Saturday, November 30, 2019

Black Friday Week Sale - Three Days Left

Minden officer figures inspect the French field hospital at the Battle of Fontenoy in 1745.
Vignette by Danny Fogleman

This is just a quick reminder that the Fife and Drum Miniatures / Minden Miniatures Black Friday Week Sale runs through Monday December 2, 2019. So there is still time to take advantage of the 20% discount that we are offering during this sale. Enter coupon code LP1998 to get your discount when you check out from the web store.

Thank you to everyone for your support of Fife and Drum Miniatures / Minden Miniatures in 2019.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

SYW Camp Scenes Thanksgiving

King Louis XV of France and his retinue are enjoying an afternoon picnic.Thanksgiving perhaps?
Vignette created by Ed Phillips.

Thanksgiving Greetings
I would like to wish everyone in the United States a happy Thanksgiving. Here's to lots of good food, good conversation and hopefully your football team will win its game. We had our Thanksgiving gathering at the English Room at the Deerpath Inn in Hesse Seewald this afternoon - just the immediate family this year as everyone else is scattered hither and yon around the world. Nevertheless, we are grateful to have our family together and to have everyone in good health.

Here are some pictures of some of the Seven Years War combatants taking a day off in their Winter quarters and celebrating the holiday:

Prussian camp with King Frederick II issuing the daily orders to his senior officers.

Marshall Daun and his staff in the Austrian camp.

Maurice de Saxe and his retinue (Minden Miniatures) are journeying to their Thanksgiving dinner with King Louis XV. Vignette by Danny Fogleman.

Things are rather quiet in the Russian camp this afternoon.

Black Friday Sale Continues
I gave the shipping department the day off today since they will be working all out tomorrow and through the weekend as Fife and Drum Miniatures continues is Black Friday Week Sale. Get a 20% discount on all eligible products by entering the coupon code LP1998 when you check out at our web store:


Tuesday, November 26, 2019

AWI British Grenadiers Wearing Bearskin Hats

Fife and Drum Miniatures British Grenadiers

Rear view

Rear view of the British Grenadier Marching poses.

I have been working on some AWI British figures for a skirmish game at next year's SYWA Convention in South Bend, Indiana. I painted and based a 12-figure marching company and a 12-figure firing line company.

All of these figures are available for purchase from the Fife and Drum Miniatures web store

Fife and Drum Web Store

We are currently having a Black Friday Week Sale with a 20% discount on all eligible product codes (excluding the regimental packs which are already sold at a 12% to 17% discount).

At checkout, enter the coupon code LP1998 in the box provided to get your 20% discount.

The British Grenadiers in Bearskin Hats Product Codes Are:

BA-013  British Grenadier Command (2 x NCOs and 2 drummers)

BA-014  British Grenadiers Standing Firing (8 figures)

BA-015  British Grenadiers Advancing/At the Ready  (8 figures)

BA-016  British Grenadiers Marching, Light Kit (8 figures)

BA-017  British Grenadiers Marching, w/ Tumplines (8 figures)

British Grenadier Firing Line

British Grenadiers in the Advancing or At the Ready pose.
British Grenadier Firing Line


The skirmish units have 12 figures to a company and each player will probably command two companies of figures, or 24 figures in total

The figures are mounted on 25mm diameter round bases from Litko and placed in the movement tray, also from Litko. Actually, when you purchase the movement tray the round bases are included.

I have currently 2 stands of British Light Infantry, 1 stand of Hessian Jagers, 1 stand of Highlander flank company figures, and 2 stands of British Grenadiers.


Minden Austrian Personalities Painted Figures

Minden Austrian Personality Figures
Von Browne (upper left corner), Charles of Lorrain (middle, on horse, looking at foot officers) and von Loudon (right)

Minden Miniatures Black Friday Sale has started and will run through Monday December 2nd. Get a 20% discount on all eligible products by entering the coupon code LP1998 when you check out with your purchases.

Minden Black Friday Week Sale

Take advantage of this sale to fill out the senior officer corps of the Austrian army and every other product category.

Minden Miniatures as a broad lineup of SYW Personality figures and the Austrian army is well represented with the following generals:

PER-005  General Nadasdy (hussar general)

PER-006  Prince Charles of Lorraine

PER-007  General von Loudon

PER-008  Dismounted Austrian General Staff

PER-013  Marshal von Browne

PER-018  Senior Croat Officer

Nadasdy (left) and Loudan (right)

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Black Friday Sale Week Starts Today!

The Prussian general staff are all perusing their Fife & Drum / Minden Miniatures
catalogs as they anticipate placing new figure orders during the Black Friday Sale.

Fife and Drum Miniatures, including Minden Miniatures, announces its first ever Black Friday sale. All items are discounted at 20% off of the regular retail price. This does not apply to regimental packs which are already sold at a 17% discount.

Psst, spread the word, Fife and Drum Miniatures is having a Black Friday Sale.

The Black Friday Sale begins on Monday November 25, 2019 and concludes on Monday December 2, 2019. 

Click on the link below to the Fife and Drum webstore:

After you have selected your purchases, then proceed to Checkout and enter the coupon code LP1998 to get your discount.

I know that Black Friday isn't actually occuring for a few more days, but why wait? Place your orders today. And in response to one of our customer's questions, no we are not giving away free puppies with every order.

The Minden Hounds want to be the first to offer you Holiday Season Greetings.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Sudan Campaign - The Battle of Kharti

An overview of the deployment of the Mahdist army.

Last evening I traveled north to Chez Protz to stage a Sudan battle using 54mm toy soldiers from my collection as well as from Bill's collection. We used a mix of William Britains' hollowcast figures, Alymer figures from Spain, Armies in Plastic, Trophy Miniatures, John Jenkins Designs, and the new Britains "War Along the Nile" figures.

It is fun to get all of the toy soldiers out of storage and onto the tabletop every once in awhile because they are fun to play with and they are simply so darn good looking. With 54mm and 60mm toy soldiers it is easy to take good looking game pictures because the large figures show off so nicely.

The scenario was a mash up of two different Sudan battles, the first one being the Battle of Toski in 1889 and the second one inspired by the Battle of Ferkit in 1896. Both battles featured the newly reorganized and retrained Egyptian army that was officered by British soldiers. Other than that, all of the troops were Egyptian and Sudanese regiments in the Egyptian army - thus there were no British forces present at the battles.

I thought that it would be a nice change of pace to have the Egyptian army fighting the Mahdist forces rather than another native bashing doled out by the British army in the Sudan.

Mafrica-Sudan Campaign Background

Our toy soldier campaign is being fought in a series of three battles, leading up to a grand battle at Omdurman. The Imperial army landed in Mafrica, at the mouth of the Begara River. The first battle saw the landing of British troops and their advance inland where they defeated, just barely, an army of Mahdists. Click on the link below to read Major General Pettygree's account of the first battle of the campaign.

Following the Imperial victory at the Begara River landing,  Lt. Colonel Herbert Kitchener was ordered to take his Flying Column up the Begara River to Kharti and engage any hostiles that he might find.

We staged our game on a 6ft wide by 24ft long table, playing on the narrower verticle axis. One of the parallel side tables featured the blue waters of the Begara River. The Dervish occupied the town of Kharti, located along side the Begara River. This provided me with the opportunity to use one of my Trophy Miniatures river gunboats in the game, a first in our series of toy soldier Sudan games.

Nile River gunboat from Trophy Miniatures

Egyptian Army Deployment

Lt. Colonel Herbert Kitchener commanded a force that included three Egyptian and two Sudanese infantry regiments, a battery of Krupp guns, and three squadrons of Egyptian lancers. An Egyptian navy gunboat patroled the Begara River and secured the right flank of Kitchener's army.

Two regiments of Egyptian infantry in white coats formed the Imperial left wing.

A two-gun battery of Krupp cannon, manned by Egyptian artillerists, were deployed in the center.

The Sudanese X and XI Regiments held down the right flank of the Imperial Army, the Begara River on their right flank
these figures are Trophy Miniatures and the skirmishing figures are from Little Legion.

Three squadrons (12 figures per squadron) of Egyptian lancers formed a reserve behind the Egyptian infantry.
These are old Britains hollowcast figures that I repainted in acrylics. Others, purchased on eBay, were painted in gloss enamels. I then attached a wood base to all of the figures so that they would stand up on the tabletop.

The Mahdist Army Deployment at Ferkit

The Mahdist army was commanded by Emir Osman Azrak and seconded by Emir Hammuda. They occupied the town of Kharti on the Begara. They were taken by surprise by the Egyptian army and so in the early hours of the morning, the Mahdists streamed out of the town to attack the Egyptians.

Emir Osman Azrak (wearing a red kaftan and holding a leather shield) observes the approaching infidels from his vantage point atop a mosque. His war drums beat out the signal to assemble the army and attack.

There was a large horde of Beja and Haddendowa warriors assembling on the Dervish right flank, while the cavalry and camelry of Emir Hammuda trotted forward, on the left flank, adjacent to the Begara River.

Emir Hammuda (mounted figure in the upper left corner) assembled his mounted horsemen
and camelry  outside of the town.

The advance guard of Beja warriors begin to move forward on the right wing of the army.

A tide of Haddendowa warriors emerge from the village, behind the advance guard.

The Mahdist army is on the move!

The Egyptians shake their regiments out into a battle line and halt to receive the  Dervish advance.

British Major Simon B. Buckner gets his Egyptian regiments into line.
Lancers form a reserve.

The Beja are the first to emerge from the pond reeds and charge.
They must be very brave to rush into a steady line of Egyptians.
Here is the view from the Egyptian ranks.

The Hadendowa quickly close up with the Beja to form a large mass of charging natives.

Lt. Colonel Kitchener's presence steadies the troops as they prepare for the attack.
Egyptian artillery crew prolong their Krupp guns forward to get around a tangle of rocks that were blocking their line of sight.
The Egyptian Lancers dress their lines and wait in reserve.

Dale Pasha (left), the Egyptian commander, and Osman Wil-Yum, the Dervish commander, prepare for the epic clash of the battle.

The Beja and Haddendowa combine into one mass and strike the center of the Egyptian battle line.
The Egyptian soldiers prove to be a bit jittery (wouldn't you?) and so their opening volley was not very effective.

Close up view of hand to hand combat. The Dervish figures are Armies In Plastic figures, nicely painted I might add.
The Egyptians are Trophy Miniatures.

Dale Pasha watches his Egyptians get pushed back as the lose the melee, but fortunately they do not run away. He now sees the wisdom of having the cavalry on hand to ride to his rescue. Osman Wil-Yum adjusts his spectacles so that he can read the battle charts.
Kitchener orders the artillery to prolong to their left so that they can fire into the flank of the Dervish attack.

Meanwhile, on the Begara River, the gunboat has just turned around after making a pass at the Dervish troops along the river. The boat will now make the slower push upstream against the current and take more pot shots at the Dervish ashore. The boat is armed with a 7-pound screw gun (aft) and a Maxim machine gun (fore).

Major Charles Dundee's Sudanese brigade clears the broken ground in the center. The Beja riflemen were using this ground to  snipe at the artillery. They are soon rooted out of the ground.

It is 9:30 PM and so Emir Hammuda decides to turn around and ride back to Kharti.

Emire Osman Azrak decides that the Imperials have too much firepower to be stopped. So he recalls his infantry back to the town. Actually, it is 9:30PM on a week night, so we traditionally call an end to the battle at that time. The battle is over.

Here is a view of a section of the Mafrica Campaign Map, indicating the point of the Imperial army landing and the subsequent trek of the Flying Column downriver to Kharti.

Whilst the Dervish pushed back a portion of the Egyptian army from a melee, they did not have enough warriors on hand to exploit their local success. With the Sudanese Brigade largely unengaged and three squadrons of lancers waiting in the wings, Emir Wil-Yum decided that the Mahdists would have eventually fallen back into the town. (It was 9:30PM and we always call an end to our week night games at this time so that everyone can go home at a decent hour).

Lt. Colonel Kitchener, following the advice of the late Peter Young to honor your victories with monuments and medals, will be awarding plenty of medals to his troops after the battle of Kharti.

Medals will be handed out to the victorious Egyptian army.

The Third and Final Campaign Battle

Sometime in early 2020 we will convene at the same location to stage the final battle of the campaign. The Imperial Army has won two battles so now the road to Omdurman is wide open. The Khalifa will gather in all of his troops from various outposts to confront the Imperialists' threat to his capital. This will be a grand battle featuring hundreds of 54mm toy soldiers on the tables.

Bill and I discussed the outcome of this evening's battle and agreed that there were not enough Dervish on hand to give them an opportunity to win the battle. They had nearly a 2:1 advantage in numbers, but we decided that a 3:1 advantage is really what the native forces need to make a battle of it with the Imperials. So for Omdurman, we will see how many Mahdist troops we have and then divide that number by three to calculate the total number of Imperial troops to use in the game. Plus a couple of river gunboats, of course.

If you enjoyed this report then please feel free to leave any comments at the bottom of the page. We would like to hear what you think.


Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Fitzjames Horse

Fitzjames Horse in French service. Minden Miniatures figures.

I had this beautiful regiment of Minden French cavalry in bearskin hats commissioned to use as a display piece for my vendor booth at wargame conventions. The figures were painted by Michael Siwek and I think that he really did a fabulous job of painting.

They are the Fitzjames horse. The "foreign" cavalry regiments in the French army of the SYW tended to wear bearskin hats rather than tricorn hats.

Click on All Figures to Enlarge the View

The regiment of 12 figures consists of the following Minden French figure packs:

One pack of MFC-012  French Cavalry in Bearskins Command figures (3 per pack)

Three packs of MFC-013 French Cavalry in Bearskins Troopers (3 per pack)

The cavalry packs contain three figures including horses at a price of $18.00 per pack. You can order these and other Minden French army figures by clicking on the link, below, to the Fife and Drum Miniatures web store:

I use a 1:20 figure to men ratio so a 12-figure regiment equates to approximately 240 horsemen.