Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Colonel John Cadwalader - AWI Militia

Fife & Drum Continental officers (left - original figure) / (right - converted figure)

I have been doing some minor conversions lately, swapping heads from a British light infantry officer's brimmed hat, nattily turned up on the right side, for the tricorned head of a Continental general. I wanted to have a militia officer to command my growing American militia brigade, so I decided to get out the Exacto saw, wire clippers and flat files to do the dirty work.

The two photos above essentially provide a "before" and "after" view of the figures in the conversion cycle. The brigadier general in blue is the standard AC1 mounted general figure from my Fife & Drum range. A militia officer was painted in a blue Continental style coat and included in the little diorama that makes up the command stand. Cadwalader (in brown) has an American Continental drummer added to his base to create more interesting things going on in the stand.

The conversion operation is relatively easy. The first step is to take a fine tooth Exacto saw (from the mitre box set) and decapitate the heads of both figures. Then, I take a flat file and file the torso-neck join flat and then drill a hole into the torso with a pin vise. The same procedure is used on the British light infantry head. Then I cut a small piece of metal rod (offcuts from my North Star spears) and fit it into the hole in the torso. I then fit the head into the pin to make sure that it fits snuggly. Sometimes you find that the head sits too high, so you have to drill a little deeper into the torso piece. Always do the deepest drill hole into the torso - obviously you have more metal to deal with as you don't want to ruin the head.

Once you have a good fit, then place a small dab of superglue into the torso, insert the pin, and glue on the head. At this point you can turn the head a little bit if you so wish. You are now ready to prime and paint your figure.

I am tempted to try this on a whole battalion of figures. I would like to make a 20-figure battalion of Philadelphia Associators (basically trained militia) using Continental torsos and chopping off some more British light infantry heads from the vast supply of NCOs that I ended up with. I can never hope to sell so many NCOs, so this is a good use for the figures.

The whole American Militia Brigade, so far.

The above picture depicts my growing collection of militia units - three so far. I completed the Hanover Associators, shown in the third row with flag, over the weekend and finally had a chance to base them. The unit is comprised largely of firing figures, although I mixed in all 8 of the available militia poses. I think that they all fit together quite nicely.

A solo view of the Hanover Associators - GMB Designs flag and Herb Gundt barn and trees enhance the look of the picture. You can see Colonel Cadwalader in the back ground.

I had a nice militia flag from GMB Designs that I wanted to use - the red Hanover Associators flag. Most militia units probably did not carry standards, but as you know, I sharp looking flag can really enhance the look of a battalion of infantry. I also plan to add a battalion of Lancaster Milita given that one of my ancestors, a Lt. Colonel Edwards, commanded the 8th Battalion of Lancaster Militia, if I recall correctly. In my mind, these fellows will probably look a wee bit more formal than your run of the mill militia, so I will probably have more similarity in poses and coat colors (blue, I suppose).

Saturday, January 28, 2012

6th Maryland Regiment - AWI

6th Maryland Regiment - Fife & Drum Miniatures (click to enlarge).

Here is a picture of the 6th Maryland Regiment in the American Revolutionary War, circa 1777. I wanted a change of pace from painting blue coats, so I selected this unit from a picture in the John Mollo book on AWI uniforms.

I am now up to seven Continental regiments and three militia regiments, having finished the third militia battalion this evening. I want to paint one more militia unit for the brigade. The militia commander will likely be Colonel John Cadwalader of the Philadelphia Associators. They did not fight in the Philadelphia Campaign of 1777, but they did make a big contribution during Washington's Winter campaign at Trenton and Princeton .

I have way too many British light infantry NCOs for some reason, so I am considering lopping off their heads and putting them onto some Continentals marching. Thus the Continentals will have brimmed hats turned up on the right, with a feather in their cap (and they called it maccaroni). I did an experimental figure using one of the Continental mounted officers and a British brimmed hat - it is really turning out nicely, so this gives me the confidence that I can convert a small unit of, say, 20 figures and paint them as one of the Philadelphia Associator battalions. Again, I'm doing this to have some variety in my Continental army.

I will post a picture of the Delaware Regiment tomorrow.

Monday, January 23, 2012

1st Pennsylvania - AWI

The 1st Pennsylvania Regt. circa 1776. Fife & Drum Miniatures.

I have been busy painting American Continentals at a feverish pace these past few weeks. So much so that it has come at the expense of posting pictures of the finished units. I took a few photos this evening to catch up on the Maryland/Delaware brigade that I've been painting.

I was sort of getting tired of painting Continentals in blue coats and white breeches, so I was looking for something different. The first unit was the 6th Maryland Regiment in grey jackets with green facings. Then I did Hall's Delaware Regiment and made them look more formal than my other Continental units, as befits their reputation for discipline, spit and polish.

A closer view of the regiment, showing the mix of Continental and militia figures from the Fife & Drum range of figures. The flags are copies made from Clarence Harrison's Quindia Studios blog - an excellent source for AWI flags.

My next unit was the 1st Pennsylvania Regiment in Continental service. They wear the green coats, faced in red, with red waistcoats and buff/tan breeches. This is a conjectural regiment because the men never had the opportunity to wear this uniform. As the story goes, the regimental colonel had ordered these nice looking uniforms to be made. They were stored somewhere near New York City and thus captured by the British after Washington's retreat from the city in 1776, before they could be allocated to the 1st Pennsylvania. This unit was basically one comprised of riflemen, so it is more likely that they wore hunting shirts or buckskins.


From Don Troiani's book: "Soldiers of the American Revolution":

"Upon assuming command of the 1st Continental Regiment, Lt. Colonel Edward Hand took great pains to properly equip his riflemen and instill a sense of esprit de corps. New uniforms were ordered from Pennsylvania, in addition to a fine silk standard or color for the senior regiment of the army. The latter was described by Hand on March 8, 1776 as a 'deep green ground, the device a tiger partly enclosed by toils, attempting the pass, defended by a hunter armed with a spear...on a crimson field the motto Domari nolo. Made in Philadelphis from Hand's description, the standard was forwarded to the rifle regiment, arriving in time to be carried during the fall 1776 campaign; this stalwart veteran of Revolutionary service has survived until the present, carefully handed down by descendants of Thomas Robinson (the regiment's third commander), until donated to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission."

The regimental uniforms were to match the colors of the standard: short green coats with scarlet or red facings, with buckskin breeches. However, most of the woolen uniforms sent for the enlisted men were in store at Fort Lee and captured when that post fell on November 20, 1776. Thus most of the men continued to wear their traditional riflemen's dress of linen for the remainder of the fall and winter, while many officers, who had privately purchased their own uniforms, were better clothed for cold weather."


Be that as it may, I thought that the uniform is one of the snazzier looking ones in the whole war, so I figured that in my little AWI world, the regiment received their uniforms before they were captured by the British.

Here is a picture of the whole "Maryland Brigade" as it is so far:

1st Pennsylvania (front row), Delaware Regt. (second row , left) and the 6th Maryland Regt. (second row, right)

I will post more pictures of the Delaware and Maryland units over the next several days.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Fritz's 300th Birthday (his, not mine) is Coming Soon

A young Frederick

Whenever January rolls around, I know that it is time to start thinking about the anniversary of Frederick the Great's birthday and make plans for a grand review of the troops on the Marchfeld. For a brief moment I had thought that I had missed His Royal Nibs' birthday, but to my great relief, it is on January 24th so it is not too late to set up the troops and stage the review.

As one might expect, plans are being made in Germany to provide a fete for the Great One's 300th anniversary birthday:

So what should I do? Should I stage a review of my 30mm BAR army or one of my smaller Minden Miniatures army?

To assist me in making the decision, I have posted a new poll on the upper left hand corner of the page. The poll will run for 8 days through January 20, 2012. So click on your vote and help me decide.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

His Name is Tye

Lady Emma Cuddleston-Smythe and Tye

OK, we have had Tye in our home for a day now and our family consensus is that we will keep his name at Tye, which is short for Tiberius. He just didn't seem to be an "Archie" to us. It always seems to work that way with pets and their names, the name just kind of seems right and at the time you instinctively know that it is the right name for that particular pet. Hence forever more, Tye will be Tye.

The foster owner dropped him off at our house yesterday morning so that we could meet him and see if we liked him (we had no doubts about that). Tye was a little shy at first and reluctant to enter the doorway to our house. He kept his tail firmly lodged between his legs, showing us that he was a little uncomfortable or uncertain. We gave him tons of hugs and pets and gradually he warmed up to us. At one point, Lady Emma was sitting on the floor and he walked up to her and sat in her lap.

I just kept petting his head, telling him what a good boy he was and then Tye did that "velcro thing" that only Goldens seem to do. He practically attached himself to my leg and would not move. I could see that a dog smile was coming to his face and we were all sure that this would work out. By now, his tail was in full wag mode.

Tye really came to life when we took him out to the back yard and played fetch and retrieve or keepaway with him. He likes to play, as one would expect of a 2-year old dog. He also likes his walks and we did a lot of that yesterday. Later in the evening, I walked with Tye on my regular dog walking route and it really felt good to walk with a dog again. He is very curious, likes to roam from side to side in a figure 8 fashion during his walks. I am sure that gradually he will adjust to my style of walking (more of staying on my left "heel" side rather than roaming back and forth).

We had him sleep at the foot of our bed last night, and to my surprise, when I woke up this morning, he was sleeping "on" the bed. I guess that we will have to get used to that.

Lady Emma enjoys playing with Tye and clearly he adores her as much as she does him. I truly believe that we are blessed to have this wonderful hound come into our lives.

Well, it is off to the forest preserve for another walk and then a trip to Petco to get some supplies and order an identification tag.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Meet The Newest Member of our Family

Meet Archie, the newest member of our family.

We are truly blessed to have this opportunity to adopt this handsome looking Golden Retriever, named Ti (for Tiberius). This literally came out of the blue from a Golden rescue service, from which we obtained Dave six years ago. We tentatively plan to change his name to Archie.

Archie is a two -year old male and loves to be around other dogs and people, so that will fit in well with our plans to eventually get a second hound in our home later in the year. Archie is very active, as one might expect of a two-year old, and he loves to go on long walks. That's a good thing because both Mrs. Fritz and I like to get our exercise via dog walks.

Archie's owner died several months ago and the owner's spouse couldn't keep him, so he was given up for adoption to our rescue service. They placed Archie in a foster home, along with a German Shepherd. This did not work out very well as the German Shepherd was too aggressive. So Archie was moved to a second foster home, where the foster family already had two Labradors. We are told that all three hounds got along famously. Archie loves to be with other dogs.

Archie was probably a bit traumatized by all of these changes in his life. We were told that he used to carry around one of his former owner's shoes in his mouth, after the owner died. We plan to give him lots of love, tons of play time, and many long walks and hopefully he will know that his journey is over and that he is finally at "home". We sort of feel that the Higher Power intervened to bring this happy go lucky dog into our home. We are all very excited here in Hesse Seewald. Life works in mysterious ways sometimes. For that we are grateful.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The British (Greens) Are Coming!

British mounted officers, by Richard Ansell. I really like the facial expresssions on these gentlemen, especially the one wearing his hat.

OK, here they are: today I received pictures of the latest sculpts that Richard Ansell just finished and these are real beauties, as one might expect. I am tempted to dribble out a few pictures at a time, but these are just too nice to hold back, so here we go.

The new British army figures include two mounted officers, 4 centre company rank & file, 1 each of centre company officer, standard bearer, NCO and drummer.

Centre Companies Command figures in campaign uniform.

Centre company rank & file in campaign uniform.

Rear view of the rank & file showing (from left to right) blanket roll, tumpline, and two marching variants.

We also have British grenadiers wearing their bearskins: NCO, drummer, 2 marching variants, 1 advancing/at the ready pose, and 1 standing firing pose.

(left to right) NCO, Drummer, and Standing Firing

Two grenadier marching variants and one advancing w/ leveled musket.

I will post front and rear views of everything on the Fife & Drum blog. See link in the left hand column of this page.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The British Grenadiers

British Brigade of Guards during the American Revolution (the grenadiers with the cap-hats are in the back of the column). Fife & Drum Miniatures painted by Der Alte Fritz.

This morning there was a thread on TMP inquiring about good music to listen to whilst gaming the AWI. One of the selections was The British Grenadiers, which to my ear, is one of the best military songs ever. I don't know how to embed a You Tube thingy into this blog, but if you follow the link below, it will take you to several nice recordings of

The British Grenadiers: