Saturday, October 22, 2016

1866 and All That

No, not the Austro-Prussian War, but the Fenian Raid of 1866 that resulted in the Battle of Ridgeway!

Fenian soldier
For years (and I do mean years) I have wanted to game the Battle of Ridgeway.  The issue has been locating suitable figures in 15mm and how to make the game suitable for four players or so.  For rules I have always wanted to use Fire and Fury (or the more recent Regimental Fire and Fury) with some sort of scale reduction, but figures were always the issue.  The Fenians are fairly easy, a mix of Federal infantry and dismounted cavalry would do nicely, painted in various blues and greens, but the Canadian forces have been an conundrum.  One could use Crimean War British but the shako isn't quite right.  One could use early Maori War British, but again the headgear, unless one wants to use the pork-pie hat, didn't work for me either.  So while I have collected books, started a Yahoo discussion group*, and thought about doing something many times, I have never gone forward with buying figures as I simply could not find what "felt right" in 15mm.

I had at one time even had a Eureka 300 Club offering that did meet the required 600 figures ordered by ten or more interested parties, but for some reason the figures were never put into production.

Over the years of discussing this very topic on the Yahoo group, Bill Braham was working an angle with Pendraken to do a range of 10mm figures ideal for 1866.  I never really wanted to drop down to 10mm as I have plenty of Federal 15mm figures I was going to use for the Fenians, but without true choices in 15mm, I have decided that 10mm is my path.

Pendraken did release a fairly complete line for 1866 about four years ago.  This includes infantry in various poses (marching, firing, running, kneeling),  foot command, rifle command, cavalry, guns with crew, along with field officers and generals.  The infantry is in the shako while the cavalry is in the pork pie cap.  For the Battle of Ridgeway one really only needs infantry and command, as the Canadians did not have guns nor mounted forces present, but these do come in handy if doing a mini-campaign as there were other forces nearby that did included a mounted and artillery arm.

Going with 10mm will mean that I will need to buy Federal troops to use as Fenians, but as the cost of a 10mm figure is rather low (at the time of this posting .17 cents per figure), the investment is minimal.

Next post will be about figure scale and basing figures to use with Regimental Fire and Fury.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The War of 1812 or Dipping My Toes in the Water Once Again

A few years ago I was working on a War of 1812 project, using the excellent Knuckleduster 28mm figures, and I had a dedicated blog.  Alas, space became a concern so a hard decision had to be made, so I sadly sold off my figures and closed the blog.  But the period does keep calling to me, and in looking at the fine range of Blue Moon 15/18mm figures, I may have a way to get back into this period.

I live in the old Northwest Territory, which saw a share of skirmishes, battles, and even sieges during the war.  There are also "massacres," raids, and naval battles.  Starting with Tippecanoe in 1811, the Northwest Territory offers a wide variety of troop types as one can game encounters with frontier militia, Indians, and regulars.  Whatever your cup of tea might be, one can find it in the old Northwest. 

I already have the naval aspect covered with the Battle of Lake Erie covered in two scales, and I even moderate a small Yahoo group that covers this battle.  So from a naval point of view, I am set.

For land engagements, there are numerous directions I could start.  Tippecanoe sees frontier militia and a regiment of U.S. Regulars against the Indian Confederation based along the Wabash in Indiana.  There is also Fort Meigs, which would involve a large fort to be assembled, and I really do not have the space for that.  Fort Stephenson would be a much smaller fort, with U.S. and British regulars as the primary players.  Hull's movements near Detroit offer a few ambushes by Indians against U.S. detachments.  Of course there are the actions near the Straights of Mackinac, and other affairs along the Mississippi.

Regardless of what action one wants to focus on, the forces are relatively small, which can translate to a smaller amount of figures to purchase and paint, depending on what rules one decides to use.

As always, more on this as I decide what battle to concentrate on and what rules I will use!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Plum Run Point - Part the Next: Confederates!

Picture from Pithead Miniatures' website
Thank you, Pithead Miniatures!  In such timely fashion they have released the Confederate Mississippi River Defense Fleet, in 1/1200.  These are of course, or maybe not of course for those who do not have knowledge of Plum Run Point, the ideal opponents for my burgeoning fleet of Thoroughbred's Cairo class river ironclads.  

I was tipped off by a post on The Wargames Website that these lovely resin castings had been released, so I immediately rushed to place an order, cost before shipping being about $50.00.  Phil Ireson, the owner, contacted me to let me know if I didn't mind a bit of a wait that he would send me a corrected version of the CSS General Bragg, as the first casting he offered was actually the Bragg that the Federals captured and modified and not the version used by the Confederates.  Of course I did not mind a wait for the correct model!
After a couple of weeks I received my order from the U.K.  While these Pithead castings might not quite on par with Thoroughbred's gorgeous models, they are darn close!  As mentioned, they are mostly resin, with metal guns, stacks, and masts, to go along with resin hulls and superstructures.  

I have started putting a few of them together.  Four of the smaller vessels have separate superstructures that need to be glued to the provided hulls.  The four separate hulls are identical  The guns are tiny and a bit fiddly to work with, but that is because I do not have quick setting superglue to hold the guns into place.  Once I pick up some different super glue mounting the guns by using tweezers should be a breeze.

In summary (for now, more as I build, paint, and rate up these vessels for Smoke on the Water), this range from Pithead is not only a nice addition to the 1/1200 scale offerings currently on the market, but they really fill in an often overlooked area of the Civil War, the early battles on the interior river, like Plum Run Point!


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Fort Laurens Project

For years I have tinkered with doing some sort of Revolutionary War scenario set in the west, west being at the time anything beyond the mountains of the eastern United States.  There are some options that folks do not realize, like Crawford's Defeat, George Rogers Clark's taking of Fort Sackville, the Battle of Peckuwe (Piqua), the Battle of Blue Licks, and other small actions in Kentucky.  Recently I visited Fort Laurens (well, the site of Fort Laurens as there is no fort to visit) and it has me interested in doing some sort of project based on the Fort Laurens "campaign" of 1778-79.

I have a slew of Blue Moon 15/18mm AWI figures already, many that I believe would be suited for the 8th Pennsylvania (officers in regimental coats, soldiers in mostly rifle frocks) and the 13th Virginia (blue regimental coats faced yellow).  I will have to see what I have for British officers and natives.

As for the fort itself, that becomes a bit more problematic.  Blue Moon produces some very nice frontier fort pieces, but many of their offerings aren't quite right for Fort Laurens, a couple of differences being the angled bastions and the single story barracks at the fort.  Yes, I could try to build my own fort, but I do not have the space to work on such a project, and really do not have the skills to pull off something respectable .  I could settle for what I can create with the Blue Moon pieces, but as mentioned the bastions and blockhouse would have to be somewhat different.  Doable I guess!

As always, more on this as I push forward with this and about a million other projects!
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