Monday, February 3, 2014

Analogue Painting Challenge - Hero(ine)

This fortnight's bonus round has the theme of "Hero or Heroic Group".  My submission is Laura Second from the War of 1812.

Laura Secord and her husband were from loyalist families in the Niagara area of Upper Canada.  By the summer of 1813 the war had been rough on them.  James was injured at Queenston Heights where he fought with the militia and thier store was destroyed by American bombardment in the same battle. After the US capture of Fort George they lived in the US occupied zone.

There are photos of Laura Secord later in life when she was Victorian and matronly.  However,  I prefer this sketch of her before her marriage when she was well, pretty darn cute.

Laura overheard US officers planning an attack on a British outpost.  Leaving her injured husband and 5 children (ages 3-14), set set off on a 32km trek through the US lines and the Canadian wilderness to warn the British.   The result was an ambush at Beaver Dams by Native forces with a few redcoats and the capture of the entire force of 500 Americans.  Here's a link to the full story at Wikipedia and a Canadian History video vignette.  They built them loyalist women tough!

Ok there's the history snapshot, now onto the figures.  Laura is a Reaper Bones  Townsfolk - intended for medieval times but her clothes work well for later periods too.  I opted for plain colours but tried to work hard on shading and highlights to bring the details out.  She is based singly so that she can be a civilian on table.

The US command stand shows two infantry offices (one Perry and one Victrix) with a Victrix sentry.  They can serve as a command group on table since infantry officers often took the role of leading detachments.  I posed the figures to (hopefully) give the impression of the officers deep in conversation without noticing that they are being overheard.  The map is made from vellum paper folded and crumpled.

The details are fuzzy on how and where the invaders were overheard.  For simplicity I have placed them in a wooded area, presumably close to Laura's house where she has been occupied with domestic duties.  The trees are woodland scenics and the rise is floral foam shaped and flocked with ground cover.  I placed the figs on my standard gaming mat for land based games.


  1. No cow. No chocolates. Oh well, nicely done anyway.

    1. I know - I was disappointed that I couldn't find a figure that looked like she'd walk 20 miles through the muck!
      The cow seems to be a later embroidery by a relative and the chocolates - well they coopted her name well after the fact.

  2. Nice figs and history lesson. I agree, that sketch shows quite a beautiful young woman.