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Musings of the Welsh Wizzard

What happens when dilution of the hobby becomes homeopathic

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June 22, 2021

War of 1812 American Infantry

As I mentioned in a previous post I’m working on a Sharp Practice 2  Supplement/Campaign guide for the War of 1812, which is giving me an excuse to paint up some forces for this conflict. The beauty of Sharp Practice is the small amount of figures you need to play a game and in a future post I’ll give people an idea of the core forces you’ll need if you want to play this period using these rules.

Sharp Practice uses the concept of units of figures called ‘Groups’ and these can be put together in ‘Formations’ and then we have ‘Leaders’ who are attached to formations or groups and keep them in line (so to speak) the size of a group is dependent on their type:

  • Regular line troops are in groups of 8 figures
  • Skirmishers are in groups of 6
  • Militia are in groups of 10
  • Irregulars are in groups of 12


In my army I’ve based each figure on a 20mm square base and used movement trays from Warbases to keep them all together, again I’ll go into how I base figures in a future post

So lets begin at the beginning and talk about Infantry uniforms during this period.

The Americans had 3 different uniforms issued to their troops during the war and it can really confusing working out which uniform is the one to use, I’ve decided to pick 2 out of the 3 as that will cover the majority of the war.

First up are these models from Knuckduster Miniatures they are the early pattern jacket matched with the Toombstone shako that was issued in 1813, this uniform was worn till early 1814 so is a good one for early and mid war games. they have been painted for me by Gareth at ADC Painting. the jackets are dark blue with red facings and white lace, the trousers are white. I’ve got 4 groups of these figures and 4 leaders which is a good core to any army

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Next are another 4 groups of regular infantry, this time in a late war uniform. these are from Brigade Games and represent the “roundabout” jackets which were normally in grey and made famous by Winfield Scott’s brigade during the Niagara campaign. I’ve painted mine in blue as I’ve seen some records to say they were issued in this colour during the later period of the war. plus it gives me an excuse to do Winfield Scott’s Grey uniformed brigade later on. I also decided to add some variation in trousers to give them a campaign look

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next up we have some skirmishing flank company in groups of 6, these are painted the same as the normal infantry but with a red over white plume on their shakos, from the research I’ve done this seems to be the only difference in the uniforms. Also note I’ve used different movement bases for these to show them in skirmish pattern, these are also available from warbases but you need to email them as they are not on their site

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Next up we have 2 groups of Riflemen in their green hunting frock, these are from Knuckleduster as well and I need to get some officers to keep them in order

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Now we move onto the Militia, these were raised to protect the homeland from invasion and I’ve done 2 lots, first are 2 groups of Militia from the frontier States like Ohio or Kentucky. these are dressed in hunting frocks and are from Knuckleduster miniatures. one of the miniatures had a badly cast musket that I couldn’t repair without breaking the model so I’ve hidden him at the back for now, but I might replace him with one of the NCO’s I have for these troops

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And finally we have a unit of New York Militia infantry, these are converted from a box of Victrix French infantry with heads from Brigade games (they are British Marines) these have blue jackets with a red frontage and white turnbacks, I was going to make some proper American style knapsacks but decided to stick with the French pattern ones as I’m lazy

I’ve been reading up on the New York Militia and I am thinking about basing a force just around them as they had a huge presence in the war, take a look at Chuck Smiths blog for lots of info on this fascinating force

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Well that it for this post, next time I’ll cover the British, Canadian and Indians I have finished up

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One Response “War of 1812 American Infantry”

  1. Avatar
    March 18, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    Great looking force Mike. Very inspiring.

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