Their origin is inscribed in fine point indelible CD marker underneath – figure number and origin e.g. D of T. This makes for easy stock-keeping, honours the gift or origin and also helps with personalised wargaming.
Yellow and Black?
Like a swarm of wasps or angry bees? The starting original yellow tunic colour is well matched by the vibrant Lufthansa Gelb (Yellow) 36-310, the silk matt Revell Aquacolor Acrylic that I used.
Who could they be?
1. It also gives me a possible Mittel Mittel European ImagiNation or FMS Forgotten Minor State (Principality, Electorate, Empire or Duchy etc) of Gelberg. Gelberg is named after its yellow-tinged rocks and mountains glimpsed above the forest line (a bit like Golden Cap near Lyme Regis).
2. Alternatively the black, white and gold could be a regiment of Kernewek or Cornish Guards in British or ‘foreign’ service, hence the ‘redcoat’ facings. There are Irish, Scots and Welsh Guards, why no Cornish ones? These are led by one handsome Captain Russ Dolparke.
3. Some other bright (yellow) idea …
Pigtails and Details
As I painted, I noticed more and more fiddly details – straps, the powder horn and its thin straps, the tie back buttons, cockades, the pigtail and ribbon. These are well detailed figures for their time, ones that have aged well too.
Checking through Uniforms of The American War of Independence (Blandford) as suitably Tricorne era, I noticed that the British and American troops did not all have white wigs and pigtails, below the senior officer level.
Some left-over figures, possibly intended to be standard bearers, will serve as gun crew as needed.
The odd figure with a (gunpowder?) barrel is actually an awkward chimera that I made of two damaged figures, part French Artillery legs and Washington’s Army body.
You could spend forever tweaking paint on straps etc. I decided against a dark wash to bring out details, as I wanted to keep close to the simple fresh paint scheme on the figures from the original random bag.
There are some beautifully painted and highlighted examples of Washington’s Army online including on the Paul’s Bods blog site.
I’m not buying, I hope they find the right homes. A mere photo reminder is enough for me.
However these two odd Etsy items reminded me of a colourful “dragon’s hoard” of vintage plastic in a ziplock bag turned up for a couple of pounds about five to ten years ago in a local collectibles shop at the seaside.
It is the sort of shop that had (or has) odd opening hours, most often shut when I visited, one that has been an erratic supply of lead and plastic figures for over twenty years. I hope each time I go that it is still there and that it is sometimes open. I hope it has survived Lockdown.
I have been taking stock of my old childhood Airfix figures recently and the odd small hoard or haul of others’ old Airfix that has come my way from time to time.
This mixed bag for a few pounds had a range of vintage Airfix that sold it to me straight away, maybe not for immediate use, but worth buying because you never know with erratic Airfix (ancient or modern) when you will see the like again.
and the Airfix AWI British Infantry both issued in 1971 in time for the bicentenary. They were scarce enough figures during my 70s childhood and remain unissued for years from the 1980s onwards. Oddly they never had an Airfix Playset of their own but Bellona produced a preformed Bunker Hill vacformed base if you could find one.
Coupled with some on these tricorne figures on the sprue in a recent gift from a railway modeller work colleague of a 60s / 70s tin of unwanted Airfix, I should have enough for some future Lace Punk / Lace Wars / Gulliver’s Travels style ImagiNation skirmishes.
Unpacking these random figures, they were mostly roughly painted and simply card based in units but unflocked.
Clearly they were a cast off part of a gamer’s collection, as they had handwritten Regiment labels on them. Whether they represent real regiments or ImagiNations ones, I find it hard to tell.
January 2021: I have now flocked and individually card based each soldier in each unit but not yet properly repainted them.
I wanted to photograph them as they were, when first seen as a ragtag of units.
I intend keeping the unit colours, just reprinting missing paint and adding flesh tones to faces and hands.
1. Shocking Pink Coated Tricorne Troops
I quite like the random brightness of unusual colour, perfect for ImagiNations. I’m not sure if they are intended to be real uniforms. Tricorne and Napoleonics are not really my area.
They obviously meant something to somebody once.
Figures painted by someone else are what Bob Cordery of Wargaming Miscellany blog calls OBEs – politely this means Other Beggars’ Efforts.
As mentioned I intend to keep the colourful unit paint schemes, just tidy the paint work up and finish individual rebasing as you see I have done here.
2. Purple Coated Tricorne Troops
These purple clad troops were a random mix of Airfix and other makers. I identified these on the ever useful Plastic Soldier Review website as Accurate / Imex / Revell American War of Independence British Redcoats