The Poinsettian Rifles

It’s high summer here in the UK, but perversely I’ve been painting another edition of my Christmas-themed Army of Advent. I felt my Advent infantry corps could use some Jäger marksmen and sourced some from Hagen Miniatures of Germany. This is a group of German Jäger from 1750-1780 in Austrian service.

It’s a nice little group, the ‘hunters’ variously loading, aiming or firing their rifles at their targets. One rifleman has discarded his tricorne and appears to have a longer musket rather than a shorter rifle. This is clearly deliberate by the sculptor and I wonder if there is a reason for this?

For a Christmas theme, I decided on the Poinsettia, a large red flower with deep green leaves. In the USA in particular, and elsewhere, the Poinsettia is associated with Christmas and used in decorations.

And so, the Poinsettian Rifles were born. I thought that their uniform should reflect the plant and so I’ve given them an appropriately riflemen green uniform to reflect the leaves of the Poinsettia.

The flower’s red appears in their waistcoats and breeches.

As a final flourish, the men sport a Poinsettia in their tricornes.

As with the rest of the Army of Advent, they find themselves in ankle-deep in snow.

There are seven figures in total, so I may as well show them all:





The intention is for them to stand decorative guard over the Christmas season and, as with all the other Adventian regiments, they’ll need a plinth to stand on. This I am working on (plaque, paint and varnishing needed) and will present when December arrives in…ah… around four months time!

Standing Strelets Soldiers II: Riflemen of the 95th (for Pat)

After painting a group of Strelets British Line Infantry standing at ease earlier this year, I received some very kind feedback from my friend, diorama supremo Pat who challenged me to use some of the remaining figures to produce some men of his favourite regiment; the 95th Rifles.

The 95th are, of course, instantly recognisable in their green uniforms. I’ve had to make changes to account for differences between the line infantry and the rifles. Pat will no doubt be able to correct me if I’m wrong anywhere here but my adjustments have included the following;

  • With no white bars across the coat, there should be just three lines of buttons which because of accoutrements will barely show at all.
  • Cuffs are far simpler for the Rifles, being black with white edging.
  • The Baker rifle is shorter than the Brown Bess musket and, where I could, I’ve cut the musket down to size a little.
  • The badge shows a Light Infantry bugle which I’ve, very roughly, approximated on the shakos.

It is the first time I’ve painted the 95th in their Napoleonic guise and I just hope they meet with Pat’s approval!

Also ready to join their standing comrades finished from last month, I conclude with two officers and an NCO of the 37th (North Hampshire) Regiment.

I haven’t taken fussed at all over the flag, simply slapped some paint on it to resemble a British Napoleonic regimental version.

And finally, men of the 37th and the 95th standing together:

British Infantry Uniforms of the 19th Century: #2

2. The Rifle Brigade

“A rifleman, 1808. This famous corps was formed in the year 1800 from men selected from fourteen regiments. In 1802 it was brought into line as the 85th (Rifles) Regiment. After Waterloo, for its brilliant service, it was given the title of ‘The Rifle Brigade’.”

Number 2 of 25 from “British Uniforms of the 19th Century” – a cigarette card series issued by manufacturer Amalgamated Tobacco (Mills).

…And they’re finished: 3rd London Rifle Volunteers!

The third vignette of groups of Victorian Rifle Volunteers is now completed. It took a little longer than planned thanks in no small part to the unwelcome appearance of a gastric virus which has laid me low for a few days. Feeling a little better today, I charged for the finishing line by finishing the basing and popping on the plaque. I feel pretty satisfied with these figures, although the blue shading on their puttees hasn’t really come out on the photographs as I’d hope.

3rd London RVC (4)

3rd London RVC (12)

At the last moment, I decided to dispose of the usual distance marker and so just have them all blazing away on a local range.

3rd London RVC (9)

One of the things that I do like about these Perry Miniatures figures is the ability to create one’s own poses by twisting a limb or positioning some figures to suggest a narrative.

3rd London RVC (14)

I particularly like these two figures below, depicting a sergeant and a private deep in conversation while their officer issues some instructions behind them to the group.

3rd London RVC (5)

Likewise,although I was initially unsure whether a figure (2nd from right below) would work, but now appreciate how he appears to be gazing off down the rifle range after the target, assessing his shot.

3rd London RVC (6)

3rd London RVC (7)

These figures came with backpacks which I chose to retain, seeing as the group on the cover of the book “Riflemen, Form!” which inspired my choice of corps could also be seen wearing their full kit. Also, their facings are described as being buff coloured, not yellow, and so I repainted the collars. Their cuffs are shown on the colourised photograph as being black or navy blue, not buff, and I’ve retained this simply to match the photo as much as possible. Oh – and, ah, …I’ve just realised that I need to finish the shoulder straps!

3rd London RVC (11)

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3rd London RVC (10)

So far in my Victorian Rifle Volunteers project I’ve depicted three corps:

My Victorian Rifle Volunteers Project has at least one more group to come before the end of this year. And this next group I intend to depict as being in action against a real enemy rather than shooting defenceless targets out on the rifle range! Students of Victorian military history may therefore be able to guess the rifle volunteer corps I have in mind – others will have to wait to a forthcoming post!

A Final Touch

I thought my recently finished Cheshire Rifle Volunteers deserved some means of proclaiming who they are supposed to represent. The solution was both surprisingly cheap and easy to get hold of, I was pleased to discover. So here they are; my final photos of the Cheshire Greys now with an engraved plaque.

…And in the final pic, I reveal the identity of my next intended Rifle Volunteer group by plaque!

Rifles cheshire (1)

Rifles cheshire (2)

Rifles cheshire (4)
And I’ve a plaque already engraved for the next group of volunteer riflemen – the Robin Hood Rifles!