Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Project - Background

Picture from 1st Corps website
It started some years ago at Cold Wars, must have been 1994 or so.  Elite Miniatures out of Illinois (I believe) was carrying the 1st Corps range of Mexican-American War figures at a reduced price.  I hadn't done any gaming in 25mm, with mostly micro-armor and 15mm Civil War and Napoleonics leading the charge.  But the figures were so darn nice looking and my buddy Matt was agreeable to the idea and hell, the prices were great, so we started buying figures.

Forward a year or two to another Cold Wars.  I had the chance to play in John McConnell's 25mm Palo Alto game, using his homegrown rules, Across the Rio Grande.  John allowed the players to keep a set of his simple yet effective rules, and I thought that would get me started on collecting more figures, and even perhaps applying paint to 
Picture from Musket Miniatures website
some!  I even started the Mexican-American War Yahoo group, and watched that little group grow.  But time goes by, other projects come along, old projects fall by the wayside, and I decided to give my 1st Corps figures to Matt, who I believe still has them to this day.  However, the bug bit me again, this time in 15mm, buying up a ton of Musket Miniatures for $2.00 a pack at a local hobby shop.  The Musket range isn't nearly as nice, but the prices, wow!  I got into the Yahoo group again, and this time thought about using what is now Regimental Fire and Fury, but was then called America's Wars, for the rules of choice.  But projects come and go, and I sold those figures and closed the book again on the Mexican-American War.

Picture from Eureka Miniatures website
Then those chaps in Australia came out with a range of beautiful 18mm figures for the war.  Here was an ideal compromise...the beauty of those 1st Corps figures combined with a lower price that was closer to 15mm yielded the Eureka line.  And what a range of figures it has turned out to be!  Nearly everything one needs for the war Eureka manufactures.  For me they just need United States Flying Artillery crew and 18 pounder guns and I believe I have the perfect figures for the Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma battles.

I bought my first wave of figures directly from Eureka down under, back when I could take advantage of a much better exchange rate.  My first order was mostly American infantry, with a small mix of Mexicans.  For my next order I turned to Eureka USA as the exchange rate had gone to crap, and Rob at Eureka USA has excellent service.  This order was for things like dragoons, cavalry, and artillery, but still not enough to cover both sides for Palo Alto.  I even picked up fifty painted U.S. infantry on eBay a couple of years ago, but all this buying got me as far as mounting two lousy stands of infantry.  For a few years these figures have been sitting in the closet, just waiting for the bug (malaria?) to strike again.  It did.

A couple of weeks ago I was looking to do something "different" and was spending a lot of time looking at Napoleonics and some of the European wars of the mid Nineteenth Century.  Then for some reason it hit me, I already have something different and instead of starting yet another new project I decided it was time to order the figures I needed to complete the Palo Alto order of battle and get cracking.  A quick jump over to the Eureka USA website to place an order and within two days I have everything I need to get moving forward.  Using both Regimental Fire and Fury (40 men per stand) and my adaptation of Across the Rio Grande (changing from 100 men per stand to 50 men per stand), I can use either set to recreate the opening battles of the war.  

So, I have rules, all the figures I need, the right paints...damn, need bases!


  1. Daryl, I've also purchased a lot of Eureka MAW figures. I love Mike Broadbent's excellent sculpting and wide variety of poses. Unfortunately, I've been disappointed in how vulnerable the bayonets are to breakage, and the cavalry horses have flimsy legs that cause them to bend. Have you had similar issues? If so, what solutions do you have?

    1. Hi Don - Indeed, the bayonets are thin and frail, but I have yet to have any break. The metal is so pliable I just bend them back into position. I think once I have completed the figures I will put a very thin layer of glue around the bayonet and hope that helps keep them from bending. The horse legs do bend as well...but I am able to bend them back into place. I may use the same technique of using a thinned application of glue to see if that helps.

  2. Using the wayback machine... Oh, wow, I'm actually mentioned! I haven't done MAW for a few years myself, and I ALSO bought a bunch of Eureka figures, but have only painted a few. I'm going to try to get them going again, using F&F and/or my own rules to play it. The game will probably look better (more figures per base) in 15/18mm. Most of the terrain will work just fine, as is. Goal for 2018 is to get enough painted to fight Palo Alto!

    1. Good to hear from you, John! Excellent goal for 2018 I must say, and one I hope to push forward on myself. I think your rules work well for the period, but I am also a fan of F&F, so mounting the figure to satisfy both will make changing from one to another easy enough! And thanks again for all those many years ago when you allowed me to post ATRG on the Yahoo group!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...