Friday, March 17, 2017

Cowpens Update - lots of pictures!

Battle of Cowpens wargame table setup. (click all pix to enlarge)
 It has been nearly two weeks since my last report on my Cowpens project and I am very pleased with how the whole thing is coming along. Virtually all of the figures required for the game are completed, so I am working on a few vignettes, or "tut" as John Ray calls them. They are not part of the game, but they add some extra color and visual pleasure to the game.

The most important progress point is that I finally had time to clear off my game table of tons of Fife & Drum AWI and Minden SYW figures that arrived last week. Sorting and cataloging all of the new inventory takes up a lot of table space. Without the game table set up for the Cowpens scenario, it was kind of hard to visual things and determine important factors such as (1) can all of the required figures fit onto the table without clogging up the board, (2) does the initial British starting point allow them to travel far enough to get into the fight, relative to the movement distances allowed in the rules, and (3) are there any figures that need to be painted to finish off the forces.

South Carolina mounted militia - almost all of these figures are conversions from existing Fife & Drum figures.

I had to do a number of figure conversion to fill in some gaps in the Fife & Drum AWI range, so as to have some of the needed troops for the Cowpens game. Chief among these were the various South Carolina mounted militia units. I don't yet have mounted militia figures so I made my own from the civilian artillery train drivers as these were wearing brimmed hats. I also used the British 16th Light Dragoon figure wearing a hunting shirt as the basis for my militia wearing hunting shirts. This involved a simple head swap to give the hunting shirt figure a brimmed hat or a tricorn. I took a 1st Continental Dragoon firing pistol and lopped off his head, replacing it with a brimmed hat from the civilian train driver.

My favorite conversion is the fellow in the front row of the picture above who is firing a pistol. He wears a waistcoat and sports a tricorn hat. The hat was donated by the tricorn version of the civilian train driver ( see the fellow in green coat in the second row), the arm firing the pistol was nicked from the 17th Light Dragoon firing pistol - I had to saw off the arm of the civilian train drive, create a socket in the torso and then add the arm (with cuff and shoulder tab shaved off).

The Bad Guys: Tarleton's British Legion form the reserve of the British army.
Here is a close up view of some of the different poses in the F&D British Legion figures.  While only four poses are seen here, there are a total of 7 different poses available for the British Legion plus a Banastre Tarleton personality figure.

The next group of figure conversions involved creating British artillery crew wearing brimmed hats with the left side turned up, rather than the existing leather helmet. This reflects the likely uniform appearance of the British artillerymen in the Southern Theater of War. Below is a picture of the original figure standing next to the converted figure.

British artillery crewmen loading poses.

Two three pound galloper guns with the converted British artillerymen.

The finished product all painted up and terrained.

Galloper gun set shown on the left with the 3-pounder attached to the limber. Since the limber has no wheels on it - relying on the wheels of the cannon - I had to attach the limber section to the limber horse using two pieces of wire on each horse. The cannon is not glued to the base so that it can be attached to the limber.

Colonel Andrew Pickens (using the Francis Marion personally figure).

The 17th Light Dragoons from the front.

The 17th LD shown from the side.

Well, there you have it - you are now up to date on the behind the scenes preparation for the Cowpens game at this year's Seven Years War Association convention.

If you had been a member of the fifeanddrumminis forum you would have seen the pictures a lot sooner than when they were posted on this blog. The last time I looked, we had 153 member; 1,145 total posts; and 140 different threads on a wide variety of topics germane to the 18th Century. I invite you to click on the link below and become a forum member. There is a lot of action going on at the forum, so sign up today!

Fife & Drum Forum


  1. Beautiful units, love your South Carolina mounted militia...

  2. A lovely table, Jim! This does my heart good on this (too) early Saturday morning. Glad to see cavalry as part of this one too. The British Legion (boo, hiss) have always been one of my favorites.

    Best Regards,


  3. Nice units and table setup, like the artillery conversions

  4. Jim,
    The conversions look excellent and the table spot on - next up looking forward to the fight 😀

  5. Magnificent stuff - really evocative (even if I am on the side of the 'bad guys' !).

    Best wishes,


  6. Beautiful as always Jim. Great to see such a wonderful table with so many excellent figures.

  7. Superb set up, and it's really cool to see everyone around the table engaged. We don't have many games of this caliber on the West Coast; Kudos to you!