Monday, February 4, 2013

Redcoats! (or back to the FIW)

Redcoats are kinda essential to any FIW projects, a lot more so than French regulars, who arrived late to the party. And Britain sent a LOT more of them regulars than France ever did. Even more so since my project is aimed at representing the first years of the war, when Britain was still fighting à l'européenne against a mix of Militia, Indians and Compagnies Franches de la Marine.

Last fall I commissioned my good mate and brush for hire Roger Murrow to paint a battalion of Redcoats for me. 26 figures to be exact. My original plan called for 24 but I had 2 extras as part of my purchase so I sent them all to Britain (so these guys also had to cross the ocean, as the real ones did). He, as usual, did a fantastic job.

My choice of regiment to paint was the 44th foot, for three reasons :
  • They fought at the Monongahela. The main battle I'm basing my forces on.
  • They fought at Fort Carillon (Ticonderoga). The other battle I'm basing my forces on.
  • They have nice yellow facings. (I will always do my best to avoid fielding or painting any British regiment in Buff facings. Eurk. 
Astute readers will notice that this regiment was really unlucky, as both the Monongahela and Ticonderoga were bad, bad defeats for the British! 
 In January 14 1755, the regiment (about 500 men) embarked at Cork in Ireland to sail to North America as part of General Edward Braddock's force. On February 20, it arrived at Hampton in Virginia. It was then ordered to march up the Potomac to Alexandria. New recruits were waiting for the regiment in Alexandria. It was thus brought to full strength (about 700 men). Early in March, the regiment reached Winchester. By May 10, it was with Braddock's expeditionary force at Fort Cumberland at the junction of Wills Creek with the Potomac. It took part to the disastrous attempt against Fort Duquesne where it suffered a heavy defeat on the Monongahela on July 9. The British force first retreated to Great Meadows (July 13), then to Fort Cumberland, leaving this fort for Philadelphia on August 2. 

In 1756, the regiment was among the reinforcements being sent to Fort Oswego under colonel Webb. This force left Albany on August 14. Webb had scarcely reached the Great Carrying Place (actual Rome NY) when he was informed that Oswego had already been captured. When he received an erroneous report that 6,000 French were advancing upon New York, Webb ordered trees to be felled and thrown into the stream at Wood Creek to stop the progress of the French. Then, with shameful precipitation, he burned the fort at the Great Carrying Place and retreated down the Mohawk River to German Flats. 

In March 1757, a detachment of the regiment (274 men) under major Eyre garrisoned Fort William Henry which was attacked by a French expeditionary force. The garrison repulsed attempts against the fort but the French managed to destroy the storehouses as well as the British ships assembled around the fort, thus preventing any British offensive on lac Saint-Sacrement (actual Lake George) during this campaign. In June, the regiment was at New York. The same month, it was transferred to Halifax in preparation for the aborted expedition against Louisbourg. 

In 1758, the regiment formed part of the British expeditionary force under James Abercromby sent against Fort Carillon (actual Ticonderoga). The army assembled at Albany, then advanced to Fort Edward and Fort William Henry. On July 5, the regiment was embarked at the head of lake Saint-Sacrement (actual Lake George) and crossed the lake. On July 6, at daybreak, the British flotilla reached the narrow channel leading into Lake Champlain near Fort Carillon and disembarkation began at 9:00 AM. On July 8, the British army fought the battle of Carillon where it was utterly defeated, the 44th loosing 205 men. At daybreak on July 9, the British army re-embarked and retreated to the head of the lake where it reoccupied the camp it had left a few days before. 

In 1759, the regiment took part to the expedition against Fort Niagara which surrendered on July 24. After the capture of Fort Niagara, the regiment was assigned to garrison Presqu'Isle on Lake Erie. 

In 1760, the regiment was part of the British army assembled at Oswego by lieutenant-general Amherst. In August, this army advanced downstream on the Saint-Laurent river towards Montréal where it made its junction with two other British armies on September 6. Montréal surrendered (snif, snif) on September 8, Canada was now under British rule. 

In 1761 and 1762, detachments of the regiment garrisoned Trois-Rivières, Chambly, Saint-François and other localities. By October 1762, the entire regiment was assembled in Montréal where it assumed garrison duty.

Source : Kronoskaf

So here they are, the brave but unlucky lads of the 44th Foot, shown here in their brown campaign gaiters. Before anyone asks....the Grenadiers will follow sometime this year. Again commissioned to Rog.

The base and movement trays are from Litko, figures are Conquest Miniatures, flags by GMB, painted by Roger Murrow for my collection, based by yours truly.

Considering the size of my FIW project, this is a big chunk of the British forces and frankly one I had less interest in painting. I'm keeping the Canadians, Indians and other irregulars like the Rangers for myself. I also hope to have some pics of some newly painted Indians soon...(and Ancients fans need not worry, Chariots are also on their way).


  1. Sooo nice! Great write up too! Interesting read between periods. ;-) I'm afraid it's only a matter of time before I succumb to the temptation of the FIW. Especially with all the great period minis released in the last few years.

    1. It is a great period and very easy to get into, with so few figs needed and so many great choices. Although I really find Conquest to be head and shoulders over the competition.

    2. Yep, Conquest minis changed everything for this period. So good.

  2. Really nice figures, Iannick! Roger's done a great job on these.

  3. Very nice Iannick, but what is this I see Movement trays!


    1. I had no other choice! :-)

      I need them single based for skirmish play.

  4. Nice tree line behind these guys. Any news on the Mitanni/Cannanite chariots.

  5. Next week! Painting is finished, I'm starting the basing this week-end.