Monday, November 22, 2010

The British Are Coming!

Brigade of Guards NCO - Center Company

And now for something completely different: the Brigade of Guards in the AWI, circa 1777 during the Philadelphia Campaign. These are the first of what will be an extensive range of 1/56 scale (approximately 30mm) figures designed by Richard Ansell, who is well known for his realistic and lifelike sculpting style, as seen in his designs for the Minden Miniatures SYW and the Alban Miniatures Napoleonic figure ranges.

Our objective is to provide a comprehensive range of figures in this style to portray the British army in campaign uniforms, circa the 1777 Philadelphia Campaign and their American Continental and militia adversaries. The British soldiers will be wearing campaign uniforms: cut down coats, round hats turned up at one side, trousers or gaitor-trousers, and minimal marching kit. These will not be depicting the 1768 Warrant uniform found in nearly every AWI range. In other words, these British soldiers will look like the real deal.

For those of you who are familiar with Frank Hammond's Minden Miniatures range of figures, you will already know that these figures will not necessarily be compatible with Front Rank, Old Glory, Perry Miniatures or various other ranges that are already on the market. They won't need to be compatible, because we are going to provide everything that you will need to fight the AWI in the 1776-1777 period.

Over time, we will add British regulars and light infantry, Highlanders, artillery crew and limbers and guns for both sides, mounted dragoons and mounted officers for His Majesty's Forces. The American army will be similarly covered in equal depth. We might even add French regulars after we complete the British and Americans.

My own reason for getting involved in this new venture is that I believe that Richard Ansell is the premier sculptor in the hobby today and his sculpting style checks off all of the boxes when it comes down to what I look for in a wargame figure: realistic, well proportioned, animated figures with a life like appearance. That being the case, I wanted to have a comprehensive range of Ansell-sculpted figures for my own use and gratification. If I wanted an obscure figure such as the flank company soldier in the British Brigade of Guards, then I could simply commission the sculpting of such a figure and add it to my own army.

At the present time, Richard has completed the first 16 figures, comprised of 8 poses for the Brigade of Guards and 8 British Light Infantry in skirmishing poses. Next in the que will be American militia in skirmishing poses so that you can start collecting opposing forces suitable for skirmish wargame rules, such as Sharpe Practice, etc.

I expect that the first figures will be cast and ready for purchase in January 2011 and then we will continue to add new figures every couple of months.

The figures will be sold under the "Battleroad Games & Hobbies" brand name - a new on-line venture based in Marlborough, Massachusetts

The company is a seller of miniatures and hobby related supplies and accessories, but the AWI figures will be its own proprietary range of figures.

Please take some time to browse through the pictures below, and be sure to click on the picture to enlarge the view. Later this week, I will post pictures of the British Light Infantry in skirmishing poses. I will also post comparative pictures of Minden (also sculpted by Mr. Ansell), Perry, RSM, Hinchcliffe X-Range, Scruby, Old Glory and Front Rank so that you can make your own judgement, based on pictorial evidence. Most of these figures are 30mm +/- a millimeter or two. So their height will be compatible. On the other hand, some figures will appear chunkier, others thinner, but ultimately you will have to make your own decision as to whether or not they are compatible with other brands. But as I indicated earlier, my goal is to blaze my own trail and not try to copycat other figure ranges.

Guards Flank Company Man Marching

Guards Flank Company Officer

Guards Center Company Man Marching

Guards Center Company Man Standing Firing (note wood water cask and detail of coat tails which have been cut back)

Brigade of Guards Officer

Guards Center Company Man Cocking Musket

Brigade of Guards Drummer


  1. Alte Fritz-

    Wow, what nice figures and what a great project! I wish you great good luck with it and hope that you will have a lot of fun with it.


  2. While I disagree with you on Ansell being the premier sculptor in the hobby,which I believe to be the Perry's,I'm happy to see you delving into the AWI period which is one of my favourites.I'm looking forward to seeing this project grow.


  3. Splendid looking figures. Best of luck with the venture both the personal and business sides.


  4. Very tempting. These should work a treat with Hezzlewood's old range for Hinchliffe. I fear i may have to invest in a few....

  5. Fantastic, really looking forward to these. Any chance to expand the line to the Southern Campaign? I'd be willing to invest to make that happen.

  6. In a single word, "Wow!" If these had been around back in my high school days, I would have pushed ahead with my interest in the AWI, though my weekly allowance/pocket money might not have stretched very far. Good luck with this, Jim. The greens are stunning little works of art.

    Best Regards,


  7. Outstanding, Jim. What an excellent addition to the figures for this period, very human and elegantly done. Very much looking forward to seeing the finished items. Congratulations!

  8. Not to my taste or interests, but congratulations for living the "dream".

  9. These figures should be compatible with the RSM95 and Hinchcliffe X-Range for the AWI. Steve Hezzlewood sculpted these other two ranges.

  10. They look great and best of luck with the venture. I do so wish they would fit with Foundry/Perry/Eureka/BH/FR though. Always looking for new ranges to fit with existing scale.

  11. The new figures are absolutely amazing. When you say, "these British soldiers will look like the real deal" -- I have to agree. Great job!!

    I think more and more people are coming to appreciate the AWI as a great period for wargaming and collecting. I hope this translates for you into a successful venture.

    Very best,

    Adam D.

  12. Sweet. Must have....

  13. Oh crap! Now I have no excuses at all for not starting my long dreamed of AWI project. Thanks a lot for producing a range that is just soooo nice it is impossible not to be inspired.

  14. Beautiful figures. Best wishes in your new venture. I turst this will become a very popular line.

  15. Der Alte,

    Superb! I love that campaign. Might these boys ever be available here in the UK?

    Best Wishes!


  16. Brilliant, I love this style and a big fan of the AWI. I to would like to know if we will be able to get them over here in the UK, or will we be able to order from over the pond?

    Been waiting years for this sort of range, in fact Ive just purchased some Tradition/Willie AWI Figures only a couple of weeks ago.


  17. Alexander & Jim
    Will I need to buy them from the States or wil they be available from the UK?
    best wishes upon this excellent venture