Fife & Drum Miniatures is a range of 1/56 scale figures (approximately 30mm in height) sculpted by Richard Ansell, and is devoted to the American War of Independence. The figures may be purchased from Der Alte Fritz through this blog, using Paypal for payment. Click on the page tabs for Crown Forces, American forces and artillery equipment to see pictures of the individual figures.

Winner of the "Best Historical Miniatures Range of 2011" by The Miniatures Page.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

British Light Infantry Battalion

British Light Infantry Battalion (36 figures)

I have been working on the first battalion of the British Light Infantry establishment during the AWI, circa 1777. Using Greg Novak's book, "The War of Independence in the North - We Have Always Governed Ourselves," as a guide (page 24), I selected the first battalion for the reason that it had 8 companies and I thought that would be a large enough unit for wargaming purposes.

The first battalion consisted of the following flank companies, drawn from their parent regiments: 4th, 5th, 10th, 17th, 22nd, 23rd, 35th, and 38th.

Their facing colors are as follows:

4th and 23rd  (Blue)
10th and 38th (Yellow)
5th (Green)
17th (White)
22nd (Buff)
35th (Orange)

This gives me a nice variety of facing colors. In my organization, each stand of 8 figures (on a 40mm side by 80mm length stand) will represent one of the companies listed above. Thus, each stand will have its own distinct facing color. That should be kind of cool!

British light infantry with 4 companies deployed to the front and 2 companies providing a reserve or support.

The picture above breaks the unit down into two parts so as to shorten the frontage. Eventually, I will have 8 stands of light infantry and separate them into two "wings" of 24 figures each.

I like to trick out the bases a bit by adding parts of rock walls, boulders, tree stumps and dead tree trunks to create a mini diorama on each base. Click on the picture above to enlarge the view and get a closer look at the terrain effects. I used all 8 of the Fife & Drum British Light Infantry poses mixed in a variety of ways on each stand. I found that the 40mm depth (width) was sufficient to ensure that the bayonet did not extend over the front edge of the stand. This will minimize damage from handling and also allow one to form columns of companies without fear that one stand will be bayonetting the backs of the stand in front of them.

I really like the way the individual figures work together in a dynamic way: lots of action and lots of diorama possibilities with the available poses. I like to stick at least one figure on each stand towards the front of the base. Once you push all of the stands together, the one figure at the front per stand gives the appearance of a loose files two-rank line. Again, this is done with the idea of minimizing damage from handling the figures.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Fife & Drum Continentals - Painted

Fife & Drum Continental Drummer
I have not posted anything in awhile, but that is largely due to the fact that I have been busy painting samples for show as well as some Continental regiments for service in my AWI wargame army. With sales rather brisk and pulling figures out of the inventory bins for my own usage, I had to restock more of the Continental command and firing line figures, which will probably arrive next week. So if you want to order some figures in time for Christmas, then send those orders in ASAP so that I can get them mailed before the last minute Christmas rush.

If you would rather use the old fashioned method: US Postal service, then feel free to send me your order along with your personal check (US customers only) to me at:

Fife & Drum Miniatures
67 W. Mallard Lane
Lake Forest, IL 60045
Phone: (847) 924-1518 (cell phone number)

Fife & Drum Continentals in brown uniform coats. Buildings were made by H.G. Walls.

1st Pennsylvania Regt. circa 1777 - firing line.
I wanted to see how the Fife & Drum firing line poses would look as one regiment. So I chose the 1st PA regiment (brown coats with green facings and red lace) using all of the Continental firing figures. For variety's sake, I also recruited some of the American militia figures so that I could get some brimmed hats and long coats into the regiment. I think that you will agree that the end result is very pleasing to the eye. I particularly like the sense of "action" and dynamic energy that the figures have when they all come together in one unit.

The following figures were used in the firing line shown above (30 figures):

1 x A20 Continental officer
1 x A21 Standard bearer
1 x A22 Drummer
6 x A24 Continental standing firing
5 x A25 Continental at the ready
4 x A26 Continental with ramrod, loading
6 x A27 Continental cocking musket

1 x A1 militia officer holding sword in both hands
2 x A4 militia standing firing - tricorn
2 x A5 militia standing firing - brimmed hat
1 x A7 militia cocking musket - brimmed hat

I hope that you find this "recipe" helpful in constructing your own units.

One more thing about firing lines: I hear wargamers say that they don't like this kind of pose because the muskets extend over the base and can either break off or bend from wear and tear, or they prod the stand in front of them when they are lined up in a march column. My solution is to place most of the actual firing poses in the back row and have their guns pointing forward at an angle of say 30 to 45 degrees. The figures that do not have guns and bayonets sticking out can be placed in the front row. One of my favorite poses is A27 Continental cocking his musket. I tilt him sideways so that his musket extends across the front of the stand rather than sticking out over the edge. The effect is very nice. Give it a try yourself. I can say that none of these muskets are going to break off, nor are they going to stick the guy in front of them since all muskets are at an angle.