Friday, January 22, 2016

Second Seminole War Eye Candy

Mark Luther was kind enough to give me permission to use any of his Second Seminole War pictures for my blog.  I will simply post this picture of his amazing terrain as a tease, and you see more by clicking HERE.  Great stuff, and thank you, Mark!

What miniatures terrain should look like!

Force on Force for the Barbary Coast

Photo from Thoroughbred Figures' website
For some time now I have owned a few of the excellent 15mm figures from Thoroughbred Figures for the early 1800s, specifically a couple of packs of U.S. Marines (Code TB03) and three packs of Tripoli Pirates (Code TB01T).  These are finely detailed, well animated, and cleanly cast figures for the War of 1812 period.  The U.S. Marines would not be suitable for William Eaton's expedition against Derna (Derne) in 1805, but would be perfect for later brew ups against the North African nations into 1815.  They measure about 14M on the Barrett Scale (developed by Thoroughbred's owner, Toby Barrett), meaning they are about 14mm from sole to eye and are of medium heft or build.  There are also British and Marines and crew, and several smaller ships and boats within this range (called Sea Eagles). 

As I already have some excellent 15mm North African/Arab terrain, I thought that using these figures within a Force on Force setting would be ideal.  

The Marines would be attired as indicated in this uniform plate, although I would probably go a shade darker on the coats.

U.S. Marines - Photo from Thoroughbred

Some basic ratings could be as follows:

Prelim thoughts on using FonF for the early 1800s.

US Marines
Quality - D8-D10
Morale - D8
1D per figure firing.

Barbary Coast Dudes
Quality - D6-D8
Morale - D6-D10
1D per every two figures firing, fires only at optimum range.  Gains an extra melee die for use of pistols, knives, pikes/spears, and swords.

Thoroughbred Figures Martello Tower

Picture courtesy of Thoroughbred Figures
As evidenced in previous posts on my Ambushed in the Alley blog, I have some crackin' good terrain for Middle Eastern/North Africa scenarios, mostly from the now defunct Deimos Design Studio, The Terrain Guy (also defunct), and custom buildings from a great chap in Florida (a hotel, mosque, and shanties, along with some battlefield debris).  But I also, as mentioned in my last post, have a hankering to take Force on Force back to the early 1800's and use the rules (or the newer version of Ambush Alley when it is released) for some Barbary Coast actions.  I was looking through the Thoroughbred Figures Sea Eagles range again recently, when I noticed that they make a Martello Tower.  This looked like it could be the signature piece for my 1800's tabletop, taking the place of the hotel that could be used for a modern setting.  To that end I sent an email to Thoroughbred's owner Toby Barrett to ask him if the tower had a lift off roof and floors within.  He informed me that the newer versions of the tower are one solid hollow piece, but Toby still had a pre-production tower he was willing to sell me that actually had a separate top and base from the main tower structure.  Perfect!  This would allow placement of figures within the tower, and if I get around to it, I may even scratch-build a second floor inside.

The baggie of parts and crew
The tower comes with a baggie of parts and crew.  This consists of a set of exterior stairs that have connecting pegs for proper alignment with the landing and the tower, an 18 pounder gun with a pivot for the barbette on the tower top, artillery balls, roof hatches, and a mixed gun crew from the TB02 Naval Gunners pack that would be suitable for any European or American power.  Toby, knowing that I was working on a Barbary Coast project, was kind enough to include a sample pack of Tripoli Pirates (TB01T) that include suitable crew, allowing me to use the tower for either side.

Tabs on the tower roof match with the tower, keeping the roof in place
The resin is of very high quality, no chalky feel, very few bubble spots.  The figures and gun of course are of great detail, perfect animation, and very cleanly cast, keeping with Thoroughbred's ongoing reputation for quality gaming pieces first established in their 1/600 American Civil War range.  The pieces that need assembly fit together perfectly.

Two more shots showing the stairs and barbette gun, assembled without glue to illustrate their perfectly aligned fit.  I may keep the gun assembly as a loose piece as it will rotate around the barbette with relative ease.

Stairs in place, aligned into perfect place with tabs on the steps and the landing

Barbette gun in place
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