Saturday, January 9, 2010

IR1 Winterfeld - Minden Miniatures

IR1 Winterfeld Regiment with Minden Miniatures. Click pix to enlarge.

I have spent the past week working on the first of many battalions that will comprise my SYW Minden Project and thought that I would post the first pictures today. As a rule, I don't like to show pictures of serried ranks of unpainted or partially painted figures. I generally only post the pictures after the unit is completed. However, I am breaking my own rule so that I can show you how nice these figures look and also to talk a little bit about my current thinking regarding this project.

As you can tell by the pictures, these are not going to be "big battalions"; well, maybe medium sized battalions as they will be 30 figures strong at a 1:20 figure to man ratio. The figures will be based on five stands measuring 60mm by 40mm and will be affixed to the base in two ranks. Originally I had planned on gluing down a strip of walnut or cherry to the back edge of the base and using that as a "name plate" with the unit's name printed out on my laser printer. While that might look ok with larger 28mm and 30mm figures, the name plate just didn't look right to me, so I left it off the base. How then, will I identify one regiment from another? After awhile they all begin to look the same. The answer lies in the thickness of the MDF wood base itself. It is thick enough whereby I can print the unit's name (e.g. "IR1 Winterfeld") in 6-point font and have plenty of space on the back side of the base to glue on the name tag. With the small font, the name plate is not obtrusive, yet it is large enough to read. Thus a player will know which unit this is on the wargame table.

You will note that I have not yet glued on the GMB Designs flage for the battalion. This is because I have found that a spitz of Dull Cote also fogs over the flags. So I will finish the bases tomorrow, splashing brown ink over the grit, then dry brushing a light coat of tan paint, and then finally applying the static grass. Once the grass dries, then I will Dull Cote the whole battalion before gluing on the flags.

I have another battalion of 30 musketeers primed and ready for painting. My plan is to paint both battalions of four regiments (8 btns in total) and then add two grenadier battalions, a jager battalion and finally for the twelveth battalion, either a Guard battalion or perhaps a lowly garrison or freikorps battalion. At least for now, the plan is to limit each Minden army (Austrians and Prussians) to 12 battalions and 4 cavalry regiments, or enough for a small participation game at a wargame convention.

For the jagers and the Austrian Croats, I will place 3 figures on each base with a total of 10 bases for a light infantry battalion. They will have the same 60mm frontage and I will either use the same 40mm depth as the regular infantry, or go with a 30mm deep base. The light troop bases will have the same frontage as a musketeer or grenadier unit, but only 3 figures on it instead of 6 figures.

Perhaps my readers can leave some comments with regards to basing the artillery. I know that I want to glue the artillery crewmen onto the base. The question is, do I want to also glue down the cannon, or should I leave the cannon free-standing, so that I can remove it from the base and attach it to the limber team? There are merits to either method, but I haven't decided yet. Since I can't set up a poll, leave a comment and let me know what you think.


  1. Looking good!
    As far as gluing the cannons down I would say not gluing gives you greater flexibility. You can have the crews run away and leaving the guns behind, for example. What advatanges are there to gluing them down?

  2. I would also leave the artillery unglued . . . Like Fitz says, "more options.

    While I don't have any troops based that way, I have always liked the look of the six-figures in two ranks basing . . . and much better with five bases than just three.

    As for your "army structure", might I suggest that you consider 5 mounted regiments -- 2 heavy horse, 2 dragoons and 1 hussar?

    That would give you a lot more tactical options as to where and how to use them (as opposed to the usual 2 units on each flank).

    And before I forget to say so, your troops look grand, sir. Very nicely painted indeed.

    -- Jeff

  3. I guess that my thinking was that each player ends up commanding 4 elements, actually 5 when you add in the artillery battery that the infantry brigades will have.

    Thus a cavalry brigade of 4 elements would match that of the infantry commands. Frederick seemed to brigade 2 cuirassier and 1 dragoon regiment together while the hussars were in their own brigades. I was thinking that 3 CR, 1 DR and 1 HR would give me a good representative Prussian cavalry force.

    Frank Hammond has announced that the Prussian dragoon molds are nearly done and that hussars in mirliton are next on his list. The hussars will be in more of an action pose rather than trotting with shouldered swords. If you have seen the TAG Austrian Napoleonic Hussars, then you will have an idea of how the SYW hussars will look. NICE!!!!!!

    Of course, I realize that as my two armies approach 12 infantry and 4 cavalry elements, there will be a great temptation to add more. This is just the way I am.

    As for artillery, I guess the only advantage of gluing the cannon models to the base is that they don't suffer any wear and tear (paint rubbing off), but I am leaning towards removeable guns so that I can hook them up to their limbers or have the crew run away if they route and leave the gun behind.

  4. You gave inspired me to organize my Hesse-Boozewick and Margrave of Moscovia forces along similar lines. Twelve infantry, four cavaly, and a battery seem perfect. After seeing your mounting, I know it's right. I hope to post a very finished units today to get your reaction. Thanks again for the inspiration...

  5. The Minden Miniatures look wonderful; the new project allows you to once again paint your favorites.
    I would leave the gun separate; once painted I'd cover it in clear Minwax urethane. Once this dried for several days, I'd then Dullcote it; this should make the paint stand up to most abuses.


  6. Top notch painting as usual, Jim! Yep, leave the cannon unattached.

    Best Regards,


  7. Thanks for the tip Don. I've found that the paint starts to wear off from handling when the guns are separated from a permanent base, as I've done with my 1:10 armies.

  8. Fritz,

    Thanks for the note on the GMB flags. I went back and looked and they were all blemished with the matt spray. I painted them with a brush on semi-gloss sealant and the problem seems to have been resolved. But I will definitely put my flags on now after finishing my figures completely.

  9. Wonderful job! I can see why you are so attracted to this miniature range - they look great en masse!

    Keep up the great work!

  10. With regards to your artillery..
    If you plan to use these troops for smallish convention games, how often will the artillery be limbered up? If not often/ ever then you could glue them on. But for that matter, if you plan to not glue them on, then why paint them up at all, you could just use guns from your present collection.
    I glue my crew onto the gun stand but do not glue the gun on. Mostly because I caniabalize my battalions and use them in the big battalion games and so limbers are required and thus the need.
    If you glue 4 figures per gun to a gun stand, they can pretty well keep in on the stand- short of turning the stand upside down and so lessen the need to glue it on. Also if you have a large gun stand with 4 figures, the amount of "handling" the gun by players diminishes greatly (glued down or not) becaus they are manipulating the base.

    Just my thougths,

  11. Hello Alte Fritz
    I am a recent entrant to the SYW scene
    so apologies for questions.

    How do Mindens compare in size to RSM
    I have sample figures from a few ranges, but only the RSM appeal to me
    the others look to chunky, But these Mndens have a more formal pose and far better detail too i think.
    Great blog, it,s an inspiration !

  12. Mindens and RSM are very similar. The RSMs are a little bit larger, but not by much. Both have natural and realistic looking poses.

    Everything else looks chunky in comparision.

  13. Jim,

    Great stuff as usual. Will you be using BAR for the project or some other ruleset?