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Saturday, November 28, 2020

42nd Highlanders Painting Guide for The French and Indian War, Part 1

The idea of painting highlanders of any period daunts many a hobbyist and forces them to stop the urge of wetting their pants. I have painting highlanders in the following periods over the last 43 years: The English Civil War, The Jacobite Rebellion of '43, the American Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars and the Colonial Periods. I have tried many techniques and I'm going to pass on the technique I currently use.

First up, The Colonel's rules (you don't have to use them, they are merely suggestions!) of painting:

1. What will the figure look at gaming range? Each figure does not have to be an individual masterpiece.
2. For historical figures, does it look okay at gaming range? If so - we are good to go!
3. Unless asking for feedback, if other hobbyist give suggestions and you don't care for it - good for you. It's your army and you paint them how you want to look.
4. Always prime the figure. Paint sticks to paint. 
5. There is no "this is the only way" you can paint the figure. Also, colors fade in the field.
6. At the end of the day, we are grown men and women that play with toy soldiers.

Okay - let's get started. The figures we are using are all from Warlord Games.

Step 1. Prime the figure. It does not matter what color you use; whether it is black, white, grey or brown - but I would avoid the hot pink. The overwhelming majority of the time I use black mainly because it helps with shading and hides most of the mistakes I make. I do not buy an expensive can of primer. I use the 98 cents can of Flat Black Primer from Home Depot. After the primer is dry, I paint the flesh first. I used Vallejo Dark Flesh. (Unless specifically mentioned, all the paints are Vallejo.)

Step 2. I then thin some GW Flesh Wash that I bought in Germany in 1998. I have no idea what it is called now. I apply the wash on the flesh so it flows into the deep recesses of the flesh to give a shading effect.

Step 3. I then highlight noses, ears, cheeks, etc. with Dark Flesh.

Step 4. I have no idea why I painted the white stockings at this point but I did using Flat White. I usually try to do all of one color at one time if practical; I also try to work from the "inside" to the outside.

Step 5. I suddenly realized I had no idea what the Grenadier mitre caps looked like. While the white was drying Mr. Google helped me out and I painted red parts Flat Red.

 Step 6. I painted the bonnet Dark Prussian blue and the band and touri (the little ball on top) Flat Red.

Step 7. Since the red was out, I painted the short highland jackets Flat Red. With one coat you can see how the black primer is helping with the shading but I did have to go back on some figures and add a second coat in select areas.

Step 8. I did the grenadier jackets at the same time and then kinda/sorta dried brushed the plate on the mitre cap with Flat White. With my eyes at this age, there was no way I was going to try and get the pattern exact; but it looks excellent at "gaming" distance.

Step 9. I painted the base of the kilt Dark Army Green.

Step 10. Time for some lace and the bag with Flat White, facing colors with Green Ochre, black leather with Flat Black and the buckle with Shiny Gold.

Step 11. I painted a light second coat of the kilt (well, really painted over as a light second coat) Flat Green.

Next: Details and finishing the kilt (it's not that hard!).

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Thanksgiving Blessings

Surely this was a blessed year.  God never failed to provide.  I am most thankful for the sacrifice of my lord Jesus Christ and the cleansing of my sins. I've been blessed with my Beautiful Bride, Honorable Sons #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, and my three daughters-in-law.

Give thanks to the Lord!

Psalm 138

Of David.

I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart;
    before the “gods” I will sing your praise.
I will bow down toward your holy temple
    and will praise your name
    for your unfailing love and your faithfulness,
for you have so exalted your solemn decree
    that it surpasses your fame.
When I called, you answered me;
    you greatly emboldened me.
May all the kings of the earth praise you, Lord,
    when they hear what you have decreed.
May they sing of the ways of the Lord,
    for the glory of the Lord is great.
Though the Lord is exalted, he looks kindly on the lowly;
    though lofty, he sees them from afar.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
    you preserve my life.
You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes;
    with your right hand you save me.
The Lord will vindicate me;
    your love, Lord, endures forever—
    do not abandon the works of your hands.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Starship Troopers: The Annual Read


 Starship Troopers (novel).jpg

"I always get the shakes before a jump . . ." thus starts one of the greatest military science fiction novels of all time, Starship Troopers (Paid Link), by Robert Heinlein. Even today, the book has stood the test of time, and was a big influence on my decision to be an Infantry officer.

When I attended the Command and General Staff College, I was pleasantly surprised to see the novel on the required reading list. Today, the novel is still on the reading list for the US Army, Navy and United States Marine Corps.

The overall theme of the book is that social responsibility requires individual ownership. Social responsibility is an act of self acceptance of that responsibility along with the concomitant commitment to the debts that are incurred. 

Juan Rico begins the novel with no thought of his personal responsibility or of any particular group's responsibility to self or others. This theme is obliquely addressed in the novel's opening: "We had all inspected our combat equipment (look, it's your own neck -- see?), the acting platoon sergeant had gone over us carefully after he mustered us, and now Jelly went over us again, his eyes missing nothing." "Now I was going to have a hole in my section and no way to fill it. That's not good; it means a man can run into something sticky, call for help and have nobody to help him." "I've heard tell that there used to be military outfits whose chaplains did not fight alongside the others, but I've never been able to see how that could work. I mean, how can a chaplain bless anything he's not willing to do himself? In any case, in the Mobile Infantry, everybody drops and everybody fights -- chaplain and cook and the Old Man's writer."

 The theme is repeated through flashbacks to High School and Officer Candidate School in a required class called History and Moral Philosophy. In this view, everything from the right to vote to the punishments for various crimes are depicted as part of a larger effort to recognize society's needs and improve society, as distinct from self-interest. The service Heinlein envisioned was an all-volunteer service, long before the US military had changed to an all-volunteer model. Other than the rights to vote and hold public office, there is no other restriction between service veterans and civilians.


In the course of both the "current" plot and flashbacks Rico learns to take responsibility for ever increasing groups: himself, his comrades, and eventually all of mankind (a shared responsibility), and accept that as the reason for remaining in the service. Further, Rico is seen to develop from a relatively powerless citizen, to a very dangerous fighter: "There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men. We're trying to teach you to be dangerous -- to the enemy. Dangerous even without a knife. Deadly as long as you still have one hand or one foot and are still alive."

I just finished my annual reading of the book . . . something I do annually!

Now for the Warning!!!
This is a poster for the movie directed by Paul Verhoeven who admitted he never finished reading the book.  Please don't watch it . . . you'll thank me later.  Not only does the movie miss most of the points of the book and, as a retired infantry officer (Regulars By God!), it's embarrassing to watch. 
Please don't get me started on how they portray Lieutenant Rasczak, the epitome of the servant leader in the novel that leads the Roughnecks.

One of the worst scenes in the book is when the platoon is defending an outpost and the bugs are coming. I can see the nuclear rockets strapped to the backs of the (so called) Mobile Infantry! So what do they do? Break out the SMALL ARMS (sigh). How about the scene when the platoon surround a bug in a circle, and then they all fire at the bug! In a circle? They would have hit each other. (Note: That's a safety violation) And please

Do not watch the movie!

The book sums it up nicely: "For the everlasting glory of the Infantry . . ."

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Rebels and Patriots Initial British Force for the French and Indian War


As followers of this blog know, I am a big fan of Daniel Mersey's War game rules that he has done for Osprey Publishing. His later rules, which started with Lion Rampant, have been done in collaboration with Michael Leck. It was really no surprise that I purchased Rebels and Patriots (paid link) and started my first real army project I have done in awhile. 

I decided to do the French and Indian War for several reasons:
1. The conflict gets little attention and study these days in the United States. (And that HURTS as a military historian.)
2. I grew up in Central Pennsylvania which were definitely in the war zone for this conflict. Even as a child in the 1970's stories of the war were still being told.
3. I recently re-read Northwest Passage by Kenneth Roberts. That got the blood pumping reading a novel that is a carefully researched, day-by-day recreation of the raid by Rogers' Rangers on the Indian village at Saint-Fran├žois-du-Lac, Quebec (or Saint Francis, to the Americans troops), a settlement of the Abenakis, an American Indian tribe. The 1940 movie starring Spencer Tracey is great.
4.  Okay, I watched The Last of the Mohicans (1992) again which clinched it for me. Please don't be surprised when Hawkeye, Chingachgook, and Uncas show up with special rules.
5. Cool Figures.

Though Rebels and Patriots (paid link) is designed with a scale of one figure equals one man, the authors point out that the scale is flexible so I will be "up-scaling" some of my units.

Officer in charge. Second Lieutenant Coll McDougall, 42nd Highlander Regiment: 
Trait: "He's the Major General's favorite Officer." Adds one additional point when mustering the unit.
Tactical Value: 0

42nd Highland Infantry
Unit Name: Shock Infantry
Unit Upgrades: Aggressive and Large Unit
Points: 8

42nd Highland Regiment Light Company.
Unit Name: Light Infantry
Unit Upgrades: Aggressive and Small Unit
Points: 6

Mohegan Ranger Company.
Unit Name: Skirmishers
Unit Upgrades: Aggressive
Points: 3

Ranger Company.
Unit Name: Light Infantry
Unit Upgrades: Aggressive, Small Unit, Veteran
Points: 8 
British Force Total Points: 25
Now it's time to finish the French!

Thursday, November 19, 2020

42nd Highland Unit Complete

Kin ye spell "Shock Infantry"? 
I finished what I consider my "main" unit for my initial British Force for Rebels and Patriots (paid link). My Highland unit will be a Shock Infantry unit that is Big (18 figures) and Aggressive (+1) in Fighting. But more on that later when I post the entire, initial British Force.

History of the 42nd in North America for the French and Indian War:
42nd Regiment comes to America, spends remainder of 1756 inactive in Albany.  
Winter/Spring 1757
Regiment drilled for bush fighting and sharpshooting. 
July-August 1757
Regiment sent to Halifax with 22nd, 44th, 48th, and 2 battalions of the 60th and 600 rangers to participate in planned attack on Louisbourg. The force was to be met by Fraser's and Montgomery's Highlanders and the 43rd, 45th, and 55th, which recently arrived from England. Returned to Albany after the attack was aborted due to a superior French naval presence.
5 July, 1758
Force of 15,000 men (6,000 regulars) in nine hundred small boats and one hundred and thirty-five whale-boats, with artillery mounted on rafts, embarked on Lake George.
6 July, 1758
Army advances on forward positions at Ticonderoga
 Notice th' guy in th' rear rank ah knocked ower? Re-shoot! 

 8 July, 1758
British forces engage Montcalm's French at Ticonderoga. 42nd participates in legendary charge on French lines and attempt to storm the breastwork, with the following losses: 8 officers, 9 sergeants and 297 killed; and 17 officers, 10 sergeants and 306 soldiers wounded. The officers killed were Major Duncan Campbell of Inveraw, Captain John Campbell, Lieutenants George Farquharson, Hugh MacPherson, William Baillie, and John Sutherland; Ensigns Patrick Stewart of Bonskied and George Rattray. The wounded were Captains Gordon Graham, Thomas Graham of Duchray, John Campbell of Strachur, James Stewart of Urrad, James Murray; Lieutenants James Grant, Robert Gray, John Campbell of Melford, William Grant, John Graham, brother of Duchray, Alexander Campbell, Alexander Mackintosh, Archibald Campbell, David Miller, Patrick Balneaves; and Ensigns John Smith and Peter Grant.
"The battle was not regarded as a disaster, but as a triumphant display of Highland gallantry. Though it achieved nothing, it showed a heroic temper, and without a heroic temper, an army is worth very little."
Eric and Andro Linklater, "The Black Watch" (London: 1977)
 Okay. A' body is standing up noo. 

 22 July, 1758
42nd given 'Royal' designation. While the warrant was issued on July 22, it was planned and issued before London had received word of the battle at Ticonderoga, rather than in response to Ticonderoga as is sometimes said.
View the text of the Warrant that gave the Regiment its Royal distinction.
October 1758
2nd battalion raised. So successful were the recruiting officers that within three months, seven companies, each one hundred and twenty men strong were embodied at Perth. Although Highlanders only were admitted, yet two officers, anxious to obtain commissions, enlisted eighteen Irishmen, several of whom were O'Donnels, O'Lachlans, O'Briens, &c. The O was changed to Mac, and the Milesians passed muster as true Macdonels, Maclachlans, and Macbriars, without being questioned.
Winter 1758
           Spend winter rebuilding ranks on Long Island.
January - 2 July 1759
2nd Bn. sent to West Indies, where it fought at Martinique and Guadaloupe. 193 of 700 men lost, as well as 25% of the battalion's officers, many to ilness from the tropical weather.
12 January, 1759
5 companies of 2nd Bn. sails with fleet from Barbados to Martinique.
16 January, 1759
2nd Bn. and fleet arrive in Fort Royal bay. Forces land and spend several days on the island.
20 January, 1759
British forces re-embark and sail for Guadeloupe.
23 January, 1759
British fleet bombards Fort Royale, setting portions of it on fire.
24 January, 1759
2nd Bn. guards artillery camp north of town.
14 February, 1759
2 companies of the 2nd Bn. - Late to campaign in West Indies after being separated at sea - land at and take Fort Louis, Guadeloupe.

Guadeloupe, 1759
(John Fortescue's History
of the British Army Volume 2)

11 March, 1759
5 companies of 2nd Bn. with main fleet joins other 2 companies at Fort Louis.
12 April, 1759
All 7 companies of the 2nd Bn., together for the first time, engage the French at the river Licorne. The Highlanders attack with swords, driving away the French and taking 70 prisoners.
19 April, 1759
Army marched to Capesterre district, where the inhabitants surrendered the island.

11 May, 1759
Part of 1st Bn. encamped above Albany.
12 May, 1759
Amherst notes in his journal that he deployed one company of the 1st Bn to Scorticock to guard oxen being sent off to graze.
20 May, 1759
200 of the 42nd escorts batteux up the Hudson.

Lake Champlain

23 May, 1759
Amherst records that 2 companies of 1st Bn. up river to encamp at Stillwater.
1 June, 1759
Amherst orders remainder of 42nd, among others, to Fort Edward.
7 June, 1759
42nd arrived at Fort Edward "half drowned", according to Amherst.
19 June 1759
42nd, Montgomery's Highlanders assembled at Fort Edward.
22 June, 1759
1st Bn. encamped on southern edge of Lake George.
15 July, 1759
2nd Bn. arrives at New York from West Indies.
22 July, 1759
Amherst's army arrives at Ticonderoga.
26 July, 1759
French forces withdrew from Ticonderoga and set fire to the fort.

August/Sept 1759
1st Bn. reconstructing Fort Crown Point.

Fortifications at the
mouth of the Oswego River

1 August, 1759
Amherst sends Major Graham to Oswego to command 2nd Bn.
3 August, 1759
2nd Bn. marches along the Hudson from Albany to join the rest of the army. Graham meets the Bn. and turns them back to Albany, up the Mohawk towards Oswego.
Late August, 1759
2nd Bn. arrives at Oswego, and put to work building Fort Ontario.
Winter, 1759
2nd Bn. brought in together with the 1st Bn. in Albany for the winter, primarily at Fort Edward, with companies at Halfway Brook, Fort Miller, Saratoga, Stillwater, and Half Moon. (Sons of the Mountain, vol 1, p 164)
7 August, 1760
1st Bn., Grenadiers, Light Infantry take post at La Galette.
10 August, 1760
Army embarks up the St Lawrence towards Montreal.

September, 1760
Both battalions served in the army under Amherst, which moved down the St. Lawrence. Recieved the surrender of Montreal, together with that of the French Governor-General and the French army.
Winter 1760-61
Both battalions remained in Montreal for the winter.
4 April - 5 August, 1761
Moved from Montreal to Staten Island, to set out for West Indies. 

October, 1762
Regiment returns to New York.
Regiment selected to force led by Colonel Henry Bouquet protecting North American colonies, with a detachment of Montgomery's Highlanders, and the 60th.
July 1763
42nd sent to the relief of Fort Pitt. 
Light Company
5 August, 1763
Light and grenadier companies, along with Henry Bouquet's Royal Americans, ambushed by Indians at Bushy Run. The 42nd suffered losses of Lieutenants John Graham and James Mackintosh, 1 sergeant, and 26 rank and file killed; and Captain John Graham, Lieutenant Duncan Campbell, 2 sergeants, 2 drummers, and 30 rank and file wounded. Bouquet confuses the enemy the next day and traps them in a double envelopment killing many of the enemy.

28 November, 1763
Arrived at Fort Pitt. 
Th' 42nd Hielan regiment light company
1 December, 1763
3 companies of the 42nd stayed at Fort Pitt. Bouquet notes in a letter to Gage that for the winter, the rest of the regiment sent to other posts in the area: 1 company to Fort Ligonier, 1 to Fort Bedford, and 3 companies to Carlisle.
Winter 1763-1764
Spent winter at Fort Pitt.
Summer 1764
8 companies sent with a force under Col. Bouquet against Ohio Indians, along with 60th regiments's Light co., 600 Virginia Marksmen, and a detatchment from Maryland and Pennsylvania dressed in the manner of the Indians.
13 October, 1764
Expedition reached Tuscarawas River in Ohio.
Late October, 1764
Expedition moved to Muskingum River.
18 November, 1764
Departed for Fort Pitt
August, 1765
Captain Thomas Stirling leads a detachment of 100 men down the Ohio, where they took possession of Fort Chartres in October. The detachment remained at Chartres for the winter.
Part of the regiment leaves Fort Pitt for Philadelphia, and were joined by the Illinois expedition in June. After 10 months and 3000 miles, every man of the Illinois detachment returned in perfect health.
February 22, 1767
A letter from Gage showing the distribution of troops in North America reports that 6 companies of the 42nd were stationed in Philadelphia, and 3 were still at Fort Pitt. 
Th' 42nd hielan regiment is duin fur thair foremaist battle!


Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Favorite Figures of 2020 (in chronological order), Part 1

Well . . . 2020 was an interesting year but still a  great year for painting as far as the enjoyment it brought me versus the volume of figures painted. Over the last few years I have been gravitating toward "skirmish" gaming from the Victorian Era to the late 1930's (though still sign me up for a big battle!). The gaming I have been doing is historically based, but with a Hollywood flair with some Pulp and Science Fiction thrown in for good measure. This year I had no real plan but did start a new project toward the end of the year. Here are my favorite figures I painted in chronological order:

 Bob Murch's Movember Pulp Figure for 2019

Each November Bob Murch, owner and sculpter of Pulp Figures, conducts a fundraiser for men's health. The 2019 Movember limited edition fundraiser fig is Marshal Grin Duster. The redoubtable lawman strides the West, a titan of rough justice and harbinger of doom to the outlaw kind. Grin was available in November and only by donation to the Movember campaign. I did not get around to painting it until 2020.

Not figures per se, but I discovered WizKids preprimed range and I bought some accessories that were easy to paint to add "atmosphere" to a game. Here is the Wooden Table and Stools, the Navigators Pack, and a Tent which also came with a lean-to.

Artizan Designs German Afrika Korps. In my humble opinion, the best DAK figures out there.

"Daughters of the Empire" by Bob Murch of Pulp Figures.

As Ken Watanabe said, "Let them fight."

WizKids "Giant Ape" better known as King Kong.

Next: More Figures and the New Project