Wednesday, July 31, 2019

The Royal Horse Guards (The Blues) at Minden

British Royal Horse Guards
Elite Miniatures
I have been on a painting frenzy the past couple of weeks for the Minden wargame on August 3, 2019. My British forces were woefully inadequate as it had been five plus year since I have added anything onto that particular B.A.R. rules army.

I first built up my contingent of British grenadiers so that I could have a passable "Maxwell's Grenadiers" battalion of infantry. So I added 12-figure companies of the following regiments' grenadier companies: The 8th (King's) Regiment, 51st (Brudenell's) Regiment, 12th (Napier's) Regiment. Adding these to my existing grenadier companies of the 11th (Sowle's) Regiment and the 3rd (Howard's) Regiment give me five stands of twelve figures for a total of 60 figures.

Next on the to do list was to paint two squadrons of the Royal Horse Guards, also known as The Blues because they were the only British cavalry regiment to wear blue coats, rather than the more common red coat. The two squadrons are shown in the picture at the top of the page. The figures are from Elite Miniatures, with Suren figures used for the standard bearers. The flags are from The Flag Dude (flags still need to have the poles trimmed down and then attached to the figures).

I have had both the figures and the flags sitting in a box for more years than I can remember. So this upcoming Minden game has spurred me on to finally paint the figures. The figures have pin swords soldered on and because all of the swords are pointing upwards, I would imagine that someone (s) going to get his fingers pierced and skewered a time or two.

I am currently working on a third squadron using Minden Miniatures. I have the Minden figures mounted on a wood base which elevates them to the same height as the larger Elite Miniatures.

Next on the list - adding two British artillery crews manning 12-pound cannon. I already have two 6-pound cannon and crew in my British army. The cannon models and most of the crew are from Elite Miniatures, but there are a few Front Rank figures in there as well.

British Royal Artillery section of two 12-pound cannon and crew.
Elite Miniatures and Front Rank figures.
Can you spot the number of Front Rank figures in the above picture? Please feel free to put your answer in the comments section of this blog post.

There is nothing like the prospect of a wargame in a fortnight to concentrate one's mind on painting figures for said gam.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

New Minden Miniatures Logo

Since this is Minden Week at Fife and Drum Miniatures headquarters, I thought that this would be an appropriate time to reveal the new logo for the Minden Miniatures brand of SYW figures, included under the general umbrella of Fife and Drum Miniatures.

The unique Minden Miniatures logo will be used on the header cards that are used on each retail pack of figures as well as on other promotional, marketing and advertising pieces.

The logo was developed by the very talented Henry Hyde, who is a professional graphic designer in his day job, when he isn't immersed in the wargaming hobby. I think that Henry really hit a home run with our new logo.

Monday, July 29, 2019

It Is Minden Week This Week

British infantry remind the vaunted French cavalry that it is not a good idea for cavalry
to charge into a steady line of infantry. (Battle of Minden - source: Wikipedia)

This year marks the 260th anniversary of the Battle of Minden which was fought on August 1, 1759 in western Germany. Our group decided that we should refight the battle, this coming Saturday, on August 3, 2019. We will have 9 or 10 players manuevering large 60-figure infantry battalions over three tables, each measuring 6 feet wide by 36 feet long. That my friends is a lot of table space!

A very nice map showing the deployment of all the battalions and squadrons that fought at Minden.

The German General Staff map of the battle of Minden

The tables are at the home (in the basement/cellar) of my friend Kieth L. and we are fortunate enough to be able to set up such a huge game several weeks ahead of the actual game day. There are several advantages to this: (1) we don't have to set up the table on game day; (2) we can begin play almost immediately once all of the players arrive; (3) we can get a sense of the table size, the amount of spacing between brigades and villages and make some necessary adjustments to the deployments; and (4) we can add or subtract units on both sides in order to make for a more playable game scenario.

An example of tweaking to make the game more playable: when we first set up the Allied left wing of von Wangenheim (between Kutenhausen and Todtenhausen) versus the French right wing of Broglie, it was apparent that von Wangenheim has too much table space to cover with not enough troops. A couple of the French players were salivating at the prospect of attacking von Wangenheim, because they had vastly more numbers when you add Broglie's force and Nicolai's brigade (deployed to the left of Broglie). "Oh boy, I want to command that French brigade" was heard to be said by the game master (me).

So I went back to my reference books and it was apparent that the two forces in this area were relatively equal in numbers, plus von Wangenheim had thrown up a line of earthworks across much of his front. So adding some earthworks and increasing the number of Allied troops in this sector put the table area into better balance and make for a better game. I don't want one side rolling over the other side within 30 minutes of the start of the game.

Here are a few pictures of the game set up for your viewing pleasure. Remember to click on all pictures to enlarge the view:

The French Army of Marshal Contades

The second/third line of the French cavalry includes the formidable Gendarmerie de France
Another view of the French reserve cavalry provides a sense
of the amount of space that is available for the game.
The first line of French cavalry commanded by le Duc de Fitzjames.

French Brigade Beaupreau occupies the town of Muhlberg.
Buildings by Ian Weekley

Nicolai's French Brigade occupies the ground to the right of Mulberg,
where Beaupreau's brigade is deployed.

The Allied Army of the Duke of Brunswick

The famous "Minden Regiments" of British advance toward Fitzjames' French cavalry.

Another view of the British brigade. In the far distance you
can see part of Lord Sackville's British cavalry brigade.

Von Wangeheim's defence of the Allied right wing at Kutenhausen.
Some Ian Weekley buildings on the left front and HG Walls buildings in the rear.

The 23rd Regiment of Royal Welsh Fusiliers.
I added 15 more figures to increase the size of this unit from 30 to 45 figures.

Some Final Thoughts
I will make another post tomorrow that goes into some detail about the number of wargame units that will be in our game. I will also post the individual Allied and French brigade commands with a list of the wargame units that they will command.

One nice thing about planning this game is that it compelled me to FINALLY work on my BAR British army after a painting hiatus of about five years, if I recall correctly. I increased my Maxwell's grenadier battalion from 12 figures to 60 figures, added three more squadrons of British cavalry, and painted two more British artillery pieces and crew.

I won't have time to paint all of the units that will eventually be in my British army, but inspired by this game, I will resume painting British figures after the game and add another regiment of British foot (Napier's 12th Regiment) and several squadrons of dragoon guards or dragoons.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

I Didn't Go To Historicon Sale!

"Rogues, would you want to go to Historicon every year?"

It's kind of a drag if you were unable to go to Historicon this year. Maybe you waited too long to book a room reservation, maybe the journey is too far away, maybe you don't have enough vacation days saved up. Whatever the reason, Fife and Drum Miniatures is offering a good deal to help you drive those Historicon blues away.

Starting Friday July 12, 2019 all orders of $30.00 or more will get a 12% discount on any Fife and Drum and Minden Miniatures item. The sale goes on for one week and ends July 19, 2019.

If you want to take advantage of this limited time offer, then go to the Fife and Drum Miniatures web store and when you check out your order then enter the coupon code DQ1000 to get your 12% discount. 

Friday, July 5, 2019

Skirmish Game Units: SYW Austrian Grenadiers

Two companies of Minden Austrian Grenadiers.

Austrian Grenadiers Firing
(these are actually the French Legion d'Hainault figures painted as Austrians)

Reverse view of the grenadiers.
I think that the miniatures used in a skirmish game should have action poses rather than formal marching poses. The Minden Croats suit my purpose perfectly, but I don't have any action poses for regular Austrian infantry. Then I took a closer look at the French light infantry figures for the Legion d'Hainault and noticed the resemblance between these figures and Austrian musketeers and grenadiers with nothing more than "conversion by paint". This means that no extra conversion of the figures is necessary other than paintingbthe figures like Austrians. You can see the results in the pictures in this thread..


Thursday, July 4, 2019

Happy Fourth of July

"Traffic Jam" at the Battle of Cheraw.
Fife and Drum Miniatures and photo  editing by Chris Gregg.

I want to wish all of my blog readers and customers a happy Fourth of July holiday. I hope that you have time to spend with your family and friends today and enjoy some fireworks tonight.

We are having 22 people coming to Schloss Seewald today for a party and yours truly is taking the role as head grill master. I hope that part works out well as I'm still a bit of a tenderfoot at the grill station.

Lelia and I usually start the day by going to the Lake Bluff July 4th Parade. Here are some pictures from previous years' parade to give you a general idea of how this all goes down:

Union Civil War colour guard always leads off the parade.

The world famous Lake Bluff Precision Lawnmower Team now in their 47th year.

Americans love Pipe and Drum bands

Nathaniel Greene sends his regards for a happy holiday.

The Father of Our Country, George Washington

Monday, July 1, 2019

Gendarmerie de France Cavalry - Greens

25th Foot stands fast against the French cavalrie at the Battle of Minden.
Richard has sent off the greens to Griffin Moulds for the French "Gendarmerie de France" cavalry. This elite regiment, consider half a step lower in the pecking order than the Maison du Roi cavalry, participated in the Battle of Minden on August 1, 1759. 

This year marks the 260th anniversary of the battle and so it seemed logical to add the Gendarmerie de France to the Minden Miniatures figure range. I don't believe that the new figures will be available prior to the anniversary this august, but they will certainly be in the inventory by late august or early september.

Please click on the Kronoskaf link, below, to read the history of this regiment. There were 10 companies of Gendarms and 6 companies of Cheveau-legers. From this lot, two companies were paired to form a squadron, so there were 8 squadrons at Minden.

On August 1, the regiment took part in the Battle of Minden where it was deployed in the third line of the cavalry centre under the command of the Marquis de Poyanne. Along with the Carabiniers, they attempted a third attack upon the 9 battalions (mostly British) who had already repulsed 2 cavalry charges. Their charge was more successful and they broke through the first line of Allied infantry. However, the second line received them with deadly fire and forced them to retire with heavy losses. On August 30, when the French main army took position between Bauerbach and Amöneburg, the Gendarmerie formed part of the Reserve. The Gendarmerie was so depleted that each squadron counted only some 120 men.

Officer and Trumpeter

Reverse view of the Officer and Trumpeter

Standard Bearer and cavalryman

Reverse picture of the previous picture.

The French kettle drummer in the Minden Miniatures figure range can also be used as part of your Gendarmerie de France regiment.