Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Log Cabin

This time it's a model I did not make myself. I just procured the sketch of it, and my collector friend Bernd who is a gifted modeller, built a model and made a mould, and cast the thing in resin. So here is my settler's cabin.

I added a bit of colouring (Bernd had coloured the resin already as he usually does). That was all.

The men who are obviously ambushing some Redcoats (outside the photo) are Militia by Dixon Miniatures.
If you would like to have this log cabin as well, or any other of Bernd's marvellous models, please send an email to my address ( or to his wife's (

Friday, 5 March 2010

6-pdr Gribeauval Field Cannon

When I was at the fair in Kulmbach ("Zinnfigurenbörse") last year, I bought a model of a 6pdr Gribeauval cannon from a German producer, with the idea of incorporating it into my French Corps Expéditionnaire for Yorktown.

I knew quite well that the model was too "modern", representing the type of gun used in 1803. But the model was too tempting, and why shouldn't the French have brought their newest type of cannon?

The model by Martin Leesch from Radebeul in Saxony is exceptional, indeed. It is meticulously sculptured and well to size, extremely detailed (with smear bucket underneath!), and has rotating wheels and removable ammunition box! Martin really is a model fetishist.

The gun hidden behind its gabioned fieldwork.

Unfortunately you can't see his models on-line. But it is worthwhile to write to him and have his catalogue page sent.
(Martin Leesch, Karlstraße 9, D-01445 Radebeuel, Tel: 0351 8 30 19 52)
I manned my new gun with artillerymen of Foundry Miniature's "Early Napoleonic" range, which are quite suitable. And I positioned the piece behind a gabioned earthwork which I made with the same material as the parapet of the mortar battery (cf. post of 24 February 2010).

A war-god's view

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Marines at Gloucester, 1781

The 800 "marines" serving in the siege force at Gloucester Point opposite Yorktown in 1781 were not really infanterie de marine. Although the Minister de la Marine had tried to establish 100 companies of a "Corps Royal d'Infanterie de Marine" since 1774, he had not been too successful by 1779. So the French Royal Navy was forced to continue stationing detachments of soldiers of the army on the ships of the fleet, as had been the custom since Louis the XVI's time.
So the 800 marines were actually soldiers of 10 army regiments being despatched from 14 ships of De Grasse's fleet.
They were 75 soldiers and 3 officers of the règiment de Picardie, 30 soldiers and two officers from the Provence regiment, 75 men and two officers from régiment de Brie, 40 and a capitaine from de Bresse, 150 and 4 officers from Du Maine, 30 and 1 capitaine from La Sarre, 30 and 1 officer from Bourbon, 75 and 2 officers from Monsieur, 190 and 6 officers from Angoumois, and another 30 and 1 lieutenant from Rohan-Soubise. They wore their normal white uniforms with differentiating facings.

(I adopted some Wikipedia uniform schemes here to illustrate the differentiating facings.)

In the beginning of the siege there had been only 1200 Virginia militiamen under the command of General George Weedon on the left bank of York River to block a possible escape of general Cornwallis from Yorktown. This was not a really reliable force, and its numbers varied daily! After the cavalry and infantry of the Duc de Lauzun had arrived, it was thought necessary by the Allied command to have further troops there to strengthen the position. So Admiral De Grasse was "persuaded" to delegate 800 men and 23 officers of infantry from his fleet - which he reluctantly did. The command of the entire force at Gloucester was given to the French General De Choisy.
I have made up my "800 marines" of 40 infantry figures by Front Rank and Foundry, adding a few officers, one of which is by Dixon.

As postures I decided on halting, firing and at the ready types, because their main objective was to block any attempts by the commanding British general at Gloucester, Banister Tarleton, to go out foraging.

I was glad having added 10 French regiments to my forces in this way!