|My painted inventory before march.|
About 6 years ago, I (re)discovered my BMC American War of Independence (Yorktown) figures my daughter had bought for me a long long time before. This was through reading a blog by 'Uncle Thor' and finding out about his 'toy soldier art' and 'OMOG - One Man One Gun' rules for non-war gamers' war games that I could at last see how I could get some fun out of them.
Shortly after that their numbers were increased by a friend unloading his small inventory of BMC figures. Not knowing much about the figures, I painted the 'mitre-hat' guys as British Grenadiers, forgetting that at that time they rather favoured the fur cap, for some reason. All the same, I made no attempt at reproducing the elaborate designs, or even just the 'GR' cypher on the fronts of this headgear. The tricorn guys became US Continentals.
Back in about March, a friend ('Jacko' - he of the Painting Little Soldiers blog spot) was visiting Colorado (USA) on business. There being a store near where he was staying he bought a couple of packs. The larger of the two - a very generous gesture - was for me.
In it were a cannon and mortar (now I have two of each), a whole bunch of guys with the metal front mite cap and ... eleven chaps with fur caps! How was I going to 'fit' these into my existing forces? I wanted the forces to remain more or less equal, but I am fairly sure the Americans didn't go for the mitre caps all that much. Nor did I want 'all British' on one side; and a split force on the other.
That left this solution:
|Grenadiers of the Saintonge Regiment|
The fur cap guys became French grenadiers of the Saintonge Regiment. The choice of unit was based on the flags available. as much as anything. The flag bearer was made from one of the 'hatted' guys with a pistol (the castings of the pistols was pretty poor, but that can be dealt with).
A splendid little 13-figure company.
The dozen or so other troops became, to develop the theme, what they were supposed to be: German mercenaries. I painted them up as Brunswickers of the Prinz Friedrichs Regiment.
|Fusiliers of the Infantry Regiment Prinz Friedrichs|
Their numbers have been eked out to 15 figures by the 'Lafayette' (hatless) and 'Cornwallis' figures, and, of course, the obligatory flag bearer.
Along with the cannon and mortar in the pack came some artilleryman, one of whom is carrying a powder barrel. Much appreciated: I didn't have one of him already. I painted these guys up that they could be used for any army, even the British - the gunners' uniforms being so similar among the belligerents. For the ordnance, rather than paint the whole piece, I just painted the gun barrel brass, and the tyres and mortar my special gloss-black-and-silver mix for burnished metal. The same formula was used upon the musket barrels and swords of the figures.
Having painted these new guys up I held a grand review of all the figures, as if arrayed for battle.
There are enough gunners to provide all pieces of ordnance with a crew of 3. But I've kept them and their crews, but for 3 red-coated gunners, sufficiently anonymous to represent artillery for either side. With roughly 45 figures a side overall, I reckon there is more than enough for der kleine kriege...
These forces are not designed for big battles, but for something more in the line of 'affairs of outposts'. I dare say light troops and irregulars would be better suited, but I'm more than happy to see grenadiers, lini infantry and fusiliers take up these duties...