Saturday, November 14, 2020

Pandemic projects: American War of Independence

 I started my 28mm American War of Independence  skirmish project a little over a year ago. I painted 120 figures in about plus artillery and command in about a month. I used the project as a test bed to learn how to use GW contrast paints. It was also the fire project to seriously use tufts during the basing. i learned 2 things:

1)  most Contrast paints aren't really worth using.  The Blood angels Red is the most notable exception. it shades constantly and produces a red that works well for British uniforms. other notables are skeletal horde and Apothecary white.  most other colours I used were either the wrong tint and required mixing multiple colours to a close enough colour and/or they went on with an inconstant effect. 

2) tufts are way too expensive to use on every project. I spent over $40CDN dollars on just tufts! it literally doubled to cost of the basing. they look nice, but if i used them on every project I'd definitely have fewer projects! unless there is a viable way to bulk buy them(in Canada, specifically), its not worth it in my opinion.

Everything I've painted since last post, last week.

Anyway, I had not painted 2/3rds of 1 group of 24  in each army so  I pulled them out, touched up the finished figures and painted the remaining ones. I also finished up the remaining artillery bits and officers.

I refer to each unit of 24 figures as a "regiment"  as I only paint 24 figures from a given regiment usually. since its a skirmish project, obviously its not an actual regiment, its not even half a company. its just the terminology I use.

Continental(top) and British(bottom)
grasshopper guns and limbers

Grasshopper guns, limbered

I had a pair of Fife and Drum grasshopper guns to paint. 1 each for continental and British. i decided to leave the gun loose so I could limber it as shown in the pictures.  I coated the peg on the limber in carpenters glue to protect the paint.  The guns fit securely on the peg, so when I store them they get stored limbered. I don't normally do this with guns so this was a bit of a viability experiment.

A pair of limbers for my 6pdr cannons

These limbers belong to my 2 6pdr cannons, 1 British, 1 continental. They are also Fife and Drum miniatures.

Continental light infantry, from Pennsylvania

These continental light infantry are Perry plastic with Perry AWI British arms. I just didn't paint the lace in the cuffs. they are painted up the same as my Pennsylvania regiment, and there was at least one entire Penn. regiment that wore light infantry caps, so they can be used either way.  a 24 figure light infantry "regiment"  can be used as show in 3 units of 8 line or 4 units of 6  skirmishers in Sharp Practice.  I repainted the blue coats and all the white on the 8 figures that were painted last year. the mixed contrast blue I made(Tallasar blue and Ultramarines blue) didn't consistently shade to my liking.

this "regiment" also has an attached amusette team not shown that i had previously painted. I did some reading and found that at least one armoury in Virginia? made amusettes for the Continental army. There are even surviving examples. so I bought a pack of Perry Hessian jager amusettes and converted one team to be in (plastic)light infantry caps, and then painted them to match my light infantry.

Loyalist Kings Carolina Rangers

The Kings Carolina Rangers are Perry British plastics. they can be used as any green coated loyalist regiment. I picked Kings Carolina Rangers because they name sounds cool, and because they had green lapels on green coats with no lace. Easy to paint! I repainted a lot of the white on the 8 figures that were already painted, as well as added some colour variation in the gaitered breeches.

Bits and pieces

 I had a few bits and pieces of other "regiments". The commander and infantry in hunting shirts belong to my Maryland regiment, and the brown coated commander is going to be the leader to a 16-man unit of brown coated continentals/militia that have yet to be assembled. the water cart is a 4ground accessory I think.

I really like these figures.  I only used the collection once before the pandemic began, but I'm looking forward to getting more gaming in with them when the pandemic is over!  I still have some British grenadiers to paint, and enough plastics for a 16 figure continental/militia "regiment"in brown coats, and a couple of 6-figure British light infantry units at the trail.  I plan on ordering some cavalry eventually but that is down the road a ways.


  1. This is a fine looking collection, Stephen. Tufts can get expensive but I enjoy seeing them on the base.

  2. These are fantastic - I love the loyalists in particular.

    Best wishes


  3. thanks for the kind kind words gents!

    this is about 1/3rd of the total collection. i posted last year with pics of the rest of the forces.

  4. Excellent project, splendid minis and great collection, love the limbers...

  5. There are a number of videos out there on how to make your own tufts. Plus they tend to be cheaper from model railroad shops. You might try Scenic Express.

  6. @Heisler, Shipping from the USA to Canada is prohibitively expensive in a lot of cases. Any savings that I make by buying in bulk from a place like scenic express is more then made up for by shipping. In fact during the pandemic they aren't shipping internationally at all! pretty much the only products I see in local railroad shops in Canada are Woodland scenics, and they are just as expensive as the wargaming related companies.

    if i was going to go about making tufts, I'd just use a static grass applicator for the whole base. not that I can currently afford $100-150 CDN for one...

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