Thursday, January 31, 2019

AWI Highlander Greens Have Arrived!

Highlanders skirmishing


The other day Richard Ansell sent me pictures of the next batch of 16 AWI figures for the Fife & Drum Miniatures figure range.  I have to say, "sweet baby onions, these are nice!" 

So we will soon be adding 11 Highlanders on foot and 1 mounted officer to the British team in the Fife & Drum AWI figure range. The greens will be sent off to Griffin Moulds next week so that the master and production moulds can be made. After that, the casting of the figures can begin.

We plan to add more flank company and grenadier figures plus a piper to the Highlander segment of our AWI range.

Highlander Figures

Center company Highlanders.

Reverse side of the Center Company Highlanders

Command Figures (L to R): NCO, Standard Bearer, Drummer and Officer.

Reverse view of the Command Figures.

Mounted Highland Regiment Officer.

Reverse side of the Highland Mounted Officer.

But wait, there's more!!!!!!!

We are adding four personality figures to the AWI range: George Washington and Nathaniel Greene on the American Team and Lord William Howe and Lord Cornwallis to the King's Side.

A reminder, Fife & Drum already has personality figures for Francis Marion (the Swamp Fox), Banastre Tarleton (Boo, Hiss!) and Lt. General von Knyphausen.

Personality Figures

Lord William Howe
Lord Cornwallis

Reverse side Lord Cornwallis

George Washington

Reverse side George Washington

Nathaniel Greene

Reverse side of Nathaniel Greene


Hell Is Indeed Freezing Over

The view from my front door, looking down the street.

The midwestern United States is currently gripped in the icy hands of something called The Polar Vortex. I'm not going to try and explain what that is, but the bottom line is that we are likely to set a record in Chicago for the coldest day in our weather history at somewhere near -27 Fahrenheit.

To give you some idea of how unpleasant things are, the HIGH temperature on Wednesday January 30, 2019 was -15 Fahrenheit. Schools were closed all across the metropolitan area today and will continue to stay closed on Thursday and possibly on into friday. The US Postal Service has suspended mail delivery for two days due to the bitter cold - good idea because working outside all day is brutal.

That does mean that I won't be able to mail any of my Fife & Drum Miniatures orders for several days

Back to the frigid cold story; downtown Chicago looked like a ghost town as there were very few vehicles on the streets and even fewer pedestrians. I did not venture out of my burrow at all today, choosing to remain in the lower Man Cave where things were toasty warm. That gave me a good excuse to pick up some paint brushes and work on painting more samples of the new Minden SYW figures. I will post pictures of my progress tomorrow (thursday, as of this writing), but 12 of the 16 new figures have been painted. 

Tomorrow looks to be more of the same, with the forecast low of -24 Fahrenheit at 7 A.M and then gradually rising throughout the day to a balmy +2 Fahrenheit by the afternoon. Friday will see the highs back into the 20s and we will see a couple inches of snow, but at this point in the Winter, who cares about 4 more inches of snow? Then things really get crazy over the weekend as the forecast calls for temperatures in the mid to upper 40s on Sunday.

We will endure though. Embrace the Winter!

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

New Minden Figures - Painted Samples Pix

Austrian Horse Grenadiers and a Prussian mounted Jager courrier.


I have been working my through the painting of samples for each of the 16 new figures that have recently been added to the Minden Miniatures range, which include:

Austrian Horse Grenadiers (4 poses)
French heavy Cavalrie wearing bearskin hats
French foot grenadiers wearing bearskin hats

NB. no Bears were harmed in the sculpting of the above new figures.

So far I have painted two of the Austrian Horse Grenadier figures and an amazing rendition of a Prussian Jager zu Pferde courier deliverying an important message. This latter figure was a special commission piece by one of our Minden Miniatures customers.

(L-R) Austrian Horse Grenadier Trooper, Austrian Horse Grenadier Officer, and Prussian mounted  Jager courrier.

Side view of the Austrian Horse Grenadiers and Prussian Jager

I have also completed the painting of the four new French foot grenadiers wearing bearskin hats. Originally, only the foreign regiments of Swiss and German troops equipped their grenadiers in bearskins, but within a couple of years of the start of the SYW (1758-59) the bearskin hat began to appear on grenadiers in the ranks of the Metropolitan French line regiments as well. They are so stylish, can you blame them?

Thus, if you are painting German or Swiss troops then you will definitely need some of these new figures in your painted regiments. You can also add them to your regular ("Metropolitan") French regiments and know that this could be correct by the midpoint of the war.

French Grenadiers wearing bearskin hats.

(L-R) Officer - Picardie Regt., Drummer in Royal Livery, Swiss NCO, and Fusilier - Piemont.

Rear view of the same French Grenadier figures.

Other new additions to the Minden range include:

French Kettle Drummer
Prussian mounted Jager postman
French Marshal de Broglie
French Lt. General Chevert

I have nearly completed the French Kettle Drummer figure, but I don't want to post a picture until I have finished painting its horse.

Next on the painting list: the Austrian Horse Grenadier drummer and standard bearer, Marshal de Broglie and Chevert, and then finally the four French Cavalrie in bearskins figures.

Watch this blog for updates and new pictures as I complete the painting of each new figure.

By the way, all of these figures are now available for sale on the Fife and Drum Miniatures web store.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Happy Birthday Der Alte Fritz!

Frederick the Great, King of Prussia

Today marks the birthday of Frederick the Great, who was born on January 24, 1712 in Potsdam, Brandenburg. He died on August 17, 1786 and was the longest reigning Hohenzollern monarch in Prussian/German Empire history.

Frederick was well educated, having written a number of books including Ante Machiavel, which was a refutation of Niccolo Machiavelli's book The Prince.

Frederick was much the quipster, being highly quotable:

* The more I see of men, the better I like my dog.
* A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in.
* He who defends everything defends nothing.
* People say what they like and then I do what I like.
* God is always with the strongest battalions. 
* Rogues, would you live forever?
* Great things are only achieved when we take great risks.
* All religions must be tolerated...for...every man must get to heaven his own way.
* Do not forget your great guns, which are the most respectable arguements of the rights of kings.

Frederick's staff sign the birthday card that they plan to give him today.

The pictures shown in today's blog are all Minden Miniatures from the Personality Figures range. The fellow in the background, on horse with orange sash, is Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Dessau. The group of officers on foot pouring over a map are from the Ferdinand of Brunswick set of figures. The stand with the artillery regimental flag are the Prussian colonel mounted on an RSM standing horse, while the officer with spontoon is holding the standard instead.

Happy Birthday Fritz, you old dog.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Pictures From the Past - 2008

Von Kleist jagers - Wargames Foundry figures that I painted in 2008.

I was leafing through my iPad photos this evening and found this picture of some Foundry von Kleist Frei Korps figures that I painted back in 2008. These are the jagers from that particular unit. I had painted nearly the entire freikorps inclluding the horse grenadiers, artillery, jagers and Kroaten infantry. The collection moved on to another inhaber probably back in 2010 or 2011.

I thought that it was a pretty good looking picture so why not post it on my blog? Going forward, I think that I will do some regular posting of the best of the figures from the past. What do you think?

Friday, January 18, 2019

New Minden Figures Are Now Available

French Infantry Grenadiers

French Personality Figures

Griffin Moulds has shipped my casting order for all of the new products that went into production and the shipment is expected to arrive early next week (the week starting Monday January 21, 2019).

The new products include French Cavalrie in Bearskins, Austrian Horse Grenadiers, French infantry grenadiers in bearskins, a French kettle drummer, a Prussian mounted postman, and two personality figures (French generals Broglie and Chevert).

Austrian Horse Grenadier Command

French Cavalrie in Bearskin Hats

I have already added the new products to the web store as of today so that you can start ordering the new figures now with the expectation that they will probably get shipped by the end of next week.

Fife & Drum/Minden Web Store

The new product codes are as follows:

French Army

MF-017  French Grenadiers in Bearskins (3 figures)
MF-018  French Grenadiers  (8 figures)

MFC-012  French Cavalrie in Bearskins, Command (3)
MFC-013  French Cavalrie, Bearskins, Troopers (3)
MFC-014  French Kettle Drummer (1)

PER-015  French Marshal de Broglie
PER-016  French Lt. General Chevert

Austrian Army

MAC-007  Austrian Horse Grenadier Command (3)
MAC-008  Austrian Horse Grenadier Reiters (3)

Prussian Army

MPC-010  Mounted Jager Messenger with horse (1)

Note that all cavalry and mounted officers include the horse

Visit the Fife and Drum Miniatures Forum
I would encourage everyone to visit and join the Fife and Drum Miniatures forum where you get all of the news ahead of everyone else. We also have extensive conversations about all things germane to the study of 18th Century military history. So if you have historical questions, then our forum is the place to go.

We also post lots and lots of pictures of painted Minden SYW, Fife & Drum AWI and Crann Tara WAS miniatures.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Prussian Horse Artillery

Here is a nice picture of some Prussian Horse Artillery that I found on Pinterest. I have no idea how the Prussians employed horse artillery during the Seven Years War, but evidently they were not very successful because the first battery was captured at Kunersdorf and the second at Maxen, both occurring in 1759.

The uniform in the picture appears to be post SYW due to the hat plumes, which were only added after the war.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Operations Back to Normal

I mailed all of the domestic orders today (Friday) and will post the international orders tomorrow as I get all caught up from the holiday break and the inventory counting.

One good aspect of the annual inventory exercise is that it compels me to start bagging all of the loose figures into their proper retail packaging. So,for example, a loose bag of 300 Austrian Musketeers ends up being 37 packs of 8 figures. The same is true of the various cavalry types in the range, although this eats into my stock of horses rather quickly. This prompted a rather large order with Griffin Moulds for a grand herd of horses.

The Minden figure range is largely counted now so the AWI Fife & Drum figures will get counted over the next several days. 

I'm looking forward to finishing this chore ( and you thought that being in the glamorous historical miniatures business was fun and exciting all of the time, right?) and getting back to hobby related activities such as painting and working on a couple of terrain projects. What makes up for the work part is the relationships that they I've established with customers in every part of the world.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Inventory (stock) Taking Time

The Fife & Drum "staff" has returned from its holiday break, but before operations get back to "normal", we have to put a hold on everything in order to take our annual inventory of the stock for the taxman. This means that there will be a delay in shipping orders until the inventory count is substantially completed.

I expect to resume shipping orders by the end of this week and I apologize to those who have placed orders and are awaiting their figures.

I am substantially through the counting of most of the Minden figures (and I'm wondering why did I order so many Prussian and Austrian Dragoons? - I might have to have a stock reduction sale on a few items) and I can start shipments of Minden orders this coming Saturday January 12, 2019.

None of the Fife & Drum AWI stock has been counted as of today, so these orders probably won't be shipped until next week.

New Products Going Into Production
Griffin Moulds has completed the master and production moulds for the new:

Austrian Horse Grenadiers (4)
French heavy Cavalrie in Bearskins (4)
French foot Grenadiers in Bearskins (4)
French Kettle Drummer (1)
Marshal de Broglie (1)
Lt. General Chevert (1)
Prussian mounted jager/courier (1)

The production castings are being made now so presumably the castings will be shipped and arriving sometime next week. I will add the new product code numbers to the webstore over the weekend so that you can start buying the new figures at your convenience.

New Products in the Pipeline
Richard is working on some AWI Highlanders in overalls in his next batch of figures and I'm looking forward to seeing the greens within a couple of months. He is also working on personality figures: Washington, Greene, Howe and Cornwallis. I'm estimating that these might be available in June/July of this year.

After that, we go back to making more SYW figures including French Gendarmerie de France cavalry, Austrian Carabiniers and Prussian Bosniaken lancers. I would estimate a September-October time table for these new figures.

Battle of Kunersdorf - Game in Progress
Over the Christmas holiday I set up the game table for the Battle of Kunersdorf and started playing it as a solo game. I had gotten as far as the Prussian attack of the Muhlberg before putting the game on hold and turning my attention to my escape to Maui over the holiday break. After the inventory is done I will get back to the game and then bore you all to death with an excrutiatingly long after action report - sorry about that, but I like to write about games and scenarios. LOL!

Closing Remarks

Well, it's back to the tedious and mind numbing job of inventory counting. I want to get this finished so that I can get back to shipping orders, blogging and playing in a few wargames.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Party Like It's 1756

This evening the local power company bestowed a power outage on Hesse Seewald.  So we made the best of it by lighting a fire in the fireplace for both warmth and light in the room. We also collected all of the candles and candle sticks in the house and lit them in parts of the house. The warm glow of candlelight ( supplied by about 20 candles) produced a low, but peaceful light and made me think about life in the 18th Century when all homes needed fireplaces and candlelight at night.

There is one downside to this scenario: Our thermostats are electric powered so when the power goes out, so does the thermostat and thus the furnace shuts down. The solution is to huddle in the family room where the fireplace is, closing all of the doors into the room, and let the fireplace keep all the heat in the room.