Saturday, 10 September 2016

The Scots of Howard's Brigade - 92nd and 71st Foot

The new additions for the project are from British 1st Division. They are the two Scottish battalions of Howard's Brigade. The third battalion of this brigade is English, the 50th Foot (West Kent), is on the painting table.

All figures are Front Rank Figurines.

First up is the 71st (Highland) Regiment of Foot (Light Infantry). This is one of the highland regiments that lost its kilts in 1809. The regiment's main uniform distinction was a stretched and stiffened highland bonnet - presumably it was stretched over a peaked 'shako-like' former. This former is described as being a little shorter than a shako and seems to be a little less angular at the top. 

Shortening all of the miniature's shakos looked like a lot of hard work. It would involve the removal (and then replacement) of plumes and cockades and endless filing down. I took the liberty to distinguish my 'headgear formers' from a standard shako by the simple expedient of rounding the top edge with a file.

The stretched bonnet is blue and retains the chequered headband. To emphasise the headband I made it slightly deeper (helped by not having shortened the shako) than it should be. This allowed me to paint the pattern much more clearly than I could otherwise. In this case I think that a little artistic licence has gone a long way to making this unit stand out at a distance.
Apart from the bonnet, this unit is painted as a standard light infantry unit. It comprises 24 figures (Front Rank Figurines) on six stands. This gives me the unit in close order but being a light infantry unit it can, historically speaking, become a skirmish formation. I could separate the stands of the unit to represent this but to my mind it doesn't look quite right, so I have decided on a compromise. 
I have painted a further 12 figures and based them on two pence pieces. 

For photo purposes this picture does not show the unit fully dispersed; it does give an impression of what my light infantry units will look like when deployed on the table in skirmish formation; there is a skirmish line of individual figures and a colour party. 

There are only 20 figures (not 24) but as I don't intend using rules that count heads this should not be a problem.

Next up, 92nd Regiment of Foot (otherwise known as the Gordon Highlanders). 

I have chosen to simplify the tartan by omitting the thin yellow stripe that passes through the centre of the green sections. I did this after finding it almost impossible to see.
 A close up of the colour party. Standards are by Flags for the Lads.
One thing I have found out about this regiment is that not all musicians are the same. Although the drummer is in reversed colours, the piper isn't. Of course I discovered this after I had already painted the piper in reversed colours, thinking him to be a 'musician', silly me. I repainted his jacket.

You might also notice that I cheated on the hose (socks). I have only painted the red stripe going diagonally one way. I noticed this had been done on the figures pictured on the Front Rank website. As you can only see a few 'inches' of sock, this is a very clever and effective little cheat. These figures took quite some time to paint, so every little cheat helps, IMHO.

As I said, next up will be the 50th Regiment of Foot (West Kent) to finish this brigade. After that I'm going to do a couple of cavalry regiments and then a brigade of Portuguese infantry to speed things up a bit.


pancerni said...

Good lookin' lads. I like the thought on a slightly wider shako band on the 71st. It 'works' and I be it does look good on the table.

David said...

Fine looking work there James! Only to be expected though after all.

Jonathan Freitag said...

Mighty fine brushwork, James!

Brent said...

Absolutely gorgeous!

MichaƂ Kucharski said...

Awesome work James!

Phil said...

Great details, a wonderful job sir!

carojon said...

Nicely done James. Great to see the collection developing.

Lawrence H said...

Fantastic work James, and I hope you aren't now seeing tartan on the inside of your eyelids when you try to go to sleep.

john de terre neuve said...

Absolutely beautiful job on these.


Robert Herrick said...

Very nicely done, especially the tartans.

Care to share your paint mixes, especially for the Gordons?


Firstly, thank you for your kind words, everyone.

Robert H,

They are painted in Humbrol enamels. The blue is 25 plus 33 (black) then highlighted 25, then highlighted 25 plus 34 (white). The green is 88 plus 113 (brown), the brown dulls the dark green, then highlighted in the same mix plus 24 (yellow), then the same with more 24. The green at the 'Xs' is the same lighter still.

Of course, the dark blue was put on first, then the dark green, then each colour was highlighted.

BTW, Sometimes I buy a dull 'military' dark green but mostly, to save on pots of paint going off / dry (which still happens with Humbrols) I don't bother. Dulling the bright dark green (88) with a brown works just as well and cuts down the basic number of colours I need to keep at hand.

Anthony Miles said...

Great looking figures James. Around which year are you basing your First Division OOB on?



Hi Anthony,

I'm using the Fuentes de Onoro list in the Osprey of that name (to get the balance right between British and Portuguese) but with an eye on the Salamanca list, and just about every list in Oman too.

I'm using the expedient of dividing brigade strength by 650 to get the number of battalions I will collect for each brigade (because I don't count heads in each unit - they will all be 24 figs except for guards and the odd special big unit) which is why: 1. all the units are the same size. 2. there are only 3 battalions in my KGL brigade.

Purists will be squirming at this point but I collect to game rather than collect for absolute historical accuracy. I'm afraid, at heart, I'm a bit of a charlatan.


Anthony Miles said...

Hi James

I collect to game also and am currently starting the 4th Division, already finished the 3rd. My divisions are based on the Talavera OOB and are based for Shako II (to match the clubs French) although mostly used for Black Powder. Given this basing system results in 18 fig battalions on average, I'm including all the units in mine.

Will be good to see the finished force.


Hi Anthony,

I'm currently planning to do 1st, 3rd & 5th, with elements of 4th and 7th - I'm going to end up with about 30 (?) Anglo Portugeuse infantry, 4 batteries and 10 cavalry units - the latter to give a good mix, and so that I can field a couple of heavy brigades (5 dragoons) when needed. My table is about 15 x 6 when the drop leaf is up, so that is more than enough.

The French will be on a similar establishment, but given the number of French armies knocking about Spain and Portugal I'm not going to be fastidious on a correct OOB.

I haven't decided to do a full Spanish army yet. At the moment my plan is for a large contingent - perhaps 20 units all told.