Lost Battalion 120mm 1777 Continental Marine Build Review
By Erik Fedde
|Date of Review||October 2011||Manufacturer||Lost Battalion|
|Subject||1777 Continental Marine||Scale||120mm|
|Kit Number||TLB001||Primary Media||Resin|
|Pros||Detailed miniature of a rare subject||Cons||Minor sanding|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$39.95|
The Continental Marines were formed in 1775 to conduct ship to ship fighting without sailing the ship. On 3 December 1775, Marines were first included on the ships bills of the new Continental Navy.
This figure is an early Marine, about 1777. An early Marine in this uniform can be told from the second issue of this uniform, in that a later issue had red facings (the lapels) instead of white.
The blunderbuss shown with the model was more common than people think. While there were Marines located in mast tops with muskets, a blunderbuss could fire a variety of debris from small round shot to anything metallic in nature over a wider field of fire. This was in keeping with the attempt to clear an enemy quarterdeck of officers. As the instructions added, the blunderbuss was "a great club" when there was not enough time to reload.
Note also the green coat. Although there is no connection between state Marine militia and the Continental Marines, early New England rebels (natural ship builders and sailors) had Marines formed from "The Green Mountain Boys."
You can find this kit at a small company that markets a variety of subjects here. In this case, the Continental Marine was sculpted by Ron Griffith, and he's done an excellent job. The kit comes packaged in a small box with Styrofoam peanuts inside to protect the parts. The parts consist of a head, torso, arms, legs, shoes, and blunderbuss. There is also a stand for the figure which looks like a ship's deck. Minor sanding ensures a good fit on all parts.
As always, it's a given that you have to wash release residue off with hot, soapy, water. I rediscovered this after I tried to paint the odd shaped hat. Paint won't stick with release residue- so wash the figure. I have finally stolen one of my wife’s empty margarine containers as a suitable bath tub for new resin parts.
I always paint from top down, and the painting instructions are excellent. I had tried to find uniform colors on the Web and after a lot of research, found one example. Therefore, I was grateful for the paint call outs.
The hat is black, with a brim painted white. There is a white cockade on the left (figure's left) which can also be painted green. This time around I did a blonde figure (random choice- no Marine blonde jokes here, thank you) and filled in facial features in the normal way. Last on the head was the reason they call them "leathernecks"- a black stock around the neck which was made out of black leather.
The torso is pretty complicated in painting, so I used a fine hair brush. There is loads of detail here too. Start with the waistcoat; it's white with small "pewter" buttons. (I used silver in exchange of pewter. Never buy a bottle of paint you will use once!) Then go on to the white turnouts, adding pewter buttons on top. As long as I was working on greens, whites, and silvers, I did the arms.
White did the breeches, yellow did the stockings (which I striped red in keeping with the box top), and the boots were painted black.
The blunderbuss was painted with a copper "barrel" (instead of brass; I really am cheap) with a deep brown stock.
Assembly of painted parts was simple and to the point. I took my pin vise and drilled holes for pins in the feet. Matching holes were drilled in the stand, which had to be shaped to fit the "bell jar" stand I picked up. (The Marine is a gift to a former Marine.) Et voila- finis.
I enjoy building miniatures that have lots of colorful detail. This was one such model. I'm surprised that there are not more miniatures of early US Marines out there, as their uniforms and equipment are just as interesting as any other figure of this period. Happy Birthday, Leathernecks!