Saturday, August 29, 2015

28mm: New Figures, Caisson, and Whyte's Lights!

Hello everyone!

A lot has happened hobby-wise over the past few days, but I haven't had much opportunity to get it up on the blog until tonight. A couple of my orders came in, so I spent some time working on cleaning up some figures for the 1st West India Regiment, as well as putting together the MDF French Artillery Caisson from Blotz. I also managed to paint a stand of West Indies troops; so I've been pretty busy! Here are some pictures of my progress (remember to click on the pictures for bigger versions):

Two packs of Trent Miniatures "Chasseurs (Ste Dominigue)" received from Recreational Conflict. These are big, chunky figures with bold details. They are noticeably bigger than both Foundry and Knuckleduster.

My French Artillery Caisson from the British company Blotz. This is a very nice MDF kit. I took some pictures while I was putting it together, but I will post them when I finish painting it. This kit was a pleasure to put together and looks so good I'm (oddly) a little apprehensive about painting over it!

Cleanup of the Trent Miniatures begins. Out of all 16 figures, there was only one figure with any significant problems, namely the chap in front here who is missing the front half of his musket! The rear figure shows what he should look like.

And here's my fix. A few pieces of carefully carved styrene rod in three different sizes to represent the musket's fore end, barrel and ramrod. It looks pretty good, if I say so myself, despite this picture.

Everyone cleaned up and ready to go. In the background is a sneaky peek of the completed assembled caisson.

Finally, here we have the Light Company of the 1st (Whyte's) West Indies Regiment. The chap firing his musket is the figure I fixed with plastic rod. See? I told you it looks pretty good!

Uniform for these guys are long sleeved, red single-breasted jackets, with cuffs in the facing color, in this case white, and white loose trousers. Like many West Indies regiments in the field, these lads have gone barefoot and are wearing round hats, which support their green light company plumes. White crossbelts, black leather equipment and brown leather machete scabbards in addition to their India Pattern Brown Bess muskets complete their kit. 
The West Indies uniforms were inspired by a number of sources, namely descriptions of "West Indian tropical dress" found in Haythornthwaite's Uniforms of the French Revolutionary Wars, 1789-1802, plates 49 and 50. (This also marks the first time I've used this book, which I got for my birthday this year, as source material for some figures!) Even though these uniforms are from many years prior to the 1815 Battle of New Orleans, I find it hard to believe that, as remote a station as the West Indies was during the Napoleonic Wars and at the far end of a rather long supply chain, some elements of these uniforms would not still have seen use well into the 1810s. Also, the bare feet of the West Indies is well documented from the War of 1812, further strengthening the notion that the above uniform is far from implausible. Plus, these speculations have the added benefits of justifying the sculpting on the figures I bought and giving the entire unit round hats, which are awesome.

Coming soon: This weekend I plan on knocking out the artillery caisson, battery commander, and Brigadier General John Adair.

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


Monday, August 24, 2015

More Foundry Americans

Hello everyone!

Another order arrived in my mailbox today, this time three Foundry packs that I got deeply discounted online.

Two packs of American artillery crew and the American generals pack

And here they are all cleaned up
The artillery crews will be used for the American artillery battery I'm currently working on. Unfortunately one of the packs came with two dudes with ramrods, which is too many. This guy will be substituted with a spare American infantry officer I had from the infantry command pack, which I will paint up as an artillery officer. The four musket-wielding artillery figures will be pressed into service as infantrymen, as the uniforms were almost identical except in color.

One of the mounted generals will become Brigadier General John Adair, the Kentucky militia brigade commander at New Orleans. The foot figure in round hat will join Mitchusson's Regiment to replace the officer in round hat I stole from them last night, while the other (slightly modified) will become the battery commander for my American artillery battery. While I was cleaning up the mounted figures I managed to pop the sword hand off one of the figures--doh! I quickly fixed him up with some superglue and green stuff.

Not really in much of a painting mood tonight, so I'll set these aside for now. As always, the Foundry figs are really nicely done.

Coming soon: still waiting for lots of other stuff to arrive. If the mood strikes I may paint something during the week.

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


An Officer of Whyte's Lights

Hello everyone!

Just a quick post before I go to bed. While waiting for my laundry I quickly knocked out another 28mm figure, this time a British officer in scarlet. This chap will be a junior officer from the Light Company of the 1st (Whyte's) West India Regiment, which fought at New Orleans (Remember to click on the pictures for bigger versions).

The other 23 figures which will join this chap in the 1st West India Regiment are on their way, but I needed something to paint in the meantime as a test figure. This is a Knuckleduster figure, from the American Frontier Militia Officers pack, slightly modified to become a British junior officer, namely with the removal of the epaulette on his left shoulder. His uniform consists of Hessian boots, white breeches, scarlet tunic faced in white with white cuffs and turnbacks and a scarlet collar, crimson sash and black round hat. Round hats were favored by officers in hot climates (like the Caribbean), and this man's is sporting the green plume of a Light Company officer. The entire unit will have round hats as well, mainly because I think round hats look awesome.

Even though the 1st West India Regiment was what was, at the time, called a "colored regiment" (i.e. it consisted almost entirely of men of African descent; the title itself belies the casually racist attitudes of the day) all of its officers were Europeans, hence this figure's Anglo-Saxon skin tone. Casualties due to malaria and other tropical diseases were high amongst the ranks of European troops in the Caribbean, so most colonial nations with holdings there enlisted regiments of African troops who could withstand the harsh environment.

All in all I think he turned out nice. I look forward to getting a whole unit of these guys done.

Coming soon: we'll see what shows up in the mail in the next couple of days.

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


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Brits in Greatcoats & Kentuckians--28mm

Hello everyone!

Spent the weekend working on a couple of stands' worth of figures; I'm rather pleased with how they came out. Here is the Light and Grenadier Companies of the 1/4th Regiment of Foot and LTC William Mitchusson, commander of Mitchusson's Kentucky Militia Regiment.

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


The 1/4th Foot miniatures are primarily Knuckleduster, though the sergeant standing in the rear rank of the Grenadier Company (with white pom poms) is from Foundry. The Grenadiers are based on a single 40mm x 40mm base like the rest of my infantry, while the Light company is split between two 20mm x 40mm bases; this is so the Lights can break off and skirmish in front of the rest of the battalion. I've done this with my 15mm British battalions, and I really like how they look with 28mm figures. Uniforms are pretty much regulation, though a few figs are wearing "beef boots" (akin to mukluks or some other kind of improvised hide boots) and fur shako covers. I like how these figures are sculpted to look like they are really cold, with uniform modifications that look functional in actual cold weather environments, be they in North America or in the Peninsula.

Lieutenant Colonel William Mitchusson and his companion form the command stand for Mitchusson's Kentucky Militia Regiment. This unit will have six stands of two figures each. Mitchusson, in the chapeau bras, sash and saber, is a Knuckleduster miniature, while his companion (whom I've dubbed "Polecat" Smith) is from Foundry. Both figures are painted up using a number of different sources as uniform guides, namely pictures of War of 1812 reenactors. "Polecat" was painted with a skunk fur cap (hence the nickname) and his facial hair is grey because the figure reminds me of my own grandfather, who has a similar beard. (I also gave him the name Smith in honor of Grandpa, who is a modern day Kentucky mountain man in his own right, very much the kind of man who would have fought the British 200 years ago.)

Coming soon: Well, I have the 1/4th Foot halfway done, so it won't take long to get them knocked out. Mitchusson's Kentuckians won't take long either, though I expect with lots of orders due to arrive soon that the "ooh shiny" monster will strike me first and I'll dash off on another painting tangent. we'll see what happens.

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


Thursday, August 20, 2015

My Knuckleduster Miniatures Order

Hello everyone!

A quick post today, as I'm rather tired. So, getting right to it, my Knuckleduster Miniatures order arrived today, and I took the afternoon to clean them up.

The packs as they arrived. Top: three packs of British infantry in winter gear; bottom: pair of harnessed horses (for the American artillery limber), frontier militia NCOs pack, frontier militia officers pack.

And here they are all cleaned up. The British figs (including two Foundry British sergeants in greatcoats from the command pack) will flesh out the 1/4th Regiment of Foot, while the frontier militia officers and NCOs will flesh out Mitchusson's Kentucky Militia Regiment.

I really like these figures: nice, big chunky figures, yet with lots of details. They are a bit rougher and heftier than my Foundry figures, but they have their own particular charm; I think they'll be a joy to paint. These were also considerably cheaper than if I had purchased the Foundry figures at their regular prices, and since I think Foundry no longer produces their War of 1812 range, they have a much larger selection of appropriate figures.

I have ten figures on painting stands, primed and ready to go: two stands of the 1/4th Foot (these will be the Grenadier and Light companies) and the command stand for Lieutenant Colonel William Mitchusson's Kentucky Militia Regiment, which fought at New Orleans. I'm hoping to knock at least these guys out over the weekend.

Coming soon: British infantry and Kentuckians. I'm also still waiting for my other orders to arrive, so I'll post them when I get them.

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


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

U.S. Army Artillery Corps 12 Pounder--28mm

Hello everyone!

A bit of a late post for me, but I finished up the gun this afternoon and got all of the crew (which I finished last week) based up this evening, and I couldn't wait until tomorrow to get pictures up. Here they are for your enjoyment! (Remember to click on the pictures for bigger versions.)

The gun carriage was painted in the sky blue prescribed by US Army regulations in 1808, and all iron on the gun (to include the barrel) is painted black. The American Artillery Corps had guns during the War of 1812 which came in three main flavors: iron 12 pounder, iron 6 pounder, and brass 6 inch howitzers, all mounted on French Gibreauval carriages, as seen here. Of course, various state and local militias continued to use a myriad of whatever guns were available, including many guns left over from the American War of Independence. The above gun is in conformance with the 1808 regulations that standardized the Artillery Corps... almost. I've read that gun carriages were to have red wheel hubs, but I thought this looked stupid and omitted it. Gun carriage colors were often whatever color they were when the arrived in American hands, or whatever color happened to be locally available, so this change on my part is wholly justifiable historically.

Also, the base ended up being 45mm x 70mm, mainly because this size optimized my sheet of styrene that I use for bases. It turned out rather well, I feel.

Coming soon: we'll see what comes in the mail first. Odds are that's what I'll get started on first... the "ooh, shiny!" factor being high and all when a blister of figs arrives.

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


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The American Gun Has Arrived!

Hello everyone!

My French 12 pounder cannon arrived from Brigade Games today. She will be pressed into American service for use against the dastardly British circa 1812.

Unfortunately, I think that I am going to have to put my 28mm artillery on bases larger than the 40mm x 50mm bases I currently use for my 1:72/15mm artillery. There just isn't the room to fit both the larger gun and the figures around it. After doing some exploratory measurements, I believe that a 50mm x 70mm base will be the way to go; it will have the same general overall proportions as the smaller artillery bases, while giving me enough room for both crew and gun. That said, I'll start working on my new gun tonight!

Coming soon: my completed American artillery stand. I've also made a number of purchases since my last post, mainly 28mm figures. I went ahead and got all of the American artillery crew figures that I needed as well as a pack of American officers from Foundry, and two more cannons from Brigade Games. I also ordered some West Indies troops in round hats and some command figures, which will be the 1st West India Regiment that fought at New Orleans. They'll be an interesting mix of figures from a couple of different manufacturers, but I like mixing and matching.

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


Sunday, August 16, 2015

French Old Guard Chassuers a Pied 15mm Figure Review

Hello everyone!

A promised, here's the review of the latest miniatures that I received, some 15/18mm French Old Guard Chasseurs a Pied figures from Napoleon at War and Essex.
Napoleon at War French Old Guard Chasseur a Pied Battalion
Essex French Old Guard Chasseur in Greatcoat and Bonnet de Police Review

The blisters as they arrived in the mail.

Initial Impressions

As has been the case recently, I purchased these figures when I found them on sale at very good prices in the bargain section of one of my favorite online retailers. While I've bought Essex figures in the past and knew about what to expect from them, I was curious about the Napoleon at War figures, which are produced by a Spanish company called Man at War Miniature Games. These figures are bulk packed with included bases, I'm assuming to be used with Man at War's own proprietary ruleset, but the large number of figures per pack piqued my interest: it was nearly enough for one of my 36 man battalions. The pack was advertised as containing 32 figures, but when I broke it open and started counting, it turned out to contain 33! Bonus! At the price they were on sale for, I couldn't resist the deal. Unfortunately, in my opinion, these are the few positive points I've found regarding these figs.

The contents of the Napoleon at War battalion pack: A selection of bases for Men at War's proprietary rules, 20 marching figures, 8 skirmishing figures in four different poses, and 5 command figures, including an Eagle bearer, an Officer, two sergeants (one with a porte fanion), and a drummer. So 33 figures in all, of an advertised 32. Bonus!


The Napoleon at War figures are approximately 18mm or largish 15mm; it's hard to say for sure, as the minis are sporting the rather large bearskins worn by the Old Guard. I believe that these figures would fit in height wise with AB and Fantassin figures, but never stylistically; these figures are definitely from the "rough and ready" school of sculpting. The Essex figures are the same old same old. They may be Napoleonic dwarf lords, but at least they are consistent.

The more mundane contents of the Essex pack: 8 standing or marching French Chasseurs a Pied in greatcoats and bonnet de police.


As I mentioned, the Napoleon at War minis are very rough and ready. The sculpting on these guys makes the Essex figures look like masterpieces; overall, they are kind of lumpy, with mushy details. The metal is also really, really soft; I could see the rifles and bayonets on these lads bend and break quite easily if they were mishandled or dropped. In my humble opinion the quality on these guys is severely lacking and probably one of the worst things about these figs.

Other than production values, the figures are wearing the appropriate equipment and uniforms to represent the Old Guard Chasseurs a Pied. It's also neat that the Essex figures are wearing the bonnet de police fatigue cap, which from what I've read was quite popular amongst French troops of the era.

Size comparison between the two manufacturers. The larger overall size of the Napoleon at War figures (18mm vs. 15mm for the Essex figs) plus the tall bearskins make them tower over Essex's Napoleonic gnomes.


The good price I got on both of these packs of figures is why I bought them in the first place. Frankly, if I hadn't have gotten the Napoleon at War figures at a deep discount (I paid $7.19 for them--$0.21 per figure--when they normally run $25.88), I would have felt sick paying $0.78 per figure for them: that's higher than AB figures, and with much lower quality! The Essex figures were also slightly discounted as well, but their prices have always been consistent for what you get from them.

All in all I'm a bit disappointed in the quality of the Napoleon at War figures for what they charge for them. They do come in large packs which is nice for guys like me who have large numbers of figs per unit, but the high prices for low quality is not good. However, I got mine cheap, and if you can too, then you'll have some decent figures to flesh out your armies. I'm looking forward to having some Old Guard to protect the Emperor from the damn Ruskies!


Coming soon: I should be getting my 12 pounder for my American artillery from Brigade Games sometime this week, and I'll post some pics when it arrives. I'll also be on the lookout for my Knuckleduster figs as well.

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


44th US Infantry Regiment Command--28mm

Hello everyone!

Worked on these guys over the past couple of days, who represent the command and color party for the 44th US Infantry Regiment, which fought at New Orleans. (Remember to click on the pictures for bigger versions.)

These guys are wearing the 1812 laced coatee and the felt, flat-topped French-inspired shakos. The drummer is wearing reversed colors (i.e. a red coatee with blue facings instead of the blue coatee with red facings like his fellows). The color party consists of a pair of sergeants, wearing sashes, NCO swords, and white worsted epaulettes. Lace and piping is white for all the figures.

I know that the purists out there will point out that these guys are wearing the wrong uniforms for New Orleans. In fact, the 44th Infantry would never have worn this uniform, having been established late in 1813, when the 1812 pattern felt shakos were largely phased out. Yes, I know this, but these were the figures that I had. Besides, I think they look quite snazzy.

These are all Foundry figures. My personal favorite amongst these guys is the colonel; his pose is so animated that he looks like he's really leading his regiment forward under heavy fire. The flags are hand painted by myself; here's a picture I took of them on the workbench:

The Americans' infantry colors really weren't all that exciting at this early stage of the United States' existence. The Federal Color (in blue) was analogous to the British King's Colour, while the bland beige Regimental Color was similar for all American regiments, the only real difference being the numbers used for each individual regiment. The Stars and Stripes would not be carried as a National Color until 1841.

Coming soon: Later today I'll post up the review for my new 18mm figures; it's basically done, I just need to get it typed up.

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


Friday, August 14, 2015

4th (King's Own) Regimental Colour Party--28mm

Hello everyone!

As promised from yesterday, here are a few shots of my completed and based command for the 1st Battalion, 4th (King's Own) Regiment of Foot. (Remember to click on the pictures for bigger versions.)

Note the tufts of grass at the feet of the colonel and just behind and to the left of the Ensign carrying the Regimental Colour. These are Citadel "Mordheim Turf" tufts; the color, I think, fits in with the color scheme of my bases quite well. These were quite easy to apply by placing a tiny drop of super glue where I wanted the tuft to go and gingerly maneuvering it into position with a pair of small tweezers.

The 4th Regiment of Foot saw service in both the Peninsular War and the War of 1812, seeing heavy fighting in both. The 1st Battalion also saw service at the Battle of Waterloo. These lads have the old Peninsula stovepipe shakos, so could theoretically serve in either Spain or the Americas. The 1/4th are wearing their grey greatcoats over white trousers, with white crossbelts. The colonel and the two ensigns are wearing their sashes and swords on the outside of their overcoats, as well as white gloves, while the poor drummer must deal with bare hands in the cold weather. I always feel kind of cheaty when I do greatcoated troops as they're so easy and quick to complete. The Colours are homemade: see my previous post.

For the bigger figures, I've decided to go with four figures to a base for regular troops on the same 4cm x 4cm bases that I usually use with my infantry. (My 15mm/1:72 regular infantry figures are six figures on the same size base.) I think this gives the base a nice look, being full but not too crammed, and should look quite nice with a full 24 figure battalion all together.

All in all I'm rather pleased with how they came out. I look forward to finishing up this battalion, as I think they will look fantastic! Speaking of which...

Coming soon: I placed a few orders last night for various things, the largest of which was an order for Knuckleduster Miniatures and their War of 1812 line. I bought enough British figures in greatcoats to flesh out the 1/4th Regiment of Foot, as well as enough miniatures to flesh out a unit of 28mm American militia. I also picked up a pair of draft horses from Knuckleduster to pull a MDF French artillery caisson that I ordered from a British company called Blotz. This will be painted in light blue for service with my American Regular Artillery.

Speaking of artillery, my French 12 pounder has yet to arrive from brigade; I got an email from them today saying they were quite backordered after having just got back from vacation following Historicon. It's no big deal; Brigade has done very well by me over the years, and I'm willing to patiently wait. But I didn't have to wait for these chaps:

These are 15/18mm Napoleon At War French Old Guard Chasseur figures, a battalion pack, with some Essex minis to flesh out a full battalion. I'll do a proper review of these lads sometime this weekend. So lots of exciting stuff coming soon!

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