Friday, October 31, 2014

Minden Russian Artillery Masters

Russian 6-pounder

I received the pictures of the completed masters for the SYW Russian artillery 6-pdr, 12-pdr, Shuvalov Howitzer and 12-pd Unicorn.

So I would imagine that by the end of 2014, we should have the Austrian and Russian arrtillery (and possibly wagons too) in production. Also, we already have Austrian and Prussian artillery train drivers and all of the limber horses have been replaced with new once sculpted by Richard - the old models have been discontinued. There are also two new civilian drivers, one wearing a coat and tricorn and the other in waistcoat and brimmed, floppy hat. The civilian in tricorn could probably be used as a military driver in various armies, such as the Russian army.

Russian 12-pound Unicorn

Russian 12-pounder

Russian Shuvalov Howitzer

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Austrian Artillery Train from Minden

Austrian artillery train driver from Minden Miniatures. Ammo wagon is from Westphalia Miniatures, although Minden will soon be adding its own 2-wheel  and 4-wheel ammo wagons.

The above picture depicts the new Minden Austrian artillery train driver and the new limber horse designed to accomodate the driver/rider. We also have a similar Prussian driver and two new civilian drivers for the SYW or AWI (tricorn and jacket or brimmed hat and waistcoat).

Prussian train driver and all three of the new Minden limber horses and the ammo wagon, all from Minden Miniatures.

The 2-wheel Austrian ammo wagon is made by Westphalia Miniatures and the very talented Niels Reulkotter. Minden has its own ammo carts on the designer's bench at this very moment, but these Westphalia wagons are really special and you ought to check out their website.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Maurice de Saxe Coaches Have Arrived

I received the wicker coach models today so I can begin shipping pre-orders this week.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Artillery Campaign Is A Success!

The SYW artillery Kickstarter was a great success with the final pledge tally at $9,354. As a result, the following equipment and figures have been funded for sculpting and production:

Austrian Artillery & Equipment

3- pounder
7-pound howitzer 
"y-frame " limber
2-wheel munitions wagon 
4-wheel munitions wagon

Status: cannons and limber at the caster; and wagons are completed and will be sent to the caster this month.

Russian Artillery Equipment

12-pound Unicorn
12-pound Secret Howitzer

Russian artillery crew (4 loading and 4 firing poses)

Status: work has commenced on the cannon models

Prussian 12-pound Brummer
Status: not started yet.


General Fermor (Russia)
Marshal von Browne (Austria)
Prinz Moritz of Anhalt Dessau (Prussia)
One personality to be determined

Status: not started yet.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Final 24 Hours in Kickstarter Campaign

Current Pledge Level:    $8,953

Next Stretch Goal:        $10,000

Amount needed:           $1,047

With the final 24 hours left in the SYW Minden artillery Kickstarter , we have added one final stretch goal at the $10,000 level.

This will unlock Russian 2-wheel and 4-wheel munitions wagons to complete the Russian artillery train.

We have seven pledge levels at $100 or less. For more information or to make a pledge, please click on the link below:

Friday, October 10, 2014

Minden Cavalry Pix

Minden cavalry in the employ of the VFS surge forward to confront the forces of the Ducy of Lorraine, from the collection of Charles S. Grant (click to enlarge)
Mass cavalry melee from the collection of Charles S. Grant (click to enlarge)

I am rather quite taken with the above pictures that Charles Grant took of one of his battles. Not withstanding that most of them are Minden figures, the pictures really conveys what the SYW is all about: orderly ranks of soldiers, tricorn hats, colorful flags and uniforms and a few other intangible factors.

I have recently adapted the Grant idea of dividing my cavalry regiments into two or three smaller squadrons of figures, ranging in size from 8 horse to 12 horse. The effect is to create more cavalry units on the table that adds a more realistic ebb and flow to the cavalry melee as compared to operating the same number of figures as one larger regiment. This is not a new idea, by any means, as I've seen it work to good effect in Peter Gilder's In The Grand Manner rules for Napoleonic warfare. I'm not as familiar with The Wargame Rules by Grant Pere, but I imagine that cavalry were used in squadrons in this set of rules too.

We have also been using cavalry squadrons in our big battalion games using Bill Protz's Batailles dans l'Ancien Regime ( or BAR for short) going back to 2005 -- gosh it doesn't seem like it has been that long ago when Bill and I started adapting his Drums of War Along The Mohawk rules for the SYW. I can recall one game, Lobositz, that we hosted at the Little Wars convention in the Chicago area and it was probably the most fun that I have ever had at the war game table. 

Two lines of Austrian and Prussian squadrons would meet in the center of the field; some would win and pursue into the next line of infantry or cavalry; others would rout or retire back to their own lines. If you planned things correctly, then you had a reserve of squadrons waiting to stop the enemy break through, or exploit the success of your own cavalry. It was like the ocean surf ebbing out and back in. You never knew what was going to happen next.

At one point during the battle, Frederick, who was perched atop the Homolka Mound with his artillery, watched in horror as his own dragoons fled between the cannon, pursued by a pack of Austrian hussars. Fortunately, two squadrons of the Garde du Corps intervened and hurried the hussars back to their own lines.

That was some kind of day.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Keeping Hope Alive

My daughter Lelia gave this "sermon" at church about Hope. The congregation gave her a standing ovation at its conclusion and there were a few sniffles as people were very moved by what she had to say. I apologize for posting something personal on a Wargame blog, but I wanted to share it with everyone:

In my life the word "hope" has been a major feeling. Since I have CP (cerebral palsy) it is sometimes hard to keep hope alive. Why? It's hard to keep that four-letter word alive because of all that I have been through. I've been operated on, bullied, and have fallen down a great number of times.

My struggles began right from the moment I was born. When I was born, two months early, I was whisked away from my parents. This happened because, since I was born prematurely, I couldn't go home with my parents for a while.

I was diagnosed with CP at 18 months, and from then on, the "real" race for hope began.

I began life a little differently for a baby. I did not sit up when I was supposed to, or walk when I was supposed to. This made my parents very desperate, and probably they were thinking, "why us? why does God give us a beautiful child and then He makes her 'different' "?

But my parents did not have to be in this state for very long, because then the miracles started.

The first miracle was when I sat up and rolled over at eighteen months. The second miracle was when I began to talk at three years old. And the third miracle was when I walked at four years. Those huge miracles in my life gave my family hope, but there was still a long hard struggle ahead for my family and I.

As I got older, things took a turn for the worse. Where I used to go to school -- oh, don't get me started -- it was not pretty.

At my school, I was bullied for my disability. For example, there was this one boy who wouldn't stop bullying me. He pushed me into a chain link fence, yelled at me, and pushed me to the ground. It seemed like there was no Hope then.

Aside from being bullied, I had other struggles to deal with. Those struggles were my surgeries. My first surgery was on my left eye; my second surgery was to remove a cyst; my third surgery was to remove another cyst; my fourth surgery was for my back; and my fifth surgery was for my legs.

I felt very scared when I had to have my surgeries, and I also felt a little angry. Why did I have to have surgeries? Why couldn't God pick someone else instead of me? It didn't seem fair that I had to be so young and have so many surgeries. It was also unfair that, while everyone else was doing their own thing, I had to lie down on an operating table.

The fear pushed me into having a deeper relationship with God. My parents and friends could comfort me only so much, I had to reach out for something larger. This is where my real faith began, especially with the leg surgery. I had to find a faith that would work for me, and I did; I talked with God out loud, and I asked Him for His help, and I did get His help.

And God helped our family by sending His love, mercy, compassion, and presence to us. God showed us all those things by never leaving our family's side for one second. Also, the fact that God was "there" with my family helped us have hope.

In conclusion, since God was there to help my family keep hope alive, our family has grown stronger in our faith. Sometimes it is hard to trust God, but we know that God will follow through to,His promises for us; He will never let us down.

Also, not only did God help keep hope alive, He taught each member of my family something. For Mom, God taught her to hold things together, be patient, and when there is a problem, to let God take it and fix it. For Dad, God taught him the same things that He taught Mom. And for me, not only did God teach me what he taught my parents, but He also taught me to forgive everyone who bullied me.

So with all that my family and I have gone through, I can truly say that we now know how to keep hope alive. If it weren't for God and all that I have been through, my family and I would probably not know how to keep,hope alive.

Today my life is amazing. I'm a sophomore at a wonderful school where I'm in student council and in plays. I volunteer at a soup kitchen in Waukegan, and at PADS. I have tons of friends and excel at academics, except for math.

But most importantly, I am thankful to my Heavenly Father for all He has done for me.


Minden SYW Highlanders

Someone on TMP was asking about the Minden SYW Highlander range of figures and I realized that I had not posted these on the Minden Blog. So here they are. The Highlanders are also distributed in the UK and Europe by Crann Tara Miniatures, so if you live in Euro Land and want Highlanders, then order direct from Crann Tara and save yourself some time and import taxes.

Now that I am nearly done with all of my painting commissions (I'm retiring from painting for others ), I noticed that I have a battalion of Highlanders already primed and ready to be painted. They may well be my next Minden painting project.


Saturday, October 4, 2014

Russian Artillery Equipment Is Funded!

Conceptual view of what the Minden Russian artillery crew might look like (these are Prussian artillery crew and Pioneer figures painted in Russian red and black uniforms)
Kickstarter Update:

Total Pledges: $7,085
Total Backers: 42 people
Days left in the campaign: 8 days
Next Stretch Goal:  $8,500 (unlocks Russian artillery crew - 8 poses (4 loading & 4 firing)

Amount Required: $1,415

We did it! The funding for the Kickstarter campaign surged over the $7,000 threshold so this officially "unlocks" the Russian artillery equipment. This will include the 6 and 12 pounders, the 12 pound Unicorn and the Secret Howitzer designed by Pytr Shuvalov. We also plan on adding a 4-wheel and 2 wheel ammo wagon for the Russian artillery contingent.

I am very thankful for everyone's help and backing and you have made it possible to kickstart the SYW Russian army in the Minden range. So what is next?

I am going to revised the next stretch goal, currently at $11,000 covering the field artillery crew and the Observation Corps artillery crew, into two tranches. The first tranche will be set at $8,500 (down from $11,000) and will fund the Russian regular artillery crew in both firing and loading poses. The Fermor personality figure will be given as a freebie to all backers at the $100.00 pledge level or higher.

The Observation Corps artillery crew will be unlocked at the $11,000 stretch goal. There will be a set of loading and a set of firing poses.

I think that these changes will make the Russian artillery crew an attainable goal with just 8 days left in the campaign.

If you are interested in joining our Kickstarter Russian Campaign, then please click on the link above and make a pledge. There are seven pledge levels at $100 or less.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Russian Artillery KS Needs A Push To The Finish Line

Russian "Secret Howitzer" also known as the Shuvalov Howitzer, on display at the Artillery Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. Isn't it wonderful that some of these original pieces still exist?
Making the final push to our stretch goal:  SYW Russian artillery crew prolonging light 3-pounders by hand. The photo is  taken by  John Ray and shows  a small portion of his magnificent collection of SYW Russians. To see more, join the A Military Gentleman forum.

As of today, we are $375 short of hitting the $7,000 stretch goal that will unlock the Russian artillery equipment in our Kickstarter funding campaign. We have 39 backers who have pledged a total of $6,625 so far. If you can help us out, then please click on the link below to visit our Kickstarter page and become a backer of the project:

Minden Kickstarter for Artillery

There are several ways to reach our goal of the Russian artillery:

1) we have an Investment Angel who will pledge the entire $375 needed

2) current backers increase their pledge amounts, in aggregate, to $375

3) some potential backers are still sitting on the fence waiting to make their pledge

Let me address #2 - increasing your pledge amount. Remember, you may swap any portion of your pledge (on a dollar for dollar basis) for the same retail value of any Minden or Fife & Drum miniatures. And because the postage is already included in your original pledge, you can effective order figures that you were probably going to order anyway, at some future date, and get the built in discount of free shipping on your incremental pledge increase.

In the event that we do reach the $7,000 stretch goal, thereby unlocking the Russian artillery, all backers may substitute Russian cannon for the Austrian cannon listed in your pledge reward level.

There are just 9 more days to go in the campaign. I am confidant that we will reach our goal, but forgive me if I try to give some people a little nudge.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Let's Get Frederick the Great Really Ticked Off!

Prussian (Left) and Austrian (Right) artillery train drivers on the new LH-003 Limber Horse

Pledges are $6,214 USD as of today so that means that the Austrian artillery is funded as is the 12-pounder Prussian Brummer. (Fritz likes Brummers).

Fritz is also happy that the Russians, so far, are not going to fight their next battle with artillery because the KS campaign still needs $786 USD dollars within the next 11 days in order to hit the stretch goal of $7,000 USD, which will unlock all of the Russian artillery.

So if you like the Austrians and Russians and cannot stand the Brandenburg Usurper, then help make Fritz unhappy by clicking on the link below and making a pledge. Pledges start as low as $15 USD and there are seven pledge levels of $100 USD or less:

Also, our spies report that the Austrian artillery greens are already at Griffin Moulds getting outfitted for production moulds. So when this Kickstarter closes, the cannon will quickly be on their way to backers. We understand that Fritz is very upset over this rearmament of Marie Therese's army. He he he. 

Finally, here are some of the new Austrian and Prussian artillery train drivers and the new limber horses, which are now in stock in the US and through our UK distributor : Crann Tara Miniatures.

All of our previous civilian limber drivers and limber horses have been removed from stock (they were made by a different sculptor) and replaced with new limber horses and drivers sculpted by Richard Ansell. This provides a more uniform appearance to the range in that every man and beast in the range is now sculpted by Richard.

Tomorrow night I hope to have painted samples of the two new civilian limber drivers. One wears a brimmed hat and is wearing a sleeveless waistcoat. The other driver is wearing a tricorn hat and a full jacket.

The new LH-001 (left) and LH-002 limber horses are shown with the Prussian artillery train driver and  AE-019 munitions wagon.