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"British Light Infantry" Topic

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576 hits since 10 Jun 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

nevinsrip Sponsoring Member of TMP10 Jun 2018 1:11 a.m. PST

These are generic British Light Infantry for the South. I chose blue and green facings, as they seemed to be the more prevalent facing colors among the picked Lights, that comprised Cornwallis' two Light Battalions. I had wings painted on the green faced unit, but not the blue. I'll probably add them on at some point.
I used my own Kings Mountain Continental figures with British Light Cap heads. I  should have used only figures with bayonets, but I wanted a lot of different poses, so I threw some non bayonet poses in. I like the look.

I made the terrain Southern spring/summer, so that it could be used for Camden, Guilford, Hobkirk's Hill and any number of battles in between. The South would begin blooming around April and May.  I'm pleased with the result. 

I'll probably fill out a couple of more companies to add to the Light Battalions.
This was just a trial and I like the way things turned out.

KMM Figures painted by John Bryant.
Groundwork and Basing by me.

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Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP10 Jun 2018 9:24 a.m. PST

Your Continental figures with separate heads are extremely versatile.
I love them.

42flanker10 Jun 2018 11:46 a.m. PST

Are those Foot Guards LI caps? I can't quite make out.

historygamer11 Jun 2018 5:51 a.m. PST

Why do the Lights have drummers instead of trumpeters?

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP11 Jun 2018 6:32 a.m. PST

Because Kings Mountain doesn't make trumpeters? grin

nevinsrip Sponsoring Member of TMP11 Jun 2018 12:03 p.m. PST

I like the way the drummers look. Simple.

nevinsrip Sponsoring Member of TMP11 Jun 2018 3:00 p.m. PST

I checked out my extra's box and found 4 Front Rank Light Infantry with horns. I've already beheaded them and will replace the heads with the KMM caps.
As I said, this is a WIP. Future additional units will be added as they get painted. I'll stick these horn guys in with the next few units. I'm intending to do both Light Battalions that Cornwallis had with him in the South.

Thanks for the idea.

nevinsrip Sponsoring Member of TMP12 Jun 2018 2:10 a.m. PST

Here you go, HG.

Front Rank Light Infantry Trumpeter conversion using a KMM head. I've made 4 of these for the next units of Lights that I do.

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historygamer12 Jun 2018 8:11 a.m. PST

" I've already beheaded them…"

Oh, that's just cruel. :-)

nevinsrip Sponsoring Member of TMP12 Jun 2018 12:35 p.m. PST

"Oh, that's just cruel. :-)"

You have to suffer to sing the Blues.

Reverse colors or not? I've read that they were not considered Musicians. Anyone know for sure?

historygamer13 Jun 2018 5:11 a.m. PST

Drummers and fifers only with reverse colors (unless Royal).

42flanker13 Jun 2018 6:08 a.m. PST

If- if- the LI Bns were dressed in adapted red waistcoats, the addition of sleeves from coats in reverse colours would have looked interesting.

historygamer13 Jun 2018 6:29 a.m. PST

Not looking to start a TMP flame war, but if that pole arm those officer figures are carrying is supposed to be a spontoon, I don't think that is correct. There is some thought among currently military historians of the period that Light Officers only carried swords (unlike hat and gren officers that likely carried fusils).

Having carried a spontoon on occasion, I can't imagine an implement that Light officers would have been less likely to carry.

In regards to fusils, it is rather well documented that most officers (at least Capt and below) would have carried a fusil. There is a well known passage in the Clinton Papers about Howe and Clinton observing a brigade commander stopping his entire brigade and firing his own weapon. The two were not pleased with such activity from such a senior officer.

The well known painting of the hat troops going into the Chew House seems to feature all the officers carrying fusils, save perhaps the one that is supposed to be Musgrave who only appears to be carrying a sword and/or waiving a cane as he directs the men into the house.

42flanker13 Jun 2018 6:31 a.m. PST

PS, Fairly certainly, the presumed Foot Guards LI cap taken from a sketch by Major André.

nevinsrip Sponsoring Member of TMP13 Jun 2018 12:03 p.m. PST

Fairly certainly, the presumed Foot Guards LI cap taken from a sketch by Major André.

That is correct.

42flanker13 Jun 2018 2:57 p.m. PST

Ah, right you are. I was confused because I wasn't sure where that style of cap fitted in with the three options you mentioned in your other post.

MiniPigs Supporting Member of TMP14 Jun 2018 1:04 p.m. PST

Is there a definitive work that manages to assign the copious different types of light infantry headgear to the various British regiments?

42flanker15 Jun 2018 6:39 a.m. PST

Not definitive, no!

As far as LI caps go, although modern illustrations may suggest otherwise, there are still only a few reliable references for the AWI campaigns.

As mentioned in another thread, there is a useful article by the late Michael Barthorp in 'Military Illustrated' from October 1990, which summarises the best known forms of LI cap and the source material for 1770-1799.

For the AWI period, he discusses the '1771 Pattern Cap' (i.e Keppel); the various 'Minorca caps' worn by piquet companies existing before the 1770-71 formation of LI coys: the 11th & 25th (in style of short fur-trimmed grenadier caps) and the 13th (either a cut down 'cap-hat' or, IMHO, a folding 'bicorne' style); the peaked leather 'helmet cap' of the 5th (with frontlet and comb ornamented with brass furniture, red turban and horsehair crest; the rarely seen 'Lambton' cap of the 68th with highly decorated brass front and motto 'Faithfull', which was worn in the West Indies.

He also touches on the felt caps converted from hats ordered for all his infantry by Burgoyne in 1777 as illustrated by von Germann, together with discussion of the headgear of the LI coy of the 45th Regt (drafted & reformed in England 1778) mentioned in inspection reports of 1780 & 1781 as "more like the caps of the light dragoons"- whether the pre-war peakless neo-Classical helmets, or the new 'helmet caps we know as 'Tarletons'is not clear.

Barthorp does not discuss in detail the various LI caps as seen in Loutherbourg's paintings of the 1778 Warley Review but includes details of the artist's preparatory sketches, including views of a Keppel cap and 'cap-hat' (with frontal and turned-up back 'leaf) attributed to 6th and 69th Regts respectively, and a Militia officer's 'helmet cap' – a lighter version of the 5th's cap- with horsehair crests, standing 'hackle' plume and 'tyger skin' turban – (a militia officer speciality, it would seem).

Other than that, Barthorp only omits the 1781 portrait of Capt. Thomas Hewitt of the Tenth LI coy, holding his partially visible cap with narrow peak (visor)and plain front decorated only with a small star and regimental number (- which Mollo & McGregor illustrated more fully in their book on AWI uniforms). The Tenth were drafted in 1779 and reformed in England.

Coote's orderly book mentioning the 37th's crested felt cap had not come to light and the CMH research into the form of the Foot Guards cap had not been done at that time.

Don Troiani cites OB reference to a 'cap hat' provided for all of the 15th regiment on departing for America in 1775, with the LI coy probably dressed in similar fashion. His illustration in "Don Troiani's Soldiers in America, 1754-1865' shows a battalion man in a cap apparently based on the 'cap-hat' sketched by Loutherbourg in 1778, (i.e. with turned-up back 'leaf' although the angle doesn't show this).

DT has also opted for this style in his painting of the 3rd Buffs at Eutaw Springs, in immaculate caps bound with pristine white tape, presumably based on an OB reference as well. He has chosen to decorate the cap front with an atypical Dragon badge (more like a Wyvern), based on an item found on the battlefield, possibly from a cartouche pouch

AFIK, that about sums up the styles of LI caps for which we have evidence between 1770-81. There are one or two surviving Keppel caps in museums, together with the cap of the 5th and a similar item to the 9th (of uncertain provenance) both in in NAM, and the 'Lambton' cap, which is I know not where.

Links ( I hope ) to Barthorp/Turner illustrations



MiniPigs Supporting Member of TMP15 Jun 2018 9:50 a.m. PST


Now that's some great knowledge, thanks. And the link does work.

42flanker15 Jun 2018 10:02 a.m. PST

Michael Barthorp was da man.

He died in March of this year, aged 94. One of the greats. His work is his legacy. We owe him a great deal

42flanker17 Jun 2018 7:25 a.m. PST

I 'mispoke' in my previous post. The illustrator in the two plates linked was Richard Hook.

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