British Sergeant, Pennsylvania 1777 .

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Thread: British Sergeant, Pennsylvania 1777 .

  1. #1
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    British Sergeant, Pennsylvania 1777 .

    British Light Infantry Sergeant, Germantown , Pennsylvania 1777.

    I originally made this figure in rather a rush back in 2006 , for Ransome Chua’s book on 1/6th scale figures. I felt we needed more figures from an earlier period , since the book was getting rather WW2 heavy.

    The simplicity of the outfit commended it as a quick 18th century subject to tackle, having no lace , no facings , simple kit , so I did him in record time.

    It’s nice sometimes to revisit and revise older figures , so I’ve recently had another go at him , partly prompted by finally getting my own bayonets cast , and having learnt how to make proper scabbards for them .
    So he needed a refit , and one thing led to another with a few improvements .



    The original inspiration came from a Barthorp plate , showing the very practical uniform adopted by Howe’s army during the 1777 campaign , which was based on some watercolours painted by a very capable Italian artist, F.X.Gatta .

    I have been unable to trace a big copy of the painting, but this little version gives some idea of the scene, at the Chew House outside Germantown on 3rd October which was succesfully defended by the 40th Foot against Washington’s attack :



    Washington attempted to launch a surprise attack on Howe’s army encamped aroung Germantown , but the attack foundered in fog and against a determined and rapidly organised defence .

    Amongst Howe’s Army were two combined Light Infantry battalions, made up of the Light companies of all the battalions involved , on which this figure is based.



    The full dress outfits worn by British Infantry of the period were very elaborate , and it has become part of the popular mythology promulgated by 19th c.US historians and artists that such men were pipeclayed , overdressed automata flogged into the service of a wicked tyranny.

    The truth is always more interesting than the myth .
    This old view is now entirely exploded, particularly by the American research prompted by their re-enactment movement .




    The British Army adapted very quickly to the peculiar conditions of war in North America, modifying their uniforms and tactics to cope with the forested terrain , and their nimble opponents. They had plenty of experience , having been engaged in such warfare in Canada within living memory.



    The chief innovations were the introduction of Light Infantry tactics, skirmishing in open order to counter the Patriot riflemen , and the reduction of the Line from three ranks to two , which maximised frontages for fire. Since there was almost no threat from cavalry, two ranks and more open order were entirely feasible, and reduced casualties . The men were also trained to reform quickly and charge with the bayonet .



    They must have got it right , because the British won most of the battles , but lost the war because of a combination of French intervention , impossibly long supply lines and some really bad generalship ; and, of course , an increasingly professional Patriot army.



    The figure wears :~
    A simple slouch hat , with the usual black cockade, and the addition of a racoon-tail plume. Blocked craft felt , and part of a fluffy toy...

    Over the shirt, a short waistcoat worn beneath a simple red jacket , without facings or lace , probably specialy made for the campaign rather than cut down from the full-dress coat.( scratchbuilt ).

    “ Mosquito trousers” rather than breeches and gaiters ( converted from the DiD Bruce trousers with part of the waiscoat to provide the gusset over the foot ) .

    Black crossbelts with a GR plate : I rather over-polished this, and it's giving off a blinding reflection ; pouch and bayonet, haversack and tinplate canteen ( own casting ) .

    The figure looked mature enough to be a Sergeant , so I have added the worsted sash, with a blue stripe for his parent regiment .
    Technically Sergeants carried fusils , a lighter shorter musket , but in war conditions such niceties probably went by the board , and he carries the Short Land Pattern like all his men( my own resin model ).

    The knapsack is goatskin ( another toy ) , carried with the two shoulder straps in the style learnt from the Native peoples in Canada , and recently adopted to replace the simple bag snapsack on a single strap.



    Since the pics were taken for the book , I have replaced the jacket with a longer better-cut one from brushed cotton rather than the polysuede I first used , and added an accurate bayonet and shoulderbelt plate .



    The base reflects the early autumn : I bought some of those lovely little leaf cutter stamps, and cut out some fallen leaves from a brown paper bag.) these are really nice, and very cheap from craft shops ).
    A little paint both colours and glues them to the base.



    ************************************************** ****************************

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  3. #2
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    Re: British Sergeant, Pennsylvania 1777 .

    1st CLASS work mate. Your historical customs are simply amazing and the attention to detail and finish are a thing of beauty!! So very well done.

  4. #3
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    Re: British Sergeant, Pennsylvania 1777 .

    Very nice!

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  6. #4
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    Re: British Sergeant, Pennsylvania 1777 .

    Perfection!
    ''It is man's perdition to be safe when he ought to die for
    the truth"

  7. #5
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    Re: British Sergeant, Pennsylvania 1777 .

    Ah, Tony... What a happyness to see such a figure!..

  8. #6
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    Re: British Sergeant, Pennsylvania 1777 .

    I always love your work !!!!!!

    They must have got it right , because the British won most of the battles , but lost the war because of a combination of French intervention , impossibly long supply lines and some really bad generalship ; and, of course , an increasingly professional Patriot army.
    You got that right !!, if the British Generals would have all converged on Washington at the same time we would be a British Colony now !!!! But I think they were looking out for them selves at the time, not for the greater good of the crown. Plus fighting the French in Spain and France a few years later didn't help alot.

  9. #7
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    Re: British Sergeant, Pennsylvania 1777 .

    Excellent work as usual.

  10. #8
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    Re: British Sergeant, Pennsylvania 1777 .

    Not sure what he looked like before, but I'm impressed.

    Quote Originally Posted by clhuke64 View Post
    You got that right !!, if the British Generals would have all converged on Washington at the same time we would be a British Colony now !!!! But I think they were looking out for them selves at the time, not for the greater good of the crown. Plus fighting the French in Spain and France a few years later didn't help alot.
    Most likely you'd be looking at a different map of the U.S.A. and Canada. But who knows. A lot happened in the following one hundred years.

  11. #9
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    Re: British Sergeant, Pennsylvania 1777 .

    A treat!

  12. #10
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    Re: British Sergeant, Pennsylvania 1777 .

    Lovely figure Tony....nicely dirtied....and a very neglected period
    "that island of England breeds very valiant creatures".

    Rambures, Henry V by William Shakespeare

  13. #11
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    Re: British Sergeant, Pennsylvania 1777 .

    An amazing figure. It's always great to see historical figures but it's so refreshing to see largely ignored times and places covered.

  14. #12
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    Re: British Sergeant, Pennsylvania 1777 .

    Superb figure, and a fascinating background. I like that you've shown him in different poses rather than as a statue. He is so believable!

  15. #13
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    Oct 2007
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    410

    Re: British Sergeant, Pennsylvania 1777 .

    Wonderful figure Mr. B, simply wonderful! Now, if you take requests, how about making a Roger's Ranger (or Robert Rogers himself) from the French & Indian War? I want to do one myself, but I would love to see a good one done before I start mucking about!

  16. #14
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    Re: British Sergeant, Pennsylvania 1777 .

    great work Mr B, not all that far from germantown pa so nice to see another of ur reichly well made figures,specially from this era. great work as always, a realy joy to see
    -mike-

  17. #15
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    Re: British Sergeant, Pennsylvania 1777 .

    Excellent figure!! This era is quite neglected in 1/6; (actually military history in general) and you've done it justice!! My wife and I went to a reenactment event a little over a year ago, and most of the reenactors discussed the research that went into getting the uniforms right. The Royal Irish Artillery was my personal favorite. There was a great "fashion show" of sorts showing the evolution of uniforms during the conflict. During and just after Yorktown, several Continental Regiments were equipped in captured British uniforms which had the facings removed, then were dyed to a dark brown color. All in all, a wonderful job Mr. Barton!!

    As a complete aside, the US Navy has often named ships after (mostly victorious) battles. In the 20th century, these ships were aircraft carriers, then amphibious ships. There are a few exceptions to victorious battles. The USS Bataan, for instance, commemorates the rugged defense of that peninsula against the Japanese. Speaking of Japan... When I checked onboard the USS Fort McHenry in Sasebo, Japan about 9 years ago, and saw our sister ship tied up ahead of us; I was quite surprised to read the name: USS GERMANTOWN!!

  18. #16
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    Re: British Sergeant, Pennsylvania 1777 .

    As always--well researched and executed to perfection! Love the black powder marks on his shooting side--it's the little touches that define your work--way beyond compare, and a treat to view--you should be doing dioramas for museums. Thanks for sharing...
    -----------------------------------------
    "It's not how many times you get knocked down that counts,
    it's how many times you get back up."

  19. #17
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    Re: British Sergeant, Pennsylvania 1777 .

    Great Job,
    Well-done

  20. #18
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    Re: British Sergeant, Pennsylvania 1777 .

    Superb figure and history, thank you again for sharing Tony.

  21. #19
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    Re: British Sergeant, Pennsylvania 1777 .

    Tony, I really think you should start a 1/6th museum as that is where all your figures belong! This one is no exception, very NICE!

    budro 65

  22. #20
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    Re: British Sergeant, Pennsylvania 1777 .

    Thanks for bringing one on this side of the "pond." I so admire your work, sir.

  23. #21
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    Re: British Sergeant, Pennsylvania 1777 .

    Bit of a lurker here; I stick around mostly to see what you post. You do some marvelous work, and with subjects I really enjoy looking at.


    If I may comment though, in the form of some constructive criticism, I think the overalls could do with being a little tighter. Clothing of this period was rather form fitting, and maintaining that fit was very important to leaders on both sides of the war.

    The truth is always more interesting than the myth .
    This old view is now entirely exploded, particularly by the American research prompted by their re-enactment movement .




    The British Army adapted very quickly to the peculiar conditions of war in North America, modifying their uniforms and tactics to cope with the forested terrain , and their nimble opponents. They had plenty of experience , having been engaged in such warfare in Canada within living memory.



    The chief innovations were the introduction of Light Infantry tactics, skirmishing in open order to counter the Patriot riflemen , and the reduction of the Line from three ranks to two , which maximised frontages for fire. Since there was almost no threat from cavalry, two ranks and more open order were entirely feasible, and reduced casualties . The men were also trained to reform quickly and charge with the bayonet .
    I'm a reenactor, with the 43rd Regiment, and you are correct. Most of the recreated units out there portray the early period of the war, mostly because that is the period the public is most interested in. It's also a legacy of the early bicentennial preparations; people wanted to put on a good Bunker Hill reenactment.

    Nevertheless, there has been some improvement in this area. Our regiment has largely abandoned the shoulder to shoulder approach when on the battlefield because, as you said, it's simply inaccurate. We've adopted many of those really great light infantry tactics which made the British so fearsome. Our dress is still centered on the early period, but many units have made advances there too. The 40th stands out in this regard. They do a really fantastic frontier impression.

  24. #22
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    May 2003
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    Re: British Sergeant, Pennsylvania 1777 .

    once again Tony, you have created a masterpiece. I haven't found one of your pre-WW2 figures that I didn't like and wouldn't gladly add to my collection.

    I love the look of this figure.

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