Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Command base finished: Sir Denis Pack and ADC

Finally it's done!
Yesterday evening I finished the command stand for my future 9th Brigade for Waterloo:

It represents Major-General Sir Denis Pack (later KCB) and his ADC  Major Edmund L'Estrange:
MAJOR-GENERAL Sir Denis Pack, K.C.B., wounded at Waterloo

Only son of the Very Rev. Thos. Pack, Dean of Ossory, by Catherine dau. and heiress of Denis Sullivan, of Berehaven, co. Cork. Five times received the thanks of Parliament for his military services. Was one of the moat dashing leaders of a brigade in the Par. War. " He was scarred with wounds and covered with glory." Commanded the 71st Regt. at Buenos Ayres when that city was retaken by the Spaniards, and was sev. wounded. and taken prisoner. When he escaped from prison, Pack was appointed to the command of a provisional battalion stationed at Colonia. His fidgety and irascible temper somewhat tried those who had to serve under him. One morning there appeared written in chalk on the door of a barn the following distich :

"The devil break the gaoler's back, that let thee loose, sweet Denis Pack."

For his services at Waterloo he was made Col.-in-Chf. of the York Chasseurs. M. 10th July, 1816, Lady Eliz. Beresford, youngest dau. of George, 1st Marquis of Waterford, and had issue. His 2nd son was Lord Beresford's heir, and assumed the surname of Beresford. Sir Denis died 24th July, 1823.
(from: "The Waterloo roll call" by Charles Dalton, Link to the original text)

Firstly I decided to represent Pack's brigade because I liked the mixture of different Scottish units. But meanwhile I got fascinated by the character of this gifted commander. If anyone knows a good biography about him I'd be happy for any hint.
Pack's staff officers were rather unlucky during the campaign. His General of Brigade Brevet-Major Smyth was mortally wounded at Quatre Bras and his other ADC Major Edmund L'Estrange was mortally wounded at Waterloo. Anyway I decided to represent the latter:

MAJOR E. L'Estrange, 71st Foot, K.

Edmund L'Estrange was a hero in every sense of the word. He waseldest son of Capt. Anthony L'Estrange of the 88th Regt. one of the Irish representatives of the ancient family of Le Strange, of Hunstanton, co. Norfolk. Was A.D.C. to Sir Denis Pack in the Par. War, and hisespecial gallantry, on several occasions, attracted the notice of Wellington. Made a brevet maj. at the early age of 26. His right leg was shattered by a round shot at Waterloo, and he died soon after suffering amputation. Had he lived, a great future was in store for him. A pension was granted to his mother whom he had supported.
(from: "The Waterloo roll call" by Charles Dalton, Link to the original text)

Although an officer of the 71st Regiment of Foot would have worn another dress I decided to show Major L'Estrange in the usual staff officers' uniform. In 1815 he had been Pack's ADC for several years so I thought it might be plausible that he adopted the appropriate uniform until then.
The figures are both by Perry Miniatures. While the Pack miniature is really meant to be the Major-General I had to improvise with the ADC because unfortunately there are no British staff officers by the twins yet. A pity!
Anyway luckily I got the inspiration of "Guns of April" who did some similar conversion a few years ago for a Peninsular War project they had. Although those chaps did a great job I wanted to be as precise as possible within the boundaries of my limited sculpting skills. So I took an ADC from the Perrys' Nassau command pack and started grinding and milling and removed everything that didn't look British. Afterwards I took some greenstuff to perform damage control and wel... reached the result you see now.
An excellent source for the work was Osprey's "Wellington's Generals" from their Men at Arms series. On one of the colour plates there's an ADC pictured and described. Anyway the experts amongst you will probably spot the small mistakes on the uniform and especially the horse furniture but I think they are venial.

If you're interested in it I'll post some WIP pictures of L'Estrange later this week.

As usual I painted the figures with Vallejo Model Colors. The base is a 60mm circular steel base from Precision Wargames Supplies. Perfect in shape, extremely thin and magnetic which makes transport of such vignettes much easier. In addition to my usual mixtures of static grass, flowers and flock I added a piece of Warbases' rather new animals range:
Meanwhile Diane and Martin are producing a wide range of domestic and wild animals and I can highly recommend them. They are all very well sculpted and the larger animals are perfect to add some life to farms or villages. And the smaller ones like those rabbits are to my mind a nice addition to larger vignettes.

Last but not least a close-up shot from Denis Pack's face. When you compare it to a historcial picture you see how close Alan and Michael came with there sculpt. Excellent work and great fun to paint. Unfortunately I'm still looking for a feeling for the contours of faces...
In any that makes me keen on painting more command bases. So probably I'll tackle a light cavalry commander rather soon for my 6th Cavalry Brigade... or Picton the old rogue... or the Iron Duke... A lot of possibilities...   ;-)


  1. That came out very well indeed mate. The rabbit is a lovely touch!

    1. Many thanks, Michael.
      Indeed it was great fun to create the scene with the rabbit. Firstly I thought to let him look out of the abandoned French shako but that was rather too small...

  2. :) Curious bunny rabbit that peeks in the bush this horse eating, to crown all these

  3. Very nice work! The bunny and the horse eating some flowers are a really nice touch!

  4. Really nice work - and nice attention to detail on the base too. Exactly what you want your command stands to look like, full of character!

    1. Many thanks, that's the reason why I like to create command stands.