Monday, 5 July 2021

The thin red line gets a bit longer


Three more units in red coats, finishing that part of the lead pile, and two more commanders, which finishes another part.

The end of stage one of the Peninsular project is in sight. Just six more batches (seven units) of Anglo-Portuguese to go. Stage two of the project is well in hand - another thirty odd new units have been ordered from Front Rank and are gradually being processed for delivery but, I'll save the details for a future post. 

On with what's new. All figures are Front Rank. All were painted by myself using Humbrol (in the main) enamels over the past two weeks. Flags are either GMB Designs or Flags for the Lads. The square and command bases are home cut 2mm MDF; the round bases for skirmishers and the dice holders are by War Bases.

88th Foot (Connaught Rangers). Pale yellow facings.
As with a lot of my British units, this one was chosen because a blog follower sent me the flags that he had spare after doing his own Peninsular project.

For some reason, it seems spare British flags are a bit of thing amongst you. Three blog followers have sent me their spares whilst I've been doing this project. They have sent me so many I now have spares of my own. These gifted flags are part of the reason for my rather eclectic choice of British units.

11th Foot (North Devonshire). Green Facings.
I couldn't disagree more with the statement that red and green should never be seen. As a uniform combination, I think it is splendid. It's possibly why I enjoyed painting my SYW Russians so much.

Finally, the last unit in red isn't actually British. I give you the Chasseurs Britanniques. Pale blue facings.

This unit is essential for representing 7th Division, though I dare say it will turn up as a filler in other divisions when it is required to make up the numbers.

Although this was the last unit I painted in red, it was one of the first ones I bought. I know that for a fact because I wish I hadn't bought any units in firing line - after painting and basing the first one, I didn't purchase any more (I have three British, 2 French, all from that first 28kg project order).
I didn't go with the blue wings for flank companies. The popular plate that shows blue wings is probably (definitely?) wrong. 

I've got to say, the blue used for the GMB flag is awesome - recommended.

A British infantry unit I had to buy flags for. Now there's a novelty!
Finally, for this post, the last two British command stands (9 total).

These will take some explaining! 

Firstly, you will note that I've changed the way I base my commanders. From initially basing them on 60mm rounds, I've gone to 60mm x 75mm bullets. This has allowed me to add a dice holder at the back of the base. These will be used to hold dice that show divisional morale points. Because reserves are so important in Napoleonic games, I feel that divisional morale point pools are much better than a single army morale point pool.
Now to explain the rather strange choice of figures.

It is almost certainly the case that Thomas Picton never wore a long coat, a top hat, or carry an umbrella (as he did at Waterloo) during the Peninsular War; his portraits prior to 1815 show him in fully braided scarlet uniform. However, I can't think of Picton dressed in any other way. Come to think of it, I can't think of Thomas Picton as anyone other than Jack Hawkins. Consequently, the Jack Hawkins figure has been used and I'm surprised they don't call it that in the Front Rank catalogue.

The next command group is my second cavalry commander. Whilst scanning about for inspiration, I came across a pencil drawing of General John Le Marchant. It shows him wearing an overcoat and what looks like a white crested tarleton helmet. I'm really unsure of this portrait because it's possibly an artist's working sketch for a painting. Here's what I think: I think that the crest might be black but, the artist has done it white because he is more interested in its shape and form than its colour - something hard to show in black - for easier translation when he came to do a full portrait in oils. However, it looks jolly striking white, so that is how I've done it.

The figure is actually a converted Front Rank General Paget. I've added a new hand to his empty sleeve (he was one armed) and given him a head change (bicorn to tarleton).

NOTE: The dice holders are double depth. I don't think 2mm depth is enough to hold a 10mm dice firmly in position, so I glued two together, one on top of the other, to get 4mm of depth. I also have a tip for finishing these in a 'professional' looking way: Before gluing them to the base, line the top of the base with a square of coloured paper (I used black paper), just a bit bigger than the dice holders, before gluing the dice holder on top - it gives a much better finish than paint (I tried paint first).

Next up, Two Portuguese Line infantry units, two Portuguese guns, and a Portuguese limber with converted drivers.

EDIT: I need to link one or two of these pics onto one of my groups (LAF), so I need to get them on the web, and this is as good a place as any. They are photos I took for Shadow of the Eagles by Keith Flint.


Steve J. said...

Beautiful units James!

Der Alte Fritz said...

Wonderful eye candy.

Friends Of General Haig said...

Superb work, but I especially like the command bases 👍

David said...

Wonderful additions to the collection. Your productivity puts mine to shame!

caveadsum1471 said...

Splendid looking Brits! I really like the unusual command stands!
Best Iain

Ratmaul said...

Nice to see other additions to the Peninsular project 😍
These are lovely models!
I really like how you represent the skirmishers on round bases.
I’m curious to know how do you manage them rules vise…


Skirmish bases only really show two things. The quarter in which they are deployed (front, L. flank, etc.) and the skirmish factor (one for each base).

Measurements and arcs of fire are taken from the formed body, and incoming fire is measured to it too. Casualties are always inflicted on the formed body not the skirmishers but, fire factors are adjusted if the target has a greater skirmish factor in the facing quarter than the shooter.

Having a skirmish screen in quarter is also beneficial if, as the target, you are required to face a firepower morale challenge.

In short, they are just rather expensive markers and if I were to start the project again, I'd use less figures (1 per base rather than 2 - 30mmm round?) - Line infantry generally get 2 bases; Legere get 3; and British Lights get 4; Riflemen get 3 but only have one formed stand each. Trouble was, I purchased about 75% of both armies (British and French) as a single order right at the start - it cost me £2000 - and pretty much decided the format from the off.

Jonathan White said...

Lovely project & very inspiring! I nearly put an order in to FR!
I shouldn't fret about the Generals uniforms. They usually worn civilian dress when campaigning. What they wore was down to the weather. Dress uniforms were far too expensive to get dirty. They were for parades and having one's portrait done.

TamsinP said...

Very nicely done. The units and commanders look smashing. :)

Marc said...

yes, Jack Hawkins was excellent.

fireymonkeyboy said...

Lovely work, as always. Hadn't realized you painted in enamels. Are the figures metal or resin?


Front Rank figures are metal.

Ratmaul said...

Thank you for your answer James!
At least they are beautiful, if rather expensive, markers 😉
I think that only one figure per base would have felt too lonely.
So your “error” had some serendipity factor in it, IMHO 😄

The rules you described are official or your home brew?
Keep up the great work

Ratmaul said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gonsalvo said...

Great looking troops, as always, James. I am working on Fuentes de Onoro, and found I needed more British units, so the last three have been extracted from the klead pile. I was tempted to do the Chasseurs Britaniques, who were present there, but am resisting for now, at least.


The Ch. Britanniques are one of 'special units' that will go a long way to making my scaled down 7th Division look like 'The Mongrels' when I need to field it.

As you know I'm scaling my divisions at one unit per 1000 men. So, 7th div. will feature: Ch. Britanniques and 51st West Riding Light Infantry (my home county and place of birth) in red; 2 units of Portuguese line, in blue; 5 skirmish stands of Portuguese Cacadores, in brown; Brunswick Oels, in black.

Most of the time, I'll probably use the Britanniques as a red coated British unit to fill a another division - it's normal looking enough to get away with it.

Gonsalvo said...

Exactly, just the "light" (more medium/royal) blue facings and regimental color to distinguish it at any distance.

David said...

Wonderful and inspiring work, as always.



rross said...

Fantastic work - must get my gamiing group to do a Peninsula game again soon so I get my own Portuguese out of storage!