Wednesday, February 4, 2015

British Legion Cavalry


My first miniature post of the year begins with AWI in the form of the British Legion cavalry. The British Legion otherwise known as Tarleton's Legion or Tarleton's Raiders is an American Loyalist formation that is a combined force of both infantry, cavalry and light artillery. The Strength of the legion varied but at full strength it stood at 250 Cavalry and 200 Infantry. The Legion fought in numerous engagements, anti- guerilla missions and punishment raides to include the siege of Charleston, Monck's Corner, Lenud's Ferry, Waxhaws, Camden, Fishing Creek, Wahab's Plantation, Fishdam Ford, Blackstock's, Cowpens(Losing all their infantry here), Cowan's Ford, Tarrant's Tavern, Guilford Courthouse, Francisco's Fight, Gloucester. The British Legion was disbanded on October 10, 1783 with most of it's members settling in Nova Scotia Canada.

Banastre Tarleton is probably one of the most controversial figures in the war with many believing him to be a murderous commander while others think he is a victim of propaganda. Just to give you an idea of some people's opinion of him think of Mel Gibson's The Patriot and the brutal British commander in the movie is supposed to be based on Tarleton. A lot of this stems from what is reported to have happened at the Battle of Waxhaws. This engagement resulted in the catch phrase Tarleton's Quarter. My personal opinion is that it was a civil war of sorts especially in the south with a lot of bad blood so I think both were pretty ruthless in dealing with each other and atrocities were likely committed on both sides, but I think Waxhaws either through fact of events or propaganda ramped things up a few notches and both sides took revenge killings on each other when the mood and opportunity struck. I feel I need to add that as the commanding officer Tarleton is responsible for his troops as he instilled both discipline and code of conduct. One must say Banastre Tarleton was a very effective cavalry commander either through tactics or ruthlessness or a combination of both. Whatever your opinion on Banastre Tarleton from murderous thug to brilliant cavalry officer you have to admit the man could design an excellent hat! He designed the Tarleton featured on these gents and as a matter of fact everyone liked it so much all light cavalry adopted it in the British forces.

As a Southern Campaign enthusiast this unit was a pretty much a must do as the Legion was so active in the war there plus my collection is in desperate need of cavalry to run some particular battles. When painting the unit I pretty much used Don Troiani's painting and description of the regiment down to the horses being a mixed lot of what they could get their hands on. Equipment I kept as uniformed as possible as I feel cavalry were better equipped and found it easier to maintain it.  I enjoyed painting their simple, but rather elegant uniform and of course the Tarleton hat's which are my favourites of the war. As you may have noticed I couldn't resist playing up the bad guy image and mounted the commander(perhaps Tarelton?) on a black stallion.:-)

Thanks for viewing!:-)
Miniature Company- Perry Miniatures


54 comments :

  1. Great work on an iconic unit! I guess he is partly a victim off his own success. There is always the need to demonize your enemies and preferably the most successful ones so that their reputation will be undermined.

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    1. Thank you kindly Samuli! I think he is both partly a victim of his success and partly guilty of excess. Regardless if he condoned what happened at Waxhaws or not he was in command and responsible for his troops actions. His troops behaviour and code of conduct is instilled by him and so they were taught how to conduct themselves from him. That said both sides were guilty of revenge actions and cruelty and not just Tarleton's troops which is often left out.

      Christopher

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  2. Great painted figures Christopher, love the colours you have used, and a very interesting back ground read, I always wondered about these chaps after watching the Patriot, although it has to be said we Brits do get a bit of bad press in Mel Gibson productions! But hey fighting for your freedom is never pretty!

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    1. Thank you very much Chris. Yes indeed Mel's The Patriot was a bit over the top was it not! However, the fighting in the back county was pretty nasty between the two sides with cruel treatments and killings. However, I haven't read anything about a whole village gathered in church and burned down. A fun film to watch if you have a pinch of salt with you.

      Christopher

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  3. Good to see you back at the painting desk!

    Great work on your unit of AWI marauders, Christopher, and interesting history lesson too. The Perry AWI range is a really a good one. Having only painted their infantry, I should give a few cavalry a try.

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    1. Thank you kindly Jonathan. I've been painting sporadically, but just haven't been posting as I don't much care for taking pictures and going through the editing.

      Be warned Jonathan that the old cavalry sculpts as seen above are just the usual Perry casting clean up issues, but the new one piece cavalry sculpts I'm working on are a royal pain in terms of the casting which is shoddy at best. It's a real shame as the Perry sculpts are beautiful, but the sub standard casting is doing them no favours. They need to change casters even if it costs a bit more as their being let down by the current ones who have gone from sub par to wtf. I'm just talking about their metal casting and not the plastics which actually just get better and better and are really nice in both casting and sculpting.

      Christopher

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  4. Another fantastic example of figure painting. I always find it odd that "Tarleton's quarter" has come to mean "take no prisoners" when some many Americans were released on parole or captured (the numbers vary on the same Wiki article).

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    1. Thank you kindly Matt. I think for the casualties/wounded ratio to those engaged was very high indeed, but not without precedence, however the saying comes from the attack on the Americans after they had surrendered and not so much the actual number of casualties. It's a difficult topic as you have very strong opinions on both sides. Some of the most heated debates I've listened to on in AWI forums are this very topic.

      Christopher

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  5. Great paint job on this famous unit...and beautiful bases as well!

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  6. Excellent brushwork on these Perry's - and the horses are amazing with the subtle mix of bays and browns along with the white/black details. Also, very nice to encounter a fellow Troiani fan! His book on the AWI troops is one of those that I can flip thought again and again just enjoying the many uniform plates.

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    1. Thank you very much BP! Yes indeed I'm a huge fan of Troiani and his work is usually my first point of reference for ACW and AWI.

      Christopher

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  7. Outstanding work Chris! Your horses are just great. I'm really looking forward to see them in action.

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    1. Thank you very much Nick! I'm also looking forward to our next game.

      Christopher

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  8. It's great to find other gamers working on AWI figures, especially such fine work! The cavalrymen look quite good, and their mounts really come to life! The extra attention you gave to the often simplified horses sets these apart.

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    1. Thank you very much Ben! Good news in that the period increasingly attracts more players.

      Christopher

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  9. Super job Chris, great eye candy as usual!

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  10. Splendid painting, Christopher! You've done such a good job that I expect the horses to ride out of the last picture. ;-)

    Fascinating history too, there is a lot here that I didn't know.

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    1. Thank you very much Monty I'm happy you enjoyed the pics!

      Christopher

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  11. Excellent looking unit :)
    From the little I have read - the suggestion of the AWI as more of 'civil war' seems very plausible to me as well.

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    1. Thank you very much Mike. It was very much America's first civil war in my opinion.

      Christopher

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  12. Absolutely wonderful mate and very well photographed to boot.

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  13. Fantastic AWI cavalry Christopher!

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  14. Fantastic! Personally I think Tarleton was a thoroughly decent chap.

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    1. Thank you Styker glad you like them! Well I guess one does not need to guess where your opinion swings in regards to Tarleton.

      Christopher

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  15. A superb entry for the new year! Lovely variations of horse colors, as well as nice striping on the turbans. A smashing unit!

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    1. Thank you very much Dean and pleased you enjoyed the composition!

      Christopher

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  16. Fine work there, Christopher; especially on the horses.

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  17. Awesome looking unit Christopher! Great post!

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  18. Very well done, Christopher! Your basing and photography really shows your lovely brushwork to advantage. Lovely looking unit.

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  19. What a fascinating story Christopher! And accompanied by a spectacular looking unit too!

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  20. Great figures Christopher and an answer to a mystery to. So that's where the famous hat came from!

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  21. Thank you very much Paul and glad to help shed some light on the hats origin.:-)

    Christopher

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  22. Superb painting Christopher.

    You have achieved a very deep, rich green with these, do you mind sharing what colours you used please?

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    1. Thank you very much Pat. The green is Foundry Forest Green A,B,B+C as C by itself is a bit too strong.

      Cheers
      Christopher

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  23. I love the variation in colours you achieved for the horses. :)

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  24. Beautiful unit! Again :) Really like you're ACW stuff. Just last week I played my first AWI BP game. Participation game at a show in NL. Was great fun...

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    1. Thank you very much Michael and Black Powder is fun.

      Christopher

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  25. Hi Chris,
    this beautifull looking cavalry unit will surely be a good addition to your AWI scenario pool.

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  26. Wonderful looking units and great write up. The Perry AWI range (among others) is very tempting.

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    1. Thank you very much Jason. I hope to see you try the range out.

      Christopher

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