Sunday, July 20, 2014

More Fife & Drum Greens - Artillery Train




Civilian driver in hat and waistcoat (left), shown on a cavalry horse.

We have been busy at Fife & Drum, lately, getting our new civilian artillery limber drivers ready for production. The figures include one civilian driver in hat and waistcoat and another civilian driver wearing a tricorn and coat. While both are designed to use in the Fife & Drum AWI figure range, they would be equally at home in Europe, driving a supply wagon in service of any European army. These two figures replace the existing Fife & Drum civilian riders and horses, which are now out of production and will be retired. They old versions were sculpted by another sculptor and I wanted to replace them with Richard Ansell designed figures so that everything would match up and be consistent.

We have also added an Austrian and a Prussian limber horse driver to use for War of Austrian Succession or Seven Years War - both are wearing uniform coats and tricorn hats. I will post pictures of them in a couple of days as I wanted to focus on the civilians today. I am really excited to add the uniformed drivers to the Minden range - I have been using the RSM limber driver (looking over his shoulder) and I wanted more variety and options. Now we have both.

We have also added four new limber team horses to the range, pictured after the drivers in this blog posting.



Civilian driver in hat and waistcoat (right)

Civilian driver in tricorn and coat (left)

Civilian driver in tricorn and coat (right)


Limber Horse 1 - for rider



Limber Horse 2 - for rider





Limber Horse 3



Limber Horse 4

Eventually, we might add some standing limber horses to the range, but I like what we have now.


All of the above greens have been sent off to Griffin Moulds to have the production moulds made and the new figures cast. (actually, LH 3 and LH4 are already in production and available now; the other two horses are waiting for moulds).

Friday, July 11, 2014

Volontaires de Saxe - New Minden Figures


Maurice de Saxe at the Battle of Fontenoy, shown with his African bodyguards from his Volontaires de Saxe.


I have long been fascinated by the idea of someone creating a vignette of French Marshal Maurice de Saxe shown riding in a wicker wagon or chariot during the Battle of Fontenoy in 1745. Maurice was terribly ill prior to the start of the battle and he could not mount his horse, so someone found a small wagon that the marshal could use during the battle. Some say that Maurice was suffering from the effects of Dropsy, probably a result of his life of hard living and drinking. But I digress...

So several months ago, several of us on the "A Military Gentleman" Forum, were discussing the wagon that Maurice used during the battle. Niels indicated that he was interested in creating such a model in 1/56 scale (suitable for 28mm and 30mm figures). I chimed in that if he would make the wagon, I would commission Richard Ansell to sculpt a model of Maurice sitting in the wagon. So quicker than you could say, "Bob's your uncle", Niels set to work on the wagon and had the model completed in record time. Here is a picture of the finished model below:


Marshal de Saxe's wicker chariot used at Fontenoy. Model created by Niels R. at Westphalia Miniatures. Limber horses are from the Minden range.
Once Niels' wagon model was cast in metal, he sent a copy to Richard so that he could sculpt the figure of Maurice de Saxe that is shown below:


Marshal Maurice de Saxe at the Battle of Fontenoy in 1745

Now it occured to me that we would need a pair of horses to draw the wagon and a driver to ride on one of the harness horses. Looking at the picture at the top of this page, one can see that the driver had to be one of the Volontaires de Saxe. As a result, we had Richard create the following driver figure:



Marshal de Saxe's wagon driver
 The drawing also depicts one of Maurice's African uhlans that comprised his personal bodyguard, which were a part of the Voluntaires de Saxe. So we had Richard sculpt the bodyguard as well, as shown in the picture below:

African trooper - personal escort of Marshal de Saxe

By this time, I was thinking, "in for a penny, in for a pound" so as long as we were adding some of the uhlans to the Minden range, why not make the rest of the figures that one would need to create the whole regiment. Thus we had Richard work on adding another uhlan, an officer and a trumpeter, shown in the following pictures.

Uhlan trooper

Uhlan trooper
Officer

Officer

Trumpeter

At the end of the day, this joint project between Westphalia Miniatures and Minden Miniatures came together quite nicely. I think that Niels' work on the chariot is outstanding (you ought to see what one of these vehicles looks like when painted - WOW!) and I think that I am running out of superlatives to use in describing Richard's sculpting work - that Maurice de Saxe personality figure is amazing, as are the rest of the Voluntaries de Saxe.

The greens will be sent to Griffin Moulds next week, along with the French Cuirassiers du Roi and some horse team riders (2 civilian figures, 1 Austrian and 1 Prussian rider, both in uniforms) and hopefully we can get these little master pieces into production very quickly.

The Maurice de Saxe vignette will be sold as a set to include the chariot/wagon, Maurice sitting in the wagon, two harness team horses, and one uhlan harness driver. The rest of the Volontaires de Saxe will be available as individual figures for purchase. Crann Tara Miniatures in the UK will handle all orders in the UK and Euroland while the USA and the rest of the world will be handled from the USA. I'm assuming that Westphalia Miniatures will also have the complete Maurice set added to their product line.

I am really really pleased with how well this project came together and the results are quite impressive. I look forward to collaberating with Westphalia Miniatures on some other projects in the future.

As always, click on the pictures to enlarge the view so that you can see all of the details.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

New Minden Greens: Cuirassiers du Roi


Here is a peek at the first batch of French cavalry greens that I received from Richard Ansell today, depicting the Cuirassiers du Roi regiment. The CdR have the distinction of wearing bearskin hats and also of being the only cavalry regiment to wear their cuirasses outside of their coat.

Please take a close look at each figure and let me know what you think. If there is anything that needs to be changed, now is the time to speak up. :)

Cuirassiers du Roi officer (click to enlarge view)

Cuirassiers du Roi officer

Cuirassiers du Roi Standard Bearer

Cuirassiers du Roi Standard Bearer

Cuirassiers du Roi Trooper

Cuirassiers du Roi Trooper

Cuirassiers du Roi Trumpeter

Cuirassiers du Roi Trumpeter

Here is a teaser photo of the figure that Richard sculpted representing the French marshal Maurice de Saxe as he might have appeared during the Battle of Fontenoy in 1745. He was riding around the field in a wicker carriage because he was ill. The carriage was created as a joint project with Westphalia Miniatures: Minden made the Maurice figure and Westphalia made the wicker carriage. We will also have the Volontaires de Saxe Uhlans to provide an escort for Maurice - pictures of these will be posted tomorrow.
Maurice de Saxe riding in his wicker carriage during the Battle of Fontenoy in 1745.
Wicker 4-wheel carriage created by Niels Rulkotter of Westphalia Miniatures as part of a joint project with Minden Miniatures.

Here is a print of Maurice de Saxe and his wicker carriage at Fontenoy. His  uhlan escort is also shown in the picture. Minden has also made the carriage driver monted on the horse and of course, the uhlans de Saxe.



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Friday, July 4, 2014

3rd Continental Dragoons - New Fife & Drum Figures



3rd Continental Dragoons (L-R) Trooper, Officer, Std Bearer, and Trumpeter (click to enlarge)

Fife & Drum Miniatures recently added the 3rd Continental Dragoons to its range, along with the previously released 1st Continental Dragoon, the British Legion (Tarleton's) dragoons, and the British 16th and 17th Light Dragoons. 

The group of four figures are done in "charging" poses and are shown on some of the new horses that Richard Ansell made exclusively for our AWI range of figures. They can match up against our British Legion and British 17th Light Dragoons in either the Pennsylvania - New Jersey theatre of operations or with General Greene's command in the South.


Regimental History (paraphrased from Troiani)
The 3rd Continental Dragoons were raised on January 9, 1777 (so they will fit right in with the 1777 Philadelphia Campaign) by Colonel George Baylor. While recruits and horses were readily available in his native state of Virginia, the shortage of horse equipment and weapons limited his recruiting to only one troop. The troop was attached to General Washington's headquarters guard and became known as Washington's Bodyguard or Lady Washington's Horse. The troop served in this capacity until 1778.

The regiment was virtually wiped out when it was surprised in an attack on its billets in Tappan, New Jersey on September 19, 1778 by British light troops. Half of the 104 men on hand escaped and attempts to re-raise the regiment were unsuccessful as it never exceeded a squadron in strength after Tappan.

A squadron of the regiment served in the Southern Theatre of Operations, under the command of Lt. Colonel William Washington. They were amalgamated with elements of the 1st Continental Dragoons (also available from Fife & Drum Miniatures). The combined regiment fought at the battles of Cowpens, Guilford Courthouse and Eutaw Springs.



Officer (left) and trooper charging (right)



Standard bearer (left) and trumpeter (right)

The new product codes for the 3rd Continental Dragoons are as follows (sold as single figures including the horse):

AC-018    3rd Continental Dragoon Officer
AC-019    3rd Continental Dragoon Trumpeter
AC-020    3rd Continental Dragoon Standard Bearer
AC-021    3rd Continental Dragoon Trooper, Charging

Figures, including horse, are $6.00 

To order, just send me an e-mail at: 

fife_drum_minis(at)yahoo(dot)com
Paypal Accepted



Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Austrian Artillery - Liechtenstein System


I was looking at this diagram that I copied from Christopher Duffy's book, "The Army of Marie Therese" and I'm trying to determine if the Liechtenstein System of artillery used during the SYW used a standardized wheel diameter for the 3-pound, 6-pound, 12-pounde and 7-pound howitzer  artillery carriages.

In Stephen Summerfield's book, "Austrian Seven Years War Cavalry and Artillery" states that:

Precise standard for carriages, limber, cart and wagon wheels were introduced. Feuerstein was concerned about increasing the operational mobility of the ordnance so two wheel sizes for all artillery transport was used. (Does "transport" mean the artillery wheels as well as the wagons?").

Looking at the diagram above, it looks as if all wheels for the gun carriages are the same size. I am hoping tat someone can confirm or refute this contention or assumption.. Your help will be much appreciated.


UPDATE

I looked a little closer at the Duffy book and he states that:

Liechtenstein established a common axle and just two types of wheel for the whole range of field artillery and supporting vehicles. He thereby ensured that spares were always at hand in the event of a break down. The 36-inch diameter wheel served as the front wheels of the large ammunition cart, and the 51-inch wheel for the field guns and howitzers, for the small two wheel ammunition cart and the rear wheels of the large four-wheeled ammunition cart.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Painted Pix: Tarleton's Legion & 17th Light Dragoons





British Legion (7 poses) from Fife & Drum Miniatures. (Click to enlarge)

Well, here they are. I have finished painting "onesies" of each of the new British Legion cavalry (7 different poses) and the British 17th Light Dragoons (4 different poses). I also have four new 3rd Continental Dragoons that I have yet to paint, but I hope to get them done and posted this week.

I have started mailing out all of the Kickstarter orders to backers. I have to take the packages to the post office in small batches of up to 6 boxes, because Mrs. Fritz broke her left wing and can't carry anything of substantial weight (and she was my mid-week courier). So most of the orders will be mailed on Saturdays, but I should have most of them in the mail by the end of June.


British Legion Command
British Legion charging with swords drawn.


Two charging poses and one hacking.


Shouldered sword and firing pistol.
And here are the British 17th Light Dragoons. They spent the latter part of the war fighting in the Carolinas, attached to Tarleton's British Legion. The men of the 17th refused to don the green coats, but instead, kept their red regimentals (and/or wore smocks in the summer months).

British 17th Light Dragoons - all four poses.

Reverse side of the previous picture.








Monday, June 9, 2014

A Military Gentleman

Ottoman cavalry  charge into a Thin Green Line somewhere on the Steppes of Russia. Photo copyright by John Ray and printed with his permission.


For those of you who have already purchased a copy of John Ray's book, "A Military Gentleman", you might be interested to know that a related on- line forum has been created for all owners of the book. The forum has been open since approximately March 2014 and there has been a lot of lively conversation about general Wargame topics, painting and basing tips, pictures of various forum members' collections of miniatures and lots and lots of pictures of John Ray's collection of miniatures that were not included in the book. In addition, some of the forum members are participating in a new campaign, circa the mid 1770s in Europe, and the campaign has already generated a number of tabletop battles and even more gorgeous photographs of the John Ray collection.

For more information, click on the following link to the website for "A Military Gentleman" and get a preview of some of the content that is available only to forum members. 


There you will find a nice slide show that provides a further preview of the forum experience.

If you do not already own a copy of the book, then fear not, as a limited number of copies are still available. However, once the book is sold out, then that is it as a reprinting of the book is not likely, given its expense.

I leave you with the words of John Ray, himself, as he describes what the forum is all about. Information on how to join the group is provided at the end of the second paragraph:

*****************************************************


"Given that AMG was not cheap to produce, nor was it cheap to purchase, and I would not wish to devalue the book for those who have invested financially by ‘splashing’ loads of free photographs across the internet. So I have decided to create a forum to answer some, if not all of the above. In addition there will be areas for general hobby discussion for members who are interested in the Horse and Musket period. This will be a forum for model soldier collectors, not just members who wargame. Foremost I am a collector of model soldiers who on occasions display figures on a table; enjoying the company of friends of like persuasion.

The lounge area is available to those that have purchased the book. Here questions can be put and we’ll endeavour to answer them. In addition, more photographs will be included and free downloads of the campaign mentioned above will be made available. These downloads follow the same lines of the layout shown in AMG, including more original unseen artwork. More important than the AMG section of the forum will be areas for general hobby chat with like minded model soldier collectors. This will be an online forum with a difference, where first names will be the norm, no pseudonyms allowed, and a convivial supportive atmosphere will be paramount. If you have purchased the book and would like to join us, please just email me at johnrayAMG@yahoo.co.uk stating the email address you will be using and include your book number and I will respond with your password. "