Having been sucked into the Mexican American War project with my friends, which I say with the greatest affection and knowing my eminent suckability, I quickly sent off an order to 1st Corps in the U.K. I limited myself to a brigade pack of Mexican infantry and a gun and crew. We’ll be playing Rebels and Patriots and units are usually twelve figures or at least multiples of six, up to eighteen, and a brigade pack is three units of 24. So that’s a pile of units. I’ll be busy for a while.
But while I was waiting for 1st Corps to do its magic, I got mopey. I really love the American uniforms, and believe it’s always a good thing to have both sides and I kibitzed with my beloved missus and persuaded her I should order some 1st Corps figures from Scale Creep miniatures here in the states and took the plunge. With a fresh re-stock of figures, I ordered enough figures for two 12-figure American infantry units, with the understanding they would be artillerists serving as infantry.
Scale Creep was amazing and I had more order within a few days. I was staring at some of my Old Glory Spanish infantry that required their rayadillo pinstripes, and decided they could wait and I plunged right into the Yanquis instead.
The figures are quite nice. A litle bit of flash between the legs, but really quite clean. Lots of tin in these guys. They are quite hard and difficult to re-position, but in general, they are well-balanced and very well-cast. Plenty of nice uniform creases. They are a great size that could easily be mixed, though probably not in units, with Old Glory’s considerable Mexican War range. They primed up well and were a pleasure to paint.
I ordered the charging/advancing figures and a command pack. They come eight to a package, and the command figures four to a pack. The command figures come with an officer, a drummer and two standard bearers. I am painting these for Daniel Mersey’s Rebels and Patriots, so two twelve-figure units. I put the officer and drummer with one unit and the two standard bearers with the second.
Truly, the paint job is pretty simple and straightforward. The Mexican-American War U.S. uniform is one of my favorites due to it’s color and simplicity. The American artillery as infantry has largely the same uniform as the U.S. infantry–sky blue trouser and sky blue short jacket. Some sources suggest artillerists may have worn the dark blue short jacket, so I mixed a few in there as well.
I painted the forage hats Vallejo Prussian Blue with a little light grey mixed in for a dry brush. The artillery also had a red hat band, and I used Vallejo Flat Red for that. It’s a bright enough color so it doesn’t get lost, but not as blinding as Vallejo Vermillion or Scarlet.
Lots of facial hair on these guys so using a medium brown or dark sand color that can be washed with a brown wash, either the Vallejo Brown Wash, or Citadel Agrax Earthshade looks good.
Uniform colors were a little sticky. The infantry sky blue definitely faded on campaign, and the Vallejo Sky Blue is quite bright. I used it anyway lightening it twice with white, and dry brushed over it. It’s still a bit brighter than I’d like.
Not much of the collar shows for the yellow piping, but certainly on the shoulder straps. The figures also got a thin red pants stripe to denote their status as artillery, and illustrate their description as “red-legged infantry.”
I decided to paint my own standards. I’m not sure this was a good plan for the national flag. A commercial version would have looked better than my own attempt at a 28 star version of the Stars and Stripes. Oh well, I gave it a shot. I was sort of pleased at the outcome of the 1st Regiment artillery flag. The guns could be longer and slightly better positioned, but the detail looks nice.
In any case, the two units are done. I’m painting that good Spanish Rayadillo right now, but I’ll be switching over to some Mexican line infantry by the weekend. The projects are all coming along and that’s all one can ask. I’ve finished 72 figures for October so far, and I’ll be really disappointed if I don’t make 110 for the month.