Sunday, June 30, 2013

Prussian Artillery Equipment from Fife & Drum

New Prussian Artillery Models (from L to R): 12-pdr, 10-pd Howitzer, 6-pdr, and 3-pdr. Click pix to enlarge.
Prussian 12-pounder (left) and 10-pound howitzer (right) shown with Minden Miniatures SYW Prussian artillery crewmen for size comparison.

The Fife & Drum artillery works has been busy these past couple of months designing, forging and assembling and painting the new Prussian SYW artillery equipment that we have added to our range of 18th Century artillery equipment. The artillery range is done in 1/56 scale, which means that they are utterly and completely compatible with the Minden Miniatures range of SYW figures. These cannon models were designed with the Minden range in mind, as I needed some cannon for my own armies of Minden Miniatures Prussians.

A special thanks goes to Christian Rogge for his tireless work in creating drawings of all of the French and Prussian SYW era artillery equipment. Christian's work made it all possible to have the sculpts made and the pieces put into production.

The range also includes the necessary limbers and horse teams to go with your Prussian (and French) artillery, and we also added a munitions wagon and pontoon wagon, both of which could be used with any European army in the 18th Century.
Prussian 6-pounder (left) with light 6-pounder limber, and 3-pounder (right) M1740 Holtzmann model. Click pix to enlarge.
Munitions wagon (left) to provide ammo for your artillery and a pontoon wagon with pontoon (right) for all of those river crossings. You can also purchase an extra pair of pontoons and a pair of draft horses with civilian driver. Click pix to enlarge.

Prussian 12-pounder with limber. Minden Miniatures artillery crew shown for sizing purposes.

Here is a list of the new product codes for the Prussian artillery equipment:

AE-008   Pair of limber horses and civilian driver  ($8.00)
AE-017   Pair of pontoons only ($8.00)
AE-018   Pontoon wagon with one pontoon   ($10.00)
AE-019   Munitions wagon (wicker-sided with canvas cover) ($10.00)
AE-020   Prussian 12-pounder  ($6.00)
AE-021   Prussian 10-pound Howitzer  ($6.00)
AE-022   Prussian 6-pounder  ($6.00)
AE-023   Prussian 3-pounder M1740 Holtzmann model  ($5.00)
AE-024   Prussian light limber with ammo chest (use with 6-pdr and 3-pdr)  ($5.00)
AE-025   Prussian heavy A-Frame artillery limber  ($5.00)
AE-026   Pair of civilian limber horse riders only - 1 brimmed hat & 1 tricorne ($4.00)

For more information, click on the Fife & Drum link below to go to the web page:

Fife & Drum Miniatures

In the future, we will add the Prussian Brummer and the 7-pound howitzer to the range.

In a few more days, I will post pictures and product codes for all of the new French Valliere artillery equipment that we now have in the Fife & Drum range.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Hessians Are Coming Too!

Minden Prussians, shown to conceptualize what AWI Hessians might look like. Click to enlarge.

Just a little bit of an update on the Fife & Drum Kickstarter Project. As of today, we have pledges in the  amount of $9,329 from 32 backers. If you would like to contribute and become a member of "The Fife & Drum Corps", then click the link below:

Fife & Drum Kickstarter

With 25 days remaining, it looks like we have a reasonable chance of hitting the Stretch Goal No. 2 at the $12,000 pledge level, and this will unlock the first 16 Hessian musketeer infantry. Grenadiers and jagers and artillery crew would follow thereafter.

As previously announced, the first Stretch Goal No. 1 of $8,000 has been achieved, so this means that the British Legion cavalry of Banastre Tarleton will become unlocked. We will probably release the 3rd Continental Light Dragoons at the same time to balance out the range a little bit.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Tarleton Is Coming!

Banastre Tarleton, after portrait by Joshua Reynolds.
The Fife & Drum Kickstarter Project is progressing very well, having reached and passed the initial funding goal of $5,000. We are now within $615 of hitting our first Stretch Goal of $8,000 and this will unlock the Tarleton personality figure as well as his British Legion cavalry figures.

Like him or hate him, the man certainly had a lot of dash and style as exemplified by Joshua Reynolds' famous portrait of Tarleton. This is one of the iconic pictures of the AWI and the British Legion uniform is a real piece of eye candy, as we would say today. I am excited by the probability that we will be able to add these figures to Fife & Drum Miniatures. We are so close, but we need just a little more help from you to get across the Stretch Goal finish line. 

So please click on the link to our Kickstarter Project and take a look at our story

You can make contributions as little as $1.00 or if you back the project at the $50.00 level then you also get a free Spirit of '76 vignette. In any event, many small contributions often add up to a big number. 

best regards,


Monday, June 24, 2013

Fife & Drum Miniatures Launches AWI Dragoon Kickstarter Project

Kickstarter Reward shown: Spirit of '76 Vignette. The other vignette is from the Minden Miniatures range of figures (not part of Kickstarter). Also shown is the new Ammo Wagon and our existing Continental Artillery crew and Swedish 4-pounders. Click pix to enlarge.

Fife & Drum Miniatures is pleased to announce that we have just launched a Kickstarter Project to help put our proposed British and American Light Dragoons into production. Our initial goal of $5,000 will cover the cost of sculpting 16 greens and making the master and production moulds.

Fife & Drum Kickstarter Link

I talked with Richard Ansell today and he is very keen to get started on the dragoon project, which will initially feature a selection of 8 British dragoons and 8 Continental dragoons. Eventually, we want to create the British 16th and 17th Light Dragoons, Tarleton's British Legion cavalry, the 1st and 3rd Continental Light Dragoons, some South Carolina mounted partisans (Pinkney and Marion) and a whole other host of cavalry goodies. 

As you can see, we will do nothing in small measures as I want to produce one of the most comprehensive ranges of AWI cavalry to the Fife & Drum range of figures. I am particularly excited by the cavalry project, because once the figures go into production (around January 2014), we will have achieved our Phase I goal of getting all three combat arms into production so that our customers can field complete AWI armies for both sides of the conflict.

We have some interesting stretch goals too, as you can see from our link. There will be Hessians, Highlanders and even French infantry for Savannah finding their way into our product line over the next several years.

So go ahead and look at our project. You can contribute as little as $1.00 or qualify for the Spirit of '76 Vignette with a minimum contribution of $50.00. Any contribution will be gratefully accepted.

I want to thank everyone for the encouragement and support that you have given the Fife & Drum range so far. I also want to thank our talented design team including Richard Ansell, Alan Marsh and the exsquisite casting work done by Griffin Moulds.

respectfully yours,

Jim Purky (Der Alte Fritz)

Finished Spirit of '76 Vignette and some Jagers

Minden civilians carrying ammo chest, Fife & Drum Spirit of '76 vignette, and F&D equipment and artillery crew shown (click pix to enlarge the view).

Hesse Seewald Jagers - Fife & Drum Continentals and Militia painted as an Imaginations Army: 28 figures representing a Light Battalion in Charles Grant's "The Wargame" rules.

It has been a busy weekend here in Hesse Seewald. First of all, the Erbprinz was assembling and kitting out two companies of light infantry to serve as his escort to his ultimate destination where he will learn the Art of Warfare under the tutelage of one of Europe's foremost military tacticians. Who that person is, I cannot say just yet, but eventually the Erbprinz's destination will be revealed. The light battalion is comprised of two companies of the Hesse Seewald von Birckebeil Regiment that are on detached duty to guard the Erbprinz as he travels across central Germany.

The figures are all from the Fife & Drum AWI range of figures. I used Continentals mostly, as well as several militia standing firing and wearing tricorn hats (you can see them on the left hand side of the picture). The point is, that Fife & Drum figures can be used for both AWI and for your Imaginations armies, to equal good effect.

The picture on the top depicts the new Spirit of '76 vignette that we have just added to the Fife & Drum range. While my intention was to give away the figures at Historicon and/or as part of a Kickstarter reward, I have decided that I will sell the Spirit vignette via mail order. Any order worth at least $8.00 (that is four infantry figures) will receive a free Spirit of '76 vignette along with your order.

I only have 40 sets right now, but I will be sending in another order to Griffin Moulds for another 200-300 more sets, so I should have more than enough sets available for everyone within a couple more weeks (unless you hurry up and send in one of the next 38 orders this week).

Artillery Equipment Update
I have decided to go ahead and commission the rest of the French artillery based on the drawings of Christian Rogge, so this means that the French Valliere 16-pounder, 24-pounder and 8-pound howitzer will be added to the artillery equipment range. Christian is also working on drawings for the British artillery circa the SYW so this will allow us to add British 5.5" and 8" howitzers and 12-pound smooth bore cannon later this year. Christian is also gathering information on the Prussian Brummer cannon so I will definitely add the Brummer to the range as soon as I can. There will also be more support wagons (2-wheel and 4-wheel general purpose wagons and powder wagons). And if I can find some decent pictures of a traveling carriage, I would like to add a "Royal Carriage" to provide transportation for all of those Imaginations Dukes, Landgrafs, and Kings, etc who are roaming around Europe right now.

In a word, there is a lot more to come on the equipment side of the Fife & Drum range.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Spirit of '76 Vignette by Fife & Drum

Update: here is the vignette painted. I will have to ink and grass the base tomorrow. Click to enlarge.
Spirit of '76 Vignette will be given away with each purchase at our Historicon booth, July 18-21, 2013.

Well I have to say that Richard Ansell has outdone himself this time with these latest little gems that I just received today from our caster. That's right, you wanted it, you've asked for it, and now you've got it: the Spirit of '76 figures are now available from Fife & Drum Miniatures. We will be giving the figures away at our booth at Historicon with each purchase. So buy one bag of figures and you get the Spirit of '76 vignette included with your purchase at no extra cost.

I am really excited at how nice these figures turned out. Each figure has separate arms in order to facilitate the casting of the figure. However, the hole sockets are very deep and the arms are easy as pie to glue onto the figure. I rolled out a little sausage of green epoxy putty and placed the smallest little dab of putty into each socket, then one tiny drop of super glue, press the arms together, and Presto! You are done. I will prime and paint these guys over the weekend, so check back here around Sunday to see how they look painted.

We are also going to launch a Kickstarter Project next week and the Spirit of '76 vignette will be included as one of the rewards that backers will receive when they back our project. The Kickstarter Project's aim is to provide the funds that we need to add British and Continental light dragoons to the range.

Exciting days are ahead as we plan a major expansion of the Fife & Drum Miniatures range: both in figures and in more artillery equipment. The possibilities are endless and the future is bright.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Hesse Seewald Jagers

Hesse Seewald Jagers, using Fife & Drum AWI figures.  Click pix to enlarge.

(L-R) Jager Regimental Officer, the Erbprinz Karl Friedrich, and Captain Jakob Berkebeil.

I finished 12 light infantry figures and 3 mounted officers for my Hesse Seewald force, over the weekend. The Erbprinz and Captain Berkebeil are headed across the Pond for adventure and to learn the art of military science under the tutelage of some of Europe's finest military minds.  The Erbprinz needs an appropriate escort, so I am in the midst of painting two companies of light infantry (24 figures) to make the trip with him.

The Jager mounted officer is from the Fife & Drum AWI range of figures (the other two are from the Minden range) and I really like the way that he turned out -- he is almost too good to be a mere regimental commander, but I will let the new inhaber of the regiment make the decision.

I have always liked the color combination used in the uniforms of Napoleon's Guard Chasseurs a Cheval (green, red and tan) and so I incorporated the color scheme into my Hesse Seewald Jagers.

I apologize for the average quality of the pictures. I used my iPad and e-mailed the pix to myself to load into this blog. I wasn't able to down load them into iPhotos where I could have played around with the picture settings, etc. I also took some pix with my regular camera, but that takes awhile to download and edit, and I need to get to bed.

At any rate, I wanted to point out that the Fife & Drum Miniatures AWI figures make for fine Imaginations armies in addition to their intended use to wargame the American Revolutionary War.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Erbprinz Karl Friedrich von Hesse Seewald

Karl Friedrich (left) and his ADC, Captain Jakob Berkebeil (right). Both are Minden Miniatures figures. Click picture to enlarge the view.

I have finished several painting projects for other people and now that everything is packed and mailed, I have a little time on my hands to paint whatever I please. The sensible part of my brain told me to keep knocking out AWI British regiments, what with Historicon coming up so soon. The spontaneous side of my brain told me to do whatever will bring me the most fun and joy.

Spontinaity won out, so I pushed the 32 AWI British, destined to become the 4th Regiment of Foot, and pitch into some Minden Miniatures SYW figures. With that in mind, I dug out a couple of mounted officers so that I could paint a couple of on-off "onesies" and get creative. I chose a Hanoverian mounted officer to play the role of the Erbprinz Karl Friedrich von Hesse Seewald and a Prussian mounted colonel to star in the role of the Erbprinz's ADC, confidant, and minder: Captain Jakob Berkebeil of the Von Glasenap Musketeer Regiment in the Hesse Seewald army.

The picture above depicts a portion of my Saturday painting production: I finished both mounted officers and seven light infantry figures (out of an eventual 29 figures for a light regiment as prescribed in "The Wargame" rules by Charles Grant). I chose the green uniform coat of the Hesse Seewald army for both officers. Each army regiment has a different facing color or small clothes in either buff or white. The green coat, red facings and white small clothes are those used in IR1 von Glasenap, the oldest regiment in the Herzog von Hesse Seewald's army.

Now before some of you get too excited, this does not mean that I am about to drop everything and start painting imaginations armies in the blink of an eye. On the contrary, this batch of figures are destined to fight in another war gamer's campaigns, so I will be packing them up shortly and sending them on their way to new adventures. On the other hand, I rather like the few sample figures that I painted for several of the regiments, so it is very likely that from time to time I will paint a regiment here and there until I build up the first brigade of four 30 figure battalions.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Making Artillery Tool

I was working on the creation of some longer artillery tools to go with the mammoth sized French artillery barrels on the Valliere 8-pound and 12- pound cannon.

I simply cut a piece of brass wire to the length of the 12- pounder barrel and then made the ram and sponge ends from green epoxy putty. I rolled out a small sausage of putty and stuck it to the end of the wire. Then, with the wire embedded in the putty, I rolled out the putty to reduce the thickness and then trimmed the sponge to the desired length. Then using an Exacto blade, I scored some lines into the putty to give the sponge some texture.

You can see the finished result in the picture and compare it to the original rammer casting and the French 12-pound barrel.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

New Artillery Equipment - Painted Pix!

French 12-pounder with limber; Minden Miniatures French crew. Click to enlarge.

I have been busy painting one of each of the new French and Prussian SYW/AWI era cannon, limbers and wagons over the weekend and finally have them ready to post on the blog. I like all of the new model, but I think that the French cannon are the most spectacular looking because they are just so HUGE! I am tempted to add the 24-pounder to the French range in the future. I want to thank Christian Rogge for his epic work in compiling the information on the French and Prussian cannon and then creating the scale drawings that our sculptor was able to use to render the final models. Future additions to the range will likely include a Prussian 7-pd howitzer, British 12-pdr, and a complete line of Austrian cannon and equipment.

To order, click on the link below to the Fife & Drum web page for further ordering information:

French cannon (L-R): Swedish 4-pdr, Valliere 4-pdr, Valliere 8-pdr and Valliere 12-pdr.

Prussian cannon (L-R) 12-pdr, 10-pdr howitzer, 6-pdr, and 3-pdr.

Prussian 12-pdr (left) and 10-pd howitzer (right)

Prussian 6-pdr (left), light limber with ammo box (center) and 3-pdr (right)
Prussian 12-pdr, Minden artillery crew, and heavy limber.

Munitions wagon (left) and Pontoon wagon with pontoon (right)
I like the way that these two wagons turned out. I painted them Prussian blue, but they could be used for any European army during the SYW or for AWI forces. For the British, paint the carriage grey and the canvas top crimson. The pontoon wagon will come in very handy for some of those Charles Grant scenarios that I have been meaning to try. You can also buy a pack of two pontoons separately.

British 3-pounder with American crew firing.
I also include a picture of the 3-pdr Galloper gun that already exists in the AWI equipment range; however, many people are not aware that it exists, so I thought that I would post a picture of just the cannon with the crew (available as British or American, loading and firing poses).

The initial response to these new releases has been very good, and in fact I have already placed a restocking order so that we can keep the products in the shipping room, ready to fill your orders. I will be at Historicon July 18-21, 2013 with a booth at the Age of Glory booth. I hope to see you there.

Friday, June 7, 2013

British Ammo Wagon

I found this interesting picture of a British munitions wagon at Fort Ligonier in Pennsylvania. This looks very much like the Fife & Drum wagon, other than it has a pair do doors at the rear.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

New Fife & Drum SYW Artillery Equipment Is Now In Stock!

French Valliere System Artillery (L-R): 4-pdr, 8-pdr, and 12-pdr all shown with Minden Miniatures SYW artillery crew figures. Click pix to enlarge the view.
Close-up view of the new French 8-pdr (left) and 12-pdr (right).

I have spent the evening unpacking a huge box of castings received today from Griffin Moulds Ltd, containing all of the new SYW artillery equipement that we have just added to the Fife & Drum Miniatures range. The equipment is made to 1/56 scale so that they are fully compatible with either the Minden Miniatures SYW range or the Fife & Drum AWI range.

Check out the Fife & Drum blog for more information, including prices and product codes to assist you in ordering these fine new artillery castings.  Fife & Drum Artillery Equipment

The new Prussian artillery (L-R) 12-pdr; 10-pd Howitzer; 6-pdr; and 3-pdr.
Ammunition wagon, wicker-sided with canvas top. Shown with set of limber horses and driver and Minden Prussian artillery crewman.
Pontoon wagon with pontoon (horse team sold separately).

Close-up of the Prussian 12-pdr (left) and 10-pdr Howitzer (right)

Close-up of the Prussian 6-pdr (left) and 3-pdr regimental gun (right).


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Minden Miniatures SYW French artillery crew manning a Valliere 4-pounder, from Fife & Drum Miniatures

Given that I have a shipment of all the new French and Prussian SYW/AWI artillery arriving tomorrow (Yesssss!!!!!!!), I thought that it would be a good idea to paint a Minden Miniatures French artillery crew to go with my new gun models so that I could take pictures of the French with the French guns. Makes sense, doesn't it?

The point is to remind those of you collecting Minden SYW armies that the Fife & Drum cannon are made specifically with you in mind. Since Richard Ansell sculpts both the Minden and the Fife & Drum ranges, the figures and the cannon models are all done to the same 1/56 scale. Thus, instant compatibility.

Those Frenchies look awfully damn nice, I must say. I am sorely tempted to start collecting and painting a French SYW army with the Minden Miniatures. Oh dear, don't I have enough projects already? However, this is one idea that just won't go away.:)

Saturday, June 1, 2013

AWI Artillery

British 6-pounder battery with 3-pound galloper gun in the rear. Click picture to enlarge.

I have been working on some painting commissions for Fife & Drum Miniatures British and American artillery batteries. I'm in the process of painting ten sets (includes one cannon and four crew) and finished the first six this morning.

American artillery battery (left to right) French light "Swedish" 4-pounder, French 4-pound Valliere System cannon, and 3-pound Galloper gun (actually a British Verbruggen cannon mounted on a Patteson carriage).

Speaking of artillery, the new additions to the Fife & Drum artillery park are scheduled to arrive from the caster on Monday June 3rd and I'm really looking forward to seeing these in the flesh. The new pieces include Prussian 3/6/12 pounders and a 10-pound howitzer; French 8 and 12-pounders; a pontoon wagon and pontoons; a wicker sided munitions wagon; and Prussian and French artillery limbers.

Please note that the majority of the Fife & Drum artillery equipment can be used from the War of the Austrian Succession through the end of the American War of Independence.

Finally, we have some special promotional figures that Richard Ansell recently sculpted to give away at the Fife & Drum booth at Historicon. I'm not going to reveal what they are just yet, other to say that they are part of a unique vignette. I'm really excited about these new figures and I think that you will be too.