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I Need Help - British Napoleonic Regiment of Foot Figures??


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My friends have said for years that I need help...and this thread will prove it.  Back in my long-distant days of youth, I built a few Airfix 54mm figures (British Grenadier from the American War of Independence, Napoleonic Hussar, Bengal Lancer etc).  Unexpectedly, I have a renewed interest in this modelling genre but need some up-to-date advice.

 

I recently discovered that one of my Great (x3) Grandfathers was in the 47th Regiment of Foot, serving in the 2nd Battalion during the Peninsula War and, when the 2nd Battalion was disbanded, in India, to include the First Anglo-Burmese War.

 

So...after that long preamble, are there any good kits I can use to represent a soldier of the 47th Foot in Spain?  Since this is my first foray into figure modelling in almost 40 years, I'd appreciate any help/advice from the cognoscenti here.


Many thanks,
Mark

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It's an interesting period, certainly colourful.  For some reason I got interested in the Prussians.  

 

Anyhow, I did purchase a few books way back when, and looking up the 47th, I find the detail you want when painting this unit is white facings.  This pertains to the collar, cuffs, and the upturned portion of the jacket.  Lacing was of the square type (as opposed to bastion), and officers lace is silver.

 

The above detail is important, as I can't find any figures dedicated to the Lancashire unit, so you will have to use whatever foot soldier figures that are available.   Found this colour plate,  so they look to have a fairly large shield on the shako, but can't make out what is on the cross belts.  

 

The-47th-Foot-The-Loyal-Regiment.jpg

 

From what I can find, the best quality figures are from First Legion, but these come only pre-painted. 

https://www.firstlegionltd.com/greatbritain.aspx

 

After that you are left with just Airfix and Historex, and some boxed sets of plastic toy soldiers.   There are some individual releases in resin or white metal, but you probably already seen these at Scalemates?

 

 

regards,

Jack

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Hi Jack,

 

Thanks for your response.  Yes, white facings with silver lace (square-ended loops) seem to be the the colour scheme (at least based on a couple of references I found).  

 

I'm hoping that the Lancashire Infantry Museum might have a Napoleonic-era shako that will give some indication of the shield.  Of course, that will depend on the museum opening again.  Artwork representing the 47th Foot seems rather scarce.  The image you provided is one of only two I could find.

 

I haven't tried Scalemates - my google-fu didn't come up with much, hence my question here.  Historex was a name I recognized from my yoof and it seems I can get a Napoleonic line infantry soldier with some optional arms/legs for different poses.  That might be my best option, although I'm struggling to find any details of the "additional poses" that might be available.  The pose in the one image I found seems rather boring and somewhat "wooden":

 

spacer.png

 

Then again, there's always an Airfix trip down memory lane...

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You'll need to choose a year for your figure.

The shako changed from the stove-pipe to the Belgic in 1812, but not all regiments changed at that time. Some keeping the stove-pipe through to 1816

Gaiters were worn up to 1809 then full length white trousers with pale grey overalls over them.

Sergeants usually wore the gaiters until 1817

The hair was queued until about 1806 then it was allowed to be cut short, but not all regiments followed this and again sergeants preferred to keep their hair queued until about 1820

 

The breast plate linking the cross belts is a pressed brass plate with the regiment number on it, usually within a wreath design

 

Best kits by far are the Airfix 54mm Collectors series. 

If necessary, cross kit the 1776 British Grenadier and the 1815 Guardsman, and if needed the 1815 95th Rifleman. Some scratch building may be needed.

I cross-kitted the 1776 Grenadier and 1815 Guardsman and some scratch building to get an 1805 Royal Marine

1805%20Royal%20Marine%2C%2055s-M.jpg

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I think another possible detail to add would be the number 47 in white on the rear of the haversack?

 

There is this site that shows what was available from the white metal industry:

http://www.histomin.com/wpfigs/figsnapwars.htm

 

I'm actually a little shocked at how little there is, but since this is someone's effort, maybe it does not encompass everything?   I think my favorite would be this one from Benito:

 

mpbnmd25a.jpg   This one is pricey as you do get the 12-pdr and base, but two of the figures can be purchased separately.

 

 

Chronos looks to still offer these:

 

CMOS-54004___CMOS-54004_M__1.jpg  CHM-54013___CHM-54013_M__1.jpg

 

 

 

This drummer can be found at El Greco Miniatures:

mpfeel04%20(ELI00004).jpg

 

 

----------------------

 

Also came across this web site, looks to be purchasable colour plates that you download?

http://www.reeseartofwars.com/

 

 

Below is a sample plate from a total of 160 - British Uniforms of the Peninsular War, 1808-1814

PenWar%20British.jpg

 

 

 

regards,

Jack

 

Edited by JackG
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1 hour ago, Black Knight said:

You'll need to choose a year for your figure.

The shako changed from the stove-pipe to the Belgic in 1812, but not all regiments changed at that time. Some keeping the stove-pipe through to 1816

Gaiters were worn up to 1809 then full length white trousers with pale grey overalls over them.

Sergeants usually wore the gaiters until 1817

The hair was queued until about 1806 then it was allowed to be cut short, but not all regiments followed this and again sergeants preferred to keep their hair queued until about 1820

 

The breast plate linking the cross belts is a pressed brass plate with the regiment number on it, usually within a wreath design

 

Best kits by far are the Airfix 54mm Collectors series. 

If necessary, cross kit the 1776 British Grenadier and the 1815 Guardsman, and if needed the 1815 95th Rifleman. Some scratch building may be needed.

I cross-kitted the 1776 Grenadier and 1815 Guardsman and some scratch building to get an 1805 Royal Marine

1805%20Royal%20Marine%2C%2055s-M.jpg

 

Thanks Black Knight.  My Great(x3) Grandad enlisted in December 1808 and served until 1832.  I'm thinking of targeting the Battle of Vitoria in 1813 which would put him in pale grey overalls.  The shako may still have been the stove-pipe type given that the 2/47th had been either Cadiz, Tarifa or in the field since October 1809.  Throughout the Napoleonic period, he was a Private (he was promoted to Corporal in 1826 and to Sergeant in 1829).  

 

Looks like cross-kitting the Airfix sets might be the best idea...albeit expensive.  It seems like individual kits are going for $15-30 each.  I do wish Airfix would reissue their 54mm series.  I thought the kits were excellent at the time, and they could result in stunning models.  I really like your Royal Marine conversion - wish I was half that good.

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Unless you have certain information you'll need to decide if he was 'Centre' 'Light' or 'Grenadier' company as each had a different shako plume and shoulder epaulette

The 'Centre' company plume was white over red, no epaulettes, white cords on the shako

The 'Light' company plume was all green, green with white lace edged with tufted wool epaulettes, (usually but not always) green cords on the shako

and the 'Grenadier' company plume was all white, red with white lace, edged with tufted wool epaulettes, white cords on the shako.

 

You'll also need to choose which gun he used. There were 4 versions of the 'Brown Bess' musket plus many in the 'Light' company used the Baker rifle.

The Baker was a version of rifle initially made by a gunsmith Ezekiel Baker but there were at least a dozen variations from different manufacturers

 

Regulation issue was that the round water bottle was a medium blue colour but every example I have seen in museums has been tarred black on the outside to seal it.

Highly likely that your man wore the stove-pipe shako as supplies of uniforms were intermittent until late 1814

 

Have a look at this website. Although its devoted to the 1815 campaign it will give you a taste of the general look of the uniforms

http://centjours.mont-saint-jean.com/detail_uniformes_uniteBR.php?rubrique=U&uniformes=23&drapeau=

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I believe he was in a Centre/Battalion company. The 2/47th's Flank companies participated in the Battle of Barrosa in 1811 and my relative's medal roll indicates he was only entitled to MGSM clasps for Vitoria and San Sebastian with no entitlement for the Battle of Barrosa.  It's not conclusive proof but it's a pretty good indicator.  I'm hoping to head to Kew on Friday to check out the 2/47th muster rolls which might shed some more light on the topic.

Edited by mhaselden
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Battalions usually consisted of ten companies; one grenadier, one light company and the other eight were the centre companies.

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@mhaselden, might be worth you having a look at the Historex site, shop also available in Dover!

They are now doing 'spares'. The site is slow to load, but there are pictures on site of what exactly is available.

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2 hours ago, Ratch said:

Battalions usually consisted of ten companies; one grenadier, one light company and the other eight were the centre companies.

Thanks Ratch.  I'm actually chuckling as I write this because, in my earlier post, I rather nonchalantly commented about Flank and Centre companies and the clasps on MGSMs when, up until a few weeks ago, I knew NOTHING about any of that stuff.  And this is me, the archetypal aeroplane nut, speaking all 19th-century pongo! Like I said...I need HELP!!! :)

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If you go via Historex, note that their scale is 1/28 to 1/30 whereas the Airfix 54mm are nominally 1/32. Not a lot in scale difference except Historex spares are too big for the Airfix kits. Also Historex is a French company and they concentrate on the Frenchies, British kits from them are hard to come by.

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Has anyone out there in Britmodeller-land built the Historex British Line Infantry soldier (kit HX3204)?  As noted above, the pose shown in the few online photos I've seen appear rather wooden, although the blurb says the kit includes alternative arms and legs to enable other poses.  Anyone know what those other poses might look like?  

 

For now, I'm leaning towards the Airfix option.  It's a known option (for me, at least) unless someone can convince me that Historex, or some other option, is better.

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I have an absolute load of Historex spare parts, as does Ratch iirc

No matter what combination, straight on to a torso the legs, arms and heads all give very stiff poses.

The Airfix kits are easier to mix and match the parts and the limbs have more 'life' to them

You can even mix in some Airfix Multi-pose 1/32 WW2 figure parts

 

eg, this WW1 6th Inniskilling Dragoon was made from the Airfix Napoleonic Life Guard, Scots Grey, parts of a Multi-pose WW2 German and Multi-pose WW2 British infantry and some scratch building

WW1%20British%20Cavalry%2C%206th%20Innis

 

I think there are far more of the Airfix kits out there to be had. 

If you shop around you can get them cheap enough

Sometimes I buy, through ebay, part started kits and even kits with parts missing. No one else really wants these and I've often got a part started kit for as little as £1.50 (+ p&p)

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The 'problem' with the Airfix kit is that he is identifiable as a Coldstream Guardsman, because his lace is arranged in pairs (for the 2nd Guards Regiment). You'd really have to scrape the lace off and put appropriate lace for your chosen regiment in its place. 

The Historex parts I have are for Frenchies. Here are some of my conversions:

 

This corporal of the 52nd (Oxfordshire Light Infantry) Regiment, 1807, wears the normal infantry dress. The Oxfordshire was the first entire regiment to be designated Light Infantry. His shako bears the bugle-horn instead of the regulation cap plate. Chevrons were first instituted as rank badges in 1803.
410262761.jpg

 

Grenadier Private, 17th (Leicestershire) Regiment, 1826, made up from a Coldstream Guard and a French Grenadier.
410268595.jpg

 

Gunners of the Royal Artillery 1815. The uniform worn by the Royal Artillery was based on regulations laid down in 1799. The men wore a blue, short-tailed, single-breasted coat with red collar and cuffs, edged in yellow worsted tape. Red cord button loops were woven on the cuffs. Shoulder straps were red with yellow tape edging and worsted tufts. The front of the coat was decorated with rows of yellow bastion ended tape. Four gold lace button loops were added to the cuffs in 1812. The Belgic shako with tall front plate was adopted on 24th December 1811. Lines were of white cord and the plate was a crowned oval with the GR cypher within it and a mortar and two flaming grenades below it. White breeches with black gaiters and boots. The cartridge pouch was white with regimental badge.
411313324.jpg

 

Grenadier of the 29th Worcestershire Regiment of Infantry at home 1813
49788151228_a3ed3dbf88_c.jpg

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17 minutes ago, Ratch said:

The 'problem' with the Airfix kit is that he is identifiable as a Coldstream Guardsman, because his lace is arranged in pairs (for the 2nd Guards Regiment). You'd really have to scrape the lace off and put appropriate lace for your chosen regiment in its place. 

The OP says the 47th so our Guardsman will be any easy one on the lace as my reference says the 47th's lace was in pairs and square, so the Guardsman's bastion end lace just needs nicked off with a scalpel and the job's done

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Glad the discussion came up concerning lace (singles and pairs) - was wondering what that meant on the chart I was looking at.

 

-----------------

 

Has there been any thought to going with a larger scale, like 75MM?  Couple nice ones at Historex site, but are both Coldstream Guards:

 

fb_img_1535988263328-jpg.320545

 

scale75_157bf79.jpg

 

 

az7070_3bq-jpg.287021

 

 

Even bigger 1/9th - these appear to be sold via email contact only:

 

p8260005-jpg.358017

 

... but wow two figures £100.00!

 

addtext_com_mtmzodeymjc2ntm-jpg.340944

 

 

 

regards,

Jack

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Just a point on that last illustration; the British (English) soldier has never fought in battle wearing his pack, except in very unusual circumstances. 

Since the 800s the English/British soldier has left his personal belongings in an area to the rear of the battle.

Those two in that that last illustration are typical poses within a Square. They would have left their packs at the feet of the Ensign and Colour Sergeant in the middle of the Square

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Firstly, thank you all for your ideas and responses to my question. This is why I love Britmodeller so much - people are willing to help on even the most inane or obscure question, without being patronising or snarky.

 

I never thought I'd be taking an interest in Napoleonic era British infantry lace patterns...but I have learned some useful info from people on this thread.  It seems that the Coldstream Guard laces was paired, as was the 2/47th.  The difference seems to be that the ends of the Coldstream lace were pointed while the 2/47th was square.

 

I rather like the idea of a larger scale model.  That 75mm Coldstream Guard is particularly good.  Of course, at larger scales I would have to get more of the details correct, like the moulding on the shako plate.  I'd also have to remove the shoulder epaulettes.

 

These posts have given me a lot to think about.  There seem to have been far more variations to the uniform than I had expected.  Again, I really appreciate all the help...and the opportunity to learn.

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If the museum has examples of the hat crest and belt buckle, get some physical measurements as well.   An idea would be to then draw up some artwork and get that etched into brass, like from this company in Scotland:

 

https://ppdltd.com/

 

If the designs aren't too complicated, I could even draw up the vector files for you if interested.

 

 

regards,

Jack

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Whilst we're discussing details;

On colours, remember this period was just at the start of the Greater Industrial Period.

The uniforms were bought by the officer in charge. They had to meet certain requirements but that was not strict. All uniforms and equipment were hand sewn, the sewing machine was not invented till 1849

The red coat colour could and did vary from brick red to a bright red. The grey trousers overalls could be any shade from a dark-ish grey to almost white. The white trousers were not pure white but were a light grey. Boots were usually black but brown as well

 

In one memoir a cavalry officer described some soldiers on the retreat march after Talavera. He described one as wearing Rifleman's grey trousers (dark grey) an officers jacket (orangey-red) and one black and one brown boot and having a Frenchie's back pack, marching along happily smoking his pipe, but his weapons clean and ready for use. The officer said, in a letter to home, he was happy to be in the company of such forthright and true Englishmen, and he was a Scot!

 

Therefore don't get hung up on uniform colours

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I have this site bookmarked from a while back so maybe it is outdated:

http://napoleonistyka.atspace.com/British_infantry_the_redcoats.htm#_line_regiments

 

Directly quoted from the site,  but maybe too generalized/outdated information?

 

The cloth was dull red for rank and file and bright scarlet for senior NCOs and officers.

 

For parade the infantry wore white breeches and black gaiters.
During campaign however they wore white (in summer) or grey-blue (in winter) trousers.
At Waterloo, in June 1815, all wore grey trousers
.

 

 

regards,

Jack

 

 

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Ok...had a fun trip to the UKNA today and found some useful info as well as some records that could have been more illuminating but, sadly, weren't.  According to the muster rolls, Samuel Hayes served in the 3rd Company throughout his time with the 2/47th Foot.  The Battalion numbered the companies 1 thru 10 so am I correct in assuming that the Flank companies would have been No.1 and No.10?  That would make sense given that the number of the company indicated where it sat in the line.  

 

It seems he also spent a while in the UK before joining the Battalion but I can find no record of a depot location for the 47th Foot.  

 

Finally, and most frustratingly, the muster roll lists the soldiers involved in the first siege of Tarifa in 1810 (Samuel wasn't among them) but it doesn't list those involved in the second siege (19 Dec 1811 - 5 Jan 1812).  It seems that 8 companies of the 2/47th were involved so there's a good chance that Samuel's company was one of them.  I'm making an assumption here that the Light Company might have been of little use in a siege situation, so they probably stayed at Cadiz.  That argument isn't as convincing for the Grenadier Company, though.

 

I'm now digging through the images I collected, putting them in order and seeing what other details emerge.  One thing that does stand out is that Samuel went through the Battles of Vitoria and San Sebastian without being wounded (at least there's no indication of him being anything other than fully serviceable in the muster roll).  Again, I'll have to dig into the data a little more...but it's certainly given me a few additional insights.  

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