Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Dismounted 4th Continental Light Dragoons

4th Continental Light Dragoons by the
inestimable Don Troiani (source Pinterest)
My 'expectations' (never resolutions! ) this year were a little more than just expectations, and in an attempt to stem the decline in productive time spent on the hobby, I'm consciously cutting back on Facebook, and trying to spend more time in the loft, reading, and doing other 'good' stuff.. (funnily enough - although it is 'soshul meja' [sic] I don't see updating the Blog as being unproductive! )

So it was, that after the recent addition to the forces of King George of the dismounted British dragoons, I thought it high time to add some opposition... besides they were already primed and ready to go...

The American War of Independence was never a war that cavalry featured heavily in, so I think in my entire collection there are only 8 or so bases of cavalry out of 100+ bases in total...  the British have the 17th Light Dragoons, the American's (well the French) have Lauzun's Legion (who are Hussars/Lancers rather than dragoons so not suitable for the dismounted role), but the American's also have the 4th Continental Light Dragoons and they would have dismounted on occasion... decision made. It is doubtful that this 'regiment' ever numbered more than 200 actuals in reality, but in the same way as I can have an entire battalion of Louisiana Tigers in the ACW collection, I see no issue with fielding these guys as a full size regiment - the rules I use are flexible enough to represent them under strength if I have to...

Onward and upwards, then...  and by way of something a bit different, here's also my paint method showing the paint brush butchery that passes for a paint job on Steve the Wargamer's wargame table.. !

Starting point is a black sprayed undercoat, they are attached to painting sticks, and the first step is then a damp brush of white (acrylic).. What's a damp-brush? Same as a dry-brush but a little more paint, basically (boom, tish... I thank you...)...   get an old scrubby brush, a short soft bristle is better, dip it in the white (Vallejo) and then wipe off on a tissue until only paint residue is left, then brush all over, you get something like the following...  practice makes perfect and I'm getting there after 20 odd years...  I hear that some people use a white spray paint for this stage, spraying lightly from 45' above horizontal so as not to fill the depths of the detail..  must try that..

What you're looking for is white on the raised area's only - the black undercoat self shades..  works for me, because I like to use a lot of inks and washes rather than paint...

Next step flesh tones - Vallejo basic flesh - I always do this first, as to me it brings the little fellows to life..

Next step re-black in  the bits you don't want white - you can save time on this step if you're careful on the first white damp brush stage..  in this case I wasn't, so the gaiters, helmet, sword scabbard, cartridge box were re-done.. Rowney Deller Black Matt Ink for this step.. reason I like inks is because I find them easier to 'paint' with..

Next step - green coat..  craft paint for this one that I found cheap in Hobbycraft ages ago..  not brilliant opacity but the colour was right, and besides the paint will self highlight when the opacity is poor, like an ink, all depending on whether it is painted over white or black - that's the main reason I use this undercoat method to be honest...

Next.. hair and the food sack (I think?)..  Vallejo "Smoke" - another ink/wash..  I also added extra white at this stage to the bits that needed it (plumes mostly)

Next.. Flesh wash.. Citadel..  an old pot that is almost finished, and I'll cry when it is..  perfect finish, and a very evocative smell...

Next the gold - an even older pot than the flesh wash, of Citadel Gold - buttons and sword scabbard tip, and sword handle...

Next the wood of the muskets - Vallejo Woodgrain - another ink/wash - I like woodgrain as over the white and black it gives the effect of the grain in wood...

You may sense I've been putting off the red stage, which would be correct...

Next, some khaki, which just to show it isn't all ready mixed and straight from the bottle, I mixed from colours already on the palette - I used the green from the jacket, some woodgrain, and a touch of left over white...

Next - about 90% there now...  and time for the red... Rowney Deller Red ink - cuffs/facings/turn-backs/epaulettes..

Next ...all painters do it, I suspect, and I'm no different - I then have a spot of going back and re-touching - then I went grey for the water bottle, gun metal for the barrel, got the gold out again for the musket hoops, got the white out again for the webbing, and when it had all dried gave them an all over wash of watered down black ink to blend everything in..  job done...  hour and a half??

Followed that with a spray of matt varnish to flatten everything...  while that was drying, it was time to do a little history research..

So my reading would indicate that the 4th Continental Light Dragoons (also known as Moylan's Horse) was first raised on January 5, 1777 in Philadelphia, their first commanding officer was Colonel Stephen Moylan.

When they first deployed they wore red coats which not surprisingly lead to a number of near misses and Washington himself ordered them to die their coats some other colour.. the regiment changed to the  green coats faced in red during the summer of 1778..

Basing WIP...

The regiment saw action at Brandywine, Germantown  and probably Monmouth, in their red coats.

In the campaign of 1779 the 4th were stationed in upper New York, and saw action when the British raided nearby Norwalk in July. They were at Springfield the following June (1780), and were part of General Anthony Wayne's expedition at Bull's Ferry in July, before seeing action at Guilford Court House and Yorktown the next year.

The regiment was eventually disbanded in November 1783. Moylan survived the war and was brevetted brigadier general in the same month.

Lots of detail here - not sure of the source though:

Finished article...  pleased with these...  the green red combo is very attractive..

So ..  Eagle Miniatures 25mm SYW range (dismounted dragoon) - lovely..


  1. Impressive job on these dragoons, nice painting and basing!

    1. Thanks Phil - not as nice as those Polish Winged Hussars on your site.. :o)

  2. Nice job and thanks for the tutorial, which has obviously taken some time to put together. I think you are absolutely right in swapping out some faceBook time for some 'productive' time. I was surprised what just liberating 30 - 40 minutes a day can achieve.

    I look back many (many) years ago when I had kids running around etc and had to work overtime to keep things ticking over, yet I seemed to have more time, on reflection I purely put this down to these days 'the screen' robs too much time in our modern social media obsessed lifestyle, leaving no time for anything 'real'.

    I enjoyed this post, it makes me want to go and paint .... right now!

    1. Thanks Norm - very kind... so... go paint then, and then blog it!

  3. They look great Steve. I like the stages of painting approach too.

  4. An interesting method that produces a very pleasing result Steve.