Thursday, July 4, 2019

In Celebration of the 4th of July

      The War of 1812 was a war that shouldn't have been fought. The fact that the United States came out of it as well as they did (the war changed nothing), it was fortunate. The one great thing that came out of it was the poem that would become our national anthem.

     The last month I have been rereading books on the War of 1812.  I've also been thinking of how I could wargame the war. I have now decided instead of trying to find out of production figures for the project which would in all probability take years to collect, to use Miniature Figurines War of 1812 figures. They are handsome, well proportioned figures.

     It dawned on me that it is possible that I might have some second generation Minifigs War of 1812 militia that I purchased over 20 years ago. The old 2nd generation figures that I own have thin rectangular bases; the new 3rd generation figures have thicker bases that have a more geometric shape.  The old militia figures did have officers, which now I can't find. I foresee a long search though thousands of figures.
I've started some outside painting of Minifigs War of 1812 militia to see if  this is the direction  to proceed with.

3rd generation Minifigs militia with what I think might be a 2nd generation militiaman.


On the left is a 3rd generation figure base; right is what I believe is a 2nd generation figure. I have bought newer Minifigs with the rectangular bases; possibly 2nd generation figures that were good enough not to need to be resculpted?

Thursday, June 27, 2019

3 Generations of Minifigs

     In my last post I mentioned that I was looking for 2nd generation Minifigs War of 1812 Americans.  I was in a rush to get the posting done, so I didn't post any photos of the different between the 3 generations of Minifigs. Below are photographs of an ACW figure from each "generation, to show the progression of detailing of Minifigs.

A 1st generation Zouave; a 2nd generation Marine; and a 3rd generation Marine. Needless to say, the quality of successive generations is easy to see. However, I'm looking for the "Old School" look.

The other side of the figures. Hopefully someone will realize that they have some 2nd generation War of 1812 figures.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

IN SEARCH OF: Minifigs 15mm 2nd Generation War of 1812 Americans

      With my current project being the War of 1812, I still haven't committed myself to one line of figures. While the Scruby's are painting up nicely, I'm still thinking of different figures.

     When I started wargaming, I wanted to do the War of 1812 using the Minifigs that I had, which were 1st generation  figures. During my search, I went online and asked if Minifigs did 1st generation War of 1812 Americans. I was told that they didn't do War of 1812 figures.

     Yesterday while searching for Minifigs, I came across a PDF of a Minifigs catalog, which had 2nd generation 15mm figures. It is well illustrated with photos of the different lines. Under Napoleonics, they had War of 1812 figures. Unfortunately, they had no photographs of the line. If anyone has some of these figures that they could photograph and send copies of the photographs to me I would appreciate it.

  For now I think I have enough 1st generation British infantry to make several regiments of Americans.

The good thing about British Napoleonic infantry is American infantry wore similar Uniforms.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

War of 1812 Project

      In the last few months I still have done little with the hobby. I go to the basement to work, but quickly lose interest.  I finally figured out that part of the problem is the work area. There is no natural light where I work. I decided to make a tray to carry my projects upstairs where there is more light. The project I wanted to start is two  War of 1812 armies, using Scruby N Gauge British infantry for both armies.
    I decided to prime the figures black, then dry brush the primary colors on. The first unit was an American infantry regiment (which I painted in the basement). Yesterday, after work, I used my new tray and brought my paints and primed figures onto the deck. It was a beautiful summer afternoon and before I knew it, had 3 British regiments almost completed.

First Scruby N gauge War of 1812 American Regiment


My outdoors work area.

The British regiments on the paint board.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Dry Brushing Miniatures

       In a recent post on Battle Game of the Month, Ross MacFarlane painted some Scruby N gauge figures. As I recently bought a large lot of Scrubys, this post was of great interest to me. When one looks at Ross's paint job, you can't help but be impressed with his work.

    In his post he mentions that he primes the figures white. While on vacation I brought some of my N gauge figures to paint if I had the time. All I did do was get a coat of white primer on them.  In the past when working with smaller figures (15mm and under), I would prime them black then dry brush the colors onto them. With the painted Scruby's they seemed to have have been primed in white, and that's the way I figured I would continue with them. After putting on the primer, I realized just how many spots I missed. It started me thinking of going back to black, as it is easier to see spots I missed.

   I decided to try a few to see if priming black and drying brushing on the main colors. For me this is the best option. I don't have the skill to do the fine detail painting Mr. MacFarlane did with his figures.


The 6 figures on the left were already painted when I received them; the 6 on the right are the figures I primed black then dry brushed on the colors. I find this system easiest for me.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Wargame News; First the Good News...

   BORE WAR-NING!  Before going on vacation, I had ordered two Airfix molds from Germany; copies of old Schnieder cavalryman and horse molds. I also found Frying Pan and Blanket Amalgamated's address and sent for a list of their figures, and found on Ebay of 54 old Wargamer's Digest that I bought.

   The molds were to arrive the day we left on vacation. They didn't arrive.

      When we got back from vacation, the molds were in the mailbox, along with a week's work of mail and an infestation of ants mixed in the mail. First sign of the ants is when my wife pulled the mail out and screamed and threw the mail across the lawn. After sorting through the mail and clearing the ants off it, I found the return letter from Frying Pan & Blanket Amalgamated. The letter informed me that they no longer take orders. As I had decided to use these figures for my War of 1812 project, I found myself back to square one with that project. When I entered the house my magazines had arrived. My stepson had stopped by the house and found the box and  brought them in. Unfortunately, that week we had drenching rains, and the box sat outside during them. When I opened the box, the rain had soaked through the box and the seller had just put them in the box with no wrapping on them. I had to use the spare room as a drying room for the magazines that were soaked through, hoping that the magazines wouldn't turn to paper mâché.

  I was somewhat disappointed with the cavalryman mold, as it showed on the illustration that among the different heads were dragoon heads. However, instead there are several heads with late 19th century caps and no dragoon helmets. Also to put the plug heads on, I need to drill holes in the body, a tricky proposition for me with my shaky hands. Still, it might be a helpful mold in my 40mm projects.

    One plus is I got a copy of the first war-game magazine I every owned. I bought it new at the local hobby store. Unfortunately, I lost the magazine during different moves. I am looking forward to reading it again.


Wet magazines in the "drying room". Luckily the pages didn't stick together and they all seem readable.



The copy of the first wargame magazine I ever owned. One of the main reasons I bought the lot.

One reason I loved this particular magazine were the maps drawn for the article on Quatre Bras. When I got bored in school (which was often) I would draw up battles using the little slash regiments as shown in the photo.

After looking at the magazine, I now think that maybe these maps are why I like my 2mm block armies.



The Airfix illustration of the cavalry figure, and the actual casting.

In this picture, I have drilled out the plug hole and attached 2 lancer heads. They should be useful figures.


Thursday, May 23, 2019

Wargaming the War of 1812

    Before I had access to the internet, for several years my main interest was the American War of 1812. Recently I read a biography of the American general, Jacob Brown. He was commander of the American army that invaded the Canadian side of the Niagara area in 1814. He was the most successful American general during the war, but is largely  forgotten today. Reading of the 1814 campaign has renewed my interest in the war.

    Right now my big decision is which figures will be used.
Some of the figures I'm thinking of using; 15mm Minifigs 1st generation British Napoleonics(for both sides), 15mm Heritage Napoleonics, 20mm Frying Pan and Blanket Amalgamated War of 1812 figures, and 40mm Homecast Prince August and Zinnbrigade figures.

Some of the figures I started painting for inspiration.

Two other options are using Old Glory 10mm or Historfigs N gauge Scrubys. These are some Old Glory Napoleonics that were painted for a different War of 1812 project that I was working on.

Old Glory British infantry painted as Americans for the above mentioned project.

A Zinnbride figure converted for use as a early American infantryman. I got the idea for this figure from Ross Macfarland's Battle of the Month blog. In one of his War of 1812 games, I saw such a converted figure and liked the pose.

Two Zinnbrigade conversions. The  painted Zinnbrigade figure was converted to a march attack  figure. The musket is simply a piece of garden wire. Besides deciding on figures, I'm thinking of different rules from the usual Battle Cry or C&C rules. My wife and I are going camping next week. I plan to bring several War of 1812 books to reread for inspiration. Hopefully at the end of the vacation I'll have a better idea of where this project is going.