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"Boats ferrying British forces to shore, side project!" Topic

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Baranovich22 Jan 2024 9:00 p.m. PST

I'm just finishing up a pretty massive 28mm AWI project which encompassed full-sized armies for both sides as well as terrain and assorted vignettes, and status and casualty markers.

One thing I always wanted to have on the tabletop for this time period were some boats ferrying troops ashore from larger naval ships.

I searched pretty exhaustively most of the well-known online ranges of 28mm AWI figures, looking for British troops in a sitting or reclining position or anything close to it.

The only instance of an actual set of minis specifically made for this purpose that I found was the Perry Miniatures flatboat carrying a load of British troops. However that was for the Napoleonic Wars.

There was also an obscure 3D printer who did sitting troops for the FIW, but not AWI.

So I was out of luck from that angle.

After some torturous self-debate, having just finished building and painting upwards of 500+ 28 models, I decided I would make my own!

The first thought was, plastic is much more feasible to work with than metal if I'm going to be doing conversions. With plastic decided on, I looked at two of the best-known companies that make plastic AWI in 28mm, Warlord Games and Perry Miniatures.

Warlord Games was quickly ruled out due to the fact that none of the poses for either their British or Continentals would look right in a sitting position, even with the legs converted. Perry Miniatures seemed to be the only feasible choice left. However, it turned out that only their Continentals boxed set provided the "shouldered firelocks" arms position that would look right once the troops were seated.

Now that I had selected the product to be converted, I ordered a box of Continentals and seeing that the hats, coats, and equipment were neutral enough that I could paint them as British I felt like this just might work.

The next challenge was finding rowers for the boats. I came across Brigade Games' AWI/FIW ranges and they had an excellent set of "civilian rowers" that looked like they could serve as British sailors in their shirtsleeves more or less.

I ended up ordering 24 of the rowers, with 8 rowers spread over three boats: two carrying troops, and a third boat carrying supplies.

And finally I just needed to find the boats! This wasn't as difficult as there were quite a few choices out there. Etsy ended up being a great source. I found a generic "28mm rowboat" which looked like it could approximate a typical flatboat/ferry of the time period, if not perfectly at least generally.

I also found that Firelock Games makes an excellent 28mm flatboat for their pirate wargame Blood and Plunder. I ordered one of these and made it into the supplies carrier.

With all the elements for the project in hand, I set about the insanity of chopping off the legs of all the Continentals high up at the thigh, then cutting the legs themselves in half more or less, and then gluing both the upper and lower half of the leg back onto the model at more or less bent a 70-90 degree angle. I used putty to round out the rough edges where the legs were cut.

In the end I was genuinely surprised at how good the final effect and result looked! I was concerned that the legs would look much more butchered and awkward but when placed into the boats it all blended together pretty nicely.

I ended up with a total of 23 soldiers total spread into two boats. I don't know if I can do any more of these without losing my sanity. This was so time consuming but I love having them on the tabletop!

The article and painting that I turned to for some general knowledge was this one from the Journal of the American Revolution:


The article shows this painting done of British troops, artillery and supplies being landed at Kips Bay in 1776:


My 3D printed boats aren't really technically right for British historical flatboats of the period as they are described. According to the article the fronts of the boats were rounded off and the boats were wide and flat and sat very low in the water to allow for easier unloading. Plus proportionally they were larger and could hold many more soldiers than the ones I used and had many more rowers to be able to move the weight through the water.

My boats are basically generic 28mm rowboats, but I think they look pretty effective when loaded up with troops! (Only thing left to do is add the oars!)

Gray Bear22 Jan 2024 9:09 p.m. PST

Very well done. And your painting is great!

Baranovich22 Jan 2024 9:11 p.m. PST

@Gray Bear,

Thanks, much appreciated! I used mostly Citadel Contrasts and Army Painter Speedpaints on these. They have become my go-to for painting large projects like entire armies, etc.

Baranovich22 Jan 2024 9:24 p.m. PST

Here's what the Perry plastics looked like during the chopping and regluing/sanding phases…

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP22 Jan 2024 9:30 p.m. PST

Those look great, but I've always thought that the rowers sat facing the stern of the boat, not the bow. The illustrations in the article you referenced shows that.


Baranovich22 Jan 2024 9:48 p.m. PST

@Col Campbell,

OH MAN, you're right!! Dear lord,how did I miss that detail…! I will have to turn them around!

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP23 Jan 2024 6:27 a.m. PST

Truly a labor of love!

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP23 Jan 2024 7:09 a.m. PST

I hope it doesn't turn out to be too much of a task. You've done a great job with all of the conversions.


79thPA Supporting Member of TMP23 Jan 2024 8:30 a.m. PST

Quite the side project! They look great.

0ldYeller23 Jan 2024 8:37 a.m. PST

WOW!! Well done!

Eleve de Vauban Supporting Member of TMP23 Jan 2024 9:34 a.m. PST

Well done, a great idea that is very well executed.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP23 Jan 2024 10:06 a.m. PST

Amazing work! Thanks for sharing

And for the rowers, maybe they were former courier de bois (who faced front when rowing – albeit a canoe or small bateaux)

Baranovich23 Jan 2024 10:29 a.m. PST

Thanks for all the positive feedback guys, much appreciated!

Thanks to Colonel Campbell I was made aware that I had my rowers reversed! Frederick offered a very feasible scenario for them being front-facing, but my OCD won out in the end and I plucked them off their seats and managed to turn them around. A little bit of scuffing which needed some touchups but nothing too serious!

Titchmonster23 Jan 2024 12:47 p.m. PST

Very nice!

lucky1oldman25 Jan 2024 9:28 a.m. PST

Excellent job!

I was wondering what did you use for cutting the figures?
What did you use as a glue?
And what kind of putty?
(I'm starting to convert 54mm plastic figs & I use a small hobby saw but I lose quite a bit more plastic than I want to.)
Please lmk.

Baranovich25 Jan 2024 11:08 a.m. PST

So after an initial stage of panic, I was relieved to remember that I had glued my rowers to the seats with super glue so they popped off easier than I thought they would.

Here they are in the correct position. Also pictured here is the supply boat that I made from Firelock Games' longboat model from their Blood and Plunder ship range.

Baranovich25 Jan 2024 11:17 a.m. PST



The 28mm legs were actually small enough that I was able to use hobby clippers that are usually used for cutting lengths of copper or brass rod. I believe they are also known as model railroad clippers for clipping lengths of track.

I suppose though that any decent hobby clippers would work, even the ones for removing model parts from plastic sprues.

I used super glue to reattach the legs in the sitting angle.

For the putty I used a generic version of Games Workshop's Green Stuff which I got from the "Greenstuff World" online shop. It's quite a bit cheaper than what GW charges and you get much more.

Normal Guy Supporting Member of TMP25 Jan 2024 11:37 a.m. PST

Very creative. Very well done.

CAPTAIN BEEFHEART25 Jan 2024 12:36 p.m. PST

Thank you for sharing your models with the rest of us.
They are show-stoppers.

Personal logo Old Contemptible Supporting Member of TMP26 Jan 2024 4:18 a.m. PST

How neat is that? Very well done! I may steal your idea for my Bunker Hill project. When can we expect to see the 500+ figures?

lucky1oldman26 Jan 2024 5:48 a.m. PST

Thanks for the reply – much appreciated.
I'll keep an eye our for the material you suggested.
(I've been doing mostly BMC figs & the plastic is pretty rigid which can make clipping more of a challenge. Also i've been converting heads which can make clipping difficult which is why i've been using a small saw)
Again, beautiful job with the figures & it's amazing what people can do with a little imagination!


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