Friday, 23 March 2018

Generals and Émigrés

This week’s focus has been on completing the generals and adding the first of the émigré regiments for the British in Egypt.


Of the generals I have done three brigadiers in Doyle, Coote and Craddock.




The first of what will be four émigré regiments is De Watteville's Regiment founded by Louis de Watteville, the son of a Swiss mercenary who commanded a regiment in the service of the Netherlands. Louis served as a junior officer in his father's regiment against Revolutionary France and when the Dutch were defeated by the French he took up similar commission in a Swiss corps in the Austrian army in 1799. When Austria too was defeated, the various Swiss units were disbanded and de Watteville’s regiment was created by patching together parts of several Swiss regiments – Salis, Roverea, Courten and Bachmann –  and signed on in British service as mercenaries. 

On arrival in Egypt each of the contingent parts of the regiment still had their distinctive facings – Salis blue,  Roverea/Courten black,  Bachmann red - and I have represented them in this way, with Bachmann on the left of the line (right when viewed from the front) Salis on the right and Roverea/Courten in the centre. There is some evidence that later in the campaign they were issued with a new uniform matching that of the Roverea contingent. The regimental flags were taken from the Perry site – they were not issued with British colours until 1805.


The regiment continued service with the British throughout the Napoleonic Wars, chiefly around the Mediterranean. It served in the Peninsular Campaign from 1811 to 1813. Sent to Canada in 1813 to fight in the War of 1812 the regiment was retired at the end in 1815 and for their services the surviving soldiers were granted land in Canada. If I ever decide expand the War of 1812 force I think I will have to add de Watteville.


Louis de Watteville’s career reached its pinnacle in Canada. Promoted to major-general in 1813 and separated from the regiment, he commanded the district of Montreal for a while, before assuming command of the Right Division on the Niagara front after Raill was wounded and captured at Lundy’s Lane and participated in the Siege of Fort Erie. After the war he retired to Switzerland.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

More British in Egypt

Two items were finished over the weekend. First was the second of the five gun sets that will be included in this army. This time the crew are loading the 6lb gun. In the set two figures wear the regulation cocked hat and two wear the fatigue cap.

Second is the first batch of generals. This set contains figures representing Generals Abercrombie, Hutchinson and Moore. I have done Abercrombie and Hutchinson as the senior command group and the Moore as a brigadier.

 Abercrombie (hand on hip) and Hutchinson (pointing)

John Moore

Saturday, 17 March 2018

The 28th Regiment of Foot and the First of the British in Egypt Artillery

The 28th  (North Gloucestershire) Regiment of Foot is the second of the British in Egypt infantry to pass through the uniform store and the first in this collection in the stovepipe shako. As my good friend Lawrence reminded me the 28th had a unique honour: at the Battle of Alexandria the French cavalry succeeded in breaking through the British lines, reformed behind the 28th and began to charge while the 28th was still heavily engaged to the front. Hurriedly the order was given for the rear rank to face about and fighting  back to back the regiment successfully defended itself. For this action the regiment was accorded the right to wearing the regimental number on both the front and the back of the shako.


The second piece off the painting table this weekend is the first of the artillery. Listed as "Foot Artillery firing 6 Pounder in Mother Shipton hats", this set has a unique gun. To prevent the wheels sinking into the desert sand the gunners tied staves from wooden barrels to the wheels.

A second gun set, this time in cocked hats, is assembled an ready for work.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

British in Egypt Project Kicks Off

Yesterday saw the first unit completed for the British in Egypt project.


While I don’t plan to follow a specific order of battle for this project, I do nonetheless plan to create an approximate historical force insomuch as I intend to create a Guards Brigade, Moore’s Brigade as it stood at Abukir Bay, most of the Emigre units will form a command, plus another brigade of three battalions. The Guards and  Moore’s brigade will have a historical context, but the rest will just be a collection of battalions that take my fancy and grouped as I like.


The first unit out of the uniform store is the 58th Rutlandshire Regiment. This unit was part of Moore’s Brigade and I chose to do it first for two reasons: first because the facings are black that it made for a useful exercise in figuring out how to paint the cuff lace; second because there is a New Zealand connection.


The New Zealand connection is that while on garrison duty in New South Wales in the 1840s, the regiment was deployed to New Zealand at the outbreak of the First New Zealand War in 1845 and remained in New Zealand until 1859. Since the 58th will feature in a planned First New Zealand War game later in the year is seemed fitting to create this regiment.


For this regiment I chose the figures with the round hat, because I like the figures. I am pleased with the unit. The figures a full of  character, I am just a little uncertain of how the sergeant with the half pike will survive and the shaft of the half pike is very thin – I have put him in the middle of the stand with the hope that the flanking figures will protect him.


This army will be a mix of round hat and stovepipe shakos and the next unit be in the latter.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Of Cuirassiers and Dragoons

This week sees the completion of a number of 1812 French items.

The first are a pair of cuirassier regiments, the 8th and 10th. These two regiments round out the heavy cavalry component of the 2nd Cuirassier Division from the Borodino order of battle.


The 8th Regiment

The 10th Regiment


There are two of such divisions, the 2nd and the 4th, that will be a part of my 1812 French army.


Since I have a bit of time today, I felt a parade was in order so here are all six regiments, two carabinier and four cuirassiers. The divisional horse artillery (two batteries each) and the lancer squadrons (one per division) are yet to be completed.

Also finished this week are the dismounted versions of the two dragoon regiments I have done. I had posted an image of the dismounted unit of the 7th Dragoons, without its officer. Here is the completed unit.

...and here is the completed 23rd regiment.

The completion of the cuirassiers and dismounted dragoons has seen a number surplus figures that are destined to be couriers or ADCs for the French 1812 generals that will be ordered in a few months time.

First two are cuirassiers. The trumpeter was blowing the trumpet to the side, which didn't seem right for a general's escort, so I cut the arm off and substituted a dragoon trumpeter's arm and added an epaulette made from green stuff. The trooper was a much simpler conversion. I simply cut the gauntles and sword of one if the cuirassier sword arms and glued on the gauntlet and carbine from one of the spare dismounted dragoon arms.

Second are two carabiniers. On the standard bearer I simply used a spare standard pole from a dragoon command sprue and added an epaulette. The trooper was a little more complex. For him I used a spare bare head from the infantry set then took a spare carabinier head and cut the helmet free before gluing in place on the pommel. For the arm I cut off the hand and sword from a standard cuirassier arm then glued on an open hand from one of the left over arms from the Victrix artillery set.

Finally there are two elite squadron dragoons. The only conversion work here was the addition of coat tails with some green stuff.

Since these fellows won't be given partners yet, they will be in storage for a while and before this project is ended there will be at least another eight such cavalry figures available. 

The French in 1812 will take a back seat for a while now, since two good sized parcels for the British in Egypt project arrived on Tuesday afternoon.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Odds and ends...

As the lead/plastic pile has dwindled I have been working on a number of odd pieces that have been laying around for a while, and some of them have been painted and waiting for a purpose for a while too.


First up is a 4-pound gun set. This is made up using a Perry 4lb gun – they sell the gun separately in their French in Egypt range – and three crew from the Victrix set. The remaining four crew will help to crew the remaining two 4-pound sets I will need to complete Friant’s Infantry Division.


Second up is the remaining 8-pound gun from the Victrix artillery box made up in travelling position. For this a green stuff barrel plug and fixing rope has been fitted, the leather strap has been put across the touch hole and the barrel is positioned further back in the trail. The last image has the gun attached to the French in Egypt camel drawn limber.

Third up is an incomplete battalion built from the skirmishing figures that come from the Perry French infantry box. There are two of these figures on each sprue and have sixteen on hand. I have decided to mass these into a single battalion for the regiment légère. The command is still to arrive for these and yes I know that the centre companies shouldn’t have epaulettes and that is something I am prepared to live with - I could have carved them off, but chose not to in the end.

Finally I have painted up the two spare dragoon troopers that were left over after building the two dragoon regiments. These, along with two similar cuirassier and two carabinier figures will be used as aides to pad out senior commander’s stands or as couriers. With few simple conversions - glueing on of different arms and hands - quite a bit of varierty can be attained.

On their way are two parcels from the Perrys containing a few dismounted dragoons to complete previously uncompleted units, and the first of the British in Egypt, counting all up 196 foot figures, 8 mounted figures and two guns – about two month’s work by my count.