Thursday, June 27, 2013

British Beginings

    After I finish my 1813 Prussian expansion, it is on to starting a British Napoleonic army for the first time since my original armies of pre-painted Ochel flats of the 1960's. Roughly 11 years ago, along with his 1813 Prussian infantry, I bought Jamie's small collection of  (painted) 25mm British Minifigs for $1/figure - hard to beat that! The Prussians were pressed into service almost immediately, but I really hadn't touched the British at all since I bought them. Originally organized by Jamie for Column, Line, and Square, there were two Regiments, the 3rd Line (The Buffs - buff facings -, of course), and the 69th Line (South Lincolnshire -green facings). With CLS organization, that meant that each Regiment was composed of 2 flank companies of three figures each, 8 center companies of three each, a "Command Stand" of three each, plus a mounted colonel.

  For my own British units, after debating I decided to stick to my own standard infantry organization of 18 figures on six stands of three each per unit. I decided to go with 2 Light and 2 Grenadier "Flank Company" men per unit, 3-4 command figures(Officer, Standard Bearer, Drummer, +/- NCO), and 10-11 center company figures per unit.  That meant that I could make 2 units at my organization out of each one of his, more or less. I needed to change the basing to conform better to my own, so after soaking the bases over night in water with a little detergent added, the figures were easily removed, and reorganized and re-based to the above scheme. Jamie really did a great job with very finely detailed painting on these venerable Minifigs, as you can see below:

The 3rd Infantry, aka "The Buffs"; the light company is on the near side of the front rank, the grenadiers on the far side. 

The drummer wears reversed colors - Hurrah!  Even the drum is in the facing color with red rims. Evidently, the body of the drum was often painted with the regimental crest and/or battle honors as well - even in 25mm, not too easy to paint that on!

I have read that British regiments with Buff facings ordinarily wore buff pants and/or even buff colored belts. I am unsure of the accuracy of this information however, so I chose to leave them as painted. 

The wonderful designs of the Regimental Colors are another attraction of British Napoleonic units in miniature!

I used the surplus 15 figures plus the mounted colonel to make a second buff coated regiment; now if I can just find some old Minifigs British command packs!

I made thes second unity the 61st Infantry aka "South Gloucestershire" Regiment. Chosen strictly because it also wore buff facings with silver buttons!

The officer's saddle is in the (buff) facing color with edging in the button color (silver). Hard to beat the British army for military bling, eh?

This is the second of Jamie's two units, the 69th, aka the "South Lincolnshire" Regiment.

The green facings of this unit don't contrast quite as dramatically as the buff of the preceding two units.

Jamie did a fine job of painting these figures back ? 20+ years ago!

The green field of the Regimental colors looks great.

Once again I have pressed the mounted colonel into service as the 6th stand of a second unit (I "borrowed" a stand from the first(69th)  Regiment to complete the Square formation for this shot, though).

Once again, I love the green saddle blanket trimmed in gold on the Colonel's horse!

They look ready to hold the ridge line at Waterloo against the charges of the French Cuirassiers, don't they?

I made this regiment the 19th aka "1st Yorkshire", as once again it shares green facings and yellow metal buttons with the 69th!

  I figured that while I am attending Historicon in a few weeks, I'd take good advantage of my Old Glory Army card, and pick up an order there to start on some of my own British units to paint. Unlike the above units, which are in the later "Belgic" shako, I decided to do my units in the earlier "stovepipe" shakos which were worn through at least 1812, and probably well after that in many if not most units. OG makes these in three different poses: March Attack, Advancing, and Defending. I already have a unit each of Essex Light Dragoons and Hussars to paint, plus about 16 Minifigs Heavy Dragoons from Jamie, so I most need some more Infantry and some Artillery units.  Eventually, I'll have to figure out how all of this will coordinate with plans for Waterloo in 2015 (Joe has been working on painting units for Quatre Bras for 2015 for quite a few years now, using the magnificent Perry miniatures).

1 bag Center companies March Attack  = 3 units worth of  center companies BXI 09 30 figures @$35
1 bag Elite companies  March Attack = 3 units worth w/ 18 left over (become Light Infantry) BXI 10@$35

1 bag Center companies advancing  = 3 units worth of  center companies  BXI 11  @ $35
1 bag Elite companies advancing = 3 units worth w/ 18 left over  (become Light Infantry)  BXI 12@$35

Plus 2 bags of Command for all of the above  BXI 08 20 figures each @$25

Foot Artillery crews   in stovepipe shakos   BXA-03  20 figures at $25
Horse Artillery Crews   BXA-02  $25

That comes to $240, but with the magic of the 40% Army Card discount, $96 is knocked off for a final cost of just $144 for 200 figures.  Hard to beat that for value!

Probable future purchases:
1 bag Defending Center  BXI 13
1 bag Defending Flank BXI 14
1 bag of Command   BXI 08

1 Bag Light Infantry w/ command = enough for 2 units with adding some of the spare Elite company men from above  BXI 21

1 Bag of Fusiliers in Bearskins (? w/ command)  BXI 20

I will need a few more artillery crew, possibly from other manufacturers

 I will also need at least one unit of Rifles (? w/ command) = enough for 1 unit of 12 and one of 18.  I could get Perry miniatures instead. Hmmm.

Highlanders are a bit of a problem - with OG, I would need separate bags for command, center, and flank companies - thus it might be best to buy from another manufacturer, as I only want one or at most 2 units.  Once again, Perry might come in handy here (and they come in packs of 6).

Planning armies is a good part of the fun of our hobby, isn't it?



  1. I was also in trouble with the British. Although the British Airfix were amongst the first miniatures I bought (ca. 1980), until 2008 and with the bicentennial of the Peninsular War, those were the only British in my collection!
    Incidentally, a great painting job!

    1. The approaching Waterloo bicentenial is the starting point for me, with the Peninsula likely to follow.

      Jamie did a very nice job, painting these figures with extraordinary precision.

  2. Very nice work, love the square formation.

    1. Yes, somehow the Square makes us think especially of the British!

  3. Nicely painted and you already have a brigade's worth of line, so pick yourself out a mounted officer for the Brigade commander. I know how you dislike re-basing, but they came out well.

    Your thought on the Highlanders is good, you can get center, command and flank packs from Perry and they are all six to a pack. They also have a pack of three mounted colonels, one of which is in tartan and bonnet.

    I have the the British brigades from Picton's and Alten's Divisions. This includes the three Highland battalions in the 1815 campaign.

    All my 'other' red coated troops are Hanoverian, painted up as Kielmansegge's or Best's brigades. Or will be, as son as they are finished.

    1. After Historicon I have to sit down with my copy of the Waterloo Companion and sort things out more for the long range plan...

  4. Nice units, and I agree planning is a ot of fun.


    1. Yep, one of my favorite things in MWAN was when Hal would gradually develop the concepts and organization that he would use for his next project.

  5. Those are great looking units. I think it's good that you didn't repaint any of them. I really prize the few units in my armies that were painted by friends.

    1. Good point, Mike. I have some Minifigs Russians that my friend Paul did, and some Wesyphalians that my other freind Chuck did, and aside from rebasing, they have remaned as they painted them. I did acquire a substantial number of Minifigs Prussians from Joe after the purchase from Jamie; Some of them were fairly battered and needed some minor touch up and/or changes of facing colors, which I did, but they are mostly in their original paint despite that.

  6. Replies
    1. It was about time I did something with them, eh?