Friday, June 16, 2017

Continental Artillery

Open fire!
At the beginning of the American Revolution, the Americans lacked several important components for a modern, 18th Century army.  Among these was a professional artillery corps.  By 1781, the Continental Corps of Artillery had been created and uniformed in blue coats faced with red.  Sergeants wore yellow lace on the coat, and all ranks wore yellow trim on their tricorn hats.

The crew prepare to load the gun
The Continental Corps of Artillery participated in many engagements. In 1781 alone (which year these figures are painted to represent), they fought in at least four battles: The artillery fought at the Battle of Cowpens, the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, the Battle of Green Spring, and the Siege of Yorktown.

A Three-Pounder "Grasshopper" Cannon

Figures by BMC, painted with Testors paints.  No conversions were done to these figures.  The artillery piece was included in a set of DGN "American Revolution" figures.  It is painted to represent a versatile 3-pounder "Grasshopper" cannon.  Cannons were measured by the weight of the ball they threw; so a three-pounder cannon would fire a three-pound cannonball.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Volunteers of Ireland

The Volunteers of Ireland were a Loyalist unit during the American Revolution. The regiment was designed to appeal to Irishmen—particularly those from the Continental Army. The Volunteers of Ireland wore green facings, carried an Irish harp on their cap, and marched to a song called “Success to the Shamrogue.” (see The regiment, which had been given the title of the 2nd American Regiment in 1779, was shipped to South Carolina in 1780 to aid Sir Henry Clinton in his siege of Charleston.

Charleston was captured, knocking South Carolina out of the war (temporarily) and the Volunteers of Ireland remained to garrison the area. They made up part of Cornwallis’ left wing at the battle of Camden and were able to hold off the Continentals while Cornwallis’ right routed the militia. Interestingly, at Camden, it is recorded that the Continentals charged at the Volunteers of Ireland’s flag before being solidly repulsed. The Volunteers of Ireland participated in futile chases against Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox, and fought in the bitter South Carolina skirmishes. In 1781, the Volunteers fought at Hobkirk’s Hill. As a reward for their distinguished service, they were moved onto the British regimental establishment as the 105th Regiment in 1782. (1)

Their uniform is a short red coat with green brandenbourgs and a light infantry cap with an Irish harp. I love this particular combination, as it is so unusual and dashing!

Figures by BMC. The soldier loading his musket is a conversion.  They are painted with Testors paints.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Young Philadelphia Gentleman

This figure represents a young gentleman in the 18th century meaning of the term.  A gentleman was a man who owned property and was financially well-off.  This young gentleman certainly fits that description.  Wearing a silver-laced hat, a ruffled cravat, and large silver buckles on his shoes, he shows that he is well-to-do.  While his coat, waistcoat, and breeches may look like they are all the same color, the coat is actually slightly lighter than the breeches and waistcoat.

The figure is converted from two Marx recast colonial "Johnny Tremaine" characters.  "Sam Adams" provided the entire body, while "Johnny Tremaine" provided the head and cupped left hand (the figure's left is on the viewer's right).  The head was sculpted to look like a younger person, and the hand was changed because the original figure carried a tricorne hat in his left hand. 

Just like in a previous post, in which I copied a costume my sister wore, he wears a costume which my brother wore during the filming of Beyond the Mask, a Christian movie set in the American Revolution.  The last picture shows both of them walking near a colonial house.  But there are still more family members to be created...

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

First Figure of 2017!

This Ideal militiaman is the first figure which I finished in 2017!  He is not an original Ideal figure, but is recast.  Since he wore a bicorne hat, I cut it down and sculpted a roundhat turned up on one side instead.  In addition, I lengthened his waistcoat, making him look more like a militiaman of 1776 than 1812.  His socks are medium blue with light blue stripes, an interesting combination which I like.  Click on the pictures to expand them.  Figure by Ideal (recast), painted with Testors Paints.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Painted Figures of 2016

One of my goals for the past year was to paint 25 figures.  I succeeded, painting a total of 26 figures.
The first group showcased is the center company of the 80th Regiment of Foot (Royal Edinburgh Volunteers).  They muster 11 men, including an officer and flagbearer.

 Next is a group of six militiamen completed this year.  The man waving his hat makes an excellently patriotic NCO, while the armed minister is ready to resist both Episcopalianism and George III.

 The 2nd Pennsylvania Regiment received their own flagbearer in 2016.
 I began a French & Indian War collection in 2016 by painting this French-Canadian militiaman.  Comrades and opponents are not far behind...

In my opinion, no military diorama is complete without civilians, and these six personalities will add color and charm to any layout.  A tavern keeper, gentleman, porter, and printer all fill needed roles in my 54mm colonial world.

Another fledgling collection of mine is the Seven Years War in India.  It was bolstered with the recruitment of an EIC European and Sepoy.

Last but not least come these two enforcers from the American Revolution-era movie Beyond the Mask.  In the movie, these black-coated gentry follow the orders of Charles Kemp and harass his opponents.  I have given them the nickname "Kemp's Greys" based on their facing color.

And that was my progress in 2016!  2017 will see even more additions to my 54mm armies.  Stay tuned!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Flagbearer of the 80th Regiment of Foot

This is an ensign of the 80th Regiment of Foot (Royal Edinburgh Volunteers) carrying the King's color.  British regiments of the mid-to-late 18th century carried two colors: a King's color and a regimental color.  The King's color was a Union Jack throughout, with a wreath enclosing the regimental number in the center.  The regimental color was in the unit's facing color, with a small Union Jack in the upper left corner and a wreath enclosing the regimental number in the center.

And speaking of facing colors, this man is wearing blue facings!  Why the change from a previous post when I put the Royal Edinburgh Volunteers in yellow facings?  More information will be coming in a future post...

The figure and flagpole were from All the King's Men Toy Soldiers.  Visit their website at

The lance head on top of the flagpole was hand-sculpted by me; the gold and crimson mixed cord is made from embroidery floss.  The flag itself was borrowed from the website "British Regimental Drums and Colors" at  Do check out this website, as it is full of the ornate flags and drums carried into battle by King George's redcoated armies.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


These two figures are militia riflemen in the service of Virginia.  One wears an olive-drab hunting shirt, while the other is dressed in a tan waistcoat and olive breeches.  They both carry long Pennsylvania rifles.  Lafayette's army during the Virginia campaign of 1781 included a unit of frontier riflemen.

Because the rifle lacked a bayonet, a rifle-armed unit was at a serious disadvantage when confronted with a musket-armed unit, which had bayonets.  To overcome this difficulty, riflemen were commonly paired with bayonet-equipped troops.  The riflemen could begin to inflict casualties on the enemy, while the musket-armed infantry would defend them with their bayonets against a sudden enemy rush.  Both the Americans and the British used these tactics, for the British had rifle-armed German Jaegers.

The rifleman standing firing is from Accurate American Militia #1, and the rifleman running is an Ideal recast.  I sculpted the roundhat turned up one one side for the Accurate figure.  Both are painted with Testors paints.