Monday, February 13, 2017

Diesbach Regiment in French Service

Swiss Diesbach Regiment - Minden Miniatures. Click to enlarge.

The other day I received a package of figures from Leuthen Studios, containing a 30-figure battalion of the Swiss Diesbach regiment in French service during the SYW. I am very pleased with the brushwork provided by Ioannis' team of painters and hope to get the full battalion based and flagged soon so that I can show you pictures of the unit in full fig, ready to go.

It looks like I will be adding a SYW French army to my collection. My only other unit is the Cuirassiers du Roi, but that is certain to change during 2017.

Toy Soldier News

A couple of weeks ago I attended a "trunk show" hosted by Treefrog Treasures. The show was in a nearby town so I decided to drop in and see what was new in the toy soldier realm.

I purchased the Rolls Royce armoured car, shown below, not because I'm planning on gaming WW1 in the desert, but rather, the model was just too darn beautiful to pass up. This is one of those things where you just know that if you don't buy it now, it will be gone when you have made up your mind that you want it, only to find that someone else purchased the model.

I have added a Trophy Indian Sikh figure and a palm tree to provided some perspective on the size of the vehicle. I really like this model and it will go on display in one of my library shelves. It will never be in a wargame though.

Rolls Royce armored car, WW1 desert campaigns, from John Jenkins Design. Click to enlarge.

I found a long lost box of Trophy 54mm Pathans last week whilst doing some clean up in the Closet O' Lead (moving things out of the shelves so that I could put plastic parts bins on all of my shelves to hold the excess Minden and Fife & Drum stock).

I had given the Pathans up as a lost box of figures. I knew that I had them a long time ago, but could never find the box that they were stored in from my last house move 12 years ago.

Trophy 54mm Pathans, returned from the Land of the Lost. Click to enlarge.
Next Toy Soldier Game on February 23rd at Chez Protz

Bill and I decided that we should have a smaller Sudan game with our toy soldiers on a week night. So on a Thursday afternoon, I will pack up a square of Highlanders (which have never played in any of our wargames with toy soldiers ) and a hoard of Dervish and make the one hour drive to Chez Protz, where we will have a smaller game played on a larger table. It should be a lot of fun. As I understand it, the British army contingent will be providing protection for a gang of railroad track layers - this will allow us to use Bill's model railroad set up as part of the wargame. Yikes! I am looking forward to this game very much.

Friday, January 27, 2017

More Items for Sale

15mm Old Glory SYW Austrian and Prussian army set.

I have an army of 353 15mm Austrians and Prussians for the Seven Years War for sale. I believe that they are mostly Old Glory figures. The price $115.00 for the lot, plus postage. SOLD! I would rate them as average war-game standard painted figures, but at 33-cents per figure for painted figures, it is not a bad way to start a 15mm SYW army.

The lot includes 2 x Hungarian musketeers (30 figures per battalion), 5 Austrian battalions (30 per battalion), 4 Prussian battalions (24 figures per battalion), 5 Austrian cannon, 2 mounted Austrian officers, and 23 Prussian cuirassiers.

One of the Austrian battalions.

More Austrians close up.

Four battalions of Prussians.
UPDATE ON THE Foundry Figure Sale

A fair number of the lots have been sold, but there are still some good bargains left and I have decided to reduce the prices further because I need to clear them out to make room for my growing Minden inventory .

LOT 2: 24 Russian artillery crew and 2 heavy cannon. Was $49, now $39 for the lot plus postage.

LOT 3: 28 Russian Guard Grenadiers. Was $41, now $35 for the lot plus postage.

LOT 6: Observation Corps Musketeers (22 figures) Was $25, now $19 for the lot plus postage.

LOT 7: Russian Musketeers. (21 figures) Was $20, now $18 for the lot plus postage.

LOT 8: Russian Grenadiers (26 figures) Was $25, now $20 SOLD! plus postage.

Future Sale Lots: stay tuned to check out more clearance deals on my excess 28mm Foundry, RSM and Crusader figures in the coming days. I gotta move em out now to make room for the Minden parts bins that I'm setting up in the Closet O' Lead.


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Items For Sale

Foundry Russain Observation Corps Musketeers

I am doing a bit of cleaning up in the Closet O' Lead and have a number of SYW Foundry Russians, both painted and unpainted, that I would like to sell off at low prices. All prices for all lots of figures do not reflect the actual postage or Paypal fees, which will be added to the total cost.

First come, first serve which means actual receipt of payment via Paypal.

Contact me at: if you have any questions or wish to purchase any of the lots.

Foundry Russian Observation Corps Grenadiers
LOT 1: The set of painted figures includes 60 foot and 2 mounted officers for $175.00 (price reduced to $150.00) for the whole lot plus applicable postage. That is less than $2.50 per figure for painted Foundry figures. You would probably have to pay that amount just to buy the unpainted metal figures. These are priced to sell! SOLD

LOT 2: The next several lots are for unpainted Foundry figures for the SYW Russian army. There are 24 Russian artillery crew and two 12-pounders. The whole lot (I will not break the lot up) is available for $49.00 plus postage.

Foundry Russian Artillery Crew and two 12-pounder cannon.
LOT 3: The next lot is a group of Russian Guard Grenadiers, 28 figures in all. This is available for the rock low price of $41.00 plus applicable postage.

Foundry Russian Foot Guards.

LOT 4: Four packs of Foundry Russian Dragoons (4-charging; 1-shouldered sword; 1-command; 1-dragoon characters) for a total of 21 mounted Russian Dragoons. $49.00 for the lot.SOLD
Foundry Russian SYW Dragoons

LOT 5: Dismounted Russian Dragoons; 2 packs with 10 figures and one householder with horse.  $20.00 for the lot. SOLD.

Foundry SYW Russian Dismounted Dragoons

LOT 6: Observation Corps Musketeers. These would go along great with the painted ObCorps figures is you wanted to increase the size of the musketeer battalion. Three packs of figures include: 1 x command (6), 1 x musketeers firing (8) and 1 x musketeers advancing (8). Total of 22 figures for $25.00 for the lot.

Foundry SYW Russian Observation Corps Musketeers.

LOT 7: Russian Musketeers unboxed/unblistered total of 21 figures: 10 musketeers, 5 standard bearers, 1 fifer, 3 officers taking snuff, and 1 general wiping his brow with hat in hand. $20.00 for the lot.

Russian Musketeers: top row left 4 officers with snuff and 1 general; top row right 5 musketeers wearing hats; bottom row left 4 standard bearers, bottom row center one fifer and one NCO with musket, and bottom row right 4 musketeers without hats.
LOT 8: Russian line grenadiers in four blister packs. 1 x command in capes (6), 1 x grenadiers in capes (8), 1 x Observation Corps grenadier characters (6), 1 x Grenadiers in uniform coat (8). That is 26 figures in total for $25.00 for the lot.

Observation Corps grenadiers:2 in capes and 2 without capes.

LOT 9: Foundry Prussian Dragoons Charging: 4 blister packs of mounted dragoons or 12 in total and 1 blister of dismounted dragoons (6 total). $49.00 for the lot SOLD.

Foundry Prussian Dragoons for the SYW


Friday, January 13, 2017

I'm On a Painting Frenzy

Marbach Regt. Firing Line in front and von Donop Marching Regt. in the second row. Fife & Drum Hessians. Click to enlarge the picture.

My painting mojo has returned and I have been on a painting frenzy for the first two weeks of January 2017. I have painted two Hessian regiments using the new Fife & Drum AWI Hessians: von Mirbach (50 figures) using the firing line musketeers and the von Donop (40 figures) regiment using the marching musketeers. You can see my output for Hessians in the picture at the top of the page. I also painted two Russian SYW artillery crew, which are behind the Hessians.

I have also painted some of the Minden SYW civilians, as shown in the pictures below. All of these figures could be used as AWI American Militia, noting that the farm tools would have to be replaced by muskets and rifles. RSM95 has some muskets that would work with the Minden figures. Note to self: ask Richard to make a sprue of muskets and rifles to sell weapons in a new pack.

CIV-001 Agricultural Workers #1

CIV-002 Agricultural Workers #2

CIV-004 Armed Civilians

I had not done any serious painting since about June 2016. No matter how hard I tried, I could not bring myself to pick up a paint brush and sit down at the painting table for an hour or so. Usually painting figures is relaxing and reduces some of the stress in Life, but I think that the old Black Dog was working against me and I couldn't do much of anything for quite awhile.

I think that being retired (since November 1, 2016) has made me a happier and less stressed-out person and this has enabled me to pick up the brushes once again. 

I working on painting samples of all of the Minden and Fife & Drum figures to use on the on-line shopping cart on the Fife & Drum website. The civilians are fun to paint because they are in small groups of 4 or 5 figures and I can paint each figure as an individual with different colored clothing. I didn't add eyes to these samples, so some of them look like zombies when you click and enlarge the pictures. Trust me, they look better first hand.

In parting, some pictures of the Minden Pioneers set. These are very useful figures as the poses can be used for a variety of uses. I often use them as laborers for my artillery crew sets. I have seen other people using them as bakers in a field bakery or as brick masons, etc.

CIV-003 Pioneers (one pose is missing in the picture above, see below for the full set of Pioneers)

CIV-003 Pioneers


Monday, January 2, 2017

Rapid Reading

I read all 320 pages of the book, Hero of the Empire, in one day yesterday. It is the story of Winston Churchill's escape from the prison camp during the Boer War. The book is very well written and has an easy reading style to it, such that I just could not put it down.

I picked up the book at Barnes and Noble yesterday afternoon and started reading it while sipping on a Starbucks latte. My daughter had wanted to go to the mall  in order to get some walking and exercise in and get a little more experience buying something and getting the correct change. So I waited and started reading the book while my daughter did her thing. I liked it enough to buy the book and read the whole thing between 1:30PM and 10:00PM. I don't think that I have ever done that before.

In any event, I recommend this book and suspect that I will want to find some more books about the Boer War for additional background to the book.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Year's Resolutions

With the dawn of the New Year, it is de rigeur to declare one's resolutions for the coming year, so let me provide a few of my own as pertains to the hobby.

My first resolution is to focus more on the SYW and less on other historical distractions.

Add a second squadron to my Zieten Hussars.

Paint some more Saxon cavalry regiments.

Paint more Hesse Seewald cavalry and start a campaign between HS and evil Saxony.

Get the Minden SYW Russian army into production, both infantry and cavalry, and paint a Russian army.

Read Christopher Duffy's book "Might and Reason" cover to cover for the first time rather than skipping through various chapters. I'll also read Duffy's "Wild Goose and the Eagle ".

Read more historical books in general.

Go to Historicon.

Add pictures of all of the SKUs to the Fife & Drum web site shopping cart.

Play more solo wargames.

Learn German so that I can read my vast collection of history books that are in German.

Enjoy my retirement.

I think that this is a fairly good start on the year. What are some of your resolutions and plans? Please feel free to leave them in the comments section of this post. By the way, this is the one thousandth post in my blog since its inception.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Review of the Grant series on "Refighting History" - Volumes 2 and 3.

Refighting History - Volumes 2 and 3 (click picture to enlarge)

I received copies of Volumes 2 and 3 of Charles S. Grant's new wargaming series: "Refighting History" as Christmas presents this year and I have had many enjoyable hours reading and rereading both books.

Volume 1
Volume 1 in the series covered Fighting Withdrawals in the Seven Years War and included several small actions at Asch, Hoyerswarda and Pretsch, all occuring in 1759.  The opening shots in the book are packed with lots of eye candy: picture after picture of Grant's wargame armies and an overview of the philosophy behind The War Game rules. The book concludes with an in depth analysis of Prussian Horse Artillery and the addition of horse artillery rules to Grant's evolving rules, The War Game (which have been modified so extensively that they should no longer be considered as "old school" rules).

The next two volumes cover some of the important battles of the War of Austrian Succession that were fought in the Prussian-Austrian theatre of war.

Volume 2
Volume 2 includes the battles of Mollwitz, Chotusitz and a small action at Sahay. The book begins with an overview of Grant's armies and organizations of the Vereinigte Freie Stadt (which look similar to the Prussian army) and the Grand Duchy of Lorraine (which looks suspiciously like the French army). There are lots of color pictures of figures from Minden Miniatures and Crann Tara Miniatures that look lovely and are pleasing to the eye.

Grant next gets down to business and opens with the famous battle of Mollwitz, which is a Grant family classic as shown in the original book The War Game. Charles presents the original Mollwitz game fought by his father (Charles Grant senior) followed by some helpful historical material on Mollwitz and how he boiled the forces down into playable wargame armies for table top action.  Then follows a modern version of the game in which the Austrian cavalry arm plays a major role in winning the battle of Mollwitz (oh the horror!).

Grant then offers a rather novel scenario for Mollwitz that features only the cavalry action of the two armies, which he calls "A Slice of Mollwitz". Again the Austrian cavalry prevailed in this scenario, and in spite of that (considering my Prussian bias) it looks like a fun scenario. After all, how many times do we get to fight a cavalry-only battle on the table top. The battle report is chock full of colorful pictures of the action.

Next up is the battle of Chotusiz, considered Frederick "first victory" (Marshall Schwerin should get the credit for the historical victory at Mollwitz). This is a battle that I've rarely seen gamed and is a scenario that I would like to try on my own in the near future. Following the same format as Mollwitz, the Chotositz battle begins with an historical overview followed by the methodology of translating the armies into smaller, more playable wargame forces, and then the actual wargame report, again with lots of color pictures of Minden Miniatures. Alas, the Austrians win again, doh! The game report also includes a number of specially drawn maps of the game at various stages of the battle, which make it easier to follow the course of the wargame. Grant allows the two army commanders to give a summary of their battle plans and pregame strategy is I find to be an interesting twist to the usual wargame after action report.

The third and final battle in Volume 2 is an action fought at Sahay fought on May 24, 1742 between the French and the Austrians. The battle was fought some 65 miles from Prague, in Bohemia. It was actually a fighting withdrawal of the Austrian army (10,000 men) in the face of a superior force of French (18-20,000). Sahay is not a very well documented battle in the history books so this part of the book reveals some new information about the WAS, as far as I'm concerned, so this is a useful book to have if you have an interest in the WAS.

The refight of the battle results in a rather Pyhric Victory for the French army.  I like this sort of game scenario as there is an imbalance between the two armies, with the objective of the smaller army being to extricate itself from the battle  rather than fighting for a victory.

Volume 2 ends with a look at the historical maneuvering of forces and how to adapt this to table top warfare. Charles shows you a picture of what an actual squadron of cavalry and a battalion of infantry would look like at a 1:1 scale. Interesting stuff and much to ponder. He also illustrates what a 10-gun artillery battery would look like including all of its logistical support elements.

Volume 3
The next volume in the series covers the Silesian battles of Hohenfriedburg and Soor, both of which were Prussian victories historically and also Prussian victories on the table top (huzzah, at last!). It concludes with the battle of Rocoux which was fought in modern day Belgium between the French and the Pragmatic Army.

The book begins with more pictures of Charles S. Grant's modern wargame armies, which I'm pleased to see are largely Minden and Crann Tara figures, both ranges being sculpted by the talented Richard Ansell.

Next up is the Battle of Hohenfriedburg fought on June 3, 1745. This battle featured the famous charge of the Prussian Bayreuth Dragoons (who put 20 Austrian battalions to flight, captured 67 colours, 2,500 prisoners and 5 guns. Grant breaks the battle down into two war-game scenarios: the initial attack of the Prussians on the Austrian left wing held by the Saxon army and then the central action between the Austrians and Prussians. The battle retelling follows the same format as discussed in Volume 2, so I won't rehash the details of that. Both battle scenarios end up as Prussian victories, but both could have gone either way so the scenarios are very balanced, as far as I'm concerned.

The next battle is the Battle of Soor fought September 30, 1745 between the Austrians and Prussians. It ended as a Prussian victory and basically ended the War of Austrian Succession as the Austrians concluded that they could not defeat Frederick in battle. Soor is presented in the usual format with an historical overview, a construction of the war-game armies, and a presentation of the battle scenario fought between two players. Soor is another one of those battles that rarely gets attention in the history books or on the table top, so it is a scenario that I look forward to fighting. Soor is broken down into three different scenarios: the Prussian assault on the Graner Kop, the battle in the center, and finally, a small action in which Austrian light forces conduct a raid on the Prussian encampment. I think that readers will find the raid scenario a fun one to play - lots of color pictures enhance this scenario.

The last of the three battles is Rocoux, fought near Liege on October 11, 1746 between Marshal de Saxe's French army and Ligonier's Pragmatic Army of Dutch, British, Hanoverian and Austrian forces. The French have numerical superiority and launch a bludgeon style attack on the Allied positions. The French take quite a pounding, but in the end, the weight of numbers favors the French and results in a victory, both historically and on the table top.

This review is longer than normal, but I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed both volumes 2 and 3 and give it my highest recommendation if you are an enthusiast of 18 Century warfare. The combiniation of historical overviews, construction of the scenario armies, and the actual battle report complete with the thoughts of the two commanders, make these "must have books" for your collection.