Friday, March 27, 2020

Fife & Drum Minden Sale - 15% Discount!

Fife and Drum Miniatures is announcing the start of its Seven Years War Association Convention That Didn't Happen Sale, effective today - Friday March 27, 2020. 

The sale will run through Friday April 10, 2020. We stocked up on a lot of inventory in anticipation of dealer sales at this year's SYW Association Convention and the Little Wars Convention. With the former convention postponed and the latter convention cancelled, we have too much inventory on hand and would like sell some of it off by offering our customers an attractive discount on their purchases. 

We are offering a 15% discount on all AWI, SYW and Equipment range figures (except for regimental packs which are already sold at a discount).

Go to the Fife and Drum Miniatures web store to place your orders and enter the discount coupon code:


when you are ready to check out your shopping cart. Here is a link to our web store.

We are open business as usual throughout the course of the COVID 19 pandemic. The US Postal Service will remain open so it is easy for us to pack and ship all orders in a timely manner.

So take advantage of our sale to build out your existing armies or maybe start new armies or new historical periods. Within the first three months of 2020 we have started our Saratoga Campaign figure range. The British infantry in their cut down uniforms and Mohawk Indian allies are now available in the web store.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

The Dervish Are Finished

One 54-figure band of Dervish warriors all ready to go.
Armies In Plastic Dervish figures.


The Dervish are finished!  That's probably what Lord Kitchener said too in 1898.

Today I finished the last six Armies in Plastic 54mm Dervish (ansar) figures that I have been working on lately as part of my 54mm Toy Soldier Sudan Project. It's not an official project unless the letter "P" is capitalized.

The final six figures are finished.
I tried a new color scheme for some of the Dervish, using a khaki or cream triad of colors using P3 brand paints.

The painting recipe for the "White" color scheme is:

IWM  Grey                 77-707   - base color
P3      Morrow White  93073    - highlight color

The painting recipe for the "Cream" color scheme is:

P3     Jack Bone                           93064   - shade color
P3     Menoth White Base            93065   - base color
P3     Menoth White Highlight    93066   - highlight color

The finished figures were given a gloss coat to provide protection from wear and tear.

In the first pair of figures, the fellow on the left illustrates the White scheme, although I altered it a bit by using the creamy Menoth White Highlight as the shade and Morrow White as the highlight color in a two tone recipe.

The second figure, on the right, uses the Cream triad of colors. I kind of like the way that this figure turned out because it gives the jibeh a sort of dirty and worn look that seems more natural than the stark white colors.

Two different color schemes: white (left) and cream (right)

Rear view of the Dervish shown in the previous picture.

All of these figures had their plastic swords clipped off and replaced with a piece of metal wire. I was surprised by how easy it is to drill through the plastic. I cut the sword off at the hilt, leaving the cross piece on the figure, then I drilled through the cross piece and out the back of the fist. This gives the appearance of a sword with a hilt, otherwise, cutting off the cross piece would make the wire look like a spear instead of a sword.

Here is an example of the same figure pose painted in the two different color schemes:

Another example of the white versus cream color scheme

Here are two Dervish painted entirely in the Cream color scheme.

Two figures using the cream color scheme.

Finally, here are the last six figures that I painted, bringing the Dervish warband up to 54 figures.

The final six figures, in situ

I thoroughly enjoyed painting the AIP 54mm Dervish figures and recommend them if you are interested in a similar project. The price is terrific: 20 figures per box for about $9.00 per box. The figures are sturdy and should hold up well to the wear and tear of wargaming. Finally, the proportions and animation of the figures are the goods, as far as I am concerned. I highly recommend these figures.

Let me know which of the two color recipes that you prefer: White or Cream. Leave a comment or opinion in the Comments box at the bottom of this post. I would really appreciate your input on this as it will help me decide on future Dervish units that I might paint.

So please, please, please and pretty please leave a comment. Let's see if we can break the 20-comment barrier. Go at it lads!

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Armies In Plastic 54mm Dervish

AIP Dervish

Hello everyone. I'm taking advantage of the social distancing these next few weeks to get in some serious painting time. So yesterday, I knocked out 7 Dervish figures that I bought from Armies In Plastic. These are compatible with 54mm toy soldiers and I bought three boxes (20 figures per box) to add to my Dervish forces on the cheap. There are two each of ten different poses in the box, although one of the poses is of a Dervish laying on the ground with his rifle - this is a completely uselss pose for war games so I won't paint that pose. Elimanating the crawling guys then, three boxes yields a unit of 54 figures.

Closeup view of the Dervish

Rear View of a different lot of painted Dervish

I finished all seven figures in one day. They have a minimal amount of equipment so the painting goes very fast and smoothly. I gave them a gloss coat to finish them off. I don't know why, but it seems as if the gloss spray-on finish is harder than the Dull Coat. The other 20 Dervish previously painted were finished with Dull Coat. However, I may give all of the figures a gloss finish to give them a toy soldier look.

So the first 27 figures of the hoard are finished. I didn't make any conversions to them other than putting a wire spear into the hands of one warrior. I cut off the plastic spear with my Exacto knife and then drilled a hole through the plastic hand. This was a bit of a revelation as drilling through soft plastic is so easy to do compare to drilling through metal figures. So going forward I will replace all of the swords and spears with metal pieces so that they survive rough handling during a war game.

I plan on buying another three boxes of the Dervish so that I can build the hoard up to around 100 figures. The other figures in my 54mm Sudan collection are largely Beja/Hadendowa warriors so I wanted to add more Dervish wearing the jibba shirt.

Once the first group of AIP Dervish are finished, I will have a total force of 306 foot, 52 horsemen and 12 mounted camel warriors. I want to have a 3:1 ratio of Ansar to British/Egyptian troops.

What do you think, should I paint more Dervish? Your thoughts and comments would be appreciated .

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

F&D and Perry Mohawks Painted Figures Pix

All of the new Fife and Drum Miniatures Mohawk Indians are shown in this picture.

I have been painting hoards of the new Fife and Drum Miniatures Mohawk Indians of late, with the idea of getting them ready for a game at this year's SYW Assn. Convention in April. Alas, the convention has been postponed to July 30, 2020, but the silver lining is that I got a lot of the new Indians painted. The new Mohawk Indian figures are part of the new Saratoga range of figures.

Various Indians firing muskets - they are sure to be deadly shooters

Various Indians Charging or in Melee - a rather fierce looking war band.

War Chief Character Set - Mounted and Dismounted version.

A mix of the firing figures.

A mix of the Melee figures.

You will note that I have based all of my Indians on 25mm round bases and Litko movement trays so that they can be used in skirmish games. I think that the FIW and AWI Frontier wars are very suitable for small skirmish games. The Mohawks served as allies of General Burgoyne's British army during the Saratoga Campaign.

Here is a link to the Fife and Drum Miniatures web store. The Mohawk Indians are listed under the American Revolution tab/British Infantry sub tab in the pull down menu:

F&D and Perry Miniatures Comparison

I also have 20 of the Perry Mohawk Indians that were painted on commission for me. I had this batch started back in January at a time when I was uncertain about the timing of getting the F&D figures into production. So I thought that you would enjoy seeing how the two figure ranges compare. See pictures below:

Left to Right: Perry, F&D, F&D, and Perry.

Left to Right: Perry, F&D, Perry, and F&D

The Perry figures appear to be a bit more robust, being a little taller and muscular than the comparable Fife and Drum figures. It looks like the firing musket figures are close in height, but the running Perry figures look to be significantly larger. This is just a limited sample of comparisons, but I think that it gives you a sense of how the two figure ranges match up, size wise. That said, I think that both ranges will look good on the same table top, although I would not mix the two ranges into the same group of figures. I don't have any RSM Indians, but my intuition is that they would be a perfect match for the F&D range. Old Glory makes a good looking, and vast, range of Indians and I suspect that they would be closer in size to the Perry figures.

Perry firing figures

Perry charging and skirmishing figures

You really can't go wrong with any of them.

Crann Tara's New Huron Indians
Crann Tara Miniatures has released its range of Huron Indians at the same time as the F&D Mohawk release. If you live in the UK or Euroland, you can purchase the F&D Mohawks directly from Crann Tara and save some money on duty and post office fees. The Hurons and Mohawks are compatible because both are sculpted by Richard Ansell in 1/56 scale. There a sure a lot Indians running around through the forests, thanks to the sculpts that Richard is turning out in record numbers!

Click on the link below to visit the Crann Tara web store site:

Crann Tara is in the process of adding an extensive range of French and Indian War figures that should be an exciting addition to the FIW genre of wargame figures. Various French Compaigne Franche de Marine figures are already in stock at Crann Tara.

Covid-19 Impact on Wargaming
Fife and Drum Minatures and Minden Miniatures will remain open during the current corona virus pandemic that seems to be shutting down world wide commerce. As long as the US Post Office is open, I will be able to ship any and all orders to any location in the world.

I talked with Richard today and he is still sculpting and will continue to do so throughout this pandemic. It won't affect the addition of new products to the Minden/F&D ranges. (and there are going to be a lot of new figures released in 2020!).

Things are not so bright on the convention scene, however, with a growing number of convention cancellations. HMGS Cold Wars went on as scheduled but attendence was really down, according to reports that I have read on various blogs. Adeptican and the Seven Years War conventions have been cancelled and postponed, respectively. The HMGS-Midwest Little Wars convention is still on as of this blog post, but with the CDC recommending against public gatherings of more than 10 people, I expect that LW and other conventions will be cancelled in the days ahead.

No one has any real idea of how long the virus and the recommended "social distancing" will be in place. In the meantime, use the opportunity to work on that mountain of metal figures that you have accumulated and what the heck, keep that pile growing by ordering more figures from various suppliers of wargame figures and accessories across the spectrum of the hobby. Many of these companies are small one-man or cottage industries that can use your support.

Finally, I am no expert, but I would imagine that it would be OK to play a few wargames with a small group of your friends. In any event, if you find yourself getting a little bit of cabin fever, use some of that free time on your hobby. Fear not, we will get through this situation eventually.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Seven Years War Assn Convention Postponed Until July 30, 2020

The Seven Years War Association Convention has been postponed until July 30 - August 1, 2020 due to safety concerns about the Cornona Virus 19 pandemic. Convention organizer Ken Bunger polled a number of members and vendors and it was agreed that the prudent course of action would be to postpone the convention from April 2-4, 2020 to the new dates in July of this year.

The convention will be held at the same venue, The Waterford Estates Lodge in South Bend, Indiana.

Ken sent out an email to all SYWA members that included some of the following information, which I have taken the liberty of copying and pasting onto this blog:

The hotel has been great to work with which is a benefit of our long
relationship.  The ballroom and table rentals remain as in April.
See a part of their reply below:

"Our rates in the summer are higher so I raised your hotel room rates by $5
plus tax a night (still a very good deal)  So, Wednesday - Thursday is
$74+tax and Friday - Saturday is $80+tax. Please inform your attendees that
they will need to call the front desk (574-272-5220) to change their
reservations to the new block or to call and cancel if they cannot make it
in July/August."     

If you already had a hotel reservation for the April dates, then please call the hotel to cancel your reservation and then if you can attend the convention on the new dates, then book your new reservation at that time.

I think that postponing the convention is a good call. There will always be an opportunity to play war-games and I am sure that we will have a fun time in July. Besides, the hotel pool will be open this time!

Cheers everyone,


Sunday, March 1, 2020

Mohawk Samples Painted

New Fife and Drum Miniatures Mohawk Indians


I have finished painting samples of all of the new Fife and Drum Miniatures Mohawk Indians. One of the advancing figures is missing from the set of pictures - he's gone hunting, I guess. The picture of the group at the top of the page gives you an idea of how the Mohawks look en masse and demonstrate the character and variety of the figures.

The Mohawk figures are now available on the Fife and Drum Miniatures web store site.

The product codes for the four packs of Mohawk Indians are as follows:

MI-001  Command (mounted and dismounted figure and horse)      $8.00

MI-002  Mohawks Firing Muskets (2 each of 4 different poses)     $16.00

MI-003  Mohawks Advancing (2 each of 4 different poses)            $16.00

MI-004  Mohawks Charging/Melee ( 2 each of 4 different poses)   $16.00

Painting the Indians
First a word about painting American Indians, I had no idea of how to paint them, so it took me awhile to paint this group. However, I now feel like I have a system down for painting groups of Indians and a better idea of the coloring schemes that are involved.

The skin color was the toughest nut to crack. I painted several samples using a mix of tan paint and a drop of red paint to give the Indians a red-ish look to them. This didn't look right to my eye. So I went to the book that I consider "the Bible of how to paint American Woodland Indians", called "The Art of Robert Griffin". Griffing is probably the pre-eminant painter and expert on how Eastern Woodlands Indians look. The Indians in the Griffing paintings looked like they were well tanned from being out in the sun, so this was the look that I was trying to achieve. I ended up using the Bronze Skin triad of colors from Reaper Paints.

Advancing poses.

Firing poses.

Melee weapons Mohawks
Command or Character Set of figures
The last couple of figures depict a mounted and dismounted version of the same warrior. I use this figure as my leader in war band groups. The standing figure was inspired by a picture painted by Don Troiani and I think that Richard Ansell did a fine job of rendering the painting into a miniature figure. The mounted figure allows wargamers to have a "character figure" for skirmish level games, available in both a mounted and dismounted version of the same figure.

Mohawk Chief: mounted and dismounted variants.

The Fife and Drum Mohawk Chief figure was inspired by this picture.
I think that it might be a Don Troiani picture that I found on Pinterest.

I am working on another dozen Mohawks and hope to have these figures painted and ready for showing off within the next couple of days.