Monday, July 4, 2022

Happy Fourth of July - Independence Day


Happy Fourth of July Day to everyone. I hope that everyone is enjoying the watching of a parade, the grilling of meat on the barbecue grill, surrounded by family and friends, and finishing off the day with the watching of spectacular fireworks shows across the country. This is how we celebrate our independence from Great Britain, although I would imagine that many Americans do not understand the back story to our national holiday.

Be that as it may, for one day, at least, we are all Americans and there are no Red states or Blue states, just red/white/and/blue states. We may go to sporting events, such as baseball games, and when the home team hits a grand slam home run, we high-five our neighboring seat mate and pay no heed to the politics of the people sitting in the grandstands with us.

I started Fife and Drum Miniatures back in 2011 and focused on offering miniatures for the American Revolution. So it stands to reason that one of my favorite miniatures in the figure range is the iconic  Spirit of ‘76 vignette, which happens to also be part of the logo in my company.

Later I added personality figures for American heroes George Washington, Nathaniel Greene, Francis Marion and Daniel Morgan. For those customers who stand with The Crown, we later added Lord Howe, Lord Cornwallis (do you see a common theme here) and finally, Banastre Tarleton’s (boo, hisssss, boo!).

Nathaniel Greene

George Washington (left) and Nathaniel Greene (right).

Take advantage of the Fife and Drum / Minden Miniatures Fourth of July Summer Sale. We are offering a 20% discount on all items (except regimental packs which are already discounted). Visit our web store and when you check out with your shopping cart then enter the coupon code Spirit76 and the discount will be automatically applied to your order. The sale continues on through July 6, 2022.

Fife & Drum web store

The discount is available to all customers, even those who support the Crown Forces. 😆 

So enjoy your Fourth of July holiday, don’t overcook the hamburgers, and have a jolly good time celebrating the day with family and friends.

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Fourth of July Sale - 20% Discount

Fife and Drum Miniatures and Minden Miniatures is holding its first ever Fourth of July Summer Sale starting June 30, 2022 and running through July 6, 2022.

The Spirit of '76 Vignette

When you check out your shopping cart in our web store, enter the coupon code Spirit76 and the 20% discount will be automatically applied to your order.

Fife and Drum Miniatures web store link

George Washington (left) and Nathaniel Green (right)

General Nathaniel Green and 1st Continental Dragoon Standard Bearer

Mounted American Militia
Fife and Drum Miniatures

AWI Hessian Musketeers
Fife and Drum Miniatures

SYW Minden Personality Figures.
French Marshall Broglie (left) and Lt. General Chevert (right)

Minden Austrian Cuirassiers

French Marshall Maurice de Saxe

Minden Miniatures Prussian Musketeers

Minden Miniatures French Fusiliers


Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Prussian Guard Grenadiers (painted unit)


Third battalion of the Prussian Guards (IR15/III) - Minden Miniatures


I finished, finally, the painting and basing of the third battalion of the Prussian Guard infantry during the Seven Years War. It's numeral designation was IR15/III meaning that it was the third battalion of the regiment numbered "15" in the Prussian establishment.

The first battalion was the ceremonial battalion with all of the fancy and expensive uniform lace. They appeared in only one SYW battle (Kolin), spending the rest of the war stationed at the royal residence at Potsdam.

The second battalion (IR15/II) wore tricorn hats and the third battalion (IR15/III) wore grenadier miters. Regardless of the type of headgear that they wore, all guards were considered to be grenadiers.

Here is a link to the Kronoskaf site for more information on the Guards Regiment. IR15 Prussian Guards

Here are two views of the battalion from the rear ( I have removed two of the stands from the unit so that it would be easier to take a photograph).

As per my new basing system, the figures are mounted on 3mm thick MDF bases that measure 60mm frontage and 80mm depth. The stands hold either 8 or 9 figures. The officers, NCOs and musicians form a third rank. Flags are from GMB Designs.

Here are pictures of the full battalion with five stands of figures. My recollection is that there are 44 figures in this one battalion compared to my line regiments' strength of 32-34 figures.

Both the Guard musketeers and grenadiers are available from Minden Miniatures as distinct castings (these are not line regiment figures converted with paint). The main distinction between the line and guard units is that the Guards wore an aigulette on their right shoulder.

Here is a link to the Fife and Drum Miniatures web store Prussian figures section of the catalog.

Minden Prussian figures

The relevant product codes are:

MP-020 Prussian Guard Command in Tricorn Hats  

MP-021 Prussian Guards in Tricorn Hats

MP-022 Prussian Guard Command in Grenadier Miters

MP-023 Prussian Guards in Grenadier Miters

I Am The Bagman


50 kilos of metal

Yesterday three boxes of metal castings arrived from Griffin Moulds and I spent the better part of today breaking down the bags and rebagging them into their retail packaging. For example, a bag of infantry contains 16 figures, which equals the number of figures in the mould. So if a retail SKU has eight figures then I break down the bag and put 8 figures into two separate bags. Then I staple a header card onto each bag.

You can imagine how tedious this work can be, but it is necessary in preparation for my Fourth of July Weekend Summer sale which will start on Friday July 1, 2022. Stay tuned for more information on this sale, including the discount coupon code to enter when you check out your shopping cart.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Picture of the Week: Leuthen Churchyard

Click on pictures to enlarge.

Here is a picture of one of my favorite pieces of war gaming terrain in my collection. It is a model of the Leuthen Church in the Winter. Herb Gundt made the church and buildings, complete with snow on the roofs, as well as all of the roads and trees that you see in the picture.

The picture was snapped at the Seven Years War Association Convention, circa 2007.

The buildings were designed with lift off roofs to allow for skirmish gaming. As a matter of fact, my thought when I commissioned this terrain was to run a skirmish level attack of the Prussian Guards on the churchyard, defended by the Rot Wurzburg regiment.  

Here is another view of the church and the surrounding buildings in winter mufti:

In the above picture you can see some of the firing steps that Herb made so that figures could stand at the walls and be able to look over the top. Most of the Austrian figures are from Crusader Miniatures while the Prussians are a mix of Stadden, Suren, Elite Miniatures, and Crusader Miniatures.

Monday, June 20, 2022

Kolin at the 2018 SYW Convention


Der Alte Fritz, Himself, (right) supervises the action in his domain.

In 2018 I ran my Kolin scenario again at the Seven Years War Convention in South Bend, Indiana. The Austrians prevailed again as their left wing descended the Pohbor Hill and overwhelmed the Prussian refused right flank with their sheer numbers. The contest was somewhat even in the center of the battlefield near Chosenitz, while the Prussians were mopping up the Austrian cavalry near the Oak Wood, on the Austrian right flank. The pictures below tell the story of the battle. Please click once or twice on each picture to enlarge the view.

Hulsen's Prussian Advance Guard Deploys in Front of Krechor

Hulsen's Prussian advance on the village of Krechor and drive out the defending Croats.

Croats have decided to leg it out of Krechor rather than face the bayonets of Prussian grenadiers.

Austrian right flank. Saxon cavalry and Austrian light cavalry deploy to the right of the Oak Wood

Treskow's Prussians march down the Kaiserstrasse to support Hulsen's attack

Austrian right wing, anchored on Krechor and the Oak Wood.

Prussian right wing - refused flank - pause near the Inn of Slati Slunce

Zieten's Prussian cavalry cover the left flank of Hulsen's attack.

Seydlitz leads the Prussian cavalry to route the Austrians in the Oak Wood.

Action in and around the Oak Wood near Krechor

A huge cavalry melee breaks out on the Austrian right (Prussian left) flank.

Meanwhile in the center, Treskow's brigade advances towards Chosenitz instead of supporting Hulsen's attack.

Austrians on the left flank decide to descend the high ground attack the Prussian refused flank.

In fact the entire Austrian left wing goes on the attack and look
to overwhelm the Prussian refused flank with their advantage in numbers.

A rather complicated melee for the game judge to work out
as the Austrian cavalry go  all in on the Prussian cavalry.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

June 18, 1757 Battle of Kolin


First battalion of the Prussian Guard (IR15/I) being overrun by Austrian cavalry for the third time of the day.

It is interesting that two great battles were fought on the same day in June (June 18th), albeit in different years: 1757 for the Battle of Kolin and 1815 for the Battle of Waterloo. In the grand scheme of history Waterloo was probably the more noteworthy battle and had a greater impact on western European history than did Kolin. 

Here are some links to websites that have information about the battle. The best site is the Obscure Battles blog - I mean it is downright fantastic and well worth the look. Everything that you would want to know about Kolin is here. The Kronoskaf site is also very good while the Wikipedia link provides a minimal overview of the battle.

Battle of Kolin - Wikipedia

Obscure Battles -Kolin

Kronoskaf - Battle of Kolin

I have war-gamed the Battle of Kolin more times than I can remember and usually the Austrians follow history and win the game. I can think of only one time when the Prussians have won Kolin in a wargame.

Here are some pictures of the Kolin game played at Chez Fritz a few years ago. The Austrian and Prussians  fought to a draw this time. I suppose that one could opine that a "draw" favors the Austrians? All figures shown are Minden Miniatures. The buildings were made by Herb Gundt. I have also provided the link to the full report of this game that I posted on my blog on June 21, 2015.

Kolin Wargame in 2015

Croats defending Krechor village

The Prussian army marches down the Kaiserstrasse

Hulsen's advance guard is deployed and ready to kick off the game,

Austrian division of Sincere marches to reinforce the position at Krechor.

Austrian artillery drops trail on the Krechor Hill near Chosenitz

Hulsen's Prussian advance guard has captured Krechor village and advance
towards the Oak Wood where they encounter the Austrian division of Wied.

Seydlitz leads the Prussian cuirassiers in counter-attack.

A grand cavalry melee develops on the Austrian right flank near the Oak Wood.
Austrians on the left, and Prussians on the right.

Treskow's Prussian brigade reinforces Hulsen's advance guard and take control of the Oak Wood.
Wied's Austrians have routed, but Sincere's division arrives on
Krechor Hill, but are vastly outnumbered by the Prussians,

Here are some links to earlier posts about the Battle of Kolin that I ran as a solo play test in May 2015.  The game was the prelude to the game that we fought on June 21, 2015. This solo game resulted in a Prussian victory. Honestly, I played it straight and didn't favor the Prussians. When I play a solo game, each turn I ask myself what type of move best favors the Austrians and what type of move best favors the Prussians. This generally results in a balanced and unpredictable wargame.

Battle In The Oak Wood     (May 14, 2015)

Grand Cavalry Melee At Kolin  (May 10, 2015)

Hulsen's Advance Guard Attacks Krechor  (May 9, 2015)

So Happy Kolin Day everyone! A great day for Austria and a bad day for Prussia.