Tuesday, October 29, 2019

New Ferdinand of Brunswick & Croat Mounted Officer Pictures

Croat Officer (left) and Ferdinand of Brunswick (right)


The latest batch of new Minden Miniatures SYW figures includes two personality figures: Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick (commander of the Allied army fighting the French in western Germany) and a dashing looking Croat officer. The new product codes for each figure are PER-017 for Ferdinand and PER-018 for Mr. Croat. The links to the figures in the Fife and Drum Miniatures web store are given below:

The inspiration for the mounted Croat officer came from a picture in one of the Osprey books that had an image of the Croat wearing his fancy, fur-lined cape. I knew that I really wanted to add this figure to the Minden range. I also felt that I needed a figure to command my Austrian light infantry forces. I could have painted him in the regimental uniform of one of the Croat regiments (red coat, blue coat, brown coat or white coat), but I felt that his station as a brigadier in my army merited the coat of a general Austrian officer.

Rear view showing the Croat's cape.
Ferdinand of Brunswick was already available as a dismounted figure in the Minden figure range (PER-001 Prussian Staff Officers). However, as the commander of the Allied army of Hanoverian, Hessian, British and Brunswick troops, I felt that Ferdinand should be available as a mounted figure too. I painted Ferdinand in his regimental uniform of the IR5 Prussian regiment.

Next Up: Russian Horse Grenadiers. I will post painted samples of the Russian Horse Grenadiers within the next couple of days. Here is a taster:

Left to Right: trooper in Summer waistcoat, trooper in regular coat, musician, officer, and  standard bearer.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Painted Samples of the Newest Minden Figures

For the past several days I have been burning out my paint brushes trying to paint samples of all of the new Minden SYW figures that I received from Griffin Moulds last week.

So far, I have finished three of the new Prussian hussars: the officer and trooper wearing busbies and the trumpeter wearing a mirliton hat. Note that all hussar trumpeters wore the mirliton even if they were in a regiment that wore busbies.

The figures, below, in busbies are painted as the HR1 Szeckly Hussar regiment in Prussian service. I have always wanted to have this regiment in my SYW Prussian army, but had never gotten around to painting it.

However, the new Minden hussars in the "shouldered sword" pose are the right ticket and so I chose to paint them as the Green Hussars.

(Left to Right) Officer, trumpeter, hussar trooper.

Reverse view of the first picture.

If you are a member of the Fife and Drum Miniatures forum then you will have already seen these painted samples.

The new hussar figures come with busby fur hats or the tall felt mirliton hat. The product codes in the web store are as follows:

MPC-012 Hussar Command, Busbies  $12.00

MPC-013 Hussars in Busbies  $12.00

MPC-014 Hussar Command, Mirlitons  $12.00

MPC-015 Hussar in Mirlitons  $12.00

Click on the link to the Fife and Drum Miniatures web store to order these or any other figures:

All Hussar packs have two figures plus horses. I had Richard Ansell sculpt a new Hussar horse, complete with all Hussar bling, in a walking pose that looks very nice with the Hussars.

One of the forum members was complimentary of the brush work that I did on the hussar sabertaches, thinking that they were done free hand. Actually, Richard sculpted all of the detail on the sabertache, making it very easy to paint the Prussian royal cypher "FR". Likewise, the van dyking work on the shabraque has raised detail making it easy to paint the "teeth" pattern on the edge of the sabertache.

These new castings, along with the other new figures (Russian Horse Grenadiers and Ferdinand of Brunswick and Mounted Croat Officer) are now available for purchase in the Fife and Drum Miniatures web store. Click on the link provided in this post to go to the web store.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

New SYW Figures Are Now Available at the Web Store

I have created new product codes for the new Minden Russian Horse Grenadiers, Prussian Hussars at rest, dismounted Prussian Hussars firing carbine, the Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick personality figure and the Mounted Croat officer.

I am working on painting samples of each figure so that you can see how they appear when painted. This will take me a few more days to complete. Meanwhile, the figure packs can now be ordered from the Fife and Drum Miniatures web store.

Fife and Drum Web Store

Here are the new product codes:

MRC-006 Russian Horse Grenadier Command (officer, std bearer, trumpeter)
MRC-007 Russian Horse Grenadiers in regular coats (3 figures)
MRC-008 Russian Horse Grenadiers in Waistcoats (3 figures)

PER-017 Ferdinand of Brunswick (includes horse)
PER-018 Senior Croat Officer, mounted (includes horse)

MP-018b Dismounted Hussars in Busbies, firing carbines (pack of 4 figures)
MP-019b Dismounted Hussars in Mirlitons, firing carbines (pack of 4 figures)

MPC-012 Prussian Hussars at rest - command, busbies (officer and trumpeter)
MPC-013 Prussian Hussars at rest, busbies (2 figures)

MPC-014 Prussian Hussars at rest - command, mirlitons (officer and trumpeter)
MPC-015 Prussian Hussars at rest, mirlitons (2 figures)

The "at rest" pose is the shouldered sword pose that we use for cuirassiers and dragoons in other armies. The figures can be mounted on trotting horses or used as a reserve with standing horses.


Tuesday, October 22, 2019

NEW Saratoga British Range will be added to Fife and Drum Miniatures

British infantry in action at the Battle of Freeman's Farm
Osprey Saratoga Campaign book.


I am very pleased to announce that a new AWI figure range is being added to the Fife and Drum Miniatures collection. The Saratoga Campaign of 1777 is the new figure range and Richard Ansell has already sculpted the first of the figure range: British infantry wearing the Saratoga Campaign uniform.

As you can see in the pictures below, Richard has completed the greens for the British infantry, and they are ready to go to Griffin Moulds where the master and production moulds will be made. Once the moulds are made then we can start spinning out castings, probably by January 2020, but hopefully a little sooner so that they can go into your Christmas stockings.

British Flank Company Figures
The new range will include flank company figures in both marching and action poses, the latter perfect for use as skirmishers. The British converged all of the light companies into one Light Battalion and the same was done with all of the Grenadier companies.

British Flank Company skirmishers, sculpted by Richard Ansell

British Flank Company soldiers marching. These figures can be used for with the Light companies or the Grenadier companies.
Flank company soldier advancing (left) and NCO (right) pointing,
probably directing his skirmishers to fire at a rebel target.

British Flank Company soldier wearing the Saratoga Campaign uniform.
Don Troiani artwork.

British Center Company Soldiers

British Center Company soldiers marching.

British Center Company Command.

Center Company soldier wearing the Saratoga Campaign uniform.
Don Troiani artwork.

Mounted British Officer in Campaign Uniform

British officer on campaign wearing a round hat turned up on the left side.
This figure can be used in all theaters of war: Philadelphia Campaign, Southern Campaigns and the Saratoga Campaign.

Fife and Drum Miniatures will also be adding the Brunswick troops and some other bits and bobs in the near future, making this a complete range.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

French Cavalry in Bearskin Hats Pictures

Royal Allemand (left) and Fitzjames Horse (right)

The other day I received pictures of painted samples of the Royal Allemand and Fitzjames Horse from one of my commission painters. The castings were added to the Minden Miniatures range earlier this year:

Royal Allemand officer and trumpeter (left) and Fitzjames Horse trumpeter and officer (right).

The pictures shown above are the MFC-012 French Cavalrie in Bearskins, Command pack.

The troopers' product code is MFC-013

These painted samples are truly stunning and they really bring out the best qualities of the Minden Miniatures figure range. Eventually both regiments will have ten troopers giving me two 12-figure squadrons.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

New Minden Miniatures Logo & Packaging Are Coming

New color coded header cards with the new Minden logo.

I recently received the artwork for the new Minden Miniatures logo, created by Henry Hyde, and got all of the header cards printed for each product code pack.

Click the pictures to enlarge.

The new Minden header cards are color coded for each country:
Top row (L to R): France, Austria and Russia.
Bottom Row: (L to R): Prussia, Britain-Hanover, and Civilians

Henry did a great job of creating the new Minden Miniatures logo, which features the Minden Rose. I fold the cards in half and staple them with the bag of figures sandwiched between the two halves of the card. A printed identification lable is placed over the white rectangle that you see on the cards.

The cards are color coded to the country represented by the following:

Prussia - Blue
Britain & Hanover - Red
France - Grey
Austria - yellow
Russia - Green
Civilians - White

I also have artillery cards in solid black, but I presently used Fife & Drum green colored cards for all of the artillery, so I will continue to use the F&D cards for artillery.

The Fife and Drum Miniatures range already has its own color coded header cards: 

Continentals - Blue
British - Red
Hessians - Yellow

The cards are geared towards retail display at conventions and show and the color coding will make it easy for customers to focus their attention on their particular interests in armies.

I will be gradually getting the new cards into the distribution pipeline as I use up the old white cards that I slide into the pack. I will be adding the new packaging into the system starting now and so some of them should start to show up in your orders. So keep your eye on the packaging.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

New AWI Regimental Discount Packs

Fife and Drum Miniatures AWI Highlanders

Fife and Drum Miniatures is pleased to announce the addition of seven new AWI discount regimental packs to the webstore. The regimental packs cover the British infantry as well as a 2-gun artillery battery pack of figures. The regimental packs provide great value, especially if one is building an AWI British army.

SYW French Artillery Battery. This picture just serves as a proxy for the British Artillery Battery packs.

The regimental packs are discounted approximately 12% off of the regular retail price of the figures that are sold in smaller packs of 4 to 10 figures.

Click on the link to the web store, below, and then click on the American Revolution pull down menu. Then you will click on British Infantry and then scroll down to the bottom of the page where you will find the discount regimental packs.

Fife & Drum Miniatures Webstore


Here is a list of the new regimental packs that are now available:


BR-001     Light Battalion Skirmishing    (24 figures)   -   $42.00
BR-002     Light Battalion Advancing      (24 figures)   -   $42.00
BR-003     Guards Battalion Marching     (30 figures)   -   $52.00
BR-004     British Center Co. Regiment   (30 figures)   -   $52.00
BR-005     British Grenadiers in Bearskins Btn.  (20)    -   $35.00
BR-006     British Artillery Battery, Firing    (2 guns)   -    $46.00
BR-007     British Artillery Battery, Loading (2 guns)   -   $46.00

BR-008     Highlander Regiment Marching (30 figs.)    -   $52.00
BR-009     Highland Grenadier/Light Btn Marching(30) - $52.00

In addition to the AWI British packs, Fife and Drum Miniatures already offers discounted regiment packs for the Hessian army figures in the range.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Using Horse Holders in Your War Games

Minden Prussian dismounted hussar, with horse holders, get into a fire fight with some Minden Austrian Croats.


As the owner of a historical miniatures figure company, I am often asked if I could add dismounted cavalry, largely dragoons and hussars, to the Minden and Fife and Drum ranges. The Minden range has dismounted Prussian hussars, both in mirliton and busby headgear, and that is it. I have included some photos that I took yesterday to demonstrate how dismounted cavalry could be used.

Some of the figures are generic-looking enough that they can represent the troops of other nations. For example, the hussars wearing busbies can be used as Austrian hussar with just a minor amount of conversion work on the sabretache. The mirliton wearing hussars can be used for some of the Russian or French hussar regiments, using the "conversion by paint" method.

Dismounted HR2 Zieten Hussar protect the flank of the wagon convoy. Some Prussian freikorps soldiers are in th vanguard, in front of the column.

I just paint over the Prussian royal cypher on the sabretache. Other than that, a hussar is a hussar is a hussar for pretty much every country in the mid-18thThe Prussian jagers could also be used as dismounted dragoons for many nations. The only minor conversion item is the removal of the belly cartridge box on the jager. The jagers wear cavalry boots and have aigulettes on the right shoulder. I simply overlook the existence of the cartridge box and paint it black. Believe me, nobody is going to notice.

Now the convoy is in for it as Croats emerge from the woods to the front and flank
while Austrian  grenadiers attack from the rear of the convoy.

I think that the best application of dismounted cavalry is to use them in skirmish games, as shown in the pictures that accompany this article. I glue my skirmish figures to 25mm round bases that I purchase from Litko bases. When you buy the movement tray for 12 figures the bases are included with the tray.

I can imagine a scenario that is based on General Buford's stand on McPherson's Ridge during the opening stages of the battle of Gettysburg, in the ACW. The hussars ride up to a ridge and see that a brigade of Austrian infantry is approaching. The Prussian hussars dismount, their horse holders going to the rear of the makeshift hussar skirmish line. The Prussians must hold the ridge until their regular formed infantry can arrive and take over.

However, I have rarely seen dismounted anything used in war games, which leads me to believe that the occaisional request for dismounted cavalry doesn't jive with the actual demand. I am happy to be proven otherwise, so if you use dismounted cavalry, then leave a comment on this blog thread and give me some examples of how and when you used them.

Here are the product codes of the Prussian hussars and jagers that can be used for dismounted cavalry in your wargames

MP-015 Prussian Jager Command
MP-016 Prussian Jagers skirmishing

MP-018 Dismounted Prussian Hussars wearing busby
MP-019 Dismounted Prussian Hussars wearing busby

Minden is adding a dismounted hussar standing firing a carbine, both headgear styles, available end of October/early November this year. The figures are currently at the caster getting the moulds made and the figures cast.

Feel free to leave comments, below, or send me pictures of your dismounted hussars in action, via email at altefritz1740@yahoo.com

I'm interested in seeing what kind of response that I get.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Happy 21st Birthday Lelia!

Lelia and Tiberius

Twenty-one years ago today, at 7:30AM in the morning, Lelia Jane Purky was born. Everyone tells you that becoming a parent really changes your life. You think to yourself, "yes, I can handle this" and then the reality hits you like a two by four to the head.

Lelia started life having colic and had her nights and days backward, so we were up all night and she would sleep all day. Then at three months, a miracle happened: she stopped crying all night. Sleep is a wonderful thing.

Lelia at 3 months old with Der Jung Fritz
Over the years, Lelia has taken an interest in her Dad's war gaming hobby. She likes to give him strategy tips and roll his game dice for him in key situations. And then there are the famous Teddy Bear war games. The all time running score is Lelia - 5 and Dad - Nil.

Lelia often helps Dad win war games by rolling dice for his morale checks.

She started war gaming early in life, defeating Dad every time in our famous Teddy Bear Wars game.
Another victory in the Teddy Bear Wars.
Lelia has developed a great interest in history. I wonder where she got that from? She wants to visit all of the American Civil War battlefields with me. Just Dad and Daughter. We have been to Fort Donelson and Franklin, both in Tennessee, so far. Gettysburg and Antietem are on the horizon.

Our trip to Fort Donelson in 2018. We like to visit ACW battlefields together (her idea, not mine).

Though born with Cerebral Palsy, Lelia likes to participate in adaptive sports, especially in swimming. She's a better swimmer than her Dad, truth be told. When we were in Hawaii last year, we were hiking on a trail that took a sudden downward descent into a canyon. I thought that it would be a good idea to turn around, as the descent looked physically challenging. Lelia insisted that we climb down into the canyon, telling me "I'm not going to let Cerebral Palsy get in the way of my hiking!"

Lelia's hike in Maui, December 2018.

Competing in the regional Special Olympics track meet.
Lelia and friends at the Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Assoc. swim meet.

 Lelia does a lot of volunteer work: PADS homeless shelter, Feed My Starving Children, fund raising for the special needs community. She wants to work with children with special needs when she grows up and has her own job. She has a true gift in working with the kids, having lots of empathy and patience.

Fashion show to raise funds for children with disabilities.

Volunteering at Feed My Starving Children (with Mom)

We have to show a cake on her birthday.

Lelia, cousin Jessica and Mom

Our family - I think that Lelia was about 5 years old in this picture.

Somewhere in Florida during the "born again phase" of life.

 Lelia like to sing and act, participating in school musicals every year from grade school through high school.

Getting ready for her song recital

She had the lead role as Princess Aurora in the "Sleeping Beauty" play at school.

She played the role of The Cupboard in Beauty and the Beast.

Lelia enjoys traveling (who doesn't) and she has been to such diverse locales as Turks and Caicos, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Canada, and Great Britain. She will be visiting Japan with your school group in March 2020.

Lelia in Maui - December 2018.

Lelia at the Tower of London in 2016.

Stratford on Avon in 2016
William Shakephere's House

London - Buckingham Palace

At Buckingham Palace to watch the changing of the Guard

Waiting for a phone call in Oxford.

At St. Paul's - it's been a long day of walking and we're a bit tired.

Teenagers gotta be teenagers!
Thanks a lot Dad. Now put that camera away.

My little girl is all grown up now - Happy Birthday.

Happy birthday Lelia. I am so proud of all the things that you have accomplished, of all the obstacles that you have overcome in life and of how poised and kind you are. We have many more adventures ahead of us, especially as we do more and more world travel.