The annual Painting Challenge is coming nearer and actually I should take time to prepare figures for it. Luckily my lead mountain is filled with primed miniatures so I can use my little time at the workbench to proceed with my contribution to our club's next show project: The British landing at Aboukir 1801.
Besides a couple of boats my largest task is a 24 figure unit of British redcoats that shall respresent the 28th Regiment of Foot. Comparing the different ranges available - mostly of course those perfect 1801 British by Alan Perry - none gave me satisfaction. Excellent figures all around but I wanted to have something more characterful. So I decided to create a unit of conversions:
|The whole unit with an additional command for Peninsular|
To be honest this idea wasn't completely my own. Alan Perry had a similar project for 1815 British posted on Facebook a while ago (here) and that planted the idea in my brain to try something similar for my early Brits. While Alan used only the arms from the plastic AWI sets I decided to go further and try to create some of the early stovepipe 1801 redcoats with overalls instead of gaiters. Although most pictures show thus early troops with white breeches and gaiters it is rather sure that at least from 1801 onward white overalls were wore as well.
Thus I thought those Perry plastics should be a good point to start from. Most notable difference to the later uniform they are wearing is the backpack. In 1801 another knapsack was worn but the troops landing at Aboukir were told to leave these on board of their ships. They just took a rolled blanket with some personal belongings and rations with them.
So I decided to remove the shoulder straps from the figures' chests and to add trumplines. There are a couple of them in the plastic AWI sets but I didn't want to use up all of them so I looked for a way to reproduce some of them. Luckily my experiments with greenstuff and Instant Mold (report here) were pretty successful and about a dozen sets of useful bits emerged.
After all I created 21 figures from different combinations of the three mentioned plastic boxes (Perry Napoleonic British, AWI British and AWI Americans) as well as a head from a Victrix box and an arm from the newish Perry NWF Brits.
Unfortunately the British uniform during the Napoleonic wars was a bit special and the earlier AWI figures didn't wear the correct shoulder wings or tufts. For the flank companies I cut and re-assembled the arms with correct shoulders but for the centre companies I added some tufts of greenstuff myself. Not perfect but at least working well I think.
The cuffs were another were special thing of the British because they had lacing all around. To keep things a little simpler I decided not to sculpt new laces but to paint them onto those (AWI American) cuff where they're missing.
The only thing I decided to add in metal and straight from the blister is a three men command set. I really wanted officers with top hats rather than bicones so I'll add the commanding officer as well as two ensigns straight from the wonderful Perry range. For Peninsular I'll prepare another command trio with bicornes though.
It took a while to assemble this unit but I'm rather satisfied with the result. Unfortunately now the even more time consuming painting work comes...