Saturday, July 24, 2021

4th New York Regiment At Saratoga


The 4th New York Regiment
Fife and Drum Miniatures

This week I finished the painting and basing of a 30-figure Continental Army regiment, the 4th New York, for my Saratoga Project. As with the regiments in this project, the unit has five bases, each measuring 60mm frontage by 80mm depth. The bases were purchased from Litko.

I designed this regiment to be in a firing line with a mix of figures that are firing muskets, reloading and standing at the ready. The combined effect of all of these different poses is stunning, in my humble opinion. This may well be one of the best painted units that I have done for this project. I am still waiting for the flags to arrive from GMB Designs, but other than that, the 4th New York Regiment is complete and ready for tabletop action.

Here are some close up shots of the new unit. I was not able to fit all five stands into the photos so I took pictures of 3 and 4 bases at a time.

In this unit, I used the officer in hunting shirt along with a few other hunting shirt poses,  
a couple of the militia figures, and some of the regular Continental uniforms

The side view of the command stand and one other stand.
Note the variety of poses that lends a sense of "action" to the regiment.

Same stands as the previous picture, but from the other side.

Well, one way to fit all five stands into one photo is to have them back to back.

I did not do any head conversions in the 4th New York because I am in a rush to get three more regiments painted in the three weeks leading up to this year's Seven Years War Association Convention on August 5th through 7th, 2021. I wanted to have some figures wearing round hats (brimmed hats) so I selected four such figures from the CA-001 American Militia pack: standing firing, kneeling firing, cocking musket, and advancing at port arms. I also used a mix of figures wearing regulation coats and hunting shirts to provide even more visual variety.

I based the figures into two ranks with the firing poses in the front rank and all other poses (ramming with ram rod, reloading, at the ready, standing, etc.) in the rear second rank. The deeper bases protect the muskets and bayonets from wear and tear on the gaming table, but also have the added benefit of having room to make some dioramas on the stands. One of the officers shielding his eyes with one hand is placed a bit forward from the rest of the firing line. Another casualty figure in hunting shirt, getting knocked off of his feet from a musket ball, also stands a little bit forward from the rest of the line. The firing poses are a mix of Continentals wearing tricorn hats, men in hunting shirts wearing tricorn hats, and militia figures wearing round hats. I simply paint the militia in the regimental uniform of the Continentals (albeit, the militia figures do not have lapels)..

I am a big proponents of firing lines because of the dynamic look of action that they provide. I also like the standard marching poses, but I don't want every regiment in the army to be marching.

The next unit on my painting table is a Massachusetts regiment wearing blue coats with white facings (lapels, cuffs and collars). They will be in marching poses.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Seven Years War Convention - August 5th through 7th, 2021


Seven Year War Association Convention August 5-7, 2021

The annual SYWA Convention is being held this year in South Bend, IN at the usual venue, Waterford Estates Lodge. However, the hotel has changed its name to Ramada By Wyndam South Bend. The hotel was acquired and renovated by Ramada Inns earlier this year. 

Here are some links to nearby hotels. The Ramada is likely booked full due to convention guests  booking rooms there, but give it a try anyway, you never know. The other two hotels are within 1-2 miles of the Ramada and are on the same road.

Hilton Garden Inn - St. Mary's

Covid protocols are on the "honor system" in which no masks are required if you have been vaccinated, but you will be asked to self-report  and wear a mask if you have not been vaccinated, but the latter is entirely up to you. Just do what you think is the right thing and be respectful of others.

I will be running the Battle of Freeman's Farm scenario on both Friday afternoon and Saturday afternoon. I may also host a small and fun skirmish game on Saturday evening.

Bringing Limited Amount of F&D and Minden Stock to the Convention

I will be bringing a limited amount of stock to sell from my Fife and Drum Miniatures/Minden Miniatures dealer booth this year: the entire AWI range, and SYW Austrians, Prussians and artillery equipment. 

If you wish to pre-order any of these or any of the figure ranges that I am not bringing to the show (British, Hanoverians, French and Russians) then I will pack your order and bring it with me to the convention. No payment required until you pick up your order at my booth. Or you can order via this web store (and pay at the time of your order) and enter a note that you wish to pick up your order at the show, rather than having me mail it to you.

Not Bringing These Figures

SYW British and Hanoverians
SYW French
SYW Russians

Bringing These Figures

AWI Americans, British and Hessians
SYW Austrians
SYW Prussians
Artillery Equipment and Wagons

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Poor's New Hampshire Brigade at Saratoga 1777


The 2nd New Hampshire Regiment
Fife and Drum Miniatures

Over the past month I have been focused on painting some of the troops for the Continental Army that fought at Saratoga in 1777. I am focusing on Brigadier General Enoch Poor's brigade. At the battle of Freeman's Farm on September 19, 1777, Poor's Brigade was the first group of regiments to arrive on the scene at the engagement started by Daniel Morgan's Virginia riflemen and Henry Dearborn's battalion of light infantry.

Poor's Brigade consisted of the following elements:

1st New Hampshire Regiment - Colonel Joseph Cilley

2nd New Hampshire  - Lt. Colonel Adams

3rd New Hampshire - Colonel Alexander Scammel

2nd New York - Colonel Phillip van Cortlandt

4th New York - Colonel Henry Livingston

1st Connecticut Militia

2nd Connecticut Militia

Total all ranks present: 1,292; 356 sick; 153 "on command"; 7 on leave (per Brendan Morrissey).

For wargaming purposes, I would merge the two Connecticut militia battalions into one militia battalion, thus giving me 6 regiments under the command of Poor.  Dividing 1,292 by 6 = 215 per regiment. This works out to six regiments of approximately 20 figures using a 1:10 ratio of miniature figures to actual soldiers.

If I added all present, sick, on command (I assume that these fellows were hived off into Dearborn's light infantry battalion) and on leave I would have 1,809 total men in the brigade or approximately 300 soldiers per regiment or 30 wargame figures in the unit. If I were to deduct the "on command" soldiers from the brigade, that would average approximately 242 men per regiment or 24 wargame figures per unit.

So pick your poison and build regiments of either 20, 24 or 30 figures. I chose the latter amount for the simple reason that I like larger units. By comparison, my British regiments have 40 figures.

So far, I have painted the three New Hampshire regiments, Morgan's Rifles, and Dearborn's Light Infantry for my game at the Seven Years War Association Convention on August 5th through 7th in South Bend, Indiana. I doubt that I will have enough time to paint the two New York regiments so I will substitute regiments from my existing collection of Continental regiments for my Philadelphia Campaign collection.

Here are some pictures of the lads. Note that (surprise) all figures are from the Fife and Drum Miniatures AWI figuure range.

1st New Hampshire Regiment - Colonel Cilley

The 1st New Hampshire wore green coats with red cuffs/collars and red turnbacks. Some accounts have them wearing red waistcoats, others indicate red or white. I used a mix of all three waistcoat colors in the regiment. I have yet to flag the regiment, noting that I have some GMB Designs flags on order from the UK.

Ist New Hampshire Regiment "in situ"

Close up view of some of the figures in the 1st NH

The side view of some of the 1st NH figures.

2nd New Hampshire Regiment - Lt. Colonel Adams

The regiment wore light blue coats with red collars, cuffs and white turnbacks. Breeches and waistcoats were white or buff. I went with mostly buff colored kit. This is one of my favorite Continental army uniforms in my collection.

2nd New Hampshire Regiment

Close up view of some of the miniatures.

3rd New Hampshire Regiment - Colonel Scammel

This regiment just came off of the painting table and are clothed in dark blue coats with white facings, waistcoats and breeches. I gave them a grand division flag from GMB Designs because it looks like the Fort Ticonderoga flag that they were alleged to have carried. 

As with all of my Continental regiments, I like to add in some figures wearing hunting shirts and some militia figures from the Fife and Drum Miniatures figure range. In some cases, I will do a head swap to include more brimmed or round hats in the regiment.

The whole 3rd New Hampshire Regiment on five stands.

A close up view of some of the figures. Note the officer wearing hunting shirt in the front rank.

Same view as above, but with a view of the second row of figures.

The Continental Advance Guard - Daniel Morgan

I have posted pictures of the Virginia riflemen within the past month, but had not posted pictures of Dearborn's Light Infantry Battalion. The two units were brigaded together because the riflemen do not have bayonets on their rifles, and thus, they would need to fall back to the safety of the Light Battalion, whose soldiers carried muskets with bayonets.

Henry Dearborn's Light Infantry Battalion

Henry Dearborn's Light Infantry Battalion. Each stand wears a different uniform to represent
 that the men in the battalion were chosen men from their parent regiments.

Close up view of some of the figures. Each stand of figures wears a different uniform.

Side view of two of the stands (left - 3rd NH; right - 1st NH)

Another side view of three of the five stands.

Daniel Morgan's Virginia Riflemen 

The figures in this regiment are relatively new additions to the Fife and Drum Miniatures Saratoga range. Wonderful variety of poses and animation created by Richard Ansell.

Colonel Morgan directs his riflemen on the left and some of Dearborn's light infantry on the right.

A view of the whole rifle regiment.


Thursday, July 8, 2021

Fort Ligonier Artillery Collection


Fort Ligonier in Pennsylvania

Click or double click on all pictures to enlarge.

On the last day of our trip to visit battlefields in the Eastern United States, Lelia and I stopped in at Fort Ligonier in western Pennsylvania.  Click on the link here for the fort web page: Fort Ligonier Site

The fort is a privately held nonprofit organization. It's website offers this short historical blurb about the history of Fort Ligonier:

As summer waned in 1758, the site of a new fortification was chosen by the British army that overlooked the Loyalhanna Creek. It was the last in a string of fortifications along the newly cut Forbes Road that would ultimately stretch from Philadelphia to the site of French Fort Duquesne, the ultimate objective of the Forbes Campaign. When Fort Duquesne fell to the British army in late November of 1758, construction of a new fort, Fort Pitt, began, and the land on which it rose was named Pittsburgh. Find out more about how Fort Ligonier made Pittsburgh possible as you explore the grounds of the finest reconstructed fortification from the French and Indian War.

The museum has an awesome collection of 18th British artillery equipment and wagons, as well as a rather nice (and surprising) collection of historical artifacts from the Seven Years War in Europe. Here is a sampling of some of the Prussian SYW military artifacts in the museum:

Prussian artifacts from the Seven Years War. The cuirassier sabretache and cuirass are of particular note.  The image also shows an officer's pontoon, a grenadier mitre, musketeer and grenadier leather cartridge boxes, among other items.

Prussian grenadier mitre.

Prussian grenadier cartridge box.

Prussian musketeer cartridge box.

Let us move along to pictures of the collection of British artillery and artillery equipment wagons.

British 6-pound cannon and limber.

A closer view of the British limber.

Did you ever wonder how an artillery wheel stayed on the axle of the gun carriage?
You pull out the pin from the axle and off slides the wheel.

A tampion placed in the mouth of the barrel keeps water and dust
out of the barrel when the gun is on the move with its limber.

A small British Howitzer

Some of the detail on the howitzer barrel.

A wall mounted swivel gun. Every fort should have one of these.

Supporting artillery equipment, from left to right:
2-wheel powder wagon, 2-wheel tumbrel, Conestoga Wagon (blue), f
ield forge wagon, and 4-wheel munitions wagon.

British artillery limbers

From left to right: light 12-pounder, mortar, small Coehorn mortar, some Olde Coote, and  a 6-pounder.

Close up view of the British 6-pounder.

The business end of the British light 12-pounder.

British light 12-pound cannon.

The royal cypher engraved on the barrel of the 12-pounder.

British 8-inch howitzer capable of firing exploding shell and canister or grape shot.

British 4.5-inch Coehorn Mortar

Here are some additional pictures of the fort's defenses:

Moat supporter by fascines, cheveau-de-frise, and other sharp pointy sticks.

Inside the fort. left to right: 8-inch howitzer, 12-pound gun, and 4.5-inch Coehorn Mortar.

Fort Ligonier is DEFINITELY worth stopping to see if you are near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is just off of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, about a 20-minute drive, and is open every day of the week from 10 AM to 5PM.

Exit the turnpike at the Donegal exit and drive north on highway 711 to Ligonier, Pennsylvania.

I like to stop in for a visit every time a pass through this part of the country, usually while driving to Historicon convention in the summer. 

Sunday, July 4, 2021

You'll Be Back! Happy Independence Day!

King George III (from the musical Hamilton)

You'll be back, soon you'll see
You'll remember you belong to me
You'll be back, time will tell
You'll remember that I served you well
Oceans rise, empires fall
We have seen each other through it all
And when push comes to shove
I will send a fully armed battalion to remind you of my love!

Well, one thing that was back was a traditional Fourth of July celebration day this year in 2021. We went to the local Lake Bluff Fourth of July Parade this morning and I have to say that it felt good to be out in the sunshine, frying due to a lack of sun screen, and watching Ameicana right before my eyes. To wit, kids running around water balloons, families and friends gathering for a picnic along the parade route, adults drinking way too many beers at 9:30 A.M, uh, never mind about the latter.

People set up tent flies, tables, chairs and food in front of their homes and invited their friends and neighbors over to party.

This year's parade was smaller than normal due to Covid-related restrictions and social distancing, I guess. Marching bands were eliminated as were any groups that had to walk rather than ride on a parade float or trailer. There were several small bands that had their equipment set up on flat bed trailers as they rolled along the parade route. There was even a truncated Highland Pipe Band that had a few pipers and drummers riding in the back of a pickup truck - how's that for an image.

Here are a couple of the bands:

This steel band group towed by an old 1960s hippie bus particularly caught my eye.

There were several "floats" that featured Darth Vader or Bobba Fett for some reason. Apparently The Force played a role in our independence from Britain.

The parade always has an assortment of old cars showing off.

The Civil War re-enactors usually lead off the parade, carrying the old Stars and Stripes, and firing a musket volley. Not this year though. Friendly chaps, none the less.

This Civil War re-enactment group looks a little long in the tooth, but they remembered that today was the day that Vicksburg surrendered to General Grant.

This year the Shriners rode on Segways instead of the rickety little mini-cars.
This rider seems to be happy about the change in his ride.

Lelia wanted to go to the parade primarily to watch and hear the pipe bands. We did not expect to see them due to the "no walking" rule so it was a nice suprise to see The Midlothian Bank playing some tunes to the scirl of the pipes.

Alas, they were taking a music rest as they passed our position and then, naturally, started playing again as their truck rolled out of sight.

The parade always ends with an endless stream of loud, obnoxious fire trucks belching their horns.

It all seemed to work though even with all of the changes made for this year's parade. What made it all work was watching families and friends gathering together along the parade route and just having fun on a sunny Fourth of July day.

After the parade, we headed home and got the house ready for a barbecue party with friends that we have not seen in person for over a year. That was the best part of the day for me. I did the grilling of the burgers and brats (it was hot outside!) on the Weber grill outside while our guests stayed in the comfort of the air conditioned house. I received lots of compliments for my grilling skills, which I must admit, are decidedly average. However, on a day like this, one's effort is greatly appreciated.

Later tonight we will walk a few blocks down the street and take up our perch from which to watch the town's fireworks display.

I think that Americans needed a somewhat normal Fourth of July with parades, parties with friends and fireworks. Maybe I'm a bit maudlin about the day, but July Fourth serves to remind Americans that we have a lot more in common than we do our differences.