Thursday, February 20, 2020

New Mohawk Indian Figures From Fife & Drum Miniatures

Some of the new Fife and Drum Miniatures Mohawk Indians
Fife and Drum Miniatures is adding 14 new Mohawk Indian figures as part of its AWI Saratoga figure range. Coincidentally, Crann Tara Miniatures is adding FIW Hurons to its new French and Indian War figure range. Both sets of Indians can be used together because they are all sculpted by Richard Ansell in 1/56 scale (approximately 30mm high).

The new greens are currently at Griffin Moulds to have the production moulds made and inventory cast for the new figures. The Mohawks should be available for sale at this year's Seven Years War Association Convention in South Bend, Indiana (April 2nd, 3rd and 4th 2020).

The Mohawks were allied with the British and were attached to both Burgoyne's army and St. Leger's British armies. In the latter case, I am looking forward to recreating the Battle of Oriskany as soon as I have castings and the time to paint them.

The figures are made in two versions: wearing breech cloths and linen shirts; and wearing breech cloths but no shirt.

Character or Leader in mounted and dismounted versions.

Reverse view of the character/leader figures

Attacking with melee weapons. Figures bare-chested

Indians with muskets. Figures wearing linen shirts.

Reverse view of the previous picture above.

Indians with muskets - bare-chested

Note that because the Mohawks are part of the F&D AWI figure range, that they will be available for sale in both the USA and the UK.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Farewell Tiberius (2012 - 2020)

Tiberius' adoration for my wife Anne is self evident (bag of treats not withstanding)

Tomorrow eventually shows up today, and so it goes with our loveable Golden Retriever named Tiberius (or Ty for short). Ty passed away from complications of his cancer. We knew that he was dying, and we knew that soon we would have to put him down. We just didn't figure on it happening today.

Isn't that the way it usually goes?

We adopted or rescued Ty in January 2012, approximately one month after we said farewell to our dog Dave. We thought that we would wait a few months before looking for another pet dog, but my wife Anne, on a whim, called a local rescue agency that specializes in placing Golden Retrievers into new "forever homes".  We had acquired Dave from As Good As Gold ("AGAG") quite a number of years earlier, so on a whim, Anne called AGAG, explained our situation, and asked them if they had any dogs available for adoption. It just so happened that they did: a sweet 60 pound two year old male named Tyberius. And since we already a customer, they fast tracked the adoption process and before we knew it, Ty was the newest member of our family.

Ty was a little shy about stepping across the door threshold and into our house, but it didn't take too long or much coaxing before his tail was wagging at a rapid clip. While we will never forget our too previous Goldens, Katie and Dave, Ty soon warmed his way into our hearts and helped us get past the pain of losing Dave a month earlier.

Like all Retrievers, Ty liked to play fetch and chase down a thrown tennis ball. However, we had to play Fetch his way, not ours. You see, Ty would fetch the ball, but he wouldn't give it back to us because this led to a new game called "Keep Away." Ty would make us chase him around the yard in vain attempts to get that tennis ball away from him. Then eventually, he would slow down, let us catch up to him, and then pretend to let us take the ball out of his mouth, after a show of resistance. Then we would throw the tennis ball again and repeat the whole thing over and over again. I would say that Ty had us very well trained almost from Day One.

And also, like other Retrievers and probably most hounds of any breed, Ty liked to go on walks. It didn't matter where, just as long as it was a walk. He quickly learned that when one of us said "Walkies!" that it was time for some fun. Eventually the routine was that Ty would walk up to one of us, stare us down, and point his snout in the opposite direction. That was his way of letting us know that it was time to get off of that couch and take him for a walk. He had our good health in mind with all of this, you know.

Probably one of the reasons that I'm in fairly good physical shape is the fact that I walked Ty almost every day that he was with us. We must have walked hundreds of miles together over the past ten years. The average walk in the evening was one to two miles which was very beneficial to my health. Ty liked to think that the walks were for his benefit, but they were really for mine. Once he had "done his business" then I could usually consider turning back and walking home. Methinks that Ty figured all of this out because he would hold back on matters until he had his couple of miles done, then he would produce and know that we were headed home.

Ty also loved rain and mud. The more mud, the better. In the Springtime, our back yard gets fairly muddy and so we always kept a pile of old towels next to the back door so that they would be available to wipe the mud off of Ty's paws. If Ty had his druthers, he would bound in through the door and make a beeline for the nearest piece of available carpet. Why track mud on the hardwood floor when there is some nice soft carpet to set one's paws to?  Ty learned quickly though, when he bounded into the house I would head him off at the pass and stand in his way, blocking him from the carpeted family room. Then I would shout "Paws, paws, paws!" and get him to lay down so that I could clean the cakes of mud off of his paws. It didn't take very long for Ty to learn that Paws, Paws, Paws meant that it was time to lie down and roll over onto his back so that I could clean him up. Smart dog.

Tiberius though was really my wife Anne's dog. He adored her. Completely. Lelia and I would be sitting in the family room reading or watching television when suddenly Ty's ears would perk up and he would execute a fast trot to the door leading into our garage. There he would wait for Anne to pull her car into the garage and enter the house. Mind you, it sometimes took upwards of five minutes before Anne actually arrived home, but Ty had this uncanny ability to know when she was coming home. You could book it with absolute certainty - when Ty rushed to the garage door, we knew that Anne would soon be home.

Lelia and I were just a little bit jealous.

Ty would wine and wag his tail endlessly whenever Anne walked through the door. In contrast, when I arrived home, Ty would be sitting in the front hall and watch me walk through the door. Then he would disappear ("who is that? Oh, it's just Dad. Mom where are you?).

Perhaps the most amazing thing about Tiberius was how attuned he was to the feelings and emotions of everyone in the house. If you were feeling sad and blue, Ty would walk up to you and sit down next to you so that you could pet him. In my case, if I was screaming at the computer or printer because technology wasn't working the way that it's supposed to, he would patter his way up the stairs and into the office where I would be working. I could hear him walking up the stairs so I knew what was coming next. Ty would walk up to me and set his head in my lap - the perfect comfort dog! 

"Hey Jim, how can you be so upset with something as silly as a piece of equipment when you have ME to pet." Sometimes I would shoo him away because I still had a few choice words left for that dang Hewlet Packard wireless laser printer that was having difficulty connecting to the computer. Ty was determined and he would come back until I got the message that it was time to pet his head. This worked like a charm. How can you be upset when you have a perfectly good Golden Retriever to pet?

I recall an old coffee table picture book about Golden Retrievers and on one of the pages it said:

"Had a tough day? Lost your job? Is your wife or girlfriend mad at you? Don't worry, your Golden is here for you."


Back in November we found out that Ty had a form of blood cancer that is usually fatal. We had a tumor removed and a few weeks later the biopsy came back with the bad news. We were told that Chemo might give him six more months, but that the side effects of the chemo could be brutal. We didn't want to put Ty through that. So we elected to give him capsules of some kind of mushroom extract from China. The Vet told us that this could give him a few more months. 

It gave Ty about three more months with us and we soaked up all of the extra time with him that we could get. We took him on more walks through the woods, let him get off leash and run like a free soul through the trees. On walks, I would let him lead the way and I would let hime stop everywhere to get a sniff of this or that. In the past I would have given the leash a light yank to let him know that it was time to get on with our walk. Anne took him on frequent walks to the beach so that he could run up and down the bluffs or dip his paws into the water or play keep away with the waves.

We switched his diet from hard kibble to softer things like wet dog food and, wait for it, cooked chicken and steak! Ty probably wondered why we had been holding back on the good stuff all of these years.


Ty hadn't been eating much food for the past couple of days, so we knew that the end was near. He would eat some chicken meat ball treats if Anne hand fed them to him, but he no longer had any interest in steak. His stomach was filling up with blood from the cancer tumors so he had no appetite.

I took Ty on a walk yesterday afternoon. It was a mix of rain and snow so naturally Ty liked the weather conditions. I did a little bit of figure painting in the evening and Ty padded his way down into the basement and folded himself into nap position at my feet, just like he always would. He loved being with people and couldn't stand be alone in the house. Earlier in the day, Anne took Ty for another walk at the beach and he seemed to be his old self again.

This morning, I didn't notice anything unusual in Ty at first. I had a workout scheduled with my trainer and after changing into my workout clothes, I noticed that Ty was standing in front of the front door just sort of staring at nothing. I thought that maybe there was another dog walking outside or the UPS driver was getting ready to deliver a package or something like that. I didn't think much more about it when I bid Ty adieu and drove off to the workout. 

On the way home, Anne called me to tell me that it was TIME and that I needed to hurry home.  I was a block away anyway.  She had called the vet and the vet was already there, getting our of her car with her bag of accoutrements. I could see now that Ty looked a lot older than he had even the day before and that he was panting quite bit. Anne and I spent some good time with Ty, saying our farewells. It was as if Ty was trying to hang on long enough for us to say our goodbyes to him.

Then he walked over to the vet (didn't even bark or growl at her as he always did) and nuzzled her. It was as if he was telling the vet "it's time now". The vet explained the procedure and it all went very peaceful and quietly as we watched Ty's life ebb away - he crossed the Rainbow Bridge. His work with our family was done and he had done that work so well.


You never expect tomorrow to come today. But eventually it does.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Saratoga British Light Company Diorama

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All ten of the figures that are included in the Product Code BA-034
Saratoga British Flank Company Skirmishers.
There are three of each pose plus one Sergeant in each pack.

I finished painting samples of most of the new Fife and Drum Miniatures Saratoga British figures. I threw together a temporary diorama showing some of the light company skirmishers from pack number BA-034 Flank Company Skirmishers/Firing Line with ten figures per pack.

The diorama sits on a slab of wood that I purchased at Michael's Stores. I didn't want to glue the figures onto the base because I have another use in mind for these figures. Instead, I set up the figures in a skirmish line and then used some of the dried out lichen that was sitting on my game table. My lichen dries up during the Winter unless I store it in a sealed bag. The lichen is so dry that one can crush it into a powder of sorts and sprinkle it all over the base. I used a mix of the various lichen colors on hand and dressed up the base by adding a couple of stones for boulders and some small twigs for logs. After that, I sprinkled some Woodland Scenics green grass flock to fill in the parts of the base that we uncovered by the lichen.

A better view of the diorama from further away.

One of these pictures will be used to illustrate the contents of the pack BA-034 in the webstore and after that I will base each figure on its own 25mm round base - these will then become part of a 12-figure unit for skirmish level games.

Now I'm kind of wishing that I had glued the figures to the base and had made a permanent diorama to use as a display piece at conventions in my dealer booth.

Friday, February 7, 2020

A Request of My Fellow Bloggers

Can you please get rid of that awful Captcha verifying system in Blogger?

Captcha is that thing where you have to click on a number of images (traffic lights are the worst) before your comment can be published, done to screen out bots. Half the time I can't even see the images and after two or three attempts, I give up and fail to post my comment.

The "I Am Not A Robot" is much more user friendly. Can you please use that device instead? Or simply use your Authorization Before Publishing function in Blogger.

I implore all Bloggers to stop using Captcha so that an old codger like me can leave comments on your blog.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Saratoga British Now Available In the Fife and Drum webstore

I finished adding the new product codes for all of the new packs of Saratoga Campaign British infantry. The new codes are as follows:

BA-030 British Center Company Command (5 figures) -- $10.00
BA-031 British Center Company Soldiers Marching (9 figures: 3 each of 3 poses) -- $18.00

BA-032 British Flank Company Command (5 figures) -- $10.00
BA-033 British Flank Company, Marching - suitable for either grenadiers or light company (8 figures) -- $16.00
BA-034 British Flank Company Skirmishers or Firing Line (7 figures) -- $14.00
BA-035 British Flank Company Advancing at Porte Arms (8 figures) -- $16.00

​BC-008  Mounted Officer wearing round hat with left side turned up (horse and rider) -- $6.00

Click on this link to go directly to the web store to place your orders:

Note that we made some flank company figures in marching poses (BA-032 and BA-033) so that they can be used as both the converged light battalion and the converged grenadier battalion that fought at Saratoga under the command of Simon Frasier. The BA-033 pack of flank company soldiers advancing are also well suited for the converged battalions.

We also made a number of skirmishing flank company figures to use as, well, skirmishers in your war-games or as individual action figures in small skirmish level games.

I have just started to paint samples of all of the new pictures to post both here and in the web store. The webstore products have pictures of the unpainted castings, for now, soon to be replaced with pictures of the painted figures.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Saratoga British Castings Pictures

Flank Company Skirmishers or firing line

The new Saratoga Campaign British infantry have arrived and I will be sorting out the figures and creating new product SKUs  and numbers to the web store over the course of this week. I should have the new product codes ready by tomorrow so that you can start planning your orders for British Saratoga figures.

Please click on all pictures to enlarge the view.

Flank company NCO directing fire and kneeling firing poses.

Mounted Officer Wearing Round Hat

New British officer wearing round hat turned up on the left side.

Reverse view of the new mounted officer.
Center Company Figures

Center Company NCO (left) and three rank and file marching.

Reverse view of the center company figures.

Center Company Command (left to right): officer, drummer, standard bearer and NCO.

Flank Company Figures Marching

I had the flank company figures sculpted in marching poses with the idea of using them for the converged grenadier and light company battalions commanded by Simon Frasier during the battles of Freeman's Farm and Bemis Heights.

Flank company marching. These can be used for the converged grenadier battalion as well as the  converged light companies.

Reverse view of the flank company marching figures.

I will start painting some samples of each figure once I have the items set up in the web store.

It goes without saying that I really like these new castings and I am looking forward to building my British army for the Saratoga Campaign. As usual, Griffin Moulds produces castings that are sharp and clean of little burrs or flash on the figures. Also, the bayonets have been very strong in recent years and these are no exception. I dropped a few of them on the floor, bayonets down, to test their strength and they came through with flying colors.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Saratoga British Figures Arrive Today. Huzzah!

I am really excited to report that the Saratoga British castings will arrive from Giffin Moulds this afternoon. Delivery is promised between noon and 3PM, but it seems like the UPS deliveryman always has me last on his delivery. UPS has an app that allows one to follow the delivery truck en route to your house. It's funny, I watch a truck pass within a block of my hours as it goes to make a delivery several miles away. It does this multiple times for some reason. Very confusing.

Perhaps the packages are loaded into the truck by weight, with the heaviest items loaded onto the truck first, thus making them the last items to be delivered. I am assuming that UPS has some sort of linear programing model that selects the optimal order of delivery. With two 20kg boxes coming to my door...

I digress.

I will post some pictures of the castings later on this afternoon or evening, so make another visit to this blog later today. Then, I will quickly prime samples of each figure so that I can start painting the samples tomorrow. I will post pictures on this blog as fast as I can paint them.

The Mohawk Indians are at Griffin right now getting the production moulds made. I should have the castings available in time for this year's Seven Years War Association Convention in South Bend, Indiana, on April 2nd through 4th. I will be running three skirmish games using my new Kleine Krieg skirmish rules.