Friday 27 July 2012

20th Foot Kingsley

For a while now I have wanted to paint a large WAS/SYW unit in three ranks so here is a British battalion consisting of 45 figures (five bases of 9 figures). All the figures are by Crusader except for the three officers (one officer, two ensigns) who are by Front Rank from their Jacobite Rebellion range.

The basing is for Carnage and Glory II (groundscale 1mm=1pace) so the unit is 10 inches wide and shows a battalion of 723 men plus between 5 and 10% officers and ncos. I'll ask Nigel Marsh, the rules' creater, to let me reproduce his Groundscale chart so you can see how that calculation is made. One of the great thing about these computer-moderated rules is that one can solo-wargame.

Painting wise, I took special care with this unit giving the officers a different red to the rank and file. For the latter, I used Cote d'Arms 237 Russet Red over a base of 509 Brick Red. Finally I used Armypainter Soft Tone to give that campaign look.

I wanted the unit to be as compact as possible so the men are shoulder to shoulder and the three ranks are closely formed. I was hoping that showing that third rank would inspire me to consider this a new project (all my SYW 25mm having been sold) and I'm really tempted! Another project?

Also, I've been emailing Mark Sims at Crusader this week and there is good news as he is about to start work on extending his SYW range. I'm pretty sure we will see British and Russian Grenadiers and maybe Grenadiers de France. Possibly he will do some new artillery crews as well.

Lastly, if I continue this project I'm not sure when to set it - WAS (Fontenoy) or SYW (Minden). My knowledge of the British in this period could be written on a postage stamp (so no Greenwood and Ball on that subject for a while) but it would appear that the only difference I can see is in the colour of the gaiters - in the WAS all illustrations show them in white gaiters whilst in the SYW they are always shown in black. I don't think it matters either way!

Saturday 21 July 2012

63rd de la Planta

You have already seen the 2nd battalion of de la Planta but I've now finished the first battalion so here they are together. That completes the six Swiss battalion project.

Additionally, I've finished off these French generals, all from Foundry. What is the collective noun for generals? Could it be a 'conference of generals' or perhaps a 'bloodletting of generals'?

Suggestions please. Perhaps in the 18th century they should be called 'an elegance of generals'.

Tuesday 17 July 2012

55th Waldner

Another Swiss regiment of two battalions in French service. Note the officer in the first battalion. He came from a now-defunct French company called 'Capitulation' that intended to do a full WAS range and that had started with 10 or so delightful and characterful French infantry. I have about 5 figures from this range left and I really would like to get my hands on more. I've written to the owner in the hope that somehow we can get this valuable range re-started so, if by any chance, you know Patrice will you pass this request on to him.

Friday 13 July 2012

90th de Diesbach

This is my favourite Swiss regiment in French service and pictured above are both its two battalions. Drummers of this regiment, by the way, wore yellow coats with light blue cuffs, all heavily laced in white.

In the Osprey Campaign series "Rossbach and Leuthen 1757" this is what is said about the Swiss at the end of the battle: "The time was now 4.30pm and disaster had befallen the allies, now nothing more than a disorganised mob in flight from the battlefield. The stage was set for the Prussian cavalry to apply the coup de grace and turn the flight into a headlong rout. In this they were frustrated, however, by the four battalions of the Swiss regiments of Planta and Diesbach who formed square and fought off the pursuing Prussians. The cavalry regiments of La Reine and Bourbon-Busset on the left of the allied columns also tried to intervene and win a little respite for the fugitives but with little effect. However, the two Swiss regiments were like rocks in the swirling sea of fugitives and Prussians as they steadily carried out a fighting retreat. Frederick is said to have remarked, "What is this red brick wall that my artillery cannot manage to bring down?" and, being told it was French Swiss infantry, he silently saluted them by doffing his hat as they marched off the field with flags flying and drums beating."

Well, if that does not stir the blood, nothing will! Note the interesting comment about going into square - it has often been debated whether the 'square' was used in the SYW but this would appear to indicate that it was, under certain particular circumstances.

Saturday 7 July 2012

63rd de la Planta Swiss 2nd BTN

Over the next 10 days or so I will be posting pictures of six new Swiss battalions that made up
63rd de la Planta, 55th Waldner and 90th de Diesbach. This is the 2nd battalion of de la Planta.

All the uniforms were the same except for small differences like collar colour. What I really like is their colouful flags.

We are back here with Crusader figures, although the officer is by Foundry. I have deliberately used the figures with turnbacks for two reasons. First, aesthetics, as I wanted to be able to show the laced waistcoat that is invisible on the figures without turnbacks and, second, I have a view that as the war progressed it was the Swiss and German regiments in French service that started to make uniform changes well in advance of their more conservatively dressed French colleagues. Contemporary, or nearly contemporary, illustrations of grenadiers wearing bearskins are mostly of Swiss units and they always have turnbacks as well. So, in my view, the trend of modernising the antiquated cut-of-the-coat started first in foreign regiments and it started because a) it was more practical to march with the turnbacks turned up and b) the enemy looked more modern and worthy of being copied. But it is a personal view and I welcome any comments either way.

92nd Bulkeley (Irish)

This is the last of the four Irish battalions for this project. The figures are by Foundry and regular readers of this blog will know what I think of these sculpts. The worst thing about them is that most of them do not stand up straight - to get them straight(er) I've had to put a small cardboard wedge under each figure on the left hand side.

Next, some Swiss.