Monday, October 28, 2013

Francis Marion, Banastre Tarleton, and von Knyphausen Greens

Francis Marion (the "Swamp Fox")
Christmas comes early in Hesse Seewald as I received a collection of pictures from Richard Ansell depicting his work on the AWI personalities that Fife & Drum is issuing as part of its Kickstarter Project. The three personalities include General Francis Marion (the Swamp Fox) and his nemesis, Banastre Tarleton, and also Hessian general Baron von Knyphausen.

As far as I know, Fife & Drum is the first miniatures company to ever issue a figure of Francis Marion. He is depicted wearing his trademark leather cap of the 2nd South Carolina Regiment, in which he was commissioned as a captain. He was later commissioned a Lt. Colonel  by Congress in 1776. Marion missed being captured at Charleston, along with the rest of Ben Lincoln's Continental Army when it surrendered to Clinton's British army in 1780, having left the city to recuperate at home from a broken ankle.

Banastre Tarleton ("Bloody Ban")
Richard did a wonderful rendition of Tarleton and I can just picture him leading a regiment of Fife  & Drum British Legion dragoons, when we release the figures in January 2014.

Baron von Knyphausen
Finally, we have Baron von Knyphausen available to lead our eventual range of AWI Hessians. This figure has a lot of character and personality and I can picture him doing double duty as a Prussian senior general in my SYW armies, or perhaps even as the king of some Imagination army in 18th Century Europe.

All three personality figures will be offered first to our Kickstarter Backers, afterwhich, they will be made available to the general public.

Please feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think about these three gentlemen.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin

Exsquisite Book from Verlag Militaria

Someone recently asked me for information about places to visit whilst on a trip to Berlin and the first thing that came to my mind was paying a visit to Potsdam (accessible via the local tram or bus from Berlin) and spending time at Frederick's palace of Sans Souci.

Next on my list would be a visit to the Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin, located in the old royal arsenal building, also known as the Zeughaus. While searching for information on this museum, I stumbled across this book that was published a few years ago, one that I have been meaning to purchase, but never got around to it. It features the SYW militaria collection at this museum. Check out the link below to the publisher's web site (Verlag Militaria) for more information on how to order the book.

Finally, no trip to Berlin would  be complete without a visit to the Berliner Zinnfiguren store to view the extensive collection of SYW flats and military history books. See the direct link to the store's website in the left hand column of this page.

I will leave it up to your own Google skills to find out where these three sites are located, but they would be my recommendations on places to visit while in Berlin.

About the book

824 pages (linen bound with a protective cover, it comprises two volumes in a slipcase), ca. 1500 colour photographs and illustrations, Format: 29.5 cm x 26 cm

The authors

Daniel Hohrath, with additional contributions from Judith Zimmer and Elisabeth Boxberger


€ 129,90


978-3-902526-51-9 (English)
978-3-902526-50-2 (German)


This work represents a new basis for the study of the Army of the Prussian King Frederick the Great; it is an indispensable standard work for anyone interested in the military and cultural history and the crafts of that era. It depicts the uniforms of an army whose military successes laid the foundation for the rise of 18th century Prussia as amajor European power, and which, like its royal commander became the military ideal for all of Europe. Their particular style and the grandeur of their equipment were widely copied, and – uniquely for that day – collected by Frederick’s successors for posterity. The result of those efforts is the world’s best collection of 18th  century uniforms, now in Berlin’s Deutsches Historisches Museum, located in the old Royal Arsenal, the Zeughaus. Here, for the first time, all of the more than 200 items are presented and described individually and in detail, with high quality colour photographs and precise measurements.

Many of these original pieces were previously unknown, or had been seen only in drawings or poor quality old photographs. Supplementing these illustrations are photographs of items from other European collections. The total of some 1500 photographs shows an almost complete series of fusiliers’ and grenadiers’ caps, along with such items as cuirassiers’ coatees and hussars’ dolmans, sabretaches, caparisons, cartridge boxes and hats. There are also several uniform coats, including one worn by King Frederick himself.
In addition, this work includes a complete reproduction of the Lace Pattern Book of 1755, a manuscript containing the original embroidery and braid patterns of over 100 Prussian regiments, which is kept at the Deutsches Historisches Museum.

Finally it contains reproductions of the portraits of a large number of Prussian Army officers of the Seven Years’ War period, many of them previously barely known; most are from the Field Marshals’ Hall of the Prussian Military Academy in GroƟ-Lichterfelde. Also shown are drawings and black-and-white photographs of items from the old Zeughaus Collection that have since been lost.
The text includes explanations of the uniforms and their development, and short histories of each regiment in the Old Prussian Army. It is prefaced by historical essays on the Army of Frederick the Great and the history of the Zeughaus Collection, and includes an in-depth examination of the materials, designs and production methods of the uniforms and trimmings, from the point of view of modern textile conservation.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Minden Miniature Offers Low-Cost Flat Rate Shipping on International Orders!

Minden Austrian Artillery Crew shown with RSM limber teams.

We are pleased to announce that the complete range of Minden Miniatures SYW figures are now stocked in the USA and ready to ship.

Prussian Grenadiers from Minden Miniatures.

To help reduce shipping costs for our international customers, we are now offering a flat shipping charge of only $10.00 USD for any order shipped outside of the USA (minimum order of $15.00 USD required).

We offer similar flat rate shipping for our US customers at $4.00 USD per box (minimum order size of $15.00 USD).

You can order both the Minden and the Fife & Drum Miniatures in the same or separate orders and still qualify for our flat rate shipping. This offer will run through November 30, 2013, afterwhich, I will re-evaluate the program to see if it is working.

Visit our new web site at:

for more information or send e-mail inquiries to us at:

Paypal is accepted for all orders.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Minden Prussian Cuirassiers

Von Seydlitz & his 8th Cuirassier Regiment - Minden Miniatures
 Today I received the final shipment of Minden inventory from Frank so we now have everything in stock in the USA and ready to ship.

To help our international customers, we are going to try out a flat rate shipping charge of $10.00 per order (applies only to minimum orders of $15) through the end of November 2013. For our US customers, there will be a flat rate shipping charge of $4.00 (applies only to minimum orders of $15.00).

Here are a few pictures of my latest addition to my Minden Prussian army of the Seven Years War. It is a 24-figure regiment and they are pictured with the 18th Century's version of James Bond: Friedrich Wilhelm von Seydlitz.

The full regiment can  be seen below:

The Von Seydlitz personality figure from Minden Miniatures.

As usual, click on the pictures to enlarge the view.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Keeping Up With The Austrians

Sometimes you find yourself in the position where you have no figures primed and ready to paint, and you have a lot of figures that need to be based, terrained and finished off. That is kind of the worst of both worlds as far as I'm concerned because I view figure preparation work (filing, fitting, cleaning and priming) a pain in the neck to do and I am not altogether keen on basing my figures.

Since there was nothing to paint, I decided that it was time to grasp the nettle and get on with the task of  all of this unpleasantness.

First on the list: inking and grassing two 24-figure Minden cuirassier regiments, one Austrian and one Prussian. I actually inked the bases last evening (friday) so that I could dry brush them with flesh paint (over dark brown ground) and apply the static grass on Saturday. It is a painstaking task, but something that needs to be done, nevertheless. So I finished off the von Seydlitz Cuirassiers and the O'Donel Cuirassiers, and inked the Alt-Modena Cuirassier Regiment.

That is two Austrian regiments to one Prussian cavalry regiment, not exactly my cup of tea, but since I have neglected my Minden Austrian army for a couple of years, I figured that it was time to balance out the two armies. Hence more Austrian cavalry and infantry.

Next on the list, clean and prime a 30-figure Hungarian battalion (Joseph Esterhazy) for my Austrian army. When I build infantry units, I paint two battalions in the regiment and add a mounted regimental commander. Since I had already painted the first battalion of the Esterhazy regiment, it was time to finish off the regiment.

Finally, as a reward to myself for being so nice to the Austrians, I picked out a 24-figure regiment of Prussian cuirassiers from my growing pile of Minden metal. They will also undergo the clean and prime treatment so that I have a reserve of things to paint somewhere down the road. One of the advantages of owning your own miniatures company is that you can pick and organize a unit of something to paint. That's kind of nice.

This evening (Saturday) Mrs. Fritz and I went to the theatre to see the stage version of The Killer Angels at the Lifeline Theatre in Chicago. Apparently, the show has been so popular that they have extended its stage run for a few more weeks. I was curious to see how they would stage the story without the benefit of a vast panorama of outdoor space. They went for a Minimalist Approach to things, using only large blocks of wood and some old travel trunks for scenery. It's hard to explain, but it worked fairly well.

Most of the actors played 2 or 3 roles in the production. For example, General Lee and Sergeant Kilrain were played by the same actor, as was Buford/Major Taylor, Tom Chamberlain/Jeb Stuart. Only the Chamberlain actor had one role. The Lee/Kilrain actor was the best of the lot. They used a "troubador" to advance the plot and provide background information about what was going on. Maps were unfurled at various times on stage and the actors would talk about where the troops were moving and why. I thought that it worked too. 

The uniforms were Minimalist too, but then they almost had to be, given that the actors had to make a lot of costume changes. Between scenes, the troubador would sing Civil War songs and accompany himself on his guitar. Another actor played the mandolin.

My only criticism is that the actors playing Longstreet and Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain were kind of the weak links in the cast. Both of them needed more of a stage presence and exude some forcefulness. I had trouble hearing Chamberlain at times because he was so soft spoken and contemplative. Longstreet seemed weak and whiny. That said, I did enjoy the production and I am glad that I saw the play.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Minden Inventory Arrives In the USA

Royal Ecossaises in French Service. Minden Miniatures from the collection of Charles S. Grant.

I have been busy unpacking five boxes full of metal castings that Frank Hammond shipped to me last week. There is a final shipment of three more boxes that are scheduled to arrive early next week. At this point in time, I have everything in stock NOW except for the British and Hanoverian infantry, the Prussian Personalities, and the French Hussars.

More Minden Miniatures from the Grant Collection. Click picture to enlarge.
So the Minden Store is open for business. For now, you will have to give me a description of what you want and the quantity, just like you did when you bought your figures from Frank. I am working on assigning product code numbers to every Minden figure in anticipation of building a web site with an on-line shopping cart capability. We hope to have the new web site completed by the end of November 2013, but in the interim, you can find the information that you need for ordering on the new Minden Miniatures with Fife & Drum blog.

Austrian Musketeers, work in progress Regiment Andlau, painted by Der Alte Fritz. click to enlarge.
Prussian Regiment von Winterfeldt

I hope that you enjoyed some of the eye candy that I have posted here today.

Monday, October 14, 2013

New Minden Miniatures Blog Created

I am in the process of setting up a new blog site for "Minden Miniatures With Fife & Drum". Follow the link above to visit the new site. On the right hand side of the page you will see page tabs for each country (Austria, Prussia, Britain, France, Hanover) as well as other categories such as Horses, Artillery Equipment, Civilians, Personalities and a picture gallery.

I received three huge boxes full of Minden inventory today and I'm still working my way through the contents to figure out what I have in stock. In any event, I can now start filling new Minden orders on a limited basis. Just use the same procedure as for ordering Fife & Drum Miniatures, by sending me an email with a list of your needs.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Minden Prussian Cuirassiers

Here is a picture of the von Seydlitz Cuirassier Regiment using Minden Miniatures. These are now in stock at Fife & Drum. Note the Prussian kettle drummer . Figures are $6.00 per set of horse and rider, plus applicable postage.

I still need to apply static grass to the bases. This is a 24-figure regiment for now, but will eventually have 32 figures.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

New AWI Militia Figures

Minden Miniatures Armed Civilians  (set of 5 @ $10.00)

Fife & Drum American Militia (painted by Scott McPhee)
{Note: click pictures to enlarge the view}

One of the synergies resulting from the merger of Minden Miniatures with Fife & Drum is that figures from the respective ranges can be used in the other range's tabletop wars. A great example is the set of five Minden "Armed Civilians", which to my eye, look like they would be perfect to use as American Militia in the American Revolutionary War (or "AWI"). I have a dozen or so sets in stock now so if you want to add to your Fife & Drum Militia ranks, then why not give these fellows a try? I intend to add them to my militia ranks.

You can order the set under the temporary stock number of "CIV-001" at a price of $10.00 per set of five figures plus applicable postage.

To order, simply send me an e-mail at


Minden Inventory Update
I've finished unpacking the first two boxes (12.5kg each in weight) and find that I have all of the Prussian infantry and cavalry, but no horses in stock as they are in transit. So I am able to start selling Prussian infantry and jagers and the civilian laborers if you find that you just can't wait and really need Prussians now.

The horses will be arriving next week, so I will be able to start shipping any Prussian cavalry starting next week.

Preliminary Minden prices will be $2.00 per foot figure and $6.00 for mounted figures (including the horse). I may have to adjust the price upward at a later date as I get a better idea of their production costs, etc. But for now, these are the prices.