Airfix Washington’s Army (S39, first produced 1971) are a versatile set for ImagiNations use. Sadly they are currently unavailable and have not been widely produced since the early 1980s.
I wanted to keep the bold colour schemes and paint style that I found in an old battered bag of Airfix and assorted figures.
How they arrived:
How these Airfix arrived … paint flaking off flexible parts like legs and weapons
The Accurate Revell AWI British troops were even less finished.
The random flag came with the bag of figures but I’m not sure which of the many colourful groups of figures it belongs to; it matches the uniform colours anyway.
Figures with round MDF bases are recently gifted Duchy of Tradgardland origin troops from Alan Gruber, which I have painted to match the others. Thanks Alan!
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).
The name Gelbania is already taken by another of my (post) Napoleonic era FMS ImagiNations.
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.
Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 3 June 2021.