A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that


Monday, 7 November 2016

New Officer for the 43rd

My good friend Pieter very kindly sent me samples of some new GBM Peninsular War figures he has commissioned, which are now in the Hagen shop. As ever with Massimo's sculpts, the figures are very pleasing - so pleasing, in fact, that I took advantage of a rare couple of hours' free time this evening to paint up a replacement officer for my 43rd Foot - note the regimental eccentricity of a non-regulation pelisse. The unit he will serve with consists of original 1970s Les Higgins figures - the officer is obviously quite a tall man, but his hat is a good match so - by my house rule of thumb (also known as Foy's Third Law) - this officer is officially the correct scale for the job.



He displaces a Les Higgins officer - I'll find the redundant chap alternative employment elsewhere.

17 comments:

  1. If you can't follow a man in a pelisse - who can you follow?

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    1. Indeed so. I imagine him getting dressed, with assistance from his batman - "What do you think of the pelisse? Do you think it looks stupid enough?..."

      Not great for house to house fighting - nice and cosy for the winter in the mountains, though.

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    2. Also - come to think of it - his pelisse is a lot shorter than his jacket, which is not a great look if he puts it on. Note the leather cuffs on his overalls - the paint job is based on the illustrations in the Haythornthwaite Peninsular War book, in which the officer of the 43rd (wearing this uniform) looks very like Marty Feldman, which should please fans of Young Frankenstein.

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  2. A dashing fellow if ever I saw one!

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    1. The old Higgins officer who was replaced is as sick as a parrot about losing the gig after 40 years - especially as this was one of the earliest units in my army. Maybe I can fit him into the skirmish line - I think I'll touch him up a bit first - he'll feel better about it.

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  3. Very nice, I do like the addition of the pelisse!

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    1. These Hagen figures are lovely - some need some assembly, and some are a little dioramic (?) for my dumb wargaming needs, but for serious fans of metal 1/72 or "true 25mm" they are a wonderful source of unusual figures, and cheap compared with some of the alternatives.

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  4. As a fashion statement, I am unsure if this combination works for me. When the pelisse is buttoned up, the jacket turnbacks will extend much below the bottom of the fur-lined pelisse. a short-tailed rifleman's jacket would be more suitable. He is a dandy!

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    1. Hi Jon - yes, agreed - strange but authentic - maybe a hangover from an earlier uniform style? Maybe they never wore them (discuss)? There is a contemporary portrait of William Napier (no less) with his 43rd Foot pelisse, but he isn't wearing it! It never occurred to me before, but the pelisse-on-the-shoulder thing reminds me of the guy in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy who had an extra head - Beeblebrox? (digression alert...)

      Yes, the whole effect is like wearing your jacket over your raincoat - or, like Batman, your underpants over your trousers.

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    2. Afterthought - there was a certain laddish dash at this time about wearing completely impractical clothing - French ADCs used to wear trousers that were so baggy they couldn't walk in them, and they wore their swords so low that they had to carry them when they moved about. Too cool for school.

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    3. Unless you are wearing riding breeches, tight pants are not so cool for long rides especially if they have a raised inseam. Chaffing and poor circulation can pose problems on the body. Riding in tight trousers can cause numbness in places that ought not be numb. As for the low slung sword, imagine being jabbed in the ribs by the closely hung sword's hilt with every gait. Ouch!

      Of course, looking cool often trumps practicality!

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    4. I once rode a mule up to the Nevada Falls in Yosemite, equipped with jeans with a heavy internal seam (that's me that was wearing the jeans, not the mule). Not recommended - my yodelling technique was never the same again.

      I think the young French ADCs thought that baggy trousers in the Turkish style were pretty desirable - apart from the low-slung swords they also liked extra-long spurs, which all sounds like a recipe for a few prat-falls.

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  5. Replies
    1. If it were me, I might think about a discreet piece of boilerplate wrapped inside my for-show pelisse.

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    2. Was the pelisse actually part of regimental issue in the 43rd or was it just a Georgian fashion statement? Maybe it was some kind of nod to their connection as lights to hussars and panders and other practitioners of petit guerre. But my money's on Georgian dandies.

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    3. "Fashion pelisse?" That really is quite a good one!

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    4. Jon - don't encourage him - just enjoy it secretly and keep a stony silence...

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