Sunday, July 20, 2014

More Fife & Drum Greens - Artillery Train

Civilian driver in hat and waistcoat (left), shown on a cavalry horse.

We have been busy at Fife & Drum, lately, getting our new civilian artillery limber drivers ready for production. The figures include one civilian driver in hat and waistcoat and another civilian driver wearing a tricorn and coat. While both are designed to use in the Fife & Drum AWI figure range, they would be equally at home in Europe, driving a supply wagon in service of any European army. These two figures replace the existing Fife & Drum civilian riders and horses, which are now out of production and will be retired. They old versions were sculpted by another sculptor and I wanted to replace them with Richard Ansell designed figures so that everything would match up and be consistent.

We have also added an Austrian and a Prussian limber horse driver to use for War of Austrian Succession or Seven Years War - both are wearing uniform coats and tricorn hats. I will post pictures of them in a couple of days as I wanted to focus on the civilians today. I am really excited to add the uniformed drivers to the Minden range - I have been using the RSM limber driver (looking over his shoulder) and I wanted more variety and options. Now we have both.

We have also added four new limber team horses to the range, pictured after the drivers in this blog posting.

Civilian driver in hat and waistcoat (right)

Civilian driver in tricorn and coat (left)

Civilian driver in tricorn and coat (right)

Limber Horse 1 - for rider

Limber Horse 2 - for rider

Limber Horse 3

Limber Horse 4

Eventually, we might add some standing limber horses to the range, but I like what we have now.

All of the above greens have been sent off to Griffin Moulds to have the production moulds made and the new figures cast. (actually, LH 3 and LH4 are already in production and available now; the other two horses are waiting for moulds).

Friday, July 11, 2014

Volontaires de Saxe - New Minden Figures

Maurice de Saxe at the Battle of Fontenoy, shown with his African bodyguards from his Volontaires de Saxe.

I have long been fascinated by the idea of someone creating a vignette of French Marshal Maurice de Saxe shown riding in a wicker wagon or chariot during the Battle of Fontenoy in 1745. Maurice was terribly ill prior to the start of the battle and he could not mount his horse, so someone found a small wagon that the marshal could use during the battle. Some say that Maurice was suffering from the effects of Dropsy, probably a result of his life of hard living and drinking. But I digress...

So several months ago, several of us on the "A Military Gentleman" Forum, were discussing the wagon that Maurice used during the battle. Niels indicated that he was interested in creating such a model in 1/56 scale (suitable for 28mm and 30mm figures). I chimed in that if he would make the wagon, I would commission Richard Ansell to sculpt a model of Maurice sitting in the wagon. So quicker than you could say, "Bob's your uncle", Niels set to work on the wagon and had the model completed in record time. Here is a picture of the finished model below:

Marshal de Saxe's wicker chariot used at Fontenoy. Model created by Niels R. at Westphalia Miniatures. Limber horses are from the Minden range.
Once Niels' wagon model was cast in metal, he sent a copy to Richard so that he could sculpt the figure of Maurice de Saxe that is shown below:

Marshal Maurice de Saxe at the Battle of Fontenoy in 1745

Now it occured to me that we would need a pair of horses to draw the wagon and a driver to ride on one of the harness horses. Looking at the picture at the top of this page, one can see that the driver had to be one of the Volontaires de Saxe. As a result, we had Richard create the following driver figure:

Marshal de Saxe's wagon driver
 The drawing also depicts one of Maurice's African uhlans that comprised his personal bodyguard, which were a part of the Voluntaires de Saxe. So we had Richard sculpt the bodyguard as well, as shown in the picture below:

African trooper - personal escort of Marshal de Saxe

By this time, I was thinking, "in for a penny, in for a pound" so as long as we were adding some of the uhlans to the Minden range, why not make the rest of the figures that one would need to create the whole regiment. Thus we had Richard work on adding another uhlan, an officer and a trumpeter, shown in the following pictures.

Uhlan trooper

Uhlan trooper



At the end of the day, this joint project between Westphalia Miniatures and Minden Miniatures came together quite nicely. I think that Niels' work on the chariot is outstanding (you ought to see what one of these vehicles looks like when painted - WOW!) and I think that I am running out of superlatives to use in describing Richard's sculpting work - that Maurice de Saxe personality figure is amazing, as are the rest of the Voluntaries de Saxe.

The greens will be sent to Griffin Moulds next week, along with the French Cuirassiers du Roi and some horse team riders (2 civilian figures, 1 Austrian and 1 Prussian rider, both in uniforms) and hopefully we can get these little master pieces into production very quickly.

The Maurice de Saxe vignette will be sold as a set to include the chariot/wagon, Maurice sitting in the wagon, two harness team horses, and one uhlan harness driver. The rest of the Volontaires de Saxe will be available as individual figures for purchase. Crann Tara Miniatures in the UK will handle all orders in the UK and Euroland while the USA and the rest of the world will be handled from the USA. I'm assuming that Westphalia Miniatures will also have the complete Maurice set added to their product line.

I am really really pleased with how well this project came together and the results are quite impressive. I look forward to collaberating with Westphalia Miniatures on some other projects in the future.

As always, click on the pictures to enlarge the view so that you can see all of the details.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

New Minden Greens: Cuirassiers du Roi

Here is a peek at the first batch of French cavalry greens that I received from Richard Ansell today, depicting the Cuirassiers du Roi regiment. The CdR have the distinction of wearing bearskin hats and also of being the only cavalry regiment to wear their cuirasses outside of their coat.

Please take a close look at each figure and let me know what you think. If there is anything that needs to be changed, now is the time to speak up. :)

Cuirassiers du Roi officer (click to enlarge view)

Cuirassiers du Roi officer

Cuirassiers du Roi Standard Bearer

Cuirassiers du Roi Standard Bearer

Cuirassiers du Roi Trooper

Cuirassiers du Roi Trooper

Cuirassiers du Roi Trumpeter

Cuirassiers du Roi Trumpeter

Here is a teaser photo of the figure that Richard sculpted representing the French marshal Maurice de Saxe as he might have appeared during the Battle of Fontenoy in 1745. He was riding around the field in a wicker carriage because he was ill. The carriage was created as a joint project with Westphalia Miniatures: Minden made the Maurice figure and Westphalia made the wicker carriage. We will also have the Volontaires de Saxe Uhlans to provide an escort for Maurice - pictures of these will be posted tomorrow.
Maurice de Saxe riding in his wicker carriage during the Battle of Fontenoy in 1745.
Wicker 4-wheel carriage created by Niels Rulkotter of Westphalia Miniatures as part of a joint project with Minden Miniatures.

Here is a print of Maurice de Saxe and his wicker carriage at Fontenoy. His  uhlan escort is also shown in the picture. Minden has also made the carriage driver monted on the horse and of course, the uhlans de Saxe.


Friday, July 4, 2014

3rd Continental Dragoons - New Fife & Drum Figures

3rd Continental Dragoons (L-R) Trooper, Officer, Std Bearer, and Trumpeter (click to enlarge)

Fife & Drum Miniatures recently added the 3rd Continental Dragoons to its range, along with the previously released 1st Continental Dragoon, the British Legion (Tarleton's) dragoons, and the British 16th and 17th Light Dragoons. 

The group of four figures are done in "charging" poses and are shown on some of the new horses that Richard Ansell made exclusively for our AWI range of figures. They can match up against our British Legion and British 17th Light Dragoons in either the Pennsylvania - New Jersey theatre of operations or with General Greene's command in the South.

Regimental History (paraphrased from Troiani)
The 3rd Continental Dragoons were raised on January 9, 1777 (so they will fit right in with the 1777 Philadelphia Campaign) by Colonel George Baylor. While recruits and horses were readily available in his native state of Virginia, the shortage of horse equipment and weapons limited his recruiting to only one troop. The troop was attached to General Washington's headquarters guard and became known as Washington's Bodyguard or Lady Washington's Horse. The troop served in this capacity until 1778.

The regiment was virtually wiped out when it was surprised in an attack on its billets in Tappan, New Jersey on September 19, 1778 by British light troops. Half of the 104 men on hand escaped and attempts to re-raise the regiment were unsuccessful as it never exceeded a squadron in strength after Tappan.

A squadron of the regiment served in the Southern Theatre of Operations, under the command of Lt. Colonel William Washington. They were amalgamated with elements of the 1st Continental Dragoons (also available from Fife & Drum Miniatures). The combined regiment fought at the battles of Cowpens, Guilford Courthouse and Eutaw Springs.

Officer (left) and trooper charging (right)

Standard bearer (left) and trumpeter (right)

The new product codes for the 3rd Continental Dragoons are as follows (sold as single figures including the horse):

AC-018    3rd Continental Dragoon Officer
AC-019    3rd Continental Dragoon Trumpeter
AC-020    3rd Continental Dragoon Standard Bearer
AC-021    3rd Continental Dragoon Trooper, Charging

Figures, including horse, are $6.00 

To order, just send me an e-mail at: 

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