonic Wars of British soldiers using them both in 1800 and in 1808 at Corunna, as well as a picture of an extant British blanket sling dated 1804 (the blog post can be found here):

In use in 1800
At Corunna in 1808

An actual surviving blanket sling, dated 1804
During summer campaigning troops would often leave their knapsacks with the baggage to have less of a load to bear, and I would imagine that lightly equipped, fast moving and overall sneaky formations such as light infantry regiments (like the 51st) would have taken to such devices readily. I had never heard of blanket/greatcoat slings until I read about this, and I was pleased to have learned something new. When it boils down to it, isn't that why any of us really games, to learn new things about our favorite eras of history? Situations like this are the reason why I've stuck to this hobby over the years while others have fallen to the wayside.

Other than the research to justify my figure choice, really the only converting I had to do was to use greenstuff to make a shoulder strap for his cartridge box. Evertything else is just clever painting to bring this ACW fig back to the Napoleonic Wars.

Coming soon: probably some Brits, either West Indies Regiment or the King's Own, though I feel that my French could use some loving... Then again, getting the green out for my Russian casualty was satisfying too... we'll see.

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