Sunday, January 26, 2014

Von Glasenap Regiment of Hesse Seewald

Von Glasenap Musketeer Regiment & Prinz Friedrich of Hesse Seewald (click pix to enlarge)
I was able to finish a company of the first infantry regiment of the Hesse Seewald Army: the IR1 von Glasenap regiment, which is the senior regiment in the army. One stand of six musketeers will equal one company and there will be five musketeer companies and one grenadier company in each regiment. For now, I plan to have one battalion regiments in the Hesse Seewald army, and with four or five regiments, I can hive off the grenadier stand to form a converged grenadier battalion in addition to the five musketeer or fusilier regiments. If the project really develops, I could always go to two-battalion regiments, in which case, two grenadier companies from two different regiment will converge to form a four company grenadier battalion of 24 figures.

Prinz Friedrich of Hesse Seewald is the Hanoverian Colonel figure from the Minden range, painted in Hesse Seewald uniform of the von Glasenap regiment. He wears the orange sash indicating his Order of the Lion honour.

Below, I have provided the rear view of Prinz Friedrich and of the two grenadier samples that I painted. This provides a nice view of the grenadier bag.

Rear view of the von Glasenap grenadiers, and Prinz Friedrich.

So I have a nice start on my Hesse Seewald army, using Minden Prussian figures.  The Garde zu Fuss regiment is nearly completed and von Glasenap will see more additions from time to time as I paint a few figures at a time, in between other painting projects. I have to place a priority on Austrians and Prussians to use in my convention game at the SYWA Convention at the end of March, in South Bend, Indiana.

While I posted the two Garde pictures previously, here they are again so that you can see everything in one posting.

The Hesse Seewald Garde zu Fuss

Close up view of the grenadier company


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

More SYW Saxons

Here is a picture of some Minden Saxons that were painted by Richard Ansell. I found this picture in the archives of images that I saved from Frank Hammond's former Minden blog. You didn't know that Minden made SYW Saxons? They are actually the Prussian musketeers in Swedish cuffs that have been "converted by paint". 

As I look for some allies to field with my Austrians, I am more and more drawn to the idea of painting a brigade of Saxon infantry, to be kicked around by the Prussians on my tabletop. They could then do double duty as the army of the evil Duke of Sachsen Raschstein, the perennial foe of the Elector and Duke of Hesse Seewald.

Some Saxons could come in handy to fight such battles as Hohenfriedburg, Kesselsdorf, Hennersdorf ( all fought during the Second Silesian War/War of the Austrian Succession) as well as one Saxon cavalry for a relight of Kolin during the SYW. Saxon infantry regiments were later reconstituted in the service of France (Berge, Minden).

I have placed an order with Maverick Models in the UK for some Saxon infantry flags. Several of my readers have recommended this company as a good source for flags, so I thought that I would give Maverick a try.

More to come, no doubt.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Saxon Leib Garde circa 1756

Saxon Leib Garde using Minden Miniatures Prussians. Click to enlarge.

With a long three day weekend due to the MLK Day holiday in the USA, I had a lot of extra time to paint figures and specifically, knock out nearly a battalion of Saxon Leib Garde - 24 of the eventual 36 figures. I used the Minden Miniatures SYW Prussians with Swedish (large cuffs) cuffs to serve as my Saxons. The inspiration for the regiment was my continued reading of John Ray's fine book, A Military Gentleman, in which the Saxon Leibgrenadier regiment plays a prominent role in the fictional Battle of Fulda. Besides that, what's not to like about a regiment wearing colorful red coats and yellow small clothes, all set off by white gaitors?

Now I know that many of my readers are well versed in the uniforms of the combatants during the Seven Years War, and I know that someone will mention that the Saxon Leibgrenadiers wore grenadier mitres rather than felt tricorn hats. One of my readers has a ready answer for that: the Saxons are wearing their service uniform and they have stored their mitres away for the coming campaign.

A close-up view of the grenadier company of the Garde.

The other part of the equation is the fact that this regiment will also serve as the first regiment in my fictional Army of Hesse Seewald, where they will serve as the Hertzog's personal guards. In fact, I will probably paint two 30-figure battalions: one wearing tricorns and the other wearing the mitres, in a manner similar to that of the Prussian Leib Garde IR15/II & III. That creates a little bit of conundrum with respect to placing flags on the regiment. Which flags should I use?

The Saxon flags are just on the edge of the limits of my own painting ability, so I am not sure whether or not I can paint them free hand. The other option is to find some commercially made preprinted Saxon flags. The only source that I am aware of is Vaubanner Graphics. These are OK, but they are not the quality of GMB Designs flags (and GMB does not make SYW era Saxon flags).

The other option is to use GMB Hessian flags for the AWI era and just flag each regiment with one of the GMB flags. It doesn't really matter which real flag goes with which fictional Hesse Seewald regiment. I could use any old Hessian flag and simply state that it is the flag of the Hesse Seewald Leib Garde and be done with the problem. I will probably employ the second option. I have nearly every AWI Hessian flag that GMB makes, so there is no shortage of standards to use.

UPDATE: I found this web site for Maverick Models -- the company makes Saxon flags.

Maverick Models Saxon Flags

Back to the matter at hand: there are 18 musketeers and 6 grenadiers in the unit, as pictured. I have another dozen musketeers to paint, which will bring the batallion up to 30 musketeers. Then the 6 grenadiers will provide a start for a second battalion all wearing mitres.

The line regiments of the Hesse Seewald army wear green coats with a Prussian cut to them. In otherwords, I will be using Minden Prussians with Swedish cuffs for my line regiments. I have 30 musketeers set aside to form the first regiment IR1 von Glasenap in the Hesse Seewald army. I don't know when I will get around to painting the regiment, but it will be placed in the painting queue, now that I have an urge to paint an imaginations army for myself.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Osprey Great Northern War Book - Your Help Needed

Apparently Osprey Publishing is holding a vote on the title and subject of a new book for their Men At Arms series: "The Swedish Army in the Great Northern War". That is terrific news for those who are interested in the period, and with a flood of 28mm figures for the GNW slated to hit the market in 2014, the timing of such a book is excellent.

Alas, the book has only garnered 8% of the votes so far, while The Opium Wars 1830-1860 leads the field with 35% of the votes. With nearly 400 "followers" of this blog and numerous "lurkers" who also follow my writings, I believe that we have the potential to swamp the poll with our votes and get this important book published. As an added bonus, perhaps a successful voting interest in the GNW will prompt Osprey to republish the out of print books covering the Army of Peter the Great.

So here is what I am asking everyone to do: go to the Osprey Publishing web site at: 

and place your vote for the Swedish Army in the Great Northern War. You will find the poll by scrolling down the right hand side of the page.

I want to thank you in advance for your help in bringing this important book to the market.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Saxon Leibgarde with Minden Miniatures

Saxon Leibgarde in undress uniform - Minden Miniatures
Last evening I was doing some color experiments with some of the Minden Prussian figures just for the fun of it. Inspired by the Saxon Leibgarde grenadier regiment in John Ray's "A Military Gentleman", I decided to paint the figure as a Saxon. Yes I know, the Leibgarde wore mitres, but since this is a tryout for an Imagination army uniform for Hesse Seewald, they can wear whatever I decide that they will wear. It is good to be King.

I rather like the color combination with the red coat and contrasting yellow small clothes and facings, finished off by white gaitors, silver buttons and white hat lace. If I could find the time, it would be fun to paint a 30-figure battalion of these figures.

And Abdul, do not even attempt to ask. You know what I'm talking about.

Rear view of the Prussian figure painted as a Saxon Leibgarde musketeer.

The picture below depicts some of the Hesse Seewald soldiers modeling the proposed new uniforms for the army. The red coated figure could be the Hertzog's Leibgarde while the other three uniforms would be those of line regiments.

Some uniform sample for the Hesse Seewald army - Minden Miniatures Prussians.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Ed Phillips: SYW Modeler Extraordinaire

French siege works in SYW - modeled by Ed Phillips. (click to enlarge)

Here are a couple of pictures of some French artillery emplacements that were scratch built by Ed Phillips and displayed at the 2013 Seven Years War Convention. His models usually sell out within minutes of their being displayed on the table for the first time. All the more reason to get to the convention early.

Note to Ed: I need to order two gun emplacements for my 12 pounders. Also, a coach for Frederick II to ride around in ( I can provide the coach horses and a driver or two).

Ed uses bits and pieces from various figure ranges such as Old Glory wheels and axles and many others. In these pictures, I can identify an Elite Miniatures French 12-pounder and some Minden Pioneers painted as French artillerists in red waistcoats. The fascines shown in the works appear to be fibre bristles taken from a common whisk broom.

I run out superlatives in my feeble attempts to describe these wonderful models. You never know what Ed is working on or what he will bring to the SYW convention each year. Once I started looking through my collection of photographs of Ed's modeling work, I decided that I had to include more piccies, so this blog entry has expanded into a more comprehensive look at Ed's work.

More siege works by Ed Phillips (plus some interesting models in the background - click to enlarge)
Ed's Field Bakery with Minden Pioneers employed as the help.

A portable field mill for grinding wheat into flour for the field bakery.

French SYW engineers setting up some pontoons to cross the river.

Another view of the pontoon bridging crew. Minden pioneers. Everything else is scratch built.

A view of the pontoon bridge under construction.

A camp vignette with a lot of detail.

French field forge.

There seems to be no limits to Ed's imagination when it comes to building models and vignettes for the Seven Years War. One of the highlights of the convention for me is to see what surprises he is bringing to the show. As you can see from the pictures, Ed is a very talented modeler and I think that he deserves some publicity for his work.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

French Artillery in the SYW

Minden French Artillery Crew (MF-006) manning a 12-pounder (AE-10) from the Fife & Drum range of artillery equipment (click pix to enlarge).

This is one of my favorite pictures, depicting the Minden Miniatures set of French Artillery Crew (stock # MF-006) loading a Fife & Drum French 12-pounder (stock# AE-10). If  you click on the picture to see it at full size, please note the size of the cannon relative to the men. The French Valliere System 12-pounder was a rather large and impressive piece of equipment.

French Valliere System cannon (L-R): Swedish 4-pdr, long 4-pdr, 8-pdr and 12-pdr.

French crew, 12-pounder and heavy limber.

As much as I like the Prussians, I think that the French have one of the best looking artillery uniforms of the Seven Years War era: the long loose coat with red facings and the red waistcoat and breeches makes for a visually pleasing appearance. Whenever I look at this picture, I almost get the urge to start painting a French army so that I can use these figures on the table top. Maybe in the near-term I can simply paint a battery of two 12-pounders, a pair of limbers, and some ammo wagons; as well as a crew  of 4 men in coats and another 2 to 4 pioneer figures in waistcoats (no coats) to serve as the laborers who have to drag the gun back into position after each firing. Add in a couple of limbers (AE-25) and a pair of limber horse (AE-8) and you have everything that you need to equip and paint a splendid French heavy artillery battery.

In 2014, I hope to be able to add the Valliere 16-pounder and the 8-inch howitzer to the artillery range. Let the fun begin!

Monday, January 6, 2014

AWI Vignette

Minden workers and Spirit of 76 vignettes. Click to enlarge.

As the song says, "Baby It's Cold Outside"! This morning's temperature was -15F so I had Mrs Fritz drive me to the train station so that I wouldn't have to leave my car outside all day and find the battery frozen when I would return from the city this evening. Most schools in the area are closed today, which seems very sensible to me, but our office is open and....

At any rate, I spent a part of the evening watching Downton Abbey with the Mrs, in front of a crackling fire in the fireplace, afterwhich, I retreated to the Man Cave to work on an AWI commission for a friend. No pictures yet, unfortunately, so instead, I posted a picture of a couple of vignettes along with a battery of Continental artillery. The fellows hauling the boxes are from the Minden range and seem to fit right in with a section of artillery. The Spirit of 76 vignette is from the Fife & Drum range, of course. I expect to be working on a 4-pd artillery section of Continentals this evening. 

Update: I have reposted the picture so that you can click and enlarge it for enhanced viewing.

Keep warm everyone !

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Winter Arrives at Hesse Seewald

Winter has hit the Duchy  of Hesse Seewald with a vengeance, having dumped 18 inches of snow over the past several days, with 4-6 more inches supposed to hit us over night. This will be followed by an Arctic blast of cold air that will see subzero temperature arriving Sunday evening and staying with us for 48  -- that's two full days with high temperatures below zero. We will hit minus 18F on Monday morning and the high temperature for the day will be a balmy minus 10F.

I'm afraid that we are doomed.

So what is one to do to help make the Winter Blues go away? Why head to the basement and start painting Minden and Fife & Drum figures, of course. I find that the Winter months are some of my most productive ones when it comes to churning out the painted figures. At one time, I could knock out 120 28/30mm figures in a month, but now I have cut that figure in half to about 60 figures painted per month. That still represents two full 30-figure infantry or cavalry regiments in my Minden 1:20 ratio SYW armies.

Winter is a good time to plan out the projects and painting schedule for the coming year. The last two years were necessarily focused on painting American Revolution figures so that I could have two armies for my convention games. Nothing promotes a figure range more than seeing them painted and on the tabletop. Now that the Minden range is a part of Fife & Drum, I will want to beef up my Austrian and Prussian armies so that I can run convention games at the Seven Years War Association convention in March and at Historicon in July.

To that end, I need to add two more battalions of Austrian infantry and a dragoon regiment to complete my core Austrian army for the convention circuit. I would also like to add a hussar regiment to my Austrian forces.

My Prussian army is in fairly good shape with respect to the core force of 12 infantry battalions and 4 cavalry regiments. I would like to add a second cuirassier regiment as well as the Garde du Corps regiment. I have enough infantry, so perhaps a Garrison regiment or a Frei Battalion would be useful additions.

Once the first of the AWI dragoons go into production, I will probably switch over to painting a lot of these as several Kickstarter backers opted for the painted dragoons reward level. I am now waiting on our caster to make the production molds and spin the lead so that we have inventory to ship to our backers. Hopefully, we can start shipping by the end of this month or in early February . It all depends on the casters backlog of projects and my place in the queue.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Clean Up Nears Completion

The "after" view of the game room, post clean up.

I had a good head start last evening on the New Year's Great Clean Up Project and nearly finished it off today, after three hours of work. As you can see from the picture, there has been a great improvement in the overall appearance of the Man Cave de Guerre. The main accomplishment was moving all of the Minden inventory into the Closet O' Lead as well as moving my packing and shipping table and supplies into the COD.

The "Before" view of the game room. The table on the left was where I was packing all of my figure orders.

Now all of my Minden and Fife & Drum business is out of sight and the war game room can return to its intended purpose.  With the game table spruced up, it is easier for me to set up some spur of the moment games or set out the troops for the annual grand review on Frederick the Great's birthday on January 24th.

The Closet O' Lead now includes my shipping table and packing supplies. All of the Minden inventory is on the shelves on the left.
I think that it is important to start 2014 with a clean slate and a game room in tip top Bristol shape. I want to do more gaming and less painting in 2014. The painting that I do will be narrowly focused on the SYW and the AWI periods as I fill in some of the missing pieces to these armies and also build up the support team of wagons, pontoon trains and field bakeries, etc. 

Let us  think about all of the exciting new possibilities that the year holds:

AWI dragoons will hopefully start production this month or in early February . The second batch of 16 dragoons should be ready within a couple more months.

AWI Hessians will start knocking on my door by mid-year.

Some new additions will grace the Minden range.

I will continue adding to my Austrian and Prussian forces so that I can start my personal project of gaming all of Frederick's battles in both the WAS  and the SYW.

And much, much more.

Happy New Year everyone.