Tuesday 23 September 2014

7th Hussars - completed squadron

I've been working on these, the 7th Hussars, for ages. Things have not been helped by two cock-ups which  meant a lot of time wasted and a lot of time trying to fix things. Firstly, I tried to save time by spraying on an undercoat instead of doing it by hand. This resulted in a much too thick coating, which in some places destroyed a lot of detail - for example, the braiding on some of the pelisses. For the first time, I found a drawback with plastics - you can't just chuck them in white spirit and start again. Instead I found myself trying to pick out the detail but the overall result has been generally disappointing. Then, just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, I had a whole batch of Vallejo paints come out gloss - the dark blue I use, the "flat" red, even the black. Again, I had to go back to try to fix things, resorting to digging out my old Humbrol matt enamels to repaint the shiny parts.
All this has meant I've increasingly fallen out of love with this lot and probably rushed the end to get them based and move on to something new. One day, when I have stopped fuming, I might one go back and try to add some of the details I have hurried through but for the moment - this is yer lot!

The 7th were the only British regiment to suffer significant casualties on the 17th June - the day between Quatre Bras and Waterloo. At Genappe they skirmished with French lancers, didn't cover themselves in glory, and ultimately needed the Life Guards to come to the rescue and send the probing French attacks packing. It was a filthy day, witnesses describing men and horses covered from head to toe in mud, so that the colours of their uniforms were indistinguishable. It would take a brave chap to try to recreate that in 28mm but I have tried to muddy up this lots' sheepskins, gloves etc. and take some of the parade-ground sheen off.

A nominal starting strength of just over 400 men (6 troops divided into 3 squadrons) would have been reduced by at least 100 in casualties and horses lost on the 17th. These 65 men therefore represent the approximate strength of one of the three squadrons remaining at Waterloo (so I just need to repeat the above another two times!)


The Regiment suffered a particularly high casualty rate amongst its officers – all the Captains serving with the Regiment were wounded, in addition to Captain Wildman who was wounded while serving as a staff officer.

  In the evening of the 17th the two armies took up their respective lines and minor skirmishers took place between various pickets.  In one such incident Captain Heyliger led his Troop in a charge. This was observed by Wellington who was so impressed as to ask for the officer’s name.


Wednesday 17 September 2014

Farewell to the Union Brigade?

I'm currently putting the finishing touches to the 1st Foot (Royal Scots) 3rd Battalion who were part of Pack's predominantly Scottish brigade in the Waterloo campaign. The brigade consisted of the 1st, the 42nd (Black Watch) and the 92nd (Gordons) - only the 44th (East Essex) were a non-Scots regiment, it's a pity they couldn't have been swapped with the third kilted regiment - the 79th (Camerons) who were in Kempt's brigade.
The nearly finished 1st Royal Scots. These are 95% Victrix and will of course be in square when finished. As you can see, I get through far too much tea when painting, there are actually another two mugs out of shot!

10 companies of 24 men plus drummers and command = about 265 men. I actually have enough 2nd and 3rd rank men for the companies to be 30 strong, to take the regiment up to a more realistic 320  (after Quatre Bras they had lost a lot of men) but, as always, I don't have enough kneeling 1st rank men. Are you reading this Justin and Steve?!! :)

 Anyway, it's weird to think that by the time I finish painting and basing this lot (hopefully by Friday), they might belong to a "foreign" country.
I read somewhere that 95% of current Scottish servicemen would prefer to continue serving in the British army than join the new SDF of an independent Scotland. I can't imagine how it will all be sorted out - so many regimental traditions, so enmeshed in being a part of "Queen and country" etc.It will be interesting to see - in the meantime here are some pics of my Scottish regiments. The 71st are missing, I have barely started painting them - maybe the next job!

42nd - work in progress

92nd - work in progress. Can you hear the pipes?

79th (Camerons) - yes I know they were in one long line, but my table isn't long enough!

Ironic too that a year short of the 200th anniversary of the legendary charge of the Union Brigade (the Scots Greys charging alongside the mainly English 1st Dragoons and the Irish (Inniskilling) 6th Dragoons), this Union may cease to exist. So here are some more repeat pics of Serjeant Ewart and his comrades, perhaps for the last time that we're all together!