Sunday 26 January 2014

33rd Foot - Number 2 Company & Number 3 Company

The latest submission for Curt's painting competition at Analogue Hobbies are these two companies of the 33rd Foot. No 2 Company lost 36% casualties and No 3 lost 66% - the worst for any Company in the British army during the 1815 campaign.

A common thought that crosses my mind when painting British infantry is "I wish I'd chosen the French instead". I seriously believe that if this project had been to replicate the French army at 1:1, I would have finished already. I reckon one could do at least 10 French figures in greatcoat (especially if also wearing a covered shako) for the time it takes to do a single British infantryman - the endless white lace and webbing takes an age, the brown strap that goes around the blue canteen and so on. Even more time consuming are flank company men with those ******* winged epaulettes (maybe 14 Frenchmen in greatcoats?) and worse still a kilted Highlander (maybe 20 Frenchmen?).

Shouting orders here is Lieutenant Samual Pagan of No.3 Company. When not forming square to see off the French cavalry attack, the regiment were ordered to lie down to avoid casualties from the French artillery barrage.

Lieutenat Frederick Hope Pattison recalls.

“ When in this prostrate position it so happened that Lieutenant  Pagan, Captain Trevor and Lieutenant  Hart were lying on the ground close to one another in the centre of the square. I was standing up, much interested in what was going on to our left, when a missile, supposed to be the fracture of a shell, hit Hart so severely on the shoulder as to cause instant death, and, passing over Trevor, scooped out one of Pagan’s ears.  He got up staggering and bleeding profusely when I, with other assistance, placed him on a bearer to carry him to the rear.  The men thus employed had hardly left the centre of the square when a cannon-ball hit one of them and carried off his leg.  Another man took his place.” 

The unfortunate Pagan later gave up the military life and became a doctor in Edinburgh.

No.2 Company had lost one man killed at Quatre Bras, and a further five men were killed at Waterloo. A further four died of wounds. The 33rd (West Riding) Foot was unusual in that it contained large numbers of men who actually came from that county. For example, the men killed in action at Waterloo were: Privates Michael Slim (Hathersage, Derbyshire), Elijah Carter (Halifax, Yorks), John Ramsden (Halifax, Yorks), Ralph Marsh (Tilsley, Lancs), William Dryden (Yorks)

Saturday 18 January 2014

69th Foot - Light Company

Work on Halkett's brigade continues with the Light Company of the 69th (South Lincolnshire) Foot. I put them all on one base as I will eventually with the light companies of the 30th, 33rd and 69th with whom they skirmished as a "Flank Battalion" at Waterloo under the command of Major Charles Vigoureux of the 30th.

Of the 59 men of the Light Company 24 were casualties with 8 of those killed or dying or wounds; a casualty rate of 41% (which would in fact be higher were the number of rear echelon men taken into account). Of the 8 men killed 5 were English, 2 were Scottish and 1 was Irish.

 In the foreground we can see Corporal Richard Williams of Rathdrum, Wicklow - one of the older men in this young regiment, aged 41. Behind him comes bugler Thomas Walsh, another Irishman from Cavan.

Private William Watkins from Norwich. Killed at Waterloo.

 The figs are mostly Victrix with a few Perry legs and arms thrown in for variety.

Thursday 2 January 2014

Happy New Year!

I was hoping to do another end of year review like last year but I'm still kind of living out of a suitcase, and many of the figs are boxed up in various family members' garages. Hopefully I'll have everything back together by the summer and I can do a mid-year review!
Had a very nice Christmas and was lucky enough to receive some great gifts - from my sister a really interesting book about Napoleonic surgeon Guthrie, and from Her Indoors some Perry hussars and metal light dragoons. The former I'm going to do as the 7th Hussars, Uxbridge's favourites and in the thick of the action during the retreat of 17th June as well as at Waterloo. The light dragoons are really nice figs, a standing pose rather than galloping, which I personally prefer, but I will need to win the lottery to complete a regiment of these at 1:1!. She also got me a Prussian wagon (!) - I might try to paint it and sell it, or swap it for some more British cavalry.

I have been really enjoying following all of the fantastic entries at Curt's painting competition - I'm amazed how people can complete large units so quickly. I realised I wasn't going to be a very useful contributer if I just rocked up with a vast finished brigade in March, so I rushed off Major Maclean of the 73rd just to get my name on the board!

 I really don't like the pic - taken without natural light (that's the UK at midday at the moment!), which makes everything look horribly glossy, plus you can see the rush job - there are specks of flock on the horse's mane! Eventually poor Maclean will be rebased on a command base with colours, colour serjeants etc of the 73rd.

Meanwhile I continue with Halkett's Brigade - I spent the whole of today, for example, just doing 600 haversacks!

I've realised that even if I finish all these for March I might not be able to base them all as I will be missing some kneeling figures (I'm making squares of three ranks, front rank kneeling). If anyone has any spare Victrix kneeling figs (or Foundry etc) please get in touch and I will buy them from you!