Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Sauk/Fox Indians (1)

This is another Conquest Miniatures pack, "Sauk & Fox Indians A".  The Sauk (or Sac) and Fox people were distinct tribes that (I believe) came together in the 1730s to provide mutual shelter and support as a result of conflict with the French and other indigenous tribes.  The Sauk settled around the Michigan area and then were forced to move south to northern Illinois and Wisconsin, where they met Fox refugees who had also been forced away from their original homelands around the Saint Lawrence River.  The Fox had suffered from hard fighting with the French (apparently one of Louis XIV or XV signed a decree ordering the complete extermination of the tribe).  Eventually the tribe became known as the Sauk and Fox Nation. One of the best known Sauk was Black Hawk, who went to war with the US government in 1832.  In 1804 the US government had "bought" tribal lands east of the Mississippi and by the late 1820s that land was being prepared for white settlement.  The Sauk were told to move, in accordance with the treaty of 1804, which most did; despite there being disagreement over the terms of the treaty and precisely how much land and purportedly been sold, many member of the tribe did not want to provoke more fighting.  A small group under Black Hawk decided to stand their ground.  This group became known as the "British Band" because they sometimes flew a British flag to defy claims of US sovereignty, and because they hoped to gain the support of the British across the border in Canada.  Other nearby Indian tribes that had grievances against encroaching white settlement joined Black Hawk and fighting between the band and local militia broke out.  After initial successes, the British Band were eventually overwhelmed by numbers.  General Winfield Scott led a column of militia and regular army, together with allied Indians, that won the decisive Battle of Bad Axe.  Black Hawk was captured shortly thereafter.  He was released from captivity a few months later and died in 1838 at the age of 71.

There is a bit of information about the Sauk and Fox people in the various Osprey MAA books on the Indian tribes, but I confess that the colour scheme used on these figures are largely my own invention.  As with other recent figures, I've tried to use muted colours for leggings and shirts, while adding some colour on sashes, wampum bead decorations and satchels.  These figures are probably not that authentic - as I've explained before, I just don't know enough about the dress habits of the various Indian nations to know how to differentiate the figures in these Conquest packs.  I also don't know whether these figures are dressed for the 1770s or the 1830s - given that Conquest make a Black Hawk figure, I suspect the latter; but I'm sure these will do for the AWI.  One of the figures is wearing a buffalo headdress - an Osprey MAA states that this headgear would have been looted from another tribe.  As always with Conquest, these are attractive figures, nicely posed and with interesting little details.  I've just finished another pack of Iroquois and then that's it with Indians for a while, although I'm sure I'll paint the second Conquest Sauk/Fax pack in due course, maybe Black Hawk too.      

6 figures. Painted November 2016.


Sunday, 20 November 2016

American riflemen (4)

This is one of the two Conquest Miniatures packs called "Frontiersmen".  I've had this pack in the leadpile for years and knocked it off a few weeks ago as part of my plan to paint most of my outstanding AWI lead by the end of the year.  I have 3 or 4 full battalions to go, but much of what's left in my AWI box is odds and sods - command figures, a few cannon, and various packs from Conquest and Old Glory. This is another Oriskany-inspired unit, as the "British Grenadier!" scenario requires a couple of units of skirmishers or "rangers" on Patriot side.  So these figures are something of an American counterpart to the Loyalist rangers I blogged about here.  I'm not lacking in skirmishing Patriots.  I already have Perry Miniatures riflemen based as skirmishers (see here and here) and a unit of "over mountain men" from King's Mountain Miniatures (see here).  I also have a 9 skirmishing Front Rank militia, which form one of the first units I ever painted for the AWI (for Bunker Hill) and which I've never blogged about. I haven't taken a size comparison photo, but in terms of size the KMM figures are the largest and Conquest the smallest, with Perry somewhere in the middle.  That said, they are all an effective "28mm" size and look fine in the same game.  If you look at my earlier riflemen units you can see that I've been inconsistent in how I've based them.  The "British Grenadier!" suggested base sizes are twos on 50mm x 25mm or threes on 75mm x 25mm (depending on the grade of skirmisher), but I had to use larger bases for some of the Perry figures.  Otherwise I've largely based these riflemen types in pairs, but with Oriskany and the French & Indian War in mind I decided to base this pack on single bases of 25mm x 25mm.

There's not much else to say about these figures, so I'll take this opportunity to run down the "British Grenadier!" scenario requirements for these sorts of riflemen/militia skirmishing units (this list doesn't include Continental Army units in skirmish formation). 

- Bunker Hill: 9
- Long Island: 10; 6; 6
- Pell's Point: 12
- White Plains: 9
- Oriskany: 6; 6
- Freeman's Farm: 16 (this is Morgan's riflemen, which can all deploy as skirmishers)
- Brandywine: 12
- Springfield: 12; 6
- Cowpens: 12
- Guilford Court House: 12; 12; 6
- Gloucester Point: 12

Incidentally, the rocky outcrop in the background, which has been featuring in recent photos, is a lovely piece of terrain hand-made by KMM proprietor and chum Bill Nevins - more on that soon.  Currently on the painting table are more loyalist, using Perry plastics and KMM metals.

6 figures.  Painted September 2016.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Hanyery Tewahangarahken

Hanyery (or Han Yerry) Tewahangarahken (c. 1724-1794) was a warrior of the Oneida tribe who fought on the Patriot side at the battle of Oriskany in August 1777.  I gather his name means "He Who Takes Up the Snow Shoe" and he was the son of a German father and a Mohawk mother.  The Oneidas were one of the founding tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy and lived in what is now central New York state.  When war broke out in 1775 the Iroquois were initially neutral but the tribes eventually had to choose sides and whilst most remained loyal to the Crown the Oneida sided with the Patriots.  The Oneida acted as scouts and around 50-60 warriors, including Hanyery, fought with Brigadier-General Herkimer's militia force at Oriskany.  By this time Hanyery was a prominent member of his local community and a prosperous farmer.  At the battle Hanyery was accompanied by his wife Tyonajanegen (meaning "Two Kettles Together") and his son Cornelius.  The story goes that Hanyery was hit in the wrist by a musket ball and Tyonajanegen helped him reload his rifle.  In a contemporary article about the battle in the "Pennsylvania Journal and Weekly Advertiser", Hanyery is reported as having killed nine of the enemy (being a mixed force of Loyalists and other Iroquois) and Cornelius two.  Tyonajanegen survived the battle as well and rode off to tell local people the outcome of the battle.   Hanyery and Tyonajanegen continued to serve with Patriot forces during the Saratoga campaign.  General Gates apparently arranged for three gallons of rum to be sent to them and their family as a reward for their services.  It seems that at some time during or after the campaign Hanyery's house and farm were destroyed by pro-British forces.

This figure is from Galloping Major that I acquired when I bought all their F&IW militia packs (which I turned into a unit of Loyalists).  The figure is sold separately as a "heroic Mohawk warrior".  I painted it at the same time as some Conquest Miniatures Iroquois.  The GM figure is noticeably taller and stockier than these other figures and so I thought about how I might use the figure by itself, perhaps as a personality.  I had been looking at Don Troiani's wonderfully atmospheric painting of the battle of Oriskany (see right) and I realised that the GM figure looked just like Hanyery in that painting (prior to his injury).  The "British Grenadier!" orbat for Oriskany lists 6 Oneidas as part of one of the Patriot brigades.  No leader of this band is mentioned, but I thought it would nice to paint up a figure of Hanyery, base him as a chief (so on a 2p piece) and have him as the leader of 5 other figures.  Based separately, the extra heft of this figure won't be so noticeable.  Incidentally, while I've admired this painting for years, I hadn't noticed that Troiani has painted Herkimer sitting propped up against a tree directing the battle.  I'm on a bit of an Oriskany roll at the moment, with more Iroquois and the KRRNY (as depicted in the Troiani painting) in the works.  I have a couple of GM militia characters left which I'm now minded to paint as other personalities from Oriskany and the Saratoga campaign more generally.

I tried to follow the colour scheme of Hanyery as he appears in the Troiani painting.  The clothing and equipment are not identical, so a bit of improvisation was required, especially on the leggings.  I tried to replicate the facial paint as closely as possible, but I had to leave out some of the detail around the ears.  I'm not sure that the figure in the painting looks like someone in his early fifties, but I suppose Hanyery would have been very fit for his age.  It was only when I finished the figure that I realised the colour scheme is very "red, white and blue".  But I'm pleased with the way the figure came out and I enjoyed reading up about Hanyery and his family for this post.  I'll have to look for a suitable Tyonajanegen now; or perhaps try to hassle Lance at Galloping Major into making one.

1 figure.  Painted October 2016.

Hanyery with Conquest Miniatures Iroquois

Hanyery with Galloping Major militia

A comparison pic, as a request for such often appears on TMP.  From left to right: Perry, Galloping Major, Conquest.  The Conquest figures are slighter, and the GM ones quite chunky.  But these are fully compatible, in my opinion.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Iroquois (6)

One of my very first posts on this blog was about Conquest Miniatures' French & Indian War range, 18 woodland Indians that I'd painted in 2006.  Ten years later, here is another pack from Conquest (sold in the UK by Warlord Games).  I wish I'd blogged about those earlier figures on a pack-by-pack basis, because I can't now find them on either the Conquest or Warlord websites.  I think they started off as being sold as "generic woodland Indians", but then some figures were re-packaged as particular tribes. I see a few of the figures are now sold as "Miami" and "Ottawa", but I think some sculpts have disappeared into the ether and those packs contain other figures I haven't seen before.  Anyway, I've always been a fan of the Conquest range.  The figures are smaller and "slighter" than those of Perry, Galloping Major and other brands, but they are terrific animation and lots of detail.  I've had various other packs in the leadpile for several years and I'm slowly working my way through them.  This particular set of figures is called "Iroquois Warriors B".

I admit that I have very little idea of the differences between how the Iroquois should look as compared to the Saux/Fox, the Miami and the other specific nations made by Conquest.  There are noticeable differences in the types of clothing that the figures wear and the various Osprey MAA books I've consulted suggest different types of war paint.  But I confess that I've painted these with a fair amount of artistic licence, although I have looked at paintings by Troiani and others and those in the Ospreys and so I've tried to not completely make it up.  The colours are largely muted browns and blues, and wampum bead patterns on the bags and other bits of equipment.  The war paint is largely taken from modern illustrations.  I make no claims whatsoever about knowing what's "right" when painting native Americans of this era, so please excuse any mistakes.   

Looking through the published "British Grenadier!" scenarios, one finds the following battles as needing Indian figures:

- Hubbardton: 4;
- Oriskany: 54 (48 on the British side, 6 on the American side);
- Bennington: 8;
- Freeman's Farm: 15;
- Bemis Heights: 3;
- Indian Field: 12 Stockbridge Indians.

There is flexibility on the number Indians required for Freeman's Farm because the scenario calls for a unit of skirmishers that can be made up of "Tories and Indians"; the number above is the total for the unit, so you can have fewer Indians and instead use Loyalists.  So a couple of packs of Indians will cater for most AWI needs.  Oriskany presents a challenge - firstly on numbers and secondly on basing.  A third point one might also think about is modelling the different tribes/nations - Seneca and Iroquois on the Crown side and Oneida on the Patriot side.  I've noted above that I haven't really made any attempt when painting to differentiate between the tribes sold by Conquest (and indeed the Perries sell their figures as "woodland Indians"), although some figures do look quite different to the more generic ones.  So, for example, one might consider using the rather distinctive Delaware Indian packs for, say, those fighting for the Patriots, if you think it might get confusing on the tabletop which figures belong to which side.  As for numbers, building a large force of Indians isn't difficult as there are so many different figures available in 25mm - I have Perry, Conquest and Galloping Major in my collection, but there are others available too; for example, Crusader Miniatures have some nice ones, although the poses are rather static when compared to the aforementioned.  I started off basing my Indians as skirmishers on single 25mm x 25mm bases.  I did think about basing new figures on larger bases in multiples, but then decided to stick with single bases for consistency.  I'm minded to buy a couple of "movement trays" (something I vowed never to do) if I find myself preparing for an Oriskany game.

6 figures.  Painted October 2016.  

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

13e Légère (1)

These are Perry Miniatures French light infantry skirmishers from their 1815 range.  Five are metal figures and chap about to bite his cartridge is from the plastic box set.  He was required because I used one of the figures from the metal pack for my General Bauduin command stand.  The 13e Régiment de Légère  was in Donzelot's 2nd division in the French I Corps.  Therefore, it participated in the initial main French attack on the Allied centre, with Donzelot's division the force that had the first bite at Las Haye Sainte.  In the GdB order of battle, the 13e has two full-strength battalions of 36 figures; so these light infantry represent one voltigeur company in skirmish order.  The bases are the plastic Renedra ones that come in the Perry plastic box.  At some stage I'll get around to painting up the 13e's two battalions, but that's some way off at the moment.

I painted these figures ages ago and then forgot about them.  I'm posting about them now as I'm a bit short of photos of other stuff at the moment.  I have various AWI bits going through the basing process and hopefully I'll catch up and photograph those at the weekend.  This post reminds me that I have a large number of 1815 French staff figures waiting to be based - I keep changing my mind about how to do that.  I also have a half-painted battalion of Perry metal "at rest" line infantry, which I need to finish off.  In terms of what's planned for the balance of 2016, it's going to be all AWI: more Indians from Conquest Miniatures, the King's Royal Regiment of New York (Perry plastic British), another couple of Continental infantry regiments and some odds and ends (and some commission work).  It will be a bit of a stretch to paint everything that's left in my AWI metal leadpile, but I've already made very good progress on that front. 

6 figures.  Painted January 2016.

Monday, 24 October 2016

76th Foot (2)

When I first posted about the 76th Foot in June 2014 (see here) I explained how I intended to paint up two units' worth of figures.  As I explained in that earlier post, in the published "British Grenadier!" scenario books, the 76th appear in two battles: Petersburg (volume 3) and the hypothetical Gloucester Point (volume 2 - a planned but abandoned British break-out attempt from Yorktown).  In the Petersburg scenario, the ratio of 1:15 creates a large unit of 32 figures that is divided into two "wings" of 16 figures each.  In Gloucester Point, there is just one unit of 24 figures.  I decided to paint one "wing" in marching poses and the second "wing" in charging poses, the latter being bulked out to 24 figures to accommodate the Gloucester Point scenario.  So here's that second wing.

I won't repeat the AWI service history of the 76th Foot, which is set out in my previous post.  And needless to say, these are all King's Mountain Miniatures figures.  Bill Nevins' extraordinary commitment to this range means that (together with the Perry range) we are now well served for highlanders.  In fact it's hard to think of what's missing, except skirmishing flank companies, perhaps.  I placed the colours with this "wing", as the relevant figures seemed to me more suited to the charging poses than the marching ones; but you can use them for either.  I mixed in a couple of casualty figures - again, these work for any of the three poses that the KMM figures come in (the third being firing line).  There isn't a charging officer but there is a charging sergeant figure - I've used two of those in this unit.  I can't recall why it's taken me so long to post about this second batch of the 76th.  I think it took me a good while to get around to ordering the colours from GMB (who then delivered very promptly).

24 figures.  Painted January to March 2016.  Flags from GMB.    



I recently took all my highlander figures out of their boxes for a parade. My current tally is this: the 42nd/Black Watch (30 figures); the 84th/Royal Highland Emigrants (18); 3 units of the 71st (18, 18, 24);  2 units of the 76th (16, 24); the "4th combined grenadier battalion" (16); plus 3 mounted officers and 4 casualty figures.   That's 171 highlanders in total (in fact it's 172 if you include the highlander mini-me in the Perry interrogation pack, and I haven't included any of the generals who happened to be Scottish), of which around 115 are wearing some sort of tartan. And I've painted 50-odd highlanders for Bill too. I'm not quite finished - I need a unit of 71st Foot skirmishers for Gloucester Point, and in theory a 16-figure unit of light companies for Briar Creek, but I'll probably give the latter a miss.  Here are a few photos of my collected Jocks (although without the grenadier battalion).  I'm intending to write posts about the three mounted officers shortly. 


Thursday, 20 October 2016

Butler's Rangers

John Butler (1728–1796) lived in the Mohawk Valley from his early teens and became highly proficient in the local Indian languages.  This led to his employment as an officer in the Indian Department during the French & Indian War.  After the war he became a substantial landowner and retained close links to the Indian Department.  He also became a lieutenant-colonel in the Tryon County Militia (of which Nicholas Herkimer was Brigadier-General) but when the AWI broke out he remained loyal to Britain and moved to Canada.  He helped mobilise up-state New York's Indians to support the Saratoga campaign and Butler participated in the battle of Oriskany.  He was then promoted  lieutenant-colonel for a second time and given authority to raise his own regiment.  This unit became known as Butler's Rangers and ultimately comprised ten companies of around 60 men each. 

Butler's Rangers earned notoriety for their participation, along with their Indian allies, in the "Wyoming Valley Massacre" of July 1778, so named because of the alleged killing and torturing of Patriot prisoners and the subsequent destruction of much property, and then the "Cherry Valley Massacre" of December 1778 which saw the killing of civilians as well as militia.  The violent actions in the Mohawk Valley of loyalist units like Butler's Rangers and the Iroquois who had sided with the Crown prompted the Sullivan Expedition of 1779.  George Washington's orders to General John Sullivan demonstrate the ferocity of the fighting in the region:

"The Expedition you are appointed to command is to be directed against the hostile tribes of the Six Nations of Indians, with their associates and adherents. The immediate objects are the total destruction and devastation of their settlements, and the capture of as many prisoners of every age and sex as possible. It will be essential to ruin their crops now in the ground and prevent their planting more.
I would recommend, that some post in the center of the Indian Country, should be occupied with all expedition, with a sufficient quantity of provisions whence parties should be detached to lay waste all the settlements around, with instructions to do it in the most effectual manner, that the country may not be merely overrun, but destroyed.
But you will not by any means listen to any overture of peace before the total ruinment of their settlements is effected. Our future security will be in their inability to injure us and in the terror with which the severity of the chastisement they receive will inspire them."
The Sullivan Expedition made good progress in the achievement of those objectives, but failed to land a "killer blow".  As a consequence, Iroquois raids continued, but the Indians were a much depleted, and dispersed, force.  The largest battle of the Expedition was at Newtown on 29 August 1779.  The Indians and Loyalists, a force which included Butler's Rangers, positioned themselves in earthworks, but Sullivan's clever flanking attacks, vigorous fighting by the 2nd and 3rd New Hampshire Regiments and the Americans' artillery won the day.  The regiment disbanded in June 1784 and its soldiers appear to have settled in Ontario.  A few years later Butler formed his veterans into a local militia which, under the name of the Lincoln Militia, fought in the War of 1812.  John Butler did not live to see that further conflict between the US and Great Britain.  He died in 1796, a prominent political leader of Upper Canada.  There's a much more detailed history of the regiment by Calvin Arnt here.

I've designated these figures as "Butler's Rangers", but to be honest it's designed for use as generic Loyalist rangers in scenarios which call for such, like Oriskany, the Saratoga battles and Savannah, to give just 3 examples.  The figures are King's Mountain Miniatures' Continentals with a variety of heads.  I wanted the unit to have a high degree of uniformity but still have the look of some modifications for the field.  Both the McGregor/Mollo and Smith/Kiley uniform books show Butler's Rangers in dark green hunting shirts, so I made up a couple of figures in that dress.  Otherwise, I've modelled these figures according to this online article by Calvin Arnt.  Most portrayals show the Rangers in dark green coats with red facings, and leather caps with a brass front.  Arnt argues that the facings were most likely to have been white, not red.  I'll not explain his reasoning here - the article in the link does so at length.  As for headgear, Arnt doesn't like "jockey caps" and argues that the Rangers probably wore slouch/round hats and perhaps tricornes for the NCOs and officers.  I decided, however, that I wanted to have a couple of figures in caps and so I used a variety of KMM heads.  The caps here are KMM 10 but with the peak cut/shaved off.  I didn't use brass-fronted caps because I've always been a bit suspicious of whether people who spent a lot of time sneaking around would wear something that would catch the sunlight.  No doubt others object to Arnt's conclusions by I would emphasise that these are intended more for use as generic Loyalists (the "British Grenadier!" scenario for Oriskany, for example, requires 6 "rangers" in Butler's brigade - that unit can't be "Butler's Rangers" as the regiment didn't exist until later; but I'll use these figures).  The two figures in hunting shirts could also be used as Patriots.  

9 figures.  Painted September 2016.