Friday, June 23, 2017

Refurbishment of 2nd Division #2 - 28th or 34th Regiment of Foot

"O'er the hills and o'er the main
Through Flanders, Portugal and Spain.
King George commands and we obey
Over the hills and far away."

These wonderful figures from Hagen miniatures are full of character. They are battle-weary old campaigners in tattered uniforms with individual embellishments like legionnaire-style neck shades, firewood stuffed into the knapsack, trousers rolled up to the knee, espadrilles instead of boots, rolled blankets in place of kanpsacks, and various styles of forage cap. They really were a joy to paint, being used to the cookie-cutter figures in most plastic sets.

My only gripes are that there were no elite figures in the set, necessitating the fiddly application of Milliput shoulder wings to a couple of figures, and no command figures, either. The officers and drummer are HaT plastic and are slightly smaller and finer compared to the metal figures, but it's not a big problem, really.

As there were two yellow-faced regiments in 2nd Division, I haven't settled on which of the two this unit represents, hence the confusing post title. As the colours are furled and cased, they can be either at this stage. I use generic coloured flags, anyway, so it doesn't really matter.

I'm happy the way that the furled and cased colours turned out, especially after the doggy-disaster! The replacement figure has a slightly thicker furled colour than the original, not that you can really notice on the table top. Because the infantry look like they're on the march, rather than actually in battle, I wanted the officers to match. The only colour party figures available carry naked poles with finial and tassel which really need a flag attached. My solution was to bodge up a couple of ensigns carrying cased colours based on the image below.

I used the marching officers from the HaT command set, cut off the swords each arm pose carries and glued on a cased colour each, made from piano wire and Milliput. I also added another shoulder strap to each figure with Milliput; an exercise in extreme frustration!

The varnish I used for shading is a little too dark (I finished the last pot, which I got from Masters, a hardware chain which has since gone out of business!), but I think it accentuates the grubbiness of a hard-campaigning regiment. Still, I think I'll have to find a varnish that isn't quite so overpowering.

Grenadiers with home-made shoulder wings

Rear view showing firewood and neck-guard

Corporal in forage cap and espadrilles

Patched knees

HaT drummer and officer

Colour party

Two different arm poses

Left hand colour slightly thicker. Looks heavier, too!

Shako at a jaunty angle and second style of forage cap

Light bobs. The right hand figure came from another set I ordered, but instead of 4 marching elites, I only got this one and more marching centre company figures, because they'd run out!

Rolled blanket.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Refurbishment of 2nd Divison #1 - 92nd Foot (Gordon Highlanders)

"Can yer mammy sew? Well, get her to stitch that!"

After finding out I'd shortchanged myself with the size of my British infantry battalions, I've started expanding or replacing my Peninsular War forces. First unit off the desk is the 92nd Foot, or Gordon Highlanders. My existing battalion was only 12 figures strong, when I could have had a 15 figure-strong battalion!

The new Strelets set of marching highlanders seemed to fit the bill, though I found out too late that they were all elite figures, all sporting shoulder wings. I shaved off the wings on the figures used for the centre companies, swapped a couple of heads for variety and stuck a couple of highland bonnet-wearing heads on a couple of HaT flag bearers. That worked quite well, despite them having their sashes around their waists instead of over their shoulders. There is a flag bearer in the Strelets set, but the figure has a moulded flag, and there is only one.

I varied the appearance of the figures with some head swaps; a wounded head from Lancier Bleu, and a Tam o' Shanter wearing one from the HaT command set. The wounded head conversion worked well, but the other on didn't so much; the collar looks much too thick and messy. I'm not sure why, because they were the same figure.

The full battalion in comlumn

Wounded head conversion.

HaT flag bearers with Strelets heads. Officer in full dress, including sporran!

Drummer and piper

Light company troops including (not so successful) head conversion.

I also have been working on a line battalion using the wonderful Hagen Peninsular Infantry set in their battered, hard-marching campaign best, so I thought I'd have a go at creating a couple of ensigns carrying furled and covered colours using HaT command figures. I'd finally managed to make two after much fiddling about with Milliput and thick piano wire and was ready to start painting. I hadn't reckoned on our newest family member, though, had I? We recently got a Jack Russell/Fox Terrier cross puppy, and she understands that anything that drops on the floor is chew. Obviously I hadn't caught up on the news!


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