Thursday, July 26, 2012

Knuckleduster War of 1812 U.S. Marines

With the War of 1812 bicentennial approaching-er, actually it's here-Mark Waddington, Doug Hamm and I are committing ourselves to hosting several games at Enfilade 2013-14.  You can count on Crysler's Farm and Sackett's Harbor for 2013, and likely Chippewa, Lundy's Lane, and Bladensburg for 2014.  Doug probably has enough figures to do all of them himself, but he's letting us in on the fun anyway.

As I've mentioned ad nauseum, I'll supply the figures, British and American for the Bladensburg game.  I have some of the figures done already, but I'll need to build and in some cases re-do some of the units.
U.S. Marines at Bladensburg in 1814.  Commanded by Joshua Barney in the third American line.  One of the few dependable units at the battle, there were only 120 on the field.
One of the units I'm rebuilding is the U.S. Marines.  I've already painted them once, but honestly the figures used were minor conversions.from Dixon's Napoleon in Egypt range. Nice, but skinny, and not quite right. Doug's written to me and on his fine blog about the Knuckleduster War of 1812 range over the past year.  He alerted me to the fact that KD issued its Marines.

There aren't very many 25mm War of 1812 ranges. It's pretty much Old Glory and Knuckleduster, with the latter becoming a late arrival on the scene.  In some cases KD has recreated many of the same figures OG issued decades ago, but it's real value is in the troops OG omitted.  Canadian militia types, American frontier militia, the American marines, and most recently, Joshua Barney's flotillamen. I've ordered enough figures to complete two units, both relatively small: the U.S. Marines at Bladensburg and a unit of Maryland militia I'll use for one of the Annapolis battalions.

I've completed the Marines.  They are definitely a step up from my Dixon place holders. Their uniforms are distinct with their long gaiters and yellow lace.  The miniatures are anatomically correct.  Not a lot of poses.  For such a small unit (only twelve figures on three stands) I wonder if it would almost be better to have just one pose, or a bunch of poses.  Anyway, I could probably have grouped them differently on the bases.  The heads and faces are very nicely formed, as are certain parts of the torso.  I'm less wild about the strapping that is very hard to get to, as well as some of the lace.  The unit might be better served with shouldered arms.  The command group with officer, drummer and NCO are probably the nicest figures in the lot. 

 Are these great figures?  They are necessary figures for this battle.  I don't mean to give faint praise.  They are well proportioned, but for some reason I didn't enjoy painting them.  I felt myself painting around things, which is frustrating.  Some of the details, like the canteen, shako and faces were awesome.  Others, such as the the strapping, were a crapshoot. I've begun painting the Marylanders, and they seem to be going much better, so maybe it's just these guys.

I painted the long tailed jacket in Vallejo dark Prussian blue, lightened with white for the highlights. .  Pants white, with simple gray in the creases.  The gaiters were in Vallejo light gray washed in Ceramcoat charcoal.  Facings and the drummer's uniform in Vallejo flat red. Yellow lace is Vallejo Deep Yellow which give decent coverage over the dark jacket and shako.

1 comment:

DeanM said...

Nice work, Kevin. Sounds like you guys will be hosting some nice games next year - I hope to get in one at least one of them. BTW, I see all of the Marines seem to have chevrons above their cuffs - not a rank thing I suppose. Best, Dean