Friday, June 11, 2010

Painting Native Americans

The last time I wrote about painting, I was finishing up the Green Mountain Boys. Since then I've completed a batch of Native Americans. These will also be featured in my upcoming invasion of Canada project. There were three engagements in this campaign in which Native Americans were prominent: a reconnaissance-in-force made against Fort Saint-Jean, the battle of Longue-Pointe, and the battle of Longueuil.

The first engagement I will write about is the reconnaissance-in-force (September 6, 1775). On the side of British was a party of Native Americans led in part by two Canadians and one Loyalist from New York. According to one of the Canadians (Claude-Nicolas-Guillaume de Lorimier), there were present 25 men from the Six Nations (Mohawk specifically) and 72 men from the nations of "Bas-Canada" (i.e., Algonquins).

One of the miniatures I've painted so far is by Essex. This figure is superbly sculpted and it was a joy to paint. However, I'm not sure that I will use it: the mohawk hairstyle is not accurate for the nations that participated in his campaign (including, ironically, the Mohawk).

Essex: Woods Indian

Several other miniatures I've painted are Minifigs' Indians with scalplocks. These miniatures feature a more historically accurate hairstyle for the Mohawk. I especially like how these Minifigs are so well-proportioned. My chief complaint is that the figures in this pack include such cartoonish poses as running madly with a knife, and running madly with a tomahawk.

Minifigs: Indians with Scalplocks

Most of the Native Americans I've painted so far are from Freikorps' Miniatures pack of Abenaki Indians (Algonquins). The figures comport well with the description of Abenaki dress in Josephine Paterek's Encyclopedia of American Indian Costume. Some of the figures have their long hair tied up into a knot atop their head: an indication that they are older, married men. In one variant, the figure is wearing a sleeveless robe made of two panels of moosehide, fastened at the shoulders (sleeves were added for cool weather). This variant, I believe, is more appropriate to an earlier conflict than the American Revolution.

Freikorps: (Married) Abenaki

Other figures in the set are young men wearing articles of European-style clothing. These are probably most appropriate for my project.

Freikorps: Abenaki

3 comments:

  1. Nice work, AD.

    Best wishes

    Giles

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  2. Thanks Giles. By-the-way, anytime you see ways in which my work can be improved, don't hesitate to let me know. I'm receptive to pointers -- especially from one whose work I so much admire.

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