Sunday 30 March 2014

New Warlord British Infantry

This whole project has only been possible thanks to the advent of excellent plastic 28mm figures from Victrix and Perrys. I think these came out around 2008, so I have been assembling them and building my Waterloo army for 6 years now. It was really exciting, therefore, to hear that a third company would be introducing a range - Warlord Games launching British infantry for both the Peninsular and Waterloo.

My first box arrived this week and  I spent an enjoyable afternoon yesterday assembling them.
All the figs are in marching poses which, for my purposes (the static position of the Waterloo line) isn't really what I need. That said, I have two units marching - the 27th (line) and the 71st (light) - and so these figs can be added to those ranks, the flank figs (with epaulettes) joining the 71st.

I somehow managed to order a box of Peninsular infantry by mistake - and my 28th foot (the only regiment in stove pipeshako at Waterloo) are in firing line, so I decided to add Perry heads (like the rest of the 27th) and Victrix heads (like the rest of my 71st). The tricky thing about this was that, unlike Victrix and Perry, Warlord heads are attached to the collar. Thus, I had to cut off all the collars and glue them onto the figs, then glue the Perry/Victrix heads to these collars. Fiddly, but I love making these kind of Frankenstein hybrids.

New recruits for the 27th Foot (Warlord figs with Perry heads)

New recruits for the 71st Foot (Warlord figs with Victrix heads)

The Warlord heads are actually fantastic, I love them - full of character without being too "cartoony" and have already ordered a second box (Belgic shako this time!) which I will use, un-Frankensteined for more 27th Foot.

Interestingly, each box comes with a metal command - two standards, an officer, a serjeant, a sapper and a drummer. This seems to make the £18 per box seem even better value - more like £13 per box in terms of the plastic figs!

However, I'm not really sure what I'm supposed to do with the 2 standards - their hands are cast shut - am I really supposed to drill a hole through their clenched fists?

But I don't really care - the one thing I don't need more of is standard bearers - thanks to Victrix's 4 per box and Perry's 2 per box I have a plastic bag of standard bearers somewhere under the stairs containing over redundant 100 figures!

Much better are these two wonderful figs. Sadly I won't be able to use the Peninsular officer - a lovely casting - but I might paint him up and try to sell him to raise some funds. The serjeant is simply excellent and is one of my favourite figs ever - he will say goodbye to his comrades and go and join the ranks of the 28th, patrolling at the rear of the firing line, yelling encouragement, and keeping the line straight with his pike.

One thing I've always wondered about is the relationship (or lack of) bewteen Victrix and Perry.  It seems remarkable that 2 companies would launch such similar products almost simultaneously without any cooperation/agreement.  The fact that arms/heads/etc fit so neatly on each other's models has been a wonderful godsend for me and, I'm sure, many others, but how do THEY feel about it?
Now, Warlord has added to my head-scratching... 
Look at these two identical backpacks. But  wait, they're not identical. The one on the left is from the Perry box, the one on the right is from the new Warlord box. Do Warlord have to pay royalties for copying the design? Or do the Perrys not care? Are all the manufacturers friends and have a nice laissez-faire attitude to each other's ranges?
These are the things that I sometimes think about while gluing endless bits and pieces together!

Anyway, I hope Warlord extend their range of British Napoleonics - I really like them. Perhaps they will be the guys to finally bring out a box of heavy British cavalry (with different heads you could have dragoons, dragoon guaurds, and Scots Greys all in one box) and enable my charge of the Union Brigade to finally come into fruition!

Thursday 20 March 2014

69th Foot

Been rushing to get these finished before the deadline of the Analogue Hobbies painting competition. Stayed up late doing the final touches, then spent all morning basing them, only to find the competition had ended already! Oh dear, 400 points! Never mind - it's been good to have a bit of stick and carrot to urge me on!
So here are four battered companies of the 69th Foot at Waterloo - they took a hammering at Quatre Bras having been caught out of square, the extremely high corn causing them to not see an oncoming mass of Curaissiers. Of all the research I've done at Kew over the past 13 years, the discharge papers of men of the 69th are among the most striking, bringing to life the horror of the 16th June as those big horsemen crashed through the corn, sabres slashing downwards, the rookie troops of the South Lincolnshire bolting for their lives. The documents tell the terrible story of these men (or mere boys), you can almost see them trying to fend off the terrible blades. - Private James Cunningham discharged 1816 aged 22 "in consequence of wounds to head and hands"" - Private Timothy Mulcahy discharged 1816 aged 19 "in consequence of extensive scar on the scalp and over the right eye which is greatlly impaired".

It was no wonder that the two squares of Halkett's brigade (so depleted were the 4 regiments that the 30th formed up with the 73rd, and the 33rd formed up with the 69th), were somewhat shakey to say the least two days later at Waterloo.
At least one, possibly both squares broke, at Waterloo and I many accounts remark on the number of men slipping away and making their way to the rear, some wounded but some just too terrified to stay in the front line.
So here are men of Halkett's brigade  - a mix of the 73rd, 30th in this instance - showing a clean pair of heels.
Here Corporal Richard Brown of No.3 Company, 30th Foot tries in vain to halt the stampede of men to the rear. From Weldon, Northants he had given his profession as "soap bailer" on enlistment. He was wounded at Waterloo and died of his wounds on 9th July.

 The chap with the bandaged head is Private John Cassells of the 73rd Foot. An Irishman from Ballyboy, Kings County, he was discharged in 1815 due to his head wound. Omitted from the medal roll (who knows why?) he was eventually awarded his Waterloo medal in 1848.

The poor chap in the foreground is Tipperary man Private William Ryan of No. 7 Company, 30th Foot.  He lost his left eye and was subsequently discharged in 1816.