Saturday, August 12, 2017

Project QUEBEC: 3/60th Foot - Part 1

I think it was Mark Twain who said if your job is to eat two frogs then you should eat the largest one first. He was of course referring to getting onerous tasks out of the way and in part this is the philosophy I apply to my Quebec battle project inasmuch as I have concentrated largely on the biggest units first. Just as well considering I haven't lifted a finger for this undertaking in a few years. Well I'm back to it and this next lot will be the next biggest unit in Wolfe's army - the 3/60th foot.

The 60th Foot or Royal American Regiment was originally designated the 62nd Foot to be raised under warrant of the crown in December 1755. By July 1756 one battalion had been raised and the whole regiment would achieve a strength of four battalions.

A few peculiarities mark the creation of the 60th foot. It was designed to be four battalions strong and a foreign or largely Germanic unit taken from German subjects from the European continent, settled 'Germans' in the Americas and Swiss. This was not a completely popular idea, politically. Typical of the times, entry was restricted to protestants. In fact, a good many (over half) of the rank and file were Irishmen and other British recruits by design. American and European responses did not meet recruitment expectations in spite of land grants (presumably in America) so the regiment was more British than was originally anticipated. Enlistment into the regiment was for a three year term and limited to service in America.

Headquartered in Philadelphia with the training camp in Pennsylvania moving also to Philadelphia by the time the 3rd battalion was raised and ready for training.

Whilst not specifically 'light troops' the 1st and 2nd battalions appear to have been raised and trained as line troops capable of 'forest fighting'. Light troops at this time were not battalion sized units capable of fighting in linear formations in the open ground continental warfare. No such distinction is mentioned for the 3rd battalion but it may be assumed that it was similarly capable given it's sister battalions and assignment on the Plains of Abraham. This capability appears to centre around the training of their light company to flank, scout and skirmish and the general manner in which the battalions operated in the wilderness and negotiated forest territory on the march. In essence, the 60th regiment seem most likely to have been what became termed 'light battalions' by the later Napoleonic wars.

Under the command of Lieutenant Colonel John Young, the 3/60th first saw action in 1757 and was divided between garrisoning forts Edward and William-Henry during the famous siege, surrender and subsequent Indian attacks and 'massacre' across which it maintained order, fighting efficiency and sustained 80 casualties. It was reinforced to a strength of 986 all ranks. It spent the rest of 1757-8 training in Halifax.

Under Young the 3rd battalion departed Boston on 23 April 1758. Along with it's sister battalion, the 2/60th the 3rd battalion saw action at the assault on Louisburg where the 3/60th lost 17 men killed and 43 wounded for its first battle honour.

Later departing for the invasion at Quebec, elements from either or both battalions were deployed at the action at Montmorency Falls the following year just prior to being involved in the abortive action at Beauport.

At Montmorency Falls the regiment earnt the sobriquet Celer et Audex (Swift and Bold) - the regimental motto. They lost over 100 men in an ill co-ordinated action which Wolfe blamed on the grenadiers whilst praising the 60th who conducted an orderly fighting retreat under orders.

At the Plains of Abraham, therefore, the 3/60th battalion was a proven, experienced body of steady, reliable troops capable of engaging in both types of warfare characteristic of the North American theater of operations. It remained part of Murray's brigade but there are divergent accounts of it's positioning at the commencement of battle. It may have been in position on the oblique left flank to enagage the skirmishers delivering flanking fire before deploying later in the action to block Bougainville's reinforcements to the rear. Alternatively, it may have guarded the boats and the top of the escarpment and protected the rear. Perhaps elements of the battalion covered both but all agree they ended up to the rear to repel Bougainville.

Due to the role of the 3/60th at the Plains of Abraham, I am depicting this battalion in platoon firing mode as if they are exchanging fire with the Canadian skirmishers at the start of hostilities. This unit is 51 figures strong made up mainly of Redoubt and some Blue Moon figures (one line officer, a casualty and two grenadiers firing).

As my 3/60th foot are newly raised and thus have not campaigned in the wilderness. Consequently, they will not be in improvised campaign dress as sometimes depicted for the 1&2/60th but will retain their line infantry appearance with full tricorne headwear and regulation equipment. The only sense of relief I have about this particular unit is that the 60th Royal Americans wore plain coasts without lace - well the rank and file at least.

There wasn't much preparation involved with the Redoubt figures but I do prefer to cut down the sergeants' halberds and replace the malleable white metal shafts with steel cut wire. It's a bit of fiddling about but I wont have to worry about then being straight in future. You need to drill out their hands (similar to Old Glory castings) and drill out a receiving hole at the base if you want to vary the positions from the preset holes. I have allocated three sergeants to this mob - one grenadier and two line.
I had too few standing officer poses and an extra sergeant or two so I've promoted one of them. He can either represent a literally field promoted sergeant or an officer who has misplaced his sash and gorget on the climb up from the landing earlier that day. If that sounds a bit self serving and lazy of me for not green-stuffing both then so be it. I can't recall where I got the sword from but it might be from a Front Rank set. Of course it's not just a matter of fixing his hand with a sword. Remember to cut away the hilt from his casting also.
I thought to mix in a few Blue Moon figures including two shooting grenadiers which I love. I do love the Redoubt line infantry figures for their rank and file above all but their grenadiers can't match these blokes. BUT, as the Blue Moon figures come in a curious collection as a job-lot I'm just scattering them through my army to add some colour. I have removed the bayonet to match the Redoubt sculpts. They have very little flash or mold lines.
Well, I had better get undercoating and on with it. See you on the other side.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

No More Nassauers

Front Rank Drummer
Well, no more for quite some time I imagine. I have just finished painting my second Nassau regiment for my Waterloo Papelotte project and the first unit since taking up my Tonga posting two months ago. I can't base them as yet but wanted to share what I've done with this lot. The above shot was taken outdoors with the brightness bumped a little in Photoshop. This unit has two drummers - the gent pictured above and the following from Elite Miniatures.
I still absolutely love Elite Miniatures for Napoleonics although I'm not so enamoured of their cavalry as a rule.  I think it has a lot to do with the balance they achieve with simplicity of the sculpt - those compromises in what details they keep in and leave out. It is especially appealing to me when I'm painting two 48 figure battalions because by comparison, the Front Rank members of this unit are just hard work. I also favour their lean proportions.

I decided to differentiate this battalion (2/2nd) from the other Nassauers by giving them French backpacks complete with the more usual white straps rather than the ubiquitous tan coloured webbing of the Nassau regiments. I can't base them as yet because my band-saw blade snapped and the replacement part took ages and missed my departure for the Pacific. I'll take these boys home on my next trip back and sort them out then. I have to say I am a huge convert to the Vallejo metals. In most other respects I'm still wedded to Humbrol enamels but their brass just fails to keep that lovin' feeling.
I am digging the Elite mounted colonel. I know he's loopy looking but there's nothing wrong with a little eccentricity on the table-top. It was nice to have a bicorne in among all those later Napoleonic shakos. If I look back to my 3/2 Nassauers, I seem to have changed which is the first company or the colour company and this time I've got it with the mob in yellow pom-poms. Go figure.
For my last posting I didn't pay any attention to my grenadiers, so here's three of the eight in the two poses Elite Miniatures makes them in. You can also see more clearly how I've mixed the shades of greens between coats, trousers and across the soldiers themselves. Only after I've completed the bases will I add some mud and dust but I think they already look both drab and colourful at the same time - that sounds mad, oui?
This officer is altered from his true form. He comes as an ensign with his now extended left arm drawn across the body holding the flag pole. I cut of the gimbal from the cross belt and folded in all but his index fingers to make him point to the enemy. Nothing better than a variety of officers for my companies and this unit has seven including the ensign. I also altered his partner as I had two spare ensigns from my Elite Miniatures collection. 
I've given my light company an officer this time although he really just an ordinary officer with his pompom appropriately green and yellow - or is that yellow and green? I can never tell. I think I made this up later on as otherwise I should have thought to buy an extra light company miniature and transplant his plume. Ah, well ... who will care? Anyway, I'm now deciding what next to work on from what I chose to bring out with me. I haven't done anything toward my Quebec project in a very long time so it might be red coats for a change.