Saturday, January 29, 2011

28mm 95th Rifles in Battalion Order

Good Lord. They look like a 19th century version of U2. Apparently the British army had no barbers (nor enough shakos)...

Really, I thought I'd never do it - I thought I'd never crack. I was committed never to paint one of the most ubiquitous units in a British Napoleonic wargaming army: yes, yes, you guessed it, the 95th Rifles. To me 'The Rifles' are like the iPods of Napoleonic gaming - very trick, sexy, grossly over-promoted and seen freakin' everywhere. 

In my defense I did have a pile of unpainted Foundry riflemen from an age-old ebay auction AND I had several frames of the Perry plastic riflemen that come in each of their infantry boxed sets. So c'mon, I had to do something with them. Right? Right?! (sigh) Anyway, I've since stifled my toy soldier snobbery and have done up a unit of Rifles for myself. 

Over the past few weeks I've been reading about several actions where the 95th eschewed their regular skirmish tactics and instead fought in standard battalion formation. So I thought I'd depict a unit of Rifles that are madly scrambling to double-out into battle line while being under fire. I wanted to use as many of my current castings as possible, but the scale difference between the Perry's older Foundry stuff and their more current range is quite distinct. Since the Foundry models are significantly shorter I had to do something to make them blend in better. I decided upon an old trick by using a type of forced perspective where I've placed the shorter castings on trimmed down plastic base 'shims' and put them in the front rank.

Here is an example of a base with the plastic 'shims' in place.

The older Foundry castings go on the shims...

...and the newer, taller Perry model goes au naturale.

This way the shims partly mask the bigger dimensions of the taller models set in the back and the extra height helps to draw the viewer's attention away from the differences in scale. I still see the differences but I think for the most part it worked out okay.

Note: This man was shot for not having a mullet.

I added a dead horse casting I had in my bitz box to depict the officer just having his mount shot from underneath him. For the pistol laying on the horse's flank, I trimmed down the hand from a pistol in the Victrix plastic set and placed it in the vignette to show that the officer has just put his horse down, dropped the pistol and is now drawing his sword, all the while bawling out commands.

The end of the line has a sergeant pointing to where he wants the men to form up. The plastic Perry riflemen are great for giving that hustling sense of urgency.

Well, there you have it. I've now joined the ranks of those who just had to have the 95th in their collections. Actually, I'm pretty jazzed about taking them out for their first game. I can now just hear the whining, faintly annoying electric guitar playing 'Over the Hills and Far Away"... (shudder)


  1. Great looking unit. Well done.

  2. Looking forward to seeing these guys in action!!

  3. Great modeling, the unit looks great, very dynamic.


  4. Your rifles look the business. Like the little stories going on. Lots of points of interest. Very cool.

  5. Thanks guys! Next will be some these mounted on washers for skirmishing and games of 'Sharpe Practice'. I just opened a box of Victrix Flank Company models so I hope to have some of these based-up individually as skirmishers as well.

  6. Nice paintjob, I like the dead horse effect.

  7. Thanks Ray! I really like your blog btw. I'm going to have to poach your idea of introducing 'the guys' of my local gaming group on the blog.

  8. Love em. I wouldn't worry about height differences too much though, think of the difference between the real life riflemen - 5'2 to 6'1 - makes the difference between a Foundry and Perry figure look insignificant!

  9. You're probably right - Its funny how obsessive we can get about this stuff. Especially when you think that 95% of the time we look at these things at least three feet away and at an elevated angle. I think that is why, over time, my painting method has become more and more 'impressionistic' and not so hung-up on detail.

  10. I love the unit. I avoided mine for years, but was pleased I had them when they were done. Though if you keep comparing that pic of Richard and the boys to U2, I may have to pitch them, and all the Cornwell.

  11. First, thanks for the kudos - much appreciated. Sorry if I have scarred you for life. Don't get me wrong, I love the mythology that Cornwell has constructed around the 95th, but you have to admit they do look like a bunch of tossers in that shot.

  12. Hui - now that's the kind of basing I like. Stunning formation Curt.

  13. Thanks very much Kawe! It's nice for the boys in green to get a visit now and again.