Friday, 20 February 2015

71st Foot (2)

The 71st Foot was one of the first regiments I painted for the AWI, over 10 years ago now - those earlier efforts can be seen here.  The 71st raised 2 battalions and both were present at the battles of Long Island and Brandywine - for the "British Grenadier!" orbats the units are 18 figures each - so I painted both battalions.  For Cowpens and Stono Ferry (the latter being in the forthcoming 4th scenario book) you need one battalion of 24 figures.  That was no problem, as I could take one of the 18-figure battalions and add another stand of 6 figures from the second battalion.  However, my 71st are in a marching pose and at Stono Ferry the regiment defended its camp against an American assault.  I played a test game of Stono Ferry with Eclaireur a while ago and used my existing marching figures - the report on that is here.  Bill Nevins has since released firing line highlanders in his excellent King's Mountain Miniatures range and so I decided to paint up a new unit in firing line poses to use in this particular scenario.  This now brings the number of highlanders in my British collection to 124 figures!

There are a couple of things to note about this unit.  First, I wanted the unit to look like one that had assembled quickly to react to a surprise attack.  That explains why I've used a variety of poses.  Yes, I know that British regulars didn't usually kneel to shoot; but I think the irregular look of the line is suitable for this kind of engagement.  The men are defending a camp which has some abatis protection - why wouldn't they kneel to take advantage of that cover?  Secondly, the sharp eyed will notice that some of the bases are larger than others.  That's simply a mistake - I didn't notice until I'd finished the basing, and what had happened was that I hadn't realised I'd run out of my standard 4-figure infantry bases and was using ones I assumed were the correct size.  I'm not too sure what they are, but then I suppose this adds to the irregular look of the unit.  Thirdly, I decided not to have flags.  I don't think there were flags with the detachment at Stono Ferry and I thought the unit would look more authentic without them.  Lastly, given that my existing 71st are all in tartan trews, I gave these chaps some trews as well.  But I couldn't face painting 24 pairs of them so the others are in standard brown and tan overalls.  If you ever paint highlanders don't forget that the belts, equipment etc were usually black.

24 figures.  Painted over the summer, 2014.  The buildings in the background are custom-made by Tablescape.



Thursday, 19 February 2015

Eight year anniversary

Hmm, so some time in early January this blog passed its eighth birthday.  I did draft a post but it then vanished.  Anyway, what a disaster 2014 was from a blogging perspective - even worse than the highly unimpressive 2013.  Despite all the good intentions and promises of regular updates, it just didn't happen.  I'm not sure precisely why - probably a combination of various things.  I was in New Zealand for most of January and then experienced a total loss of mojo upon my return.  Painting time has now slowed to a trickle, being whatever I can snatch in the evenings and the odd 30 minutes here and there during the weekend.  How I miss the days before children, when I'd get up at 6am at the weekend and then paint for 3 hours before the Kiwi woke up and asked me to bring her breakfast!  There was a hiatus in July when my mother-in-law died and the Kiwi had to return to NZ by herself for over 2 weeks, leaving me in sole charge of the boys.  Then September to December was an awful time at work - as with January-March, I barely picked up a paint brush during that period.  So I'm not sorry to see the back of 2014, to be honest.

So "must try harder" is the comment on this year's end of term report.  The fact that it is not mid-February is not encouraging, but I'm aware that I've sat on this post for a while and I'm sensing a return to form.  I'm grateful to all readers who have stuck with this blog - I'm certain that 2015 will be better.  It can't not be, actually, since I have 5 posts' worth of material waiting to go already!  In terms of painting, the year's tally is:

- AWI: 184 infantry (including commission work for Bill Nevins);
- Napoleonics: 27 men, 3 horses and 1 post carriage;
- Other: 17 infantry.

So the total in "points" is 232; lower than last year's tally of 305 and much lower than 2008's total of 468!The "other" refers to some old Darkest Africa figures I repaired and tarted up over the summer and my Christmas project, which was to paint various things for the New Zealand Wars.  I've painted 4 packs of those figures already and want to do a couple more - then I might have a second "New Zealand Week".  On the left are some Maori figures I need to finish basing and you can see some Royal Navy types at the top of this post.  Also currently being based and/or finished off are AWI militia, another regiment of Continental Line, Isabelino infantry for the First Carlist War, some cows, Napoleonic French chasseurs, "Darkest Africa" natives and Stonewall Jackson.  That eclectic mix is the result of  trying to finish off lots of half-painted stuff that's been lying around my desk, sometimes for over a couple of years.  Finishing off Stonewall Jackson will give me an excuse to revisit all the ACW figures I painted a few years ago and never bothered posting about - "ACW Week" was always about to happen but then didn't.

Hmm...who are these chaps?

Hey ho.  Sometimes I wonder whether it's time to wind this place up, but I'm going to make an effort to make up for last year.  And if that proves to be another empty promise, well it probably is then time to let others take the torch forward!