Saturday, September 29, 2012

Cool SYW Wargame Picture

French vs British in 54mm with John Jenkins Designs figures.

This picture, which I found on the Flintlock and Tomahawk blog Link Here shows a wargame using 54mm French and British John Jenkins Designs figures. Add in some Teddy Bear Fur and you have one piece of realistic looking eye candy going on here.

If I had the time, space and money to collect these expensive pre-painted collectors figures, then I wouldn't mind giving this a try.

Weekend Happenings At Schloss Fritz

I have several interesting little projects sitting on my painting table at the moment, so which way I go with the brushes is yet to be determined.  I have two sections of Royal Horse Artillery to paint for our refight of the Coa Bridge in Brown Deer, WI on November 10th; I have some Minden Highlanders to work on; or I was dabbling with some of my Fife & Drum British for the AWI and painting them in green coats with white facings so that I could use them as Queen's Rangers circa 1777, before they donned the fancy leather headgear. The first couple of samples of AWI British line infantry in green look very promising.

The RHA consists of 15 pieces per section of the battery ( 5 crew, 4 limber horses, 1 limber, 1 cannon, 2 limber riders, and 2 limber drivers), so painting two sections of the battery is like painting a 30-figure infantry battalion; so this is more than just a weekend project. I will take me about a week to paint. Once finished, the new sections will bring the battery up to six guns, limbers and crew. Now all I need are some ammo and supply wagons - it looks like the Perrys have some such things on the workbench and should be arriving to the market soon. count me in.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Some Minden Civilians

Minden SYW civilians employed in the AWI environment.

I found this picture of some of the Minden SYW civilians on another blog this morning:

Wargming With Silver Whistle

Since this is the first time that I have seen the figures painted, I wanted to "borrow" this picture from that blog so that everyone could see these fine figures in their painted splendor. It is interesting that they are being used for the AWI period. If you look closely at the figures, you can see lots of conversion opportunities abound. For example, the artist has placed muskets instead of work tools in some of the figures' hands. The fellow with the musket is eventually going to be an artillery "matross" in my AWI armies (i.e. dragging the cannon with a drag-rope). The figure carrying the bag over his shoulder would fit in well with a field bakery in the SYW.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

AWI British Artillery

British Artilleryman and Matross, circa 1775 - painting by Don Troiani

I found this painting on Don Troiani's web site today and find it interesting for a number of reasons. For  starters, it depicts the "regulation" uniform of the Royal Artillery at the time of the American Revolution. You don't often get to see the reverse view of a figure so it is great to see how the leather cartridge box attaches to the belting (and that the cover is white leather).

I also like the ammo wagons in the background. I have seen a picture of a similar wagon at Fort Ligonier, Pennsylvania and perhaps Mr. Troiani modeled his representation on the reproduction wagon at that site. You can see the royal cypher stenciled onto the cover of the wagon and the "basket weave" sides of the wagon are also of interest to me.

If you want to see more Troiani pictures, then click on the link below. But be careful, you will find yourself spending at least an hour there looking at all of the wonderful historical prints.

AWI Militia Flag

Pennsylvania Associator Flag
I found this nifty looking militia flag on the Revwarlist group today and like it so much that I think that I will paint a new American militia battalion, using Fife & Drum Miniatures of course, and give it this flag.

One of the re-enactor units in Pennsylvania apparently use this flag for their unit. In Pennsylvania, the militia were called "associators". Perhaps the most famous of these regiments was the Philadelphia Associators commanded by John Cadwalader. They gave a good account of themselves in the Trenton-Princeton campaign in early 1777.

The canton has the thirteen red and white stripes found on several flags in the Pennsylvania-Delaware area near Brandywine battlefield. In fact, several similar flags of this style were called Brandywine flags, as they seem to have first appeared at this battle.

From Wikipedia:

The Brandywine flag was a banner carried by Captain Robert Wilson's company of the 7th Pennsylvania Regiment. The company flag received the name after it was used in the Battle of Brandywine, 11 September 1777. The flag is red, with a red and white American flag image in the canton.[1]
Other stories indicate that the flag may have actually flown earlier, at the Battle of Cooch's Bridge in Delaware on 3 September 1777.[2] Captain Wilson may have also brought it to the Battle of Paoli on 21 September and the Battle of Germantown on 4 October.[3]

The 7th Pennsylvania Flag may have been one of the first American flags to feature stars and stripes, although it was a militia company's flag, not a flag of Washington's army.[4] The Flag Resolution of 1777 defined the official flag of the United States as having 13 stripes and 13 stars, although the specific pattern of the stars was not specified. Many variations existed. The flag shown in the canton of the Brandywine Flag uses a 4-5-4 star pattern, and was probably patterned after a Hopkinson-style United States flag.
The Brandywine Flag is currently displayed in Philadelphia's Independence National Historical Park,[3] and was featured on a 33¢ postage stamp issued in 2000, as a part of the US Postal Service's Stars and Stripes series. The colors and pattern on the stamp may have been altered for aesthetic purposes.

Perhaps GMB Designs or The Flag Dude will add this flag design to their product list. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Minden SYW Highlander Pix

Minden SYW Highlander Firing Line Figures

Reverse View
Here are a couple of pictures, a little blurry I'm afraid, of Frank Hammond's new Minden SYW Highlander firing line figures. I painted these last evening and found them a joy to paint. These may well be some of Richard Ansell's best work on the range, here to date. There are a total of eight figures in the firing line set: Officer standing with claymore in the ground, piper/drummer/standard bearer all standing, standing firing/kneeling firing; standing at the ready/kneeling at the ready to complete the set.

As I said in my earlier posting today, you could also paint these as Jacobites for the Forty Five by painting them in grey, brown, blue, green etc. and use them to augment the Jacobites in the Cran Tarra Jacobite range, also sculpted by Richard.

Highlanders are probably my favorite wargame figures so I am sure that I will have to find some way to get a unit of these guys into either my SYW or AWI armies.

British Army on Campaign Circa 1777

Light Infantryman - by Don Troiani

I have posted some drawings that depict the appearance of the British soldier during the American War of Independence, showing how they would actually look while on campaign. Gone is the formal look of the 1768 Clothing Warrant, with the long tail coat, tricorn hat, and knee britches. Also gone is the knapsack, replaced by a blanket roll that is attached to the back via a "tumpline". All of the uniform and kit changes were adapted by the soldiers for comfort and practicality while operating in the terrain that was North America at that time.

40th Foot Defending the Chew House - Battle of Germantown (Osprey: Philadelphia Campaign of 1777)
The Osprey picture is probably the only drawing that I have seen that correctly draws in all of the elements of the adapted British uniform. The figure with his back to us in the foreground wears the tumpline upon his back.
Loyalist soldier in 1777 - by Don Troiani

Minden SYW Highlander Firing Line Figures

I primed a batch of Frank Hammond's new Minden Highlanders in firing line poses yesterday and painted a sample of the standing firing and the advancing or "at the ready" pose and the finished result is really sweet! I will add a couple of pictures later today. I hadn't planned on having a Minden British SYW army, but now I'm sort of at sixes and nines over this issue because I have to have a unit of Highlanders in one of my armies.

I may paint these as the 84th Royal Highland Emigrants for the AWI period and use them for the American Revolution as part of a hypothetical Loyalist brigade in my British 1777-78 army. They did not participate in the Philadelphia Campaign, but they look too nice not paint and complete.

It also occurs to me that these figures could also be painted as Jacobites for the '45 Rebellion. That would look cool too. I imagine that this was part of Frank's thinking when he commissioned the figures to be made -- they make for a nice add-on to the Crann Tara figures that Graham is building up. All of these figures were sculpted by the talented Richard Ansell, of course.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

71st Highlanders


Here are some pictures of the greens for the AWI 71st Highlanders that Bill N.  commissioned for his own collection of figures. They are "Perry Compatible" and "Eureka Compatible" as well, noting that they were designed by the same sculptor (Alan Marsh) that does the Eureka range of AWI figures. Bill plans to offer these for sale after they go into production. It is a nice looking set of figures that fills a hole of figures that had not previously been available for the AWI in the Southern Theatre.


Firing Line #1

Firing Line #2

Kneeling firing

Peninsula War Preparations

94th Regiment (The Scotch Brigade) - Connoisseur Miniatures

I spent a good part of the afternoon cleaning, assembling and priming two more sections of Royal Horse Artillery for our re-fight of the Battle of the Coa Bridge in November 2012. I currently have four 6-pounders/crew/limber teams in Captain Hew Grant's RHA Battery. Two more sections will complete the battery and give the redcoats (i.e. The Good Guys) a better chance of stopping the French (i.e. The Opposite of The Good Guys). Just kidding - I like to play the French equally as much as the British in the Napoleonic Wars, it's just that I lean a little bit more towards the British.

Each RHA section consists of one 6-pounder, 5 crew men, a 4-horse limber team with 2 drivers and 2 troopers sitting on the limber carriage, so it is no small matter to assemble and paint a section of RHA. I think that works out to 15 separate pieces for the complete section. That is like painting a small battalion.

I also primed two more companies of the 5/60th Rifles, which will bring my Rifles contingent up to 48 figures (4 companies of 12 figures). When combined with Bill P.'s rifles (24 of the 95th and 12 Cacadores), we will have a converged battalion of 72 Rifles. I promise you that they will not be wiped out in our next game. After 3 or 4 games with the Rifles, I have some better ideas of how to use them and where to deploy them in order to take advantage of their talents and skills. 

Finally, I have one more company (12 figures) of the 94th (Scotch Brigade) Regiment to paint, which will give me 84 figures in 7 companies.

The Bad Guys
Meanwhile, Bill P. is busy recruiting for the 5th Regiment and I think that I recall him saying that he has the regiment up to about 48 figures so far. It looks like the whole regiment will be available for our replay of the Coa scenario. (Yes, I know, there weren't any "line foot regiments" in Crauford's Light Division at the Coa, but we can only use what we have available). Slowly, but surely, the British forces are building in strength and I expect that we will reach some degree of parity during 2013.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Today was Christmas in September here in Hesse Seewald, as everything that I had purchased recently all arrived on the same day in a bit of harmonic convergence.

First there were the lovely new figures from Minden Miniatures including the two ladies and gentlemen civilians on horseback, some French artillery crew to man some of my Fife & Drum French artillery, and the Highlander firing line figures. The standing firing Highlander is particularly outstanding. I might have to start building a SYW British army soon.

Next was a package from Elite Miniatures. Wow, talk about fast service! The box arrived in two days!  This load includes a set of Napoleonic British Royal Horse Artillery (3 complete guns with limbers and crew and limber horses) and Royal Artillery, the field or foot variety - three 9-pounders. All of this is going to build out my Peninsula British army.

Finally, Battlegames #31 arrived, and I have to say that this is one of the best issues that Henry Hyde has put together. Every article is interesting and worth the read. I've slowly started my way through the magazine. I would like Jon Sutherland to introduce me to those gentlemen who spend about fifty thousand British Pounds per year on their wargaming hobby. I have some things that I'd like to discuss with them. :)  Mrs. Sutherland has another fascinating piece on making Arab market stalls - she makes it look so easy. Sam Mustafa gets his turn at touting the benefits of his new Maurice game and this article provides some fascinating inside info on why Sam developed the game in the way that he did.

More later, I've got to get to bed. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

AWI: 5th Regiment on Campaign

5th Regiment of Foot in campaign uniforms. (click pix to enlarge).

I finally finished the 5th (Northumberland) Regiment of Foot for my AWI British army. These lads have been painted to depict what their uniforms might have looked like after a season on campaign. The bright red coats have now faded to a light red or pinkish red color. Some of the men have knee patches and elbow patches painted onto them to give them a worn look. Sometimes patches were added to the blanket rolls too. I really like the way that this unit turned out. I think that I hit the faded red coloring right on the nail - nearly perfect as far as I'm concerned.

Now I'm keen to add another unit with faded colors for my next British regiment.

5th Regt. plus command stand, using the Continental mounted officer and the British artillery officer (on foot).

In the picture above, I have added a new command stand to the front of the column. I used one of the Continental mounted officers and painted him in a red coat to make him British. The uniform distinctions between the British and the Continental officers is not that far apart. So this is a good way to get more variety in the poses of my British officers. The officer on foot is the British artillery officer from the gun crew, that I've painted in infantry red rather than artillery blue.

5th Regiment

3-pound Galloper gun plus British command stand.

The above picture depicts a 3-pound Verbruggen cannon mounted on a Pattison carriage. The limber device converts the carriage to a galloper configuration. Information on this comes from the Adrian Caruana book on the British light 3 pound guns.

View of the front of the column. Officers are wearing newer bright red uniforms, while the rank and file uniforms are faded to a red-pink from the sun.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

British Infantry on Campaign - AWI

I was able to finish the 5th Regiment of Foot over the weekend and will post some pictures by Sunday evening. The regiment has been glued to its bases (40mm by 80mm), 8 figures per base and in two ranks, for a total of 32 figures in a British regiment. The goop was then applied to the bases and dipped into a box of fine gravel. Tomorrow, once the goop has dried, I will finish the bases by applying dark brown ink, dry-brushing some tan onto the base, then apply static grass and some flock.

The 5th has been painted to resemble a regiment that has been out on campaign for quite awhile. The soldiers' jackets were painted in a faded red-pink color to depict the effects of continuous sunshine on the red dye. Lots of knee and elbow patches were painted onto the figures (conversion by paint, if you will) and a spattering of mud was painted near the feet, using some brown paint applied by dry brushing.

I think that I will paint another regiment on campaign to pair up with the 5th Regiment. It will be one of the yellow-facing regiments, either the 10th or the 44th regiments. In this manner, I can have one brigade of British infantry in brand new red jackets and have another brigade in faded jackets. My brigades will have 3 or 4 battalions plus a section of 6-pound artillery.

Minden Miniatures are in transit

I ordered some of the marvelous mounted civilians from Minden Miniatures last week and look forward to seeing them first hand and then pitching in to paint the figures. While going through some boxes of Minden figures, unpainted figures, I remembered that I had bought some of the Minden civilian laborers and it appears that these will work perfectly for either the SYW and/or the AWI periods. I may have to move the civilians up in the painting queue as these are beautiful little figures.

I also ordered a battalion of the new Minden SYW Highlanders in firing line poses. I simply love figures that are firing their muskets, because that is what they are supposed to do during a battle. I realize that the majority of people prefer march attack poses, but give me firing line figures any day. That said, even though I probably will not paint the Highlanders for at least a year, I want to support Frank's new production by purchasing the latest figures. Maybe if enough people purchase firing line poses, Frank could be persuaded to have some Prussians in firing poses too.


Speaking of Minden Miniatures and their Prussians for the SYW, I would like to remind people that the Prussian figures will work perfectly fine as AWI Hessians. Because of that, I am not in any particular hurry to add AWI Hessians to the Fife & Drum range of figures. When I want to use Hessians in a wargame, I will just pull out my SYW Prussians as stand-ins. So if you want Hessians, if you need Hessians, if you gotta have your fix of Hessians, please considering buying them from Minden Miniatures.

Napoleonics in the Peninsula

I also ordered some Napoleonic figures from Elite Miniatures last week. Bill P. and I enjoyed our Coa Bridge scenario (curtesy of Charles Grant - the scenario will be published in Grant's forthcoming "Wargaming in History" series, due to be published before Christmas 2012. The book will deal exclusively with the Peninsula War in Spain) so much that we want to play it again in November.

This should give me enough time to add two more sections of Royal Horse Artillery to the British forces. We only have four 6-pounders so far, and I would like to increase the battery up to 6 cannon and crew. Also, since I am starting to get a little bit tired of getting shellacked by the Frogs in Spain, I also ordered a battery of British 9-pounders to use when we get around to staging larger Peninsula battles. For now, we are content to fight some smaller actions while we work on building up our British forces.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Faded Colors

The other day I was wearing my "Indiana" baseball cap while driving my car and I happened to set the cap down on the dashboard. It tumbled onto the floor, of course, the next time that I pulled away from a traffic light. However, this was a good thing because it was then that I noticed the difference in the color of the red on the outside of the cap (faded red, almost pink) and the inside reverse part of the cap, which still retained its original bright red color.

Now if you are anything like me, all manner of things in your daily life somehow, someway have an application to the wargaming hobby. Right?

I immediately began to think about the regiment of British infantry for the AWI that was sitting on my painting table. I wondered how the unit would look if I painted the uniforms a faded red to give it a campaign appearance rather than painting the coats in crimson red, straight from the tailor's bench.

Fife & Drum figures: British Centre Company (left) and Guards (right).
You can see the difference in the two figures in the picture above. The fellow on the left is a member of the 5th Regiment of Foot, Centre Company and he is kitted out in a faded pinkish-red coat with light green facings. His right knee, which you can not see in the picture, has a knee patch on it and his elbows have elbow patches that he used to repair his worn out jacket. For good measure, I gave him a used brown blanket (see the tumpline on his back) rather than the usual medium grey blanket. Finally, I spattered some dust or mud on his overalls near his feet. He certainly looks like he has been on campaign for the whole season.

Now compare our man from the 5th Regiment with his compatriot from the Brigade of Guards. Our Guardsman wears a bright red coat and his blue facings (cuffs, lapels and collar) have yet to fade. He is the epitome of spit and polish, as one might expect from the Guards.

Above is picture of the first dozen of the 5th Regiment that I painted over the weekend. I thought that I would give the officer (far right) a new coat in its original crimson red, given that he would have the personal funds available to keep his uniform up to snuff. The first sergeant (far left front row) also has a crimson coat. The rest of the rank and file wear faded red coats. The picture is not very good, but it gives you a general idea of how things might look once the whole unit is completed. 

To provide a little more variety, some of the men will have different color overalls (light brown, tan or darker grey) and I will randomly distribute knee and elbow patches on the figures. The blankets will be painted in a variety of brown, green and grey. The figures with the blanket rolls are easier to paint as the blanket covers up a lot of the lapel areas and give you the added bonus of having more surface area on which to go crazy with patches or patterns to give the regiment an even more hodge-podge appearance.

I will be working on the rest of the regiment this week and hope to have the 5th Regiment finished and based by the end of next weekend. Stay tuned for pictures of the finished product.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Announcing a New Napoleonic Blog: Campaigns in Iberia

Major General William Justinian Pettygree and his staff.

Bill Protz and I are pleased to announce the establishment of a new blog that will feature our Napoleonic campaign in Spain, circa 1808 to 1814. Our hero is one Major General William Justinian Pettygree, a name that may be familiar to you if you follow Bill's wonderful 19th Century Colonial blog. William J. Pettygree is the father of Augustus Pettygree, so you can see that service to King & Country goes back many generations in the Pettygree family.

Click here to travel to our new blog, titled: "Campaigns in Iberia" to see what is going on.

94th (Scotch Brigade) Regiment - Connoisseur Miniatures and GMB Designs flags.

Three French battalions advance with full skirmish companies leading the way.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

AWI Painted Artillery

British 6-pound battery deployed for battle.

I have been busy painting samples of each figure in the Fife & Drum range, in preparation to photographing them for our web site. You can see some of the artillery crew and equipment in this post.  Be sure to click on the picture to enlarge the view.

AWI artillery limber set (AE5) towing the British 6-pounder (AE3)

Continental Crew Loading (AE13) a Swedish light 4-pounder (AE2)

Continental Crew Firing (AE14) a French Valliere 4-pounder (AE1)

Continental artillery battery in action, showing both firing and loading variants.

A picture of my work bench today. I have just glued 32 British figures to card bases prior to priming them with grey paint. The regiment will become the 44th (Essex) Regiment -- see GMB Designs flag in the back ground. You can also see a Foundry French Tumbral cart from their French Revolution range.